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Kas and Mikah Progress by melukilan Kas and Mikah Progress by melukilan
This is one of the ways I usually paint - filling everything in area by area. My other method, I lay down all the main shadows in one flat coat, and then tweak it and add color til it looks right. In both cases, I sketch on regular paper first and then trace guidelines onto my watercolor paper.
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:iconphyrbyrd:
Phyrbyrd Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009
This is a beautiful painting and I'd love to see it finished, but having read Forge of Dawn just last night, I have to say I think you made Kastor too pretty. He looks a little like he's never worn leather armour in his life, and certainly wouldn't be able to mend it himself.
I mean, I haven't read the rest of the Kastor Chronicles yet, so I might be talking a whole load of crap. Mikah might come back. Kastor might soften up.
But this is how it seems to me. Hope you don't mind me saying.
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:iconmelukilan:
melukilan Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009
I was trying out a new style with this, and it didn't work out for a number of reasons. I may finish it, or I might not, but yeah, Kas is really pretty here and Mikah's sorta fugly.

Of course, part of Kas's description is how his looks don't really fit what he's actually like.
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:iconphyrbyrd:
Phyrbyrd Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2009
That's true. Although I believe he's been described as fine-featured, which he is here - but not actually delicate.
I don't know how much of a compliment it is that I think the best picture of Kas you've done so far is the one in the Evolution of the Fantasy Hero picture in Jesse's gallery.
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:iconn-th-green:
n-th-green Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2008  Hobbyist
I somehow like the sketch much better...
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:iconmelukilan:
melukilan Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2008
Really? I'd honestly love to know why, if you can articulate further. Is the watercolor version too smooth? Darks and lights not balancing properly? Colors clashing? Lost the lines that made it interesting? Something undefinable?

I have an inked version here: [link] What's your opinion of it?
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:iconn-th-green:
n-th-green Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2008  Hobbyist
ah... umgh.
i guess i've got kinda graphical approach towards everything (in arts i mean), so when i see a pretty good piece of drawing changing into a painting = loosing almost all the precious LINES, i feel there's something wrong.

if i can articulate further...

something of the expression of the black-haired person seems to be lost in the final version.
actually, now when i come to think of it, pretty much of the overall expression got lost. i mean, lines tend to be more dynamic, and the lineart in this case - however sketchy you may call it - was really pretty damn good, especially given the way you differentiate line thickness, which i like very much. and then i see most of things i liked best in the sketch somehow escape when compared to the final version...
darks and lights seem to be all right, the way you contrast dark and light spaces in the pic. i personally would've tried to make them even sharper, but that's just my preference. (i can't see whether this outstretched arm is shaded at all in the final version... although it may be that there's something messed up with my screen settings ^^' )
as for colours clashing or not... i don't really think i can be a good judge in this matter. i don't like the yellow part, would've painted the figure in more greenish hues, something cool to balance the red/orange part...

in the inked version i like the swirly lines, especially the clouds. but again, i like the pencil lineart better. i guess i can't help it ^^'

...
now, honestly, was all the above rambling of any use for you? oO
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:iconmelukilan:
melukilan Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2008
Thank you! Yes, it was very useful! Now I know where you were coming from, and have some ideas of what I could do to make the painting better. I think I'll go over the outlines with black ink, for one thing, once I've finished painting it all. I really want them to pop. I'm not sure I can cool the shadows on the yellow man's face enough to match the lighting on the pale one, but I think I'll try once I've finished everything else and scanned the picture in case of disaster.

His outstretched arm does have some shading on it, but it's pretty faint. I'll try darkening that.

Expressions are hard. Less than a millimeter can make the difference between 'intense' and 'wooden,' and when you add in shading as well as line, it gets that much more complicated. I think I did lose their expressions when I painted it, but I don't think there's anything I can do about that, unfortunately. Maybe if I tweaked the inside corner of his right eyebrow...

Anyway, thank you VERY much for such a detailed reply!
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:iconn-th-green:
n-th-green Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2008  Hobbyist
ah, one more thing. if you want to ink the outlines, i just thought that maybe it would be a better idea not to ink them black. black may not add to the expression, and instead may turn it all too coarse and aggressive. i'd try other colours. dark, like grey, brown, green, navy blue (depending on what part of the pic you use them for)... but not black.
only a suggestion, it popped into my mind just now.
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:iconmelukilan:
melukilan Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2008
Oh! But there are some lines that aren't indigo, and yes, for those I'll probably use a reddish brown, or in some cases, purple.
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:iconn-th-green:
n-th-green Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2008  Hobbyist
good choice ^^
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:iconmelukilan:
melukilan Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2008
I used pretty much straight indigo on the lines, they're almost black already. If I want to go any darker I think I'll have to use black. Still, I'll keep that in mind. It generally is a bad idea to use black in a watercolor painting.
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:iconn-th-green:
n-th-green Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2008  Hobbyist
well, i must admit it's a relief you don't consider me bitchy or something... some people just don't like any criticism at all.. (me included, in some cases, although i do my best not to get offended every single time someone rightfully tells me "you've messed it up" ^^' )

inking outlines may be a good idea, i guess, as well as darkening shades. i'm not sure though if anything could really be done with this yellow guy. i mean, i'm afraid that - the way he is now - it would be too easy to spoil something, and i wouldn't like to contribute to your picture's ruin...
as for expressions, well, i know only too well what kinda disasters can happen while redrawing, retouching or inking a drawing. i've spoiled so many pictures myself...

anyways, glad to be of any help. :hug:
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:iconmelukilan:
melukilan Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2008
I was so happy to get some real, useful criticism! Such a thing is rare and precious.
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:iconalhilton:
alhilton Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008   Writer
>and then tweak it and add color til it looks right.

This reminds me of my great grandmother. When asked to teach recipes, she’d do things like take a handful of flour, sift it with her fingers, and say, “Add about this much” and then, putting your hand into the bowel, “Until it feels like this.” :)

Thanks for the peak into your process. This picture is gorgeous.
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:icondash-of-balder:
dash-of-balder Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
How do you trace it onto the watercolor paper? Lightbox? I've only ever traced with tracing paper, so I'm a bit of a noob in that regard... XD

Absolutely stunning, as usual!
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:iconmelukilan:
melukilan Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
Yup, I have a lightbox. Before my dad made one for me I used to use windows to trace on. That, of course, only works in daytime and gives you an unbelievable ache in the shoulders and neck.
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:iconentanglement:
entanglement Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
Oh my...
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:iconptgreat:
PTGreat Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
Beautiful :heart:
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:iconkiiro-chan:
Kiiro-chan Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
you inspire me...
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