Okay, it’s study time and for the first digital painting study here on SIW I bring you some Harry Potter magic…
I’ve been getting more into ‘study’ time these days, which is why I haven’t posted any complete paintings in a while – I’ve been focusing on getting better rather than just forcing out a finished piece.
There are a few ways to study; you can paint/draw from life, from a photo or maybe from someone else’s painting.
I picked this tricky image of Bellatrix Lestrange smashing glasses and such in the great hall of Howarts. I decided to not stop until it was finished. So far it’s been about 10 days on and off. I think I still have another 10 days left in it which is why I’ve decided to split it into a couple of posts! Not for the faint hearted!
Anyway, without boring with more details, here are the work in progress images so far. Stay tuned for the completed piece which will include further WIP images and a step by step talk-through.
Above is the photo reference.
I began by tracing over the basic perspective lines. This is cheating to be fair but I just wanted to block out the geometry and perspective and get it right so I could focus on light, colour and form.
Next I blocked in the light sources from the windows, indicating the colour and tone of the clouds. It’s always blocky and simple and quick at this stage.
Time to block in Bellatrix. Again, very basic.
I added a little more to Bellatrix here as she looked a little too blocky. It’s good to go a little closer towards a finished look sometimes or the lack of quality in one area of a painting can be distracting and possible influence the quality of the rest of the painting.
I also threw in one of the house mascot gargoyles and some lighting.
Bit more of the wall blocked in and the windows moving slowly towards completion. There may seem like slight changes on those windows but there are probably many subtle changes. The photo is blurry where the window details are so one has to simplify and do a little guess work.
Bit more windows again. Getting close.
Windows are finished now and the lines and shading on the wall is fairly close to what I wanted. Again, that wall was very hard as there’s so much micro detail one has to simplify.
It’s worth noting at this point that about 90% of the painting was made up of the standard default chalk brush. Usually set at 100% opacity but sometimes not.
Time to get stuck into that gargoyle. This was also tricky because the photo is so dark, so grainy and so vague. I had to really scour the internet for other pictures of Hogwarts great hall. Here is a picture I found which I cropped so you could see a close-up of the specific area I was focusing on:
It looks quite different in the light. This gave me a slightly better hint at the form. In fact it was helpful for the rest of the hall’s architecture.
The gargoyle and the wall behind are pretty much finished now.
Here I just finished off the wood under the middle wall and started on the middle window. Yet more windows to be done! I think once that is done, the rest shall fall into place fairly quickly.
I haven’t started on the candles yet though, I’ll save those till last maybe.
Come back in the next week or so for the update. I’ll include a higher res finished piece too!