This painting was definitely an experience, and I’m so happy that I was able to finish it!
I was inspired to paint Sylphrena after reading Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer, which is the 3rd installment of his Stormlight Archive series. (Seriously, so good. Read it!) I did the initial sketch and fell in love. I -needed- to paint this. It needed to be good.
She seemed so perfect! Coloring her, however, revealed some inherent problems with the composition. It’s something that seemed un-fixable. In the image above, you can see that it is very divided. Each section of the drawing goes in a straight line horizontally and really breaks up the picture. I wasn’t sure that anything could be done at this point (I’d gotten pretty far into painting) without starting over.
I was extra bummed, because this was my first time using a new technique to create a color palette. I’ve always struggled with colors, and this video made everything seem so easy and clear:
So what next? I headed to a new group I joined on Facebook and to Tumblr, and asked for help. I didn’t expect to get so much. Some strangers even went so far as to paint examples of what they were talking about. It was pretty heart-warming! I was not expecting so much help.
What a difference in composition and color- all without changing the actual painting itself. You can see between the storm and trees that instead of a harsh cut off, the color gradients into the distance, adding some much-needed depth to the painting. My original piece was a little too purple, and some color tweaks followed by some hardcore detailing turn what felt like a recycle-bin practice piece into something finished.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, guys. We all need it to grow!
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