The purpose of this challenge was to copy Animated movie stills for 30 consecutive days. This challenge was completed during the same time period as the 30 day plein-air challenge. Needless to say, this was a month of tremendous growth.
The intent behind this exercise was to study the color, design and composition from two of my favorite Animated movies, Kung Fu Panda and Puss in Boots. Of course I’m a little biased to Puss in Boots because of Nathan Fowkes, who was the lead color stylist for the film, and was also my painting teacher. In fact, I have to credit Nathan for inspiring me to do this challenge. He always credits his color skills to hours of consistent master studies.
I’ve also described my thought processes, color choices, material choices and general tips below for those who may want to take this challenge themselves. Scroll down to read more about the insights and lessons learned during this month of intensive color studies.
Last month, I was able to oil paint at least once a day for 30 consecutive days. Once I knew I had the right resources and systems to be able to paint everyday, I was confident that I could take on a 30 day plein-air (outdoor) oil painting challenge. The image below is a snapshot of my outdoor paintings from the last 30 days.
I also show my outdoor painting set-up, and how I was able to complete the challenge. If you want to learn how to do it for yourself, scroll down to read more.
“30 day plein-air challenge”, began Sep. 11th, 2012.
– How to Take the 30-day Plein-air Challenge –
Plein-air and landscape painting in oils is not easy. The challenges of the medium, travel time and unfavorable weather conditions can make outdoor painting even more difficult. Despite the effort, the benefits of being out in nature and gaining expertise in color is invaluable. In fact, it was this need and desire to improve my color skills that motivated me to commit to painting everyday. To begin the challenge, I had to first assemble the right tools.
This is a review of popular art markers that are commonly available at your local art store, craft store or online through various retailers such as Blick Art Materials. As a digital illustrator, I use markers mainly as a sketch and design tool and not for detail work or rendering. Because of that I only use gray/gray tone markers, which will be the only “color” reviewed here. Scroll down to see my personal choice for best marker and a buying guide.
A few years ago, I asked several Artists and teachers about an effective way to self-study. They all suggested doing tonal composition studies from old masters. Tonal Composition study is basically an exercise that develops observation skills. It teaches you how to observe, simplify and distil a complex image into big, simple shapes and 2-3 values.
Simplify, group and then simplfy some more is the lesson here. Below is an example of tonal composition studies I did from November 2011 to January 2012. These were drawn in my toned paper sketchbook, about 1-2 inches in size. See image below for complete materials list.
My daily tonal composition studies from November 2011 to January 2012.
My sketchbook and materials I typically sketch with. These are perfect for doing tonal studies and quick tonal renderings.