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Decoding Daily Deviations: Windrider

Wed Aug 15, 2018, 9:00 AM









Decoding Daily Deviations aims to unlock the secrets of what it took to create these magnificent artworks and motivate others to work towards similar recognition. Each week we will present an interview with one artist who has recently received a DD and have them share the details on that specific piece, relating to their creative process, techniques, and narrative inspirations. If you've ever wanted to know more about a beloved artwork and the talented skills applied to it, this is the series to keep track of!"




:bulletgreen: FEATURED ART: Windrider by Monanu
:bulletgreen: DD DATE: 2018-05-08
:bulletgreen: TIME SPENT: 4-5 days
:bulletgreen: TOOLS/PROGRAMME: Photoshop, Cintique


Windrider by Monanu


Share with readers the details of how this piece came into being. Did you have a clear story idea/inspiration from the beginning?



The artwork was intended as an entry to the monthly CDC challenge held on Facebook. The theme of the month was 'Dragons and dragonriders'. With this in mind, I wanted to create something dynamic and epic, but still keep the artwork clean and tasteful."


Your art features a distinctive style that is shown to beautiful effect in “Windrider”. Please, outline your creative process on the painting.



I started off with creating a moodboard with tons of pictures with the same aesthetic feel I wanted to portray. I was mainly inspired by traditional Japanese art, and I researched various Japanese monsters, masks, kimonos and patterns in order to have something to work with.

The initial sketch is quite rough. It was mostly to get a sense of composition, then as the idea changed I ended up with a cleaner sketch before the finished lineart.

As for the coloring, I began with pastel colors, and worked my way to darker shades. First with a flat base, then selected shadows and highlights. I locked the lineart and colored selected areas in a shade similar to the color it outlined (to give it a softer feel). I also tried to avoid black as much as possible.

During the painting, I flipped, re-sized, and moved objects around to my liking, so in the end my layer progress got quite messy.
"



Monanu1 by lovelessdevotions Monanu2 by lovelessdevotions
Monanu3 by lovelessdevotions Monanu4 by lovelessdevotions
Monanu5 by lovelessdevotions Monanu6 by lovelessdevotions


Did you encounter any challenges? If so, how did you tackle them? Is there anything you would do differently now if you could?



I usually run into challenges during the making of the composition. Windrider was not too challenging because of the symmetry, but I had to redo and change quite a few things along the way. References always helped me out, as did constructive criticism. My boyfriend is also an illustrator, and has been giving me great advice along the way."


What’s one piece of advice (or more!) that you would share with other artists hoping to reach this standard of work in the future?



You should never give up. For about 2-3 years I rarely felt inspired, so I didn't create much. This year, I wanted things to change. I joined competitions and challenges to push myself. It must have loosened up a knot in my brain, because we're only half way through 2018, and I've already created more than twice as much as 2016 and 2017 combined.

I would highly recommend getting critiques from other artists on whatever you're working on. If you don't know anyone in person, you could always find a forum for it. Also, I found myself working so much better when I had a good moodboard at hand. Pinterest has been my best resource for this so far.

As for challenges, I'd recommend the CDC challenge on Facebook. It's fun, and great if you need to push yourself to make at least one piece each month.
"


What does this DD feature represent or mean to you at this stage of your artistic development? What can your watchers look forward to next?



In 2014 I received my first DD on "Pippi Longstocking". It was quite a rush back then. This is my second, and I still feel just as honored. It is a boost to my self-esteem, and it inspires me to continue to create even more.

As soon as I have time between commissions and challenges, I have a 'fairy tale' themed series of artworks planned. So basically lots more art!
"



Special thanks to Mona for kindly consenting to the interview. 

Visit her gallery for more art: 

 Commission - Short stories by Monanu Onmyoji - Ubume by Monanu




Previous Decoding DDs:

A penny for a pound... of gold
The White Witch: Dagger
Qhel
Britannic at night
Great White Bath
Twilight Hour
Lillian in Gold
Floating Bazaar
Dream Tales - Bell Tree
Odin The Allfather
High on the Hill
Sanctuary I
In Sleep of Death What Dreams May Come
Nightmare and why we met there
Path of Ruins
Le Cannibal Hotel
Air Awakens Omnibus
Dracit
Dead End
Wizard and a Goose
Twilight Enchantment
Bewitched and Betrayed
Walls
The Cordyceps King
Vicious Cycle
Spoiled Princess
Retired
Incoming
Artificial Guardian

Mountain View
Monster Eating Vampire
Roth
Death Knight
Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)
Dragon Watchers
The journey and the big fish
Forrest Defender
Red Snow
Catching Spirits
The Tomb King
I'm fine
Despoiled
Cat Girl
Forest of Bunnies
The Journey
Boulderback
FIELD OF THORNS: OFFER
Malavestros: Muse of Madness
Jet Futura
The Northern Administration
Prisoned Singer
Don Kichote
On The Hunt
The Platform
I know a bank
Love and war
52Hz
Chase, The Dreamer
Mad
Until the End of the World..
Crow Temple
Accolade
Dragon's Breath

Spread some cheer by leaving a comment and/or :+fav: on works that you like!  
Want to suggest a DD? See the link to my guidelines below!














