After I finished with my Velazquez Rooster from Chris Oatley’s Magic Box class, I realized it could have been better.  It was not what I am fully capable of. I rushed through a lot of steps just to get it done.  In the end I wasn’t quite happy with the form of the Rooster. He looked too cartoonish, and his comb was really awful. Here is my original Velazquez Rooster.  I solved the comb problem in this post, but I really wanted to nail down the form and have it look more like a painting. I decided to do the assignment again. (Note: You know you like your class when your willing to do the homework two times. And my wife also thinks I’m crazy as well. ) All my life homework has been about getting things done, to get it out of the way. This homework is for my own education, and I realized I hadn’t learned enough in the first assignment.  So I decided to revisit it.

One of the biggest challenges of working with the rooster was the 3/4 head profile.  Since a rooster’s head has a sharp curve to it, a lot of the form is lost as his head turns, and the beak takes over.  Even though Velazquez originally painted his portrait with a 3/4 head pose, I decided it should be a mug shot, since this will best describe his form.

My wife also suggested putting a wing where the hand originally was, and thought that was a great idea.  One of the main lessons I learned was to do the preparation.  I actually already knew this, but I feel the second time around cemented this in, and will hopefully not be making this mistake again.  I took longer time doing the initial sketch and line art.  I also spent time do a full on gray scale study.  The painting actually was the quickest part of the piece. Most of the form was already there from the gradient layer I was able to paint much faster and looser than I previously have.

Painting looser was also another lesson I picked up on here. When you paint traditionally oil naturally blends into itself, but in digital painting that doesn’t really happen.  You can keep zooming in, and seeing all your brush strokes.  What I realized is no one is looking at the painting that close.  I also learned to use some different brushes to achieve softer edges and a more painterly feel.  Velazquez’s edges are very loose and soft where he doesn’t want to focus much attention.  Even where he does his highlights are usually laid on thick and full of impasto. I tried mimicking this in the digital world.

Original Sketch and Line Art


Grayscale Study


Gradient Color (Using only lasso and Gradient Tool)

Web-Rooster-Graident-Block-In-01 Web-Rooster-Graident-Block-In-02

Final Painting

Web -OA Velazquez Rooster 2 - Painting 08-18-13

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