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gerb

01601 Domur High Mage

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I thought I'd post my pics of how far I've gotten so far here too in case anyone is interested, feel free to give me some pointers, I'm a clueless newbie at this.

I've left the fire for tomorrow because it's terrifying.

 

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Edited by gerb
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Finished off most of my work on this guy... Some touch ups I am considering is putting some more orange into the flames, changing the color of the faces (maybe silver?), maybe adding some shine to the gem in the staff.

 

Any other advice or thoughts are welcome.  Tell me what you think!

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Nice work so far! I like the OSL you have started.

 

For a critique, I think you could punch up the highlights on the cloak quite a bit.

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Ah, the dreaded OSL, or object/other source lighting!

Ok, while Rhonda(Wren) is the master of this, I'm going to to give a few pointers she gave me that helped me think about light differently.

 

First, the light source, in this case the fire, should always be the lightest portion of the figure.  It's the only place I'll use pure white when I'm highlighting, although I may come close in areas near the fire.

 

cvcandle.jpg.944cc2365a3efe2fd186bc86d10a204f.jpg

 

Ok, I pull in this painting because I love how van Honthorst uses light.  We can see that candle, even though it's hidden behind the figure, because of the highlights on the woman and the shadows putting the other two figures in near darkness.  We can mimic this!  All we have to do is remember to highlight areas around our light source first, as if they were in bright light.
 

775a8a03-3b4a-428c-9579-4667d72101d2_zps

 

So, to better explain, here's the wizard fellow and what I've done is applied a filter to remove color saturation. I find this a sneaky trick to remove the contrast we get by having one color next to another, and just look at value, or the level of light to shadow.  So some of the fire is bright, but other parts of it are darker, and the colored fire on the cloak disappears.  So, the way to fix this is to use a highlighting color, like your white and apply it the areas where you want the light to fall.  then, thin your orange or yellow and apply a semi-transparent layer over the highlight and this will make it look like light is falling on the surface.

 

Here's one I did with a nightlight.  See how the brightest point is the light?

nm55_zpsagjcklik.jpg

 

My photo editing program has failed me, but at some point I should be able to pull in a black and white version of it so you can see the balance of light and shadow.

Hope that helps!! Have fun!

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Hmm... Thanks for the help.  So would you suggest I do a light coat of orange/water mixture over the guy's front and shoulder almost like a wash? Then highlight the edges with white?

 

How do you think the flames look? I was thinking about putting an orange wash on them too...

 

Sorry if I'm not using the right painting terms, im new at this.

Edited by gerb
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I would do the highlighting first.  Here's my WIP on the nightmare where I talk about how I did the effect.  If you just put color over color, you still won't have contrast, because there is no change in value (no step between 2 shades of gray)

 

As promised, here's the black and white version of mine:

nightmarebw.jpg.06ed11504537bc7864dd6ae722cbdecb.jpg

 

The only way to get true contrast is to highlight and shade areas.  Otherwise, we fall into the color trap:

colorex2.jpg.bf77d8d8e3352d38102d3c69c1f48fa0.jpg

sat1.jpg.4d76649877af260e290f51a85e7c70bf.jpg

 

We may see color contrast in the first picture, but our brains feels that something is wrong.  Those colors don't look right next to each other.  Why?  They're obviously very different, right?  Blue and red!  What could be more different?  But, when I take away the color, we see that the two are very similar in value (they are virtually the same shade of gray.) In order to make our brains happy at our scale, we have to push highlights and shadows much farther that we're comfortable.  Especially with light effects.  We have to go over the top, because when you place they thin layer (glaze) of color over your highlighted cloak, you'll lose some of the contrast.

 

Here's an earlier version of my kiddie in bed with the nightlight effect on the floor:

nmbw1.jpg.e10555fab36bceeb83f2dcd4b5bf5d1d.jpgnmbw2.jpg.b2777f262ab20c01561248c785eb9491.jpg

 

See how the light is brighter in the first pic?  Anytime I put color or a color filter over something, say in lighting design, I limit some of the light flow through it.  By definition white light is more intense, right?

 

So, that's the science behind why we do what we do.  Now, how do we do it?  that's the important part!  So what I'd do, is highlight.  Highlight the heck out of the cloak, his beard, his arm, anywhere close to the light source that would pick up light.  Remember light sources for the most part are a sphere- they send light equally in all directions unless the run into an object.  So anything not in direct sight of the light would be darker.  A key to OSL is shading areas far from the light more than we'd want to normally, to help sell the effect.

01601.jpg.f2a1dcf055c99a554369307b5790f924.jpg

 

Look at how darkly Michael has shaded areas hidden from the light.  That's what makes the light source pop.

 

You're doing awesome!  Don't let me forget to say that.   You're tackling a hard area of painting that takes years to wrap the brain around, much less the paintbrush, so when I get all technical, don't let me make you feel bad.  It looks great!!!  Truly!  I just want to help make it easier.  When I thin paint for glazing, I make sure when I put it on a piece of paper that I can see printed words through it.  You want it thin enough to see through, but not so thin like a wash that it runs away and goes places it shouldn't! 

 

The fire looks good!  You've got the white in the hottest part or center which is perfect.  Don't be afraid to leave it white.  One thing I know that helps fire looks realistic is to use a little bit of a reddish brown at the tips.  It almost gives a smokelike effect and contrasts with the brightness.

 

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I'll add on to what the others are saying, it looks great, especially if you are a beginner.  I doubt I could get the OSL effect to look that good at my current stage of painting.  That said, super awesome kudos for just doing it, and doing it pretty well too!  

 

@Corporea Awesome explanations!  OSL is one of those things I'm still a bit nervous/afraid to try but something that I definitely want to try in the future.  The science of Color Theory is still a bit mind boggling to me (though I keep reading up on it knowing that a combo of reading up and then trying it out will get me there) but your explanations of what to do are awesome.  Heck, even just your mentioning of the deeper shades and the example in the studio pic really make it click for me.  I'm still a bit lost on value but that's for another thread.  :)  

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want to really have your mind blown by science?  Check out the Helmholz-Kohlrausch effect on wikipedia,  here's the image:

220px-Helmholtz-Kohlrausch_effect.svg.pn

 

top pic has different colors, all with the same value or luminance level.  the bottom shows what happens when you remove color saturation (colorfulness)  All gray.  Which one looks brightest?  the red and that magenta, right?  That's the concept of luminance, where our brain interprets warm colors as brighter or more intense.

 

Sometimes science really takes all my confidence away...

 

edit: on the bright side, it means we can cheat when it comes to OSL and as long as we use a color like our reds, yellows and oranges, people will interpret it as bright!

Edited by Corporea
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25 minutes ago, Corporea said:

want to really have your mind blown by science?  Check out the Helmholz-Kohlrausch effect on wikipedia,  here's the image:

220px-Helmholtz-Kohlrausch_effect.svg.pn

 

top pic has different colors, all with the same value or luminance level.  the bottom shows what happens when you remove color saturation (colorfulness)  All gray.  Which one looks brightest?  the red and that magenta, right?  That's the concept of luminance, where our brain interprets warm colors as brighter or more intense.

 

Sometimes science really takes all my confidence away...

 

edit: on the bright side, it means we can cheat when it comes to OSL and as long as we use a color like our reds, yellows and oranges, people will interpret it as bright!

 

It's an interesting point, although I am afraid that Wikipedia article has all kinds of issues.  Doesn't make it wrong, though.

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