Decoding Daily Deviations aims to unlock the secrets of what it took to create these magnificent artworks and motivate others to work towards similar recognition. Each week we will present an interview with one artist who has recently received a DD and have them share the details on that specific piece, relating to their creative process, techniques, and narrative inspirations. If you've ever wanted to know more about a beloved artwork and the talented skills applied to it, this is the series to keep track of!"



:bulletgreen: FEATURED ART: A penny for a pound... of gold by pindurski
:bulletgreen: DD DATE: 2018-03-26
:bulletgreen: TIME SPENT: 45 HRS
:bulletgreen: TOOLS/PROGRAMME: Photoshop



A penny for a pound... of gold. by pindurski


Share with readers the details of how this piece came into being. Did you have a clear story idea/inspiration from the beginning?



I spend a lot of time away from art running and cycling, and during long training sessions my mind eventually wanders and I dream up stories. Ninety percent of my paintings materialize this way, the other ten percent is during my solitary drive home in the car; I guess there is something about being alone with my thoughts and daydreaming. During a long bike ride I imagined this story of a thief using a pet of some kind as a distraction to steal a purse from a pompous aristocrat-like individual. I began planning out the image in my head, thinking about the mood and story I wanted to craft. I also wanted to incorporate some elements that I typically struggle with like architecture. I try to always incorporate at least one element to work on that is totally out of my comfort zone in every painting. I continued to think about this image about a week and a half before I even worked on it. I often do this and if I still like the idea of a painting a week later then I will paint it. I only do art as a hobby and have super limited time, so I only paint images that have an interesting story to them. I very, very rarely just paint or draw anything without one."


“A penny for a pound… of gold” is wonderfully composed, with each section of the frame adding to the overall narrative. Please, take us through your process of designing the scene to achieve its maximum impact.



This painting is actually a “redo” of something I had abandoned about a year ago so I had a lot of time to think about it (or rather the unfinished version had a long time to haunt and eat at me).


Pindurski1 by lovelessdevotions


It was also one of the paintings I did as part of my 2018 spring session at SmarterArtSchool.com with Donato Giancola. In one of his lectures about composition he used a painting by Mondrian (No. 9) as an example of how to group objects and create areas of simplicity. So I actually took that painting and rotated it and used it as my grid and built my (final) thumbnails around it.


Pindurski2 by lovelessdevotions


Once I was certain about my composition I did a thumbnail series exploring some lighting options.

Pindurski3 by lovelessdevotions


Then I did a rough preliminary drawing more or less figuring out my main design elements. Based on that preliminary drawing I did a rough value and colour comp, which I then abandoned almost right away during the actual painting!


Pindurski4 by lovelessdevotions


Then it was a matter of slowing glazing in colours.

Pindurski5 by lovelessdevotions


After each painting session I would re-evaluate the image and try and figure out what was and wasn’t working. After one such session, I submitted my image to Donato for crit and he encouraged me to explore using hue rather than value to paint the minor elements (like the spaces in-between the fingers for example). He referenced the works of Ruan Jia and Chris Rahn and explained, in a way that finally made sense to me, that by opting to use hue instead of value in select areas you achieve more visual interest. Almost immediately the painting became more visually interesting and easier to paint!


Pindurski6 by lovelessdevotions


What followed was simply filling in the details and adjusting some values to the overall image as I went along.

Pindurski7a by lovelessdevotions


Then near the very end of this image, upon Donato’s encouragement, I really tried to push the accent colours: I started using yellows, greens and purples. It became liberating to not be a slave to “local” colour. The big takeaway from this image for me was that there is no “right colour” for anything. What’s “right” is whatever works in the context of the image you are creating. That was what really helped me through this particular painting."


Pindurski8b by lovelessdevotions



Did you encounter any creative challenges? If so, how did you tackle them? Is there anything you would do differently now if you could?



Unfortunately, I didn’t keep my reference folder for this painting because in it I would have been able to show all the reference images I used. The hard part was not being a slave to the reference, but allowing it to guide me. In hindsight, I wished I had actually hired models to achieve more realism, especially with the costumes. I did, however, shoot my own hands under specific lighting conditions to get the light and shadows more or less right."


What’s one piece of advice (or more!) that you would share with other artists hoping to reach this standard of work in the future?



A couple of things actually:

There are so many young artists that view using references as cheating and I’d like to tell them that appropriately using reference is an important tool. If they only knew just how much reference the titans of this industry use they would be shocked. I encourage young artists to head on over to MuddyColors.com and pour over the articles written by Gregory Manchess, Dan dos Santos, et al. There is so much knowledge there.

