Saturday, 6 December 2014

Sunshine on Leith

There are many reasons why I like living in Leith and for a while now I've wanted to reflect that in a painting called, 'Sunshine on Leith,' after the eternally gut wrenching song by The Proclaimers. Yes indeed, sometimes the title comes first. This is perhaps frowned upon as shallow in certain circles, but for me titles have always been an integral part of the ideas behind a painting.

The trouble is, I'm spoiled for choice. There are so many paintable views around here that I've got stuck in an infinite loop of dithering. I guess this ultimately means there will have to be more than one picture.

However, just the other day while walking a well trod route around The Shore, we happened across a couple of geezers doing a photo shoot on the old Victoria Swing Bridge. As we approached I realised it was, of all people, Charlie and Craig Reid aka The Proclaimers.

This painting is an ArtRage oil brush study done quickly to see if it might work as a real painting. I think it makes a very interesting composition and have deliberately kept a wide view to preserve a few cropping options later down the line, but I actually really like the scale of the figures against the bridge's frame so it might not change much. This is not the most amazing view of Leith I ever saw, but it fits the title better than I could have hoped. Sometimes the artist doesn't get a choice in subject matter!

Sunshine on Leith

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Unfinished Business #1: Facing Demons

Last week I finally got round to updating my website for high resolution screens like Apple's Retina. A responsive site will have to wait, I have more learning to do first. Anyway, as is the custom, I ended up trawling through years of backup discs for master files, but somewhat distractingly, those discs are also littered with unfinished pieces which got abandoned along the way.

This particular reject started as an experiment in atmosphere and skies using
E-on software's Ozone 3 plugin for Cinema 4D, which dates the original idea to 2007. I liked Ozone, but it was somewhat erratic and very slow to render final quality skies, so all I had to work with was a small grainy preview.

Instead of attempting to resurrect the 3D scene though, I opened the low res render in ArtRage and resized it to 16,500 pixels wide (55 inches, 145cm.) I set a canvas texture background, then using the chalk and airbrush tools started painting sharpness and detail back in.

I occasionally flipped back to Cinema 4D to create extra assets as required, so simple versions of the boat, soldier and kelpie creature were composited into ArtRage where more detail was added with final touches done in Photoshop.

The image is called, 'Facing Demons.' It accidentally ended up being a companion to another painting created back in 2011 called, 'Facing North.'

Facing Demons