It's been a while since I've been active and I'm pleasantly surprised at how much the Hive art community has grown! Here's something I painted a couple weeks ago: the Brood Mother.
She started off as a very old oil painting I made about a decade ago. I figured it was time to give her new life. So it was back to the drawing board to refine the sketch and blot in some new colours.
Satisfied with the feel of the colour choices (I was going for meloncholic creepy), it was time to work out the light source. I love using sharp contrast for my subjects, especially in the darker themed artworks like this. It remind me of the pulp appeal way back when.
Right. That lighting looks... slimy and it worked for me. Maybe it's humid where she is (a dried up swamp)? It's always a good idea to keep thinking about the story within the art. Worldbuilding isn't just for the writers! Speaking of, my Brood Mother wouldn't be anything if not what she is so I needed to bring in the brood. Again, started with a rouch sketch that I refined then blotted in basic colours (keeping to a limited palette) before fine-tuning it to get enough detail.
So, back to the environment thing. I mentioned a dried-out swamp. I was originally planning to make a floor of entrails (as you do) but I quickly realised just how noisy that would have made the painting. Less is more, after all. And I took that a little literally. Desolation, barren, somber, depressing. Words like that were was I wanted to focus on as a mood for the entire scene.
All that was left were the "after-effects" like extra highlights, fog, playing with the colour values to better show distance and atmospheric perception, etc. I often hit a stage near the end of a painting where I realise I've been tinkering and deleting that tinkering for a while with no discernible improvement to the art. And it's at that point I force myself to put the pen down and walk away.
A piece to take away, for today: learn when to declare an art piece as done, put down the tools, and let the art be free. Fight the doubt, and realise when you hit the finish line.
Made in Krita. Copyright Anike Kirsten 2021