My Word, I Think It’s Finished!

Has this ever happened to you?  It really is a first for me – I worked and worked on the background, painstakingly trying to get every detail.  After finishing, I stood back and thought Mmmm…something looks wrong.  It looked like I had stuck a photograph on the painting for the background.  I ended up erasing every bit of the background and starting again.  Now I look at the second version and to me it still looks too photographic.  I have to say, never in my whole life have I ever thought ‘It looks too real…’ lol.  I am obsessed with details and realism.  I never seem to be able to get things looking anywhere near realistic enough.  Realism has always been my unreachable goal.  And now I have twice painted the background and twice thought it too realistic…artists eh?  Why can we never be happy with anything we do?  lol…

It wasn’t until I had finished this painting that I realised I hadn’t used layers.  I just did a main line drawing in the digital equivalent of pencil and then painted over the drawing (with the digital equivalent of paint).  I really must think of working in layers – how easier would that make life when I need to make inevitable corrections to inevitable mistakes.

Now I need to think of a title…


21 thoughts on “My Word, I Think It’s Finished!

  1. Hello Cathy,
    So nice to see you here.
    I draw/paint using a Wacom Bamboo digital tablet and pen – using the free software GIMP. It all sounds technical but I work pretty much the same way as I do when using oil paint (I tend to get less paint in my hair with digital).

    1. Hello Liam,
      Thanks for dropping by. Thank you also for the nice comment.
      I read this article on your site about a month ago. I was just thinking that when I painted the background sharp and very realistic, it looked kind of ‘stuck on’ almost like a photo manipulation.
      P.S. I just re-read your article.

  2. Hi Stew, I pressed a wrong button and gave you a thumbs down, apologies it should have been a huge thumbs up. Can i make one suggestion though, I think the cloak on the right hand guy should be coloured, possibly blue or red as for me he is disappearing into the background a bit. Just a thought, otherwise it’s outstanding.
    Hope your feeling better.
    Phil. The Mutual Appreciation Society.

    1. Hi Phil,
      Great to hear from you mate.
      Thanks for your great comments.
      You know, I think you are right about the cloak. I didn’t see it before – sometimes you just get too close to the painting/drawing to see the full…err…picture. I do tend to get hung up on the details…lol.
      Stew. The Other Member Of The Mutual Appreciation Society.

  3. Wow – wow – wow! Real, yes, but I like it too! It is so amazing in all of its aspects, from each leaf, to the emotions in the faces to the trees. Would you mind terribly if I give a suggestion, though? When I examined the image, I couldn’t shake the impression that the redhead’s right foot is missing. It doesn’t have the top like the other shoe, and the darker lines look like extensions of the trees. I would suggest that you change the color of the boot, maybe to a brown, so it doesn’t match the background. Just a thought.

    1. Hello Dan Old Boy. How the devil are you?
      Thank you for the wonderful comments.
      And yes, you are right about the boot. At the time I nearly changed the colour but I thought it would be fine. How wrong can you be eh? It has just disappeared. Do I change these few things or do I move on…Mmmm.

  4. The characters skin, hair and clothing are quite pale besides the red on the left and you’re right about the background it is very realistic and jumps out at you. Have you considered softening the background maybe a fine mist/fog just to draw attention back to the main focus? Otherwise a very moving piece it makes the viewer curious, what the spur of the battle could have been?

    1. Hello Mary,
      Thank you for coming to have a peek at my Bloggie Webbie site.
      Everything you say is so true…must admit, I did consider mist and I still might. So many little things I could do. This painting has been driving me crazy…errr…ok….crazier.

  5. wow, this is brilliant work, stew. you’re a man with a purpose!! you’ve taken photoshop art to another level. Most CG art created is just about artist mucking around with filters and just getting excited about what the computer can do. With your work you’re using photoshop to its strengths by being restrained with what you use and how you use it. amazing work!!

  6. Hello Meegan,
    What lovely comments. I’m Over The Moon!
    I know what you mean about digital art, so many people use all kinds of special FX. Also, photo manipulation…no, I don’t do photo manipulation. I see computer art as just being another medium just like oil paint, coloured pencils, water colour, pen & ink etc…And how great not to get oil paint in your hair 🙂
    By the way – I love your Urban Sketching. Simply wonderful. It’s not the first and it won’t be the last time I visit.
    Scratchy what? 🙂

  7. I see what others have mentioned about the color of the cloak and the boot, although I didn’t notice those things at first. However, I like the way the background is working because to me there is really a feeling of “air” between the figures and the distant trees. Over all this is spectacular and I can’t imagine technically just how it is done!

    1. Hello Ann,
      Thank you for passing by.
      It works pretty much the same as traditional media for me. It takes just a short while to get used to drawing on the tablet whilst looking at the screen.
      I nipped across to your lovely site. I love your stream painting – full of movement. I tried doing a very similar painting last year but I didn’t think I had pulled it off – nowhere near as good as yours.

  8. Wow, it is a great piece of work – I have been there with the backgrounds (especially a forest), they seem to require a bit more softening to be believable in a painting, I feel, which you have got right in this piece!

    Looking forward to seeing more of your super art!

  9. Hello Melissa,

    Thank you for taking the time to nip round to my place on the web.
    Thank you also for your very kind comments 🙂
    You and Dan are right, I think I may get round to doing something about it eventually. Right now I would like to try practicing my limited sketching skills. I would love to loosen up in my sketching.

    Love & Light

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