NOTE: If drawing and painting isn’t what you’re about, try looking at my universal process notes below to see how this might relate to your own creative work.
Step 1: shapes and proportions
First, I try to sketch in the construction of my character. I focus on geometric shapes, negative spaces and proportions of the body.
Step 2: curves and straights
When the proportions are ready, I start to draw more details, focusing on curves and straight lines.
Step 3: basic shadows
When my clean up is ready, I paint my first shadows to feel the dimension of my character. I don’t have to be precise here, it’s just important to understand the feeling of the basic shadows.
Step 4: uniform color
I paint the uniform background for the object I’m drawing. I don’t want to create high contrast with shadows, because I will do it later with colors.
Step 5 & 6: contrasting colors
Step by step, I create more contrast by adding complementary colors, because the opposite colors create maximum contrast with one another.
The face of the woman is lit by the yellow light – that’s why my shadows are a little purple/violet. Shadows on the body are green – because of the warm hue of the body (dark red).
I wanted to create the movement of colors on her body through the lighting.
The color concept: Harmony and hope
For me, color symbolism has a big role in the interpretation of a paintings.
I Chose green as the dominant color because it symbolizes harmony, connection with nature and the security of a mother’s touch. The yellow is a symbol of hope – that’s why mother is looking towards the yellow light , and baby wears a yellow shirt.
Universal process footnotes
These process tips can be used in any kind of creative work:
- Notice how each pass has a single point of focus, which is what that particular part of the process is all about. Use the working in passes tag to read more about that concept.
- The logic of building a clear contrast: (1) find a good anchor, something that has to be a certain way; (2) use the anchor as a starting point to design a composition of contrasting elements. In this example: “the face was lit yellow -> the shadow was purple”. If you’d like me to write a more detailed post about how to use this idea, let me know in the comments below 🙂
- Give yourself permission to not be perfect – trust the process! It’ll get you there, pass by pass. See step 3 :”I don’t have to be precise here”. More about that under the perfectionism tag.
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