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Lands Beyond Limits [WIP]

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different layout for landscape pieces, not sure if this is better than the longer image.
Lands Beyond Limits by AssasinMonkey
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© 2014 - 2021 AssasinMonkey
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LucyNickBakura's avatar
This is amazing, i can't believe it's possible to do Caravaggio in digital style. Traditional art usually has lot of pigments because to get certain color you must mix a lot, and black is mix of all, so it tends to have whole palette in it but....digital art has all colors by de facto there. How do you manage to insert so much purples and oranges next to each other? I checked shadows with color picker and it's indeed rich in color.

Do you paint fresh over grayscale? Or you keep grayscale and add colors on it?
AaronMk's avatar
You know, someone complained to me once I used too much black, but I can't help but see a lot of it here to good effect. How does this work, or is there any tutorials that might explain the mechanics behind it?
AssasinMonkey's avatar
Usually trying to stay away from at least pure black. I try to also keep my darks fairly balanced in position based on the focus points. Here you can see most darks are along the edges.
Shadows are great to use when you want to limit the amount of detail, as shadows usually obscure them. But there should still be enough light for the main focus, or subject to portray the intention or goal of the piece. There's quite a spotlight going on here, even in the distance I used the clouds to keep the brightness to certain areas.

So basically it boils down to an almost calculated use of dark, using how light works, creating a balance throughout the entire piece.
AaronMk's avatar
I see.

The complaints I got when I put some stuff in for a critique on a forum was that I shouldn't use anything on the black-white spectrum because it makes things look fake, and I should instead use more blues. I've been experimenting with that but I find trying to adjust the shades of blue and keeping in mind what'll happen when I mix over top the color will not often add value for me, but more ultimately change the color, even on a desaturated shade. So "value" becomes a bit difficult.

The guy who did the critique was much more apt to cite books or the word of instructors over actual experience who explaining anything in detail beyond how it makes things plastic.

Your input?
AssasinMonkey's avatar
Can't remember what exactly I said about this during the stream, but I'll just go through it on a fresh note.

When it comes to using pure black or white (0% or 100% brightness) I tend to treat it as a rule of thumb to avoid them. That said, 99% or 1% is already a difference, it already allows for some colour to be in it. That's what the pure B&W lack. But even then you can go into colour relations, when you put a colourless colour next to something with. or different colours next to each other, whether it has low or high saturation.

I've done a lot in greyscale, and part of it was also to help get familiar with the fact that for example photos can contain a lot of darks. It helped me also separate the presence of light as opposed to the colour of light.

Which brings me to the "blue" in the darks. Basically, whatever light you have, it needs to come from somewhere. In the case of adding blue in shadows, it's assumed to be a blue light, unless the surface was blue (which could still mean the light was blue). The primary reason for blue shadows is the sky, the sky is blue and basically reflects/refracts in almost all directions, thus it can reach the shadows, turning it blue.
Things like that are important to decide how a shadow should be coloured. I guess you could say it's a lot about reflected light and what colour that has.
If you take away the sky, like an indoor scene has, the shadows suddenly don't really have anything to be blue about. Maybe the wall behind the object is red, or green, or purple. If the light reflects from that it would appear that colour, so you can use that instead.

Basically, trying to add light, reflected light, where it can get is good. Knowing which colour they should be is an addition to that. So if you know which colours are in your environment you can use that to play around. Trying to have some saturation, some colour (varied even) can help bring a piece to life.

I hope what I just wrote is clear enough and is able to help you. Otherwise I'm always open for any more questions, or clarifications of course :)
AaronMk's avatar
What would be your input then on a scene with deeper shadows when there's no or little natural light (reflected from the sky or otherwise)? I've done some where that would be the presumption, so the blues that would be reflected off something like the moon (for instance) doesn't factor in. Or if the scene is in the presence of almost over-powering light (if not into the viewer, but still there enough that when there's nothing behind the subject it doesn't matter)?

In the last case I submitted stuff to the same critic he told me to study Caravaggio, which I have and who I try to emulate. The suggestion seemed almost unaware to the relationship of light-dark that Caravaggio practices, which is a lot of light and dark saturation.
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