Brutal Tropic

The last post embraced the cold arms of winter.  This post takes a little different tack.  Now it’s time for a little escapism.  Time to turn up the heat.

This color-palette study took its cue from the New Yorker again.  This time it was a spot illustration that caught my eye, rather than an ad.

The illustration was drawn simply, with a few bold colors and strong contrasts.  The study based on it is not as refined as the Alaskan one: the purpose was just to jot down a record of the colors.  Here’s how it came about:

Step 1:   Fill the entire picture-plane the main background color (paint bucket tool).

Pallette - Brutal Tropic 1

That is one gorgeous block of orange!

Step 2:  Use the rectangular marquee selection tool on a new layer and fill the area with the next color.

Pallette - Brutal Tropic 2

It’s already taking on a little more character.  The maroon color is still vibrant, but a touch cooler and lower in intensity than the orange.  This, coupled with its placement on the ‘page’ make it seem to recede a little bit, thus creating a hint of depth.

Step 3:  Draw in a ‘melting ice cream’ sun-shape.

Pallette - Brutal Tropic 3

These colors really vibrate against each other.  They’re all high-keyed, so they compete for our eyes’ attention, which causes the liveliness.

Step 4:  Add the foreground shape outlines.

Pallette - Brutal Tropic 4

The fat lines are not quite black, but darn close.  If I wanted this piece to be a finished one, these line would have to be much more purposeful and refined.

Step 5:  Fill the foreground shapes.

Pallette - Brutal Tropic 5

This dark gray is actually a ‘de-saturated’ version of the sun-orange color.  I started with that bright color, then darkened it, and took almost all of the color out of it.  It was important to make it distinct from the near-black line color, but still far darker than the oranges.

Step 6:  A little texture.

Pallette - Brutal Tropic 6

The texture was added using the same oil pastel brush setting that was used on the mountains in the last post.  This is the only blue-based color in the whole piece.  It’s not much brighter than the gray, but provides a little pop against it because the colors are essentially complimentary.

This last color was not present in the work that inspired the piece, but it seemed the piece needed that little something extra, so I tried this out.  I think it worked.

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This entry was published on December 26, 2013 at 12:18 am. It’s filed under Bold Color, Digital Drawing, The Artistic Process and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Brutal Tropic

  1. The lines have a raw feel to them, and the colors have the feeling of looking at a memory of a moment. 🙂

  2. I’ll translate–awesomeness!

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