Well, since I couldn’t think of a “proper” idea for an article for today, I thought that I’d talk about a few interesting painting and/or drawing techniques that I learnt in the weeks before writing this article, in case they come in handy if you are making drawings and/or paintings.
1) More realistic sunsets/ sunrises: If you’re painting a sunset or a sunrise, then one way to make it look more realistic is to leave a small white semi-circle (with rough edges) on the horizon, surrounded by yellow paint.
Since the white semicircle is contrasted with the slightly darker yellow paint, it will appear brighter by comparison. This allows you to give the impression of the sun rising or setting in a slightly more realistic way. Here’s a small example of this technique in action.
2) Film noir/ horror comic colours: Later this month, I’ll be posting a series of film noir/ vintage horror comic style paintings on here and -whilst making them – I ended up using a really interesting technique. In essence, I made sure that everything in the foreground was blue and everything in the background was orange.
Here’s a detail from one of these upcoming paintings to show you what this technique looks like:
Before I go any further, I should probably explain some of the technical details behind this decision. In order to create this effect, you need to use a pair of complimentary colours (eg: colours that are directly opposite each other on the colour wheel) in your painting. Since these colours are complimentary, one of them should be a “warm” colour (eg: red, orange, yellow, brown etc…) and one of them should be a “cool” colour (eg: blue, green etc..).
Personally, I prefer blue/orange or blue/red colour schemes (blue/red is perfect for horror artwork), but it might be worth experimenting with other colour schemes.
Anyway, to achieve this effect, you need to make sure that you use the “cool” colour for the foreground and the “warm” colour for the background. Technically speaking, this goes against the “rules” of how to use colours in paintings – since the classic rule is that “warm colours stand out and cool colours recede into the background“.
Since this rule has been turned on it’s head, the painting looks slightly strange and “cold”. This is perfectly suited to film noir and/or horror artwork.
3) Drawing minimalist faces: Although I’m still experimenting with this technique (and it may or may not end up becoming part of my art style), I’ve been looking at art from old 1950s American horror comics recently and have learnt a couple of interesting minimalist techniques for drawing faces. Here’s a close-up from the example I showed you earlier so that you can see these techniques in action:
If you look at the character’s eyes, you’ll see that they’ve been drawn using nothing more than two curved lines and a circle. If you look closely, you’ll see that the top line is slightly thicker than the bottom one, which is a good way to give the impression that you’ve drawn eyelids and eyelashes without actually drawing them.
Likewise, if you look at her nose, you’ll see that it mostly consists of nothing but two small lines that represent the nostrils. Yes, I added a couple of thin vertical lines as well (this is kind of an old habit from the current version of my art style) but it doesn’t always actually need these vertical lines – so be sure to experiment when sketching.
….So, yes, these are three new artistic techniques that I’ve learnt recently.
Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