WHile working on the color samples for a recent illustration I saw a couple of composition issues that were bugging me. The sword was going off the top edge of the canvas and almost touching the larger planet. This sort of thing creates a tension and draws attention to that area. I also don't like how the sword is basically pointing the viewers eyes right off the canvas. SO I made a couple of new composition samples posted below. The first oen still has an issue with the sword and the top edge fo the canvas and the second one just seems to have too much space. I like the closeness of the horizontal versions personally.
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Below are the colors samples. Basically I create these by printing the drawing onto thick 8"x11"paper and cover the print in liquitex matte gel medium. The gell keeps the paint from effecting the ink. Then I jump into painting my initial color ideas with acrylic paint. The first color sample takes anywhere from an hour to four hours depending on how complex the painting is. I think this image took two or three hours. Then I scan it into the computer.
Now I am free to change things in the sample working directly on top of the prvious sample. That way it only takes a few minutes to make small changes and scan again, I keep doing this until I feel I have exhausted the ideas I want ot try. By this point I have 5-10 samples. Now I go into photoshop and make duplicates of some to experiment even more by moving color sliders around and even saturation and contrast. Sometimes I might want to just effect the background so I make aduplicate and erase aroudn the foreground elements. I then throw this foreground over the background on the copy. Now I can select the foreground or background layer and make adjustments to each seperately. By this point I may have as many as twenty differnt samples but I begin to see some that I really don't like or that are just so similar to others that it would only be annoying to the clients trying to see the differences. SO I chose those that I feel need to be seen by the client and put them into one file like the one below, numbering each one.