Thursday, July 8, 2010

More rendering...

Rendered the skull, feather and candlestick, established the proper background tone, and nudged the lone flower to the left.
Ideally, I would paint for full days, and not just for a bit in the evening. If this was the case, I would have more adjacent wet areas to blend and soften into, rather than painting one object at a time as I'm doing now. The transition of the fabric to the dark background tone is a good example of this: It would be better to have painted these areas together, allowing the wet paint to be blended and softened for a subtle effect. Instead, I'm relying on trying to exactly match the values and hoping that this accuracy gives me a similar effect, without a patchwork look.

A key aspect of oil painting related to this is the "sinking in" of paint, where an area dries matte and looks lighter (and cooler) than when it was freshly painted.
Look at the image below:
Most apparent in dark areas, we can see how the fabric looks when wet (left) and dry (right). This sinking in of the tones makes it difficult to work on areas related to the dry part, and can be solved by spraying a "retouch varnish" over the surface to get the gloss and even depth back into the whole surface. I will be giving the picture a spray before I go too much further, so that I can properly see if my transitions look natural, or if the objects look too "cut out" from the process of painting them at different times. A remedy to this can be to add some fresh paint to both sides of a transition and make a new blend, but the surface must be uniformly glossy for me to discern what is needed.

Once I'm done, I will take a proper photo with 4 lights and a polarizing filter, and you'll see how even the surface actually is. These process photos invariably look poor due to specular highlights and uneven gloss/depth of tones. An example of this difference is shown here.