Friday, January 20, 2012

Craig's Viking Underpainting

Inspired by Petar Meseldzija I decided to do an underpainting for this piece.

He, of course, has a lot of experience and I'm sure his handling of the thinness of the paint sets up a better underlayer than I've created here. Also I know a warm underpainting can set up some great contrasts and warm shadows but I simply used a grey palette made of Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, and Titanium White. This was an experiment in planning tone for me. I spent too much time blending the background instead of just laying it in but I'm happy with the way I simply blocked in the forms on the rest.

P.S. I had a family friend pose for the face and made my viking even younger. This will also contribute to a better expression on his face. I added a bundle of sticks on his back for a little storytelling ... "I was out collecting firewood when suddenly ..."

Lots of painting still to go!


  1. Hi Craig! I can't wait to see how it works with the under-painting. It looks awesome and stormy, great narrative feel to it.

    I did a little drawover to adjust two issues that I've found:

    Also Scott is behind me and agrees with these haha so this comment is from him too

    Face - he has barely a chin... so I just brought his mouth and nose up a bit and lightened the shadow of his cheekbone a bit. I do love how youthful he looks!

    The arm and axe... Scott thought the axe perspective wasn't right. So we got down our axe and Scott posed with it, and it turns out the pose that you've drawn is incredibly awkward for him. He felt more comfortable holding it like this. He imagined himself having just finished cutting wood and then holding the axe in a comfortable grip, and that's how it kept falling. If you're cutting wood, the blade would be facing the other way than what you've drawn. I know this is a pain in the ass correction but we both think it would work better and doesn't cut through the leg as awkwardly. What do you think?

    1. Thanks for doing all that work with the axe guys! I see what you mean - more relaxed. And the face is just a little fuller - much better. I'll keep an eye on these things as I paint on!

  2. I like what you're doing here with the under-painting! I know you're good with color, so I'm excited to see where you take it from here. I especially like the depth of the background.

    I like what Lis did with his face in the draw-over. That little tweak makes him look young and fresh. The only other thing I notice is that some of the horses heads look pretty large - it's not necessarily something that has to be changed, but I wanted to point it out. I do like that you varied their poses more than in your initial sketch. Overall it's looking great. Think you'll meet the Spectrum deadline? Paint! Paint! Paint!

    1. Yes, I'll tweak the horses as best as I can as I build them up. The horse/rider ratios can be tough. I hope to come out on the other side with big powerful steeds that look right.