Monday, June 13, 2011

You Win Some You Lose Some...

Man, I had some real trouble today. I was trying to figure out what I should work on and I found this image which I thought was cool and inspiring:

"Longsheng Mountain Village" by tuchodi from Flickr
So I thought "Yeah that could be awesome, it's already a really cool image to begin with!"

False. Either I got overly ambitious or I just wasn't in the right mood for it, but I couldn't get it working at all. I actually included the image above just to highlight how badly I didn't get it. Heh. Really it's ok, I'm trying to expand what I can do through practice so it's never really a failure, but it can be disappointing to fall short of what is in your head.

To be clear: I was not trying to copy the above image. I just was inspired by it in a lot of ways. There's a lot that is similar to it in my final piece, but I didn't go in with the attitude of trying to copy it. I like to keep an open mind about adding elements, etc. 

My under map of the image
I decided to turn it into a market, started adding color
Starting to run into some composition issues. Also... so much brown.
This is starting to remind me of that song "Golden Brown" by the Stranglers. Except there was frowning by this point. Lots of frowning. The way that I placed the lamps was a) creating a crappy focal point and b) creating a crappier tangent with the bonsai trees. Also did I mention how much brown there is?

Come rescue me lighting effects!
Through gradients and lighting I mitigated some of the incredible amounts of brown. I tried playing with hue but frankly every other color was ridiculous looking. If I had more time (as it was I went about a half hour over my 3 hour goal) I might have played with some masks or something to adjust the colors.

Let's be honest. I don't like how this turned out. Lessons I learned: paint your background before your foreground elements in the planning stage. You'd think this would be obvious, but apparently I am a moron. Laying out the foreground elements and keeping them visible at the beginning really threw me off as I tried to work back into the image. Another thing is I'm thinking if I am going to lay the first layer out in monotone then I shouldn't use one of the core colors that will be in the finished piece. It just makes things confusing. Finally... it was a lot to bite off for three hours when I've been at this only a few days. Tents and carts and baskets... I salvaged some of it, but right now I'm too annoyed to look at it properly. Maybe I'll feel differently tomorrow.


  1. Oh the T-shirts are super cute, also the spices! Oliver would be proud.