We're back again with another Art Attack! If you're new to the series, this is where I share my paintings and the process behind them. A behind-the-scenes look at my artwork, if you will. This is not to say that I'm very good at art, or that I'm a professional in any way. In fact this is the opposite, and serves as a reminder to how I first started, and lets me track my progress too!
Today's piece is a very exciting one! It was my first attempt at silhouette art and it is one of my favourite pieces that I've done to this day!
So back in March, I had just started watching this playthrough of Donkey Kong Country Returns: Tropical Freeze by the adorable MasaeAnela. I've only ever played the first game of the Returns series; Donkey Kong Country Returns (DKCR) on the Wii and I loved it! It was actually the first Donkey Kong game I've ever played (other than the retro arcade version on GBA). But the sequel, Tropical Freeze, was a tad expensive for me on the Wii U so I held off on it. I was always curious about it though and I thought I'd watch it instead to see if it was worth the price.
And man, I forgot just how beautiful the visuals are in those games! It's amazing! Masae also gushed about the art style the moment she got to the first silhouette level in Tropical Freeze, which I believe is level 1-B.
Anyway, watching her playthrough reminded me of the first silhouette level in DKCR, Sunset Shore and I stumbled upon this video by the amazingly talented MalMakes!
Her painting looked so pretty I was stunned. And even though I knew I wouldn't be able to replicate the effect completely, I thought I'd give it a shot. And since I use watercolours, I was curious to see if her techniques using acrylic on canvas would transfer to my watercolours as well.
Here's her timelapse version if you're interested:
I wanted to do something like hers but I didn't want it to be exactly the same. I kinda wanted the positions of DK and Diddy to be different and then I saw this wallpaper online which gave me an idea:
Source: Wallpaper Safari
Next it was time to get sketching!
I had kind of a hard time drawing DK unfortunately. But eventually I think I got it.
Adding some extra details which I thought was lacking in Mal's version:
Next it was time to outline! I was curious to see if I could "cheat" and not paint the whole background like Mal did, since it was mostly gonna be black and I was using a permanent marker to fill in the silhouettes.
So all now all I had to do was paint the background! Using Mal's technique, I started with the yellow portion of the sunshine first.
I used more water to make the reflection lighter and just did the same strokes she did with her acrylic. At first I thought I used too much paint but the beauty of watercolours is you can lighten them afterwards with more water! Provided you use good, absorbent paper of course.
So the next step was the orange! I think I tried to blend it but the yellow was a tad too thick. But I compensated by adding several layers of as the sunshine radiates outwards.
Then I added some red in the corners and across the top.
After that, I added the horizon line using a some brown and made the shadows of the waves and the mid-ground elements like the rock, boat and banana structure.
Next was the fun part - shading the silhouettes themselves!
I had a thick black permanent marker that's just been sitting in my pen case for the longest time and now was the time to bust it out and go ham with it.
And a couple minutes later, ta-da!
The paper itself is a little curled on the bottom so the light was reflecting off the bottom portion. I have no idea why, but irl it looked pretty dang good if I do say so myself.
I'm actually really pleased with how this piece came out! I knew I wasn't remotely near MalMakes' level and I didn't expect that I'd be able to pull it off. But I think the effect of the sunset is still there, albeit a bit muted compared to Mal's. But I think it was pretty good considering I was using watercolours.
I remember I was so excited about this piece and I was nervous I would screw it up but I think in the end it looked great! And for my first time trying this style and managing to complete this in one session I think that's quite a feat.
Thanks so much for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments!
To find out more about me, check out my intro post here!