Painting with light & color with Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi

Lesson 9: Intro to colorscript.

Hi guys, this would be the last post on my path through this amazing schoolism course. It´s week 9 and it´s time to show all the things we´ve learned. This lesson is called introduction to colorscript wich is cool ´cause makes it sound like there would probably be a second part for this course somewhen in the future. Maybe one mainly focused in colorscript? That would be so great… Ey Robert & Dice! Are somewhere listening? A 2nd part for this would be awesoooooooome! Thank you! You never loose nothing for asking, right? :)

I finished this course almost 9 months ago and when I did I wrote a good bye letter at the end of it so I´m not gonna repeat myself and say good bye here once again (you can read the letter if you´re interested at the end of the exercise), so I just wanna thank you all for joining me through these weeks and I hope you´ve enjoyed it as much as me.

Ok! Back to work! So this week we were provided with a alternate open sequence of The Dam Keeper and we were asked to choose 3 to 5 frames to convey a lighting idea in sequence. Easy, right? I think this took me more than a week, maybe two and got to the point where I got exhausted. I wanted to do it so well that I spent too much energy and not always in a good way. Sometimes it happens when you are feeling insecure. I´m working on that ´cause in the end that is reflected in the work itself. I always try to enjoy the working process as much as I can since it works both ways: fun and suffering… and any other feeling in fact. That´s the magic about art expression and comunication. The problem is that I use to enjoy the primary work but not so much the end of it so when I look at my artwork I sometimes can see joy in the depth and pain on the surface. So everytime, more and more, I tray to spend less time finishing a drawing and make longer the primary part. In a way what I´m trying to do is to erase the borders between both. And also work faster (yeah, I know you´ve heard me before talking ´bout this jajajaajaa…)

This is the resault of my last exercise (click on the image to enlarge and follow the narrows to continue):

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On the first two lines you can see the panels I chose as drawn by Robert Kondo (I think). The next two lines are my paintings and under them you can notice a color stick which represents the evolution of the actions in terms of color. We come from the darkness of the polluted forest and it´s the surise when we arrive to the village where we´re going to meet the hero for the first time, working hard as the sun light of the morning comes in through the window. Basically we´re going to meet the threat/danger: the pollution, the set: the village and the heroe in this sequence. So I wanted to point things out pretty clearly: from dark to light, easy as that.

*On the top of the images there are 5 small pics. The first one shows the previous panel (so this first one has none), the second one is the drawing provided by Tonko House, the last one shows the next panel and the one´s in between are my first sketches (I painted them in a small size). This way I could clearly see where I came from, where I was going and the process in the middle.

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The forest had to be dark but since it´s sunrise time there is some light althoug it is a dirty and dusty one.

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It´s more clear now that we are getting out of the forest and we see at the horizon the light coming out of the mountains. It´s still very polluted ( now I think I could have made it look even more polluted).

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The village. Not polluted but threaten and still in the night time despite of the sunrise.

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A zoom in through the pollution to the village.

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In this panel I had to decide wether to set the sunrise in front of the camera or behind. I chose to set it behind so in the final panel the light could enter through the window of the mill (you can see in the small pics above I changed my mind). Here we see this thing over the ground wich we don´t know if it´s mist or pollution and it´s ok for me to leave it open.

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The sun pointing the mills in wich we´re about to meet our hero. Under him the village is still sleeping.

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Befor meeting the heroe we´re gonna see his lair presented in an epic way (that´s what the drawing suggests me) and to enforce that idea there´s a warm light coming from the ground. I imagined it in my head as if there were still streetlight.

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The hero. Working in the dark, out of anyone´s sight. Light hits his back directly and we can´t see the interior except for the bull´s eye.

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At last we can see the heroe´s back as well as the interior of the place where he is working. Classic dramatic lighting: hopeful and sad at the same time, I think it´s an oppropiate presentation for our hero (although maybe not too original).

And next, my good bye letter. Not much more to say.

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Oh yes, here´s some bonus track! I worked hard during the exercise in trying to make my work as similar as possible as the Tonko House style so here is a tutti-frutti of pics I could find on the internet to have as reference:

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Hope you´ve enjoyed it. Have fun and I hope to see you around here. I´ll come back soon with some professional and personal material. Right now I´m working on a new children illustrated album and I can´t wait to share some of that with you so stay tuned. Bye bye :)

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Painting with light & color with Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi

Lesson 8: Story & color.

Lighting in order to tell a story is the main theme of this course and here we are, at week 8 (one more to go and it´s the end) and already putting into practice all the stuff we´ve learnt through out the course. We were asked to paint 3 different still life paintings and use one of them to set 3 new lighting situations (putting the pig character into the scene) in order to suggest a mood, a story… something else than the scene itself. We also had to provide photo references from the life paintings as well as for the lighting variations.

