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COUNTRY: France CLIENTS: Sega, Sony Ericsson, Microsoft, Warner Music Japan Mathias has been drawing for almost 24 years. He was introduced to digital art at a young age by drawing pixels with a mouse on early PCs, before he later discovered the tablet. mv.cgcommunity.com
CHARACTER SPEED PAINTING
he speed painting is a colour rough. It’s very useful for creating moods, storyboards, or for proposing different ways to explore an illustration to a client. To achieve a sound workflow, it’s essential to be able to try and compare a lot of different moods and compositions before starting to paint a picture in detail and spending hours on it. Thus, the focus in this exercise is not on detailing or concept accuracy, but more on composition, light and atmosphere.
Create a speed painting, focusing on the mood, atmosphere, and depiction of a dynamic character with Mathias Verhasselt
Photo by m4de.com
FILES: DVD1-5.psd FOLDERS: Full screenshots SOFTWARE: Photoshop CS2 (Demo)
In this tutorial I’ll show you my own process for creating a colour rough from a couple of hours’ work. Here, as you can see in my picture above, I’m designing a dark fantasy character. It’s essential for this kind of work to pay attention to the light. If your light sources are correctly placed and you have a good idea of the volumes and planes of your subject, you’ll be able to make it solid with only a good silhouette and a few values, and a few details here and there to add some interest to the piece.
Speed painting is not an easy task. It requires a large visual library in your mind and a good understanding of lighting. I recommend that beginners make a lot of studies from life and photos, and try to understand how things work, before trying the exercise themselves. In this tutorial, I’ll try to explain some of the concepts that you need to keep in mind while speed painting. The software used in this tutorial is Photoshop CS2, but the overall process can easily be used for other software.
for instance). such as defining the sliding-plate armour. All the values in the background are lighter than the average values on my character. I added some details on the character. PRO SECRETS Check values To easily check the values/brightness of your image without the interference of colour (for checking that your atmospheric perspective is right. just using smaller brushes. The only light would come from the patches of blue sky and some clouds diffusing the light from the unseen sun above them. I mainly ‘sculpted’ the character. lit clouds. I used a yellowish colour. and how you can define a piece with just a few elements. working up to Step 3 can be enough. For those highlights. I had an idea of a dark piece with clouds and no sun. I also added some cold reflections on the upper facing planes. You need to think about your light sources from the start. imagining that in the sky above. such as tension. create a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer (Layers>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/ Saturation) with -100 saturation on top of your layer stack. and torches). wrongly placed highlights. I define the clouds quickly with some soft brushes and add some elements reminiscent of a war setting: a banner. Copy me rg By this step.Quick technique Speed painting should never make a subject brighter than its light source) and because compositionally it stands out from the background and looks menacing. and so on. mainly by giving the whole silhouette a jagged. to remind of those blue patches of sky. hard-edged style. thinking of how the armour plates are organised. I start my speed paintings with a gradient between a dark (ground) and bright (sky) colour that will give me an idea of the lighting of the scene. I also put some of the ambient light source on the top-facing planes of the character – a cold tone coming from the patches of blue sky. or even Step 2. I also refine the background. using quick smaller brush strokes to add detail. so that you can activate and deactivate it at will. Concerning the background. I also start working on a silhouette wielding two swords. and refine that gradient with clouds and background forms. I just break the light I add on it. you can see that the image doesn’t change much in terms of mood and composition. refining the silhouette of the character. This adds a bit of volume. under-detailed highlights will look much better than a lot of detailed. or that your shadow values are never brighter than your light values. and defining the volume inside the silhouette with a few metallic highlights. hat you ha ve in your ac tive layer. and some orange highlights on the sides. I work with large round brushes. to keep the elements distinct. When you compare this step to Step 3. movement. Don’t forget about atmospheric perspective when doing this. If there are many armour plates in a zone. By this point. keeping in mind the relative position of your light source to your subject. That way. and the like. It’s all about silhouette. For a colour mood speed painting. in order to add depth. This shows how important the first steps are. 5 Use smaller brushes December 2006 83 . torches. and put those highlights where they should be reflected. the picture has all the elements necessary to maintain a good grasp on the mood and composition of the piece. weight. and a few details. Add more definition I add a bit more form. to remind the viewer of the torches. You need to keep in mind the volume of your subject. you can quickly define a design without having to render everything. all the key elements should already be there. there would be one very bright cloud. which I keep dark because it shouldn’t get a lot of light (you 1 Get the light right ed Shift+Ctr l+C (PC) Shift+Cm nd+C (M Use this sh ac) ortcut to copy exac what you tly see on yo ur canvas not just w . You should be able to read everything in the silhouette by this step. Don’t add highlights randomly though – a few wellplaced. colour mood (the patch of sky. It’s all about refining the light and thinking how it affects each particular zone. 4 Designs and details Here I do the same as Step 4. but they become darker as they get nearer to the foreground. 3 Now for highlights This stage mainly involves detailing the piece and adding more design into things.