Paint what you love, not what you think will get you likes. Admittedly, we all appreciate being recognized for our work, but in the long run you have to be true to yourself and paint the images that mean something to you.

Develop your weaknesses. I tell young artists all the time that if you want to get commercial work you need to be able to paint more than half-naked girls. Seriously. Horses (damn them and their 4 legs), landscapes, water, different times of day, different lighting conditions, women (young and old!), men, children, monsters, architecture, etc. Improving your ability to paint a variety of things opens up so many opportunities with your image-making. We all do it, but we need to stop comparing ourselves to others. Our art journey is ours alone and totally unique. Be patient with yourself, and allow yourself the time to grow. What if I said I essentially quit art right after high school and didn’t start again until I was 37? My art journey is totally different than someone who stuck with art and continued with it into their 20s and 30s. Every person is going to have a different path and different set of experiences and those are going to play out in your art. There’s a difference between being critical of your work and being self-depreciating. The latter being a poison that is often the result of comparing your work too much to others.

Lastly, invest in your art-self. Whether that’s setting aside more time to practice or saving up money to take some courses. I heard Peter Mohrbacher/Sam Flegal say, “if you don’t invest in yourself no one else will.” And I completely agree with that."


What does this DD feature represent or mean to you at this stage of your artistic development? What can your watchers look forward to next?



I think it’s awesome to get recognition on a piece that I put so much effort into, but what I am really happy about is this opportunity to stand on my soap box and maybe tell some younger artists things I wished I had heard when I first seriously got back into art and I felt like I was drowning in a sea of things I didn’t know; ambient occlusion… subsurface scattering… I mean I didn’t even know what the hell those things were!!!

What’s next? Well, one of my main goals when I started back into art 5 years ago was to be able to do work for Magic the Gathering. After completing my SmArt School course (you know, that part about investing in yourself?), I got the opportunity to present my work to an art director for Magic. And to make a long story short, I just finished my first Magic card! So now I am working on some higher profile client work, which is pretty cool and hopefully some day I will transition to full-time art making."




Special thanks to Hugh for kindly consenting to the interview. 

Visit his gallery for more art: 

Sandpoint, Light of the Lost Coast by pindurski Where None Have Travelled by pindurski



Previous Decoding DDs:

The White Witch: Dagger
Qhel
Britannic at night
Great White Bath
Twilight Hour
Lillian in Gold
Floating Bazaar
Dream Tales - Bell Tree
Odin The Allfather
High on the Hill
Sanctuary I
In Sleep of Death What Dreams May Come
Nightmare and why we met there
Path of Ruins
Le Cannibal Hotel
Air Awakens Omnibus
Dracit
Dead End
Wizard and a Goose
Twilight Enchantment
Bewitched and Betrayed
Walls
The Cordyceps King
Vicious Cycle
Spoiled Princess
Retired
Incoming
Artificial Guardian

Mountain View
Monster Eating Vampire
Roth
Death Knight
Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)
Dragon Watchers
The journey and the big fish
Forrest Defender
Red Snow
Catching Spirits
The Tomb King
I'm fine
Despoiled
Cat Girl
Forest of Bunnies
The Journey
Boulderback
FIELD OF THORNS: OFFER
Malavestros: Muse of Madness
Jet Futura
The Northern Administration
Prisoned Singer
Don Kichote
On The Hunt
The Platform
I know a bank
Love and war
52Hz
Chase, The Dreamer
Mad
Until the End of the World..
Crow Temple
Accolade
Dragon's Breath

Spread some cheer by leaving a comment and/or :+fav: on works that you like!  
Want to suggest a DD? See the link to my guidelines below!






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Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconchariot1996:
Chariot1996 Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The Prelude by Chariot1996   Noise by Chariot1996   
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:iconagushtina23:
Agushtina23 Featured By Owner May 31, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for add me! I want to help in everything, so if anyone need help, just pm me! Meanwhile I will do what I can in the group ♥

Gracias por agregarme! Quiero ayudar en todo, asi que si alguien necesita ayuda, solo mandeme un mensaje! Mientras tanto hare lo que pueda en el grupo ♥
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:icongothylox:
GothyLox Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Are you not accepting submissions or is there a waiting period, after joining?
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:iconmdanecka:
MDanecka Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for adding me! Heart 
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:iconmadnier-co:
mADnieR-cO Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for accept my request to membership! :)
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:iconstarlum:
Starlum Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
🤗hello!
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:iconartmaryn:
ArtMaryn Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
😃!!!!!!
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:icondanielaivanova:
DanielaIvanova Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2017
It would really help to have a box telling people this isn't an art collection group. Also an update on digital CVs would be nice.
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:iconemocx:
emocx Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2017
me too. can't submit my deviation :saddummy:
please tell me why...
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:iconxxayayuixx:
xXAyaYuiXx Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Is this group closed? Why I can't submit my artwork?
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