This was the first time I moved my laptop from my desktop and I adventured myself into a whole new world: the kitchen, the living room and my bedroom. I´ve tried many times after finishing this course going outdoors with my laptop to paint and I´ve always found it very hard. You have to find an interesting place to paint, it has to be comfortable, dark (at least at the shadows) and more or less quiet to be able to focus properly in your work. I don´t know, maybe I´m too lazy but I´ve never felt completely comfortable when I´ve tried. Still I keep pushing myself once in a while out my comfort zone and go for a walk with all my heavy toys to paint. That´s what Robert & Dice recomend and they are the experts here, so…

Anyway, I made these pretty quick for those reasons and I ended up feeling more proud of the life paintings than I did for the lighting variations. This is the work.

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When I see this painting I can clearly see my own progression from the beggining of this course. It´s pretty loose but still simple and clear. I could have put more work into this and made it more finished but at this point it´s well balanced: lighting is correct, the materials look as they should and the colors are pretty accurated.

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With this one something funny happaned. I started thinking it was going to be so hard that I wasn´t sure I was going to be able to finish it. I kept working and thinking at the same time that at the end I would probably have to dismiss it, but there was always something I wanted to try before: “ok, I´ll do the oven and the coffins and then I´ll leave it.”… “ok, I´m gonna finish the bottles and the microwave and then I´ll leave it”. At some point I looked at it and thought it didn´t look so bad. And here it is! I can recognise my kitchen and I ´ve learnt a couple of things while working on it. So I guess sometimes is better to trust yourself and not pay too much attention to your traveling thoughts.

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My bedroom looks ok as well. I might sound smug (believe me I´m not), but I was amazed with the decissions my head was making through the process. Everything tended to simplicty and was more clear to me whether they were good or bad decissions. My work was progressing more efficiently since I was putting my attention into more important aspects of the scene (such as local color, differences of tone between light and shadow…) and letting go others that usually worries me (stroke, shape, transitions between tones of one same color…). This was my last still life painting of the course and I can tell the difference from the first one.

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I wanted to make this one in a mainly neutral diffused light and then added a direct light in the corner to suggest the out panel. It´s a grey day outside but the light inside is warm (maybe too much). Maybe there is someone we don´t see in the living room or in the kitchen and the pig is by himslef looking through the window and visualizing his day. Maybe he just woke up in a rainy day and by making the indoors so warm the feeling of having to go outside into a cold world makes the whole scene more dramatic.

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Just the opposite. Direct light. A hopeful sunrise, maybe too early in the morning (maybe too cold in the indoors).

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Going to bed after a hard day of work. Sweet bed is waiting in a warm enviroment. It´s been a good day for the pig.

See you next friday with the last lesson!

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Painting with light & color with Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi: Week 7.

Lesson 7: Lighting, atmosphere and other stuff.

Week 7 was similar than week 6 but working with color. We needed to paint 5 different landscapes studies and choose 2 of them. With the first one we had to achieve useful qualities for storytelling using adjustment layers. With the other one we had to light for the shadows and then for the lights using exposure. Once again we were asked to use photo reference to inspire the mood for the scenes.

I also used photo reference for the landscapes, taken by my friend Elena Nájar Parente. I tryied different brushes than the Tonko House ones, just to feel the technique was fitting other kind of brushes. I found yeah, it does, but you need them to have some transparency.

This is the work, painting from reference la la la laaaaaaa….

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So this is the first one chosen. It´s pretty loose, I think I could have worked on it harder but I remember I was more focused on getting the right colors. Anyway the photo is so good I think it makes its job.schoolism_week_07_assigment_04a

I almost did nothing with this. Only by desaturating and darkening the image I got the mood for a rainy day and I only had to add the rain. It´s amazing how easy and fast it is to work with adjustment layers!schoolism_week_07_assigment_04b

I now think that I could have made the sky not so blue… or maybe the ground. It bothers me the hole image is so, so blue. But anyhow I think it represents a pretty fair sunrise (previously than when the sun comes out), wich was the idea. schoolism_week_07_assigment_04c

Direct light and lighting for the shadows. Everything else is burned. I love the effect. Overlay, overlay, overlaaaaaaay… jajajajaajaa….schoolism_week_07_assigment_04d

Fog is fun to paint and it always adds mood into a scene, it makes things look strange and mysterious. I can imagine so many different kind of storys in this enviroment…schoolism_week_07_assigment_05

So I think this is a sunset and this was made lighting for the light since the sky has details. It´s a copy from the photo as you can see, so not much more to say 😉schoolism_week_07_assigment_05b

And this is lighting for the shadows. Now the sky has no details but the ground is much more explained. Overlay again and colorize. It´s useful to have some notions on photography at this point of the course.

This week was interesting for practicing with color and technique. Color always makes things more difficult, but also more interesting. We were here to play, right? And now heading the last two weeks! Woooooooooah!

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Painting with light & color with Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi. Week 6.

Lesson 6: Telling a story.

This week was about using lighting in order to tell a story or create a mood for a scene. We had to choose 3 different still life enviroments and paint them in color, then choose one and convey a story using only values. We were asked to do it in a neutral difused light, black and white, then paint 3 different lighting situations to change the feeling of the story. I got it wrong :( so I painted 3 different scenes, then did the black/white thing and at last I painted 3 different lighting situations for each one of them.

