After completing my Velazquez Rooster, I realized that I could do better. Often I want to jump to the next project and start something new, but I feel I need to revisit this project. I think this is what happened when I started the project. I jumped right into it, without doing enough preparation. I forgot one of the most important lessons that preparation leads to success. One of the biggest issues I had was rendering the rooster’s comb.
To create the subtly that Velazquez uses I realized I would need to have some good reference lighted properly. So the other morning I created my rooster’s comb. Luckily Thomas just got a multicolored Sculpey kit for his birthday.
I pressed the Sculpey against two footballs to give it that subtle bumpy texture that the comb has in real life. I then needed something to mount the comb on that would resemble the curve of the head. Luckily we have a fresh picked squash from our garden that worked perfectly. Any other darker fruit would have made it harder to see where the form and shadow started and ended.
I set up the shot with an off camera flash off to the front and right of the comb. I was taking pictures, and the form was not coming through on the shadow side. I couldn’t move the light too much since I was trying to match the lighting of the original painting. I needed a reflector and that is where the plate came in. It worked perfectly. It bounced just enough light to give the shadow form with out it losing the feel of being in shadow.
Start to finish the process was forty five minutes at max. I spent $0.00 dollars and saved myself time, energy, and stress in the future while rendering my new digital painting. Everything can be simple.