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Selfridge's XI (Agnes Towler)

By gapriest
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Agnes Towler with a massive cranium (and probably Mr. Grove's shoulder). :)

This is the eleventh (of fifteen) in a series of practice pieces painted in Manga Studio 5, based on screen caps from season two of 'Mr Selfridge'.

After much toiling I finally figured out how to use an underpainting with a darker image (I failed in the one preceding this piece, 'Mr. Crabb'). The solution was actually quite simple: I just needed to make a darker underpainting. I was so hellbent on using Burnt Sienna for my underpaintings (since I like the way the orange shines through) that I resisted using other colors. What I ultimately did was use a Burnt Sienna/intense orange for the imprimatura/stain (on top of my usual tan canvas ground) and then painted an underpainting on top of that using Burnt Umber. I made sure the brushes had some texture so that the imprimatura shined through the underpainting. After a bit more stumbling around with brushes, I was able to finish the piece off in a manner I would prefer to use in the future. I especially like how the underpainting shows through in her coat, which is what I'd been aiming for.

My general procedure now: Imprimatura/Ground/Stain, Underpainting/Ebauche, Overpainting, Glazing (on 'soft light' layers), Varnish (adjustments to contrast), Corrections

Of course, color-blocking is still nice to fall back on as it's simple to do digitally, especially for cartoony/comic book work. But I think using an underpainting yields a more unified, harmonious look.

(Finished March 25, 2015)
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