Not sure how to think with objects that has color other than white? (And my experiments...)
Yiming Wu
Hey there guys... I'm doing some paintings recently and a problem I find is that when doing thumbnails, I often only draw light/shade patterns, so the composition almost always work great in a flat, single-color scene, where basically everything can be treated as some sort of sculpture, and I can add "decals" on top of them as long as they are small and don't break light/dark shapes. But this is not very useful for depicting something more close to real-life, where objects have a lot of different colors and reflectivity. I realized if there's a dark object in the composition, you can't really think of the light/shadow shapes for the composition to work when the object itself is a dark shape, and should be grouped into the "dark region". An example of this would be like this John Brosio painting in the first image attached. If you think of the chicken in light/shadow shapes in white color, the composition would never work the same way as is. I realized this a while ago after I painted the #2 image attached. In there the stuff outside window is basically uniform white, except I tried to darken the road just a bit. It sort of looks weird because everything is the same color, but luckily it works as a whole in composition. Then after this I started doing practices and trying to think also in object color/reflectivity when thinking about light/dark shapes, trying to get that into my thumbnail/composition stages. It's feeling kinda weird, as my imaginative vision is not really vibrant. So I did some explorations like in #3 and #4, where the #3 is a referenced image with my own take on the colored shape designs, and the #4 is a rotated model of some reference images I could find, just to get me comfortable in thinking in shapes that are not in uniform bright color. And today I just finished the #5 image, which I used an old thumbnail and put some darker elements like trees and the road, as well as the clothes that those characters are wearing, It turned out to be much more vibrant than if I don't do that. Though the reflectivity on the clothes still feel a bit out of place, but this is just my initial experiment result, and I think I know better how to use darker colored objects in my composition. I still want to know more about how you guys approach this problem... Do you guys visualize a drawing with light as a main part? Or just as shapes and figure out the lighting condition later to match the shape design you wanted? Thanks guys :D
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Jared DiPietro
I've been starting to deal with a lot of the same problems. A lot of my focus has been on black and white, or grey scale, pencils and inks. Recently for commissions I've been doing a lot of colour work. I quickly ran into the same problems where my composition worked great in the ink stage, but started to become really shakey with the colours. I've definitely started making the shift to designing my pieces with the colours in mind. A necessary lesson to learn, even for pencillers/inkers because someone's probably going to have to colour it. I'll see if I can find some links, but I read a lot of stuff about perceived brightness and the LAB colour spaces.
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Yiming Wu
Ahh "perceived brightness" this is a huge topic... Be aware, LAB isn't perfect, CIE LAB has very problematic hue shifts especially in blue (Well do some quick google and stuff, if you want to experiment, for digital art, use OK LAB or HSLuv) I think the problem is mostly practice visualizing it in thumbnail stage. Ink with color fills are another topic as well, if you want to have inks to show up well, the fills can't go really dark as well, very problematic... but anyway, keep experimenting XD
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