Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Complementary palette

Complementaries here being oranges and blues. For this project I wanted the eyes to pop a lot, so I used not only the complementary blue to all that orange in the skin and hair, but I also played with the lightness and saturation to make the eyes the focal point. One more thing I tried to play with in this image was to use a more textured skin, I’ve been trying to improve my skin tones, which I think I am doing (though there is a long way to go still!) but so fat I’ve never really been happy with the textures of my skin. This time it looks a little better. I think there is a lot to improve and I hope to some day find the delicate balance between subtlety and texture. As my first try with this technique, I guess I’ll have to settle in order not to neglect my other projects. I might actually revisit the complementary colors topic. I actually envisioned something more eye catching. I can't stand the anatomy of the nose, that got messed up as I was painting it. I will need to do some nose studies, methinks.

C&C are welcome!


  1. First off, I just looove the little details of the glowing globes at the end of the eyelashes. They really complement the glow of the blue eyes nicely and add a nice little touch of playfulness! As far as accomplishing a complementary scheme, I've think you've succeeded quite nicely. This all jives really well to my eyes. I would love to see more of this character, as I can imagine such a fun outfit to go with those eyelashes. Just a thought!

    As for crits, the nose does stand out as being a little off center and squashed to the side. I would suggest that in addition to doing nose studies that you break the nose down into its various planes and shapes to help simplify it in your mind. I've recently watched a few head drawing videos that have been FANTASTIC for improving the details of my character's heads lately. They are here:

    Anatomy of the nose - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWZZ3SFmDS8&feature=plcp
    Drawing the nose - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb1WrQp2EAI&feature=plcp

    He also has more on drawing the various features that are well worth a watch!

    When it comes to texture of the skin, I've been relying on Charlie Bowater's very nice subtly textured brush which you can find here (heck, I rely on her brush for just about everything these days. It's perfect for all-around digital work!):

    She links to the brush from that journal and also has a link to a digital painting video that might be worth a watch, as it's about painting a portrait. I really enjoy her technique and have been using it quite a lot myself lately to save me some grief as far as tinting skin to look realistic. To paraphrase her technique, she lays down the midtones and their shadows and highlights first, then creates a layer above the rest set to Overlay where she then tints the cheeks, nose, shadows, etc. with different colors to help give the skin the impure color quality that it has that makes it more convincing (ie. purple tint to the shadow, rosy tint to the cheeks, etc.)

    Another trick is to use the Noise filter in PS to add some porous texture to the whole thing.

    That's all I can think of for now! I hope it helps out some. Your entry reminds me I need to get off my butt and post some of my own exercises too!

    1. Thank you for the tips, Angela! I will go get that brush you mentioned.