Monday, August 04, 2008

Part 4: Recomposition and the Muddy Stage

I always hit this ugly point in a painting. All of my careful planning and thought appears to start unraveling at this point: I start seeing all sorts of new flaws in the image, like the problematic transition area between the ninjas and the pirates, and I begin to question my judgement.

Fortunately, experience tells me that the best way to get through this stage is to ignore the voices of discouragement and keep pressing forward. Sometimes the best thing to do is avoid the problem areas and continue with your favorite parts, waiting for inspiration to strike. Other times the best thing is to ask for help. This time, I'm going to do both. Help, anyone? What's bothering you and how should I fix it?

On a positive note, one decision I'm sure of now. That's whether the scene should be day or night. I started this out as a night scene, and I knew within about 15 minutes that it wouldn't work out. I initially agreed with everyone that said it should be night, but when I started painting it that way, I started to see all sorts of distracting problems caused by a relatively close spot light---particularly in how it spread the shadows over the figures. I think I'd have to start over and rethink the scene if I wanted the night thing to work. I'm glad people suggested night though, because I probably would have started with the day otherwise, but then always had a nagging doubt that maybe night would be better. Now I can move forward, knowing day is best.

That is, until Adam or someone else does a paintover and proves me embarrassingly wrong.


  1. Looking great! The group is much more sun-bursty, with the guy-on-the-left's outstretched arm being switched.

  2. Tu estilo y linea son exelentes!!!
    Saludos desde Argentina

  3. Love it!, really love the color man!


  4. Thanks your comment on my blog!
    very like your works!!!
    cool character and good color!

  5. very cool piece Sam. I love the contrast between the blue and the yellows.


  6. This is looking really cool!

  7. You're too tough on yourself--it came out AWESOME!!!

    You're very talented, keep pressing forward.

  8. this pic is amazing Sam , i like a lot your work , i made a link in my blog. I hope get back again over here

    see u dude!

  9. brilliant work, Sam. my only concern is how unrealistic aspect of it- why would the ninja on the right be afraid, at all? i mean... as if pirates could ever touch ninjas.

  10. Morgan: So, so wrong. Maybe that's true for the piddling deck-swabbing pirates you pretended to be when you were a kid, but real pirates are stylish, manly, and can carry a tune with cutlasses in their teeth, while dancing in synchronization. What face-hiding shuriken flinger could stand up to that?


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