Anyway, despite of the fact that I didn´t understand exactly what the teachers were asking (and this is a very important thing when illustrating profesionally, careful!), I got the main point and I worked more than I was sopposed to. And at the end it worth it.

I decided to paint from photo reference (taken by myself or friends) to have more freedom in choosing the enviroments. I also decided to use Tonko House characters to “humanize” the scenes (the truth is a wanted to use those characters so bad… ;). Finally we had to use photo reference for each painting and this was much harder than I expected. It took me like forever but helped me focus on what I wanted to transmit.

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The bully. The house itself had a personality and fitted so well with the character. You can imagine a though domestic situation happening inside this place. I wanted to have a more intimate look towards the characters. This photo was taken somewhere in New Orleans (USA).
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It´s dark outside and someone is in the house watching tv, unaware of the hippo and his feelings. I thought of this scene as a kind of calmed violence.schoolism_week_06_assigment_01b

The dramatic sky as a metaphore for inner anger/rage of the hippo just like in the frame from “Gone with the wind”. Hard direct light touching the character just a little.schoolism_week_06_assigment_01c

The classic: rain for sadness. Maybe he is regretting something he did or just feeling sad for himself. Lonelyness is also implicit because of the enviroment itself. Very grey scene.

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The bullied. A tunnel is a very helpful resource and I thought it could be a good enviroment to play with the representation of different stages of fear. Photo taken in Berlin (Germany).

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The dark tunnel. Is creepy inside but the outside is not too much better. The character remains frozen under the uncomfortable light, like in an island sorrounded by darkness. Reflection on the wall makes the hole scene look even stranger, like there´s two characters.schoolism_week_06_assigment_02b

When the reason why you´re scared just faces you (and you have no scape). In this case the anxiety is caused by an external element: the car, so this one is not so much of an intimate look inside the character. Maybe I could have thought of a different idea to keep the work on that line, but nothing else came to my mind at the time and I still had a lot of work to do. Still I think this represents the idea pretty well. Do you now that feeling when you´re so scared, your heart is beating so hard, and you feel like you are about to faint? Everything starts to turn white like you´re getting blind. Car was not so much of a bad external element after all. schoolism_week_06_assigment_02c

The light at the end of the tunnel. Poor pig, he happened to have such a bad time in the previous scenes, that I just wanted him to have the chance of feeling relieved. schoolism_week_06_assigment_03

The thoughtful guy. I don´t know if this fits the character of the fox at all, but still I decided to have this scene my way. I wanted to practice the difference between human and natural enviroment. This photo was taken somewhere near Candeleda (Spain). schoolism_week_06_assigment_03a

The romantic painting was my main source for inspiration. I remember I had this painting in my mind even before go looking for it. It´s kind of cheese, right? jajajaja… I struggled a lot trying to avoid that look but I ended up liking it. The waters are unquiet as the soul of the fox is jajajajajaja… Left-down corner of the image looks too much unfished (I´m realizing right now). schoolism_week_06_assigment_03b

The foggy one. I think I was runnig out of ideas at this point, ´cause this one is pretty lame and not so well executed too… fuck. jajajajjajajaja…schoolism_week_06_assigment_03c

And what do you think about this one with the fireflies? Night scenes are always interesting to paint for me ´cause I don´t have so much practice in doing them. I could have avoided the fireflies but the truth is they help represent the idea soooo… In my references: bulbs = fireflies.

See you next week.

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Painting with light & color with Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi. Week 5.

Lesson5: Color.

Same thing as last week, but this time in color. Painted from life. *It says lesson 4 in all the images: my mistake, it´s lesson 5.
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Pretty simple. I remember I thought maybe I was pushing myself too much and I felt like I was hidding my limitations by putting too many objects into my paintings (then too many strokes, too many colors…). So I decided that day I would paint only one onion. I found it was work enought. schoolism_week_05_assigment_02

Then I forgot and the next day I went back to old habits jajajajaja… I like the glasess ´thought.schoolism_week_05_assigment_03

Similar colors. Good exercise. Is one of the things that drives me crazy in my illustration since I don´t use too many lines.schoolism_week_05_assigment_04

Working on reflective and transparent materials. One interesting thing Robert said about this, is that many times when it comes to glows and reflections some artist paint them as if they were simbols, like in the comic books, you know? And that´s totally truth. I´ve done it many times. Never came to my mind while painting, that a polished enought surface could show/reflect colors from objects and things around. And that´s something I ovbiously know, but I just didn´t know how to apply that knowledge into my work. So I painted simbols. Works this way: you think know something, but you don´t really know how to represent/paint that something, so you come up with a way of doing it, usually by copying someone else´s way and everytime you have to paint that something, you do it more or less the same way. Over and over… killing your joy of working everytime a little more. Painting from natural works completely different. While painting you observe and try to understand whatever you´re working on, and through that process, you come understand things. In time you can apply those things you´ve learnt in many different ways. No more need to repeat: wellcome back joy! Now you do know something.schoolism_week_05_assigment_05

Really happy about this one. Probably the time when you don´t realize how much you´re improving and suddently a good painting comes out and you like: “Whaaaaaaa..?”

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