Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gryphon Hunting: The Painting

By Justin Gerard


A Stone Cold 4'x6' Underpainting!  

Since this is a night scene I am starting out with colder colors, but I'm still working monochrome.  Usually I work in monochromatic browns because they are so friendly to work over top of. 
Blues, and colder tones in general, can get tricky for me.  But for certain circumstances I really need to start out with cold or at least grey tones.  Otherwise I am just going to spend too long working backwards to get where I want to go. 

And yes, that is a fireplace behind the painting.  The old studio was too small for this one so we had to take the show to the living room. 

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. And if those two lazy, freeloading cats of mine want to lay in front of a nice, warm fire, then they will just have to go get jobs like the rest of us and maybe then they can buy their own fireplace. 
Then they could contribute to society for once in their miserable lives.  



This is me in front of a nice, warm fire.  CONTRIBUTING.  
SEE CATS? NOW GO GET A JOB.



The colors I am using here are mostly warms, which by contrast helps to pull the figures out from the background. It is one of my favorite parts of using a colder palette.



The Gryphon. 

Ever see that BBC Natural World documentary on Harpy Eagles? They are crazy looking animals and I love them.

However, much as I love them, I need to push the gryphon's value intensity back some here.  He is a major part of the story, but I kind of want him to be more in the shadows. So that it makes more sense that the dwarves didn't see him when they walked in.

These are the times when I miss all my digital tricks...



It is about 90% finished. I will have a really nice photo of the final version next time!

19 comments:

  1. Whoa! Who,s a clever boy then! Wonderful painting Justin. really brave of you with all that architecture - not sure I would dare tackle something like that. Beautiful lighting as well....and a biggie to boot. it,s going to look good up on someones wall. Was it easier, or more difficult painting so big? Lovely stuff!

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    1. Hey Paul!
      Well, it took a lot longer, but it was definitely easier working this size for me. (Especially in acrylic and oil, which I have trouble getting super fine detail in) And it was just a lot of fun. If I can afford the time I'd like to keep working larger like this I think.

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  2. What ground are you painting on? Is it just a roll of gessoed canvas tapped to plywood? What will be the final deliverable to your client?

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    1. Hi Brian,
      That is correct. The canvas is acrylic-primed belgian linen. And this may sound crazy but it is taped to a huge board of insulating material. They sell them 4'x8' at Home Depot. Super tough, and super lightweight. Great if you are working in a place where you might have to move the canvas around a lot. I am delivering the canvas rolled to the client.

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    2. Thanks for the reply Justin. Keep up the great work, I've been a fan of yours for the past year or so.

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  3. Wow! great image, really love the lighting.

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  4. I haven't painted anything in the last decade that was bigger than my scanner, so I'm pretty much flabbergasted. Way to contribute!

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  5. i was about to say changing the griffin's value would be kinda tricky without a safety net, like, digital.

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  6. This is just awesome Justin! Love it man. Love that the griffins eye is open. He's about to add more armor to his collection. =)

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  7. Wait! Are those initials carved into the stone?

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  8. Justin, I absolutely love this latest painting.

    I also very much sympathize with the whole cat situation as a duo-feline owner myself :)

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  9. This was gorgeous looking with just the underpainting alone. Great to see the process unfold and I appreciate the scale of the image of you painting (sans cats). Look forward to seeing that final picture of the finished product.

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  10. Fabulous painting! Thank you for showing us some of the process. I've always used an umber grisaille on a neutral gray canvas, but this makes me want to try the blues.

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  11. Looks awesome, I love that gryphon and the grass especially!

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  12. Pretty incredible Justin, really love the mood!

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  13. This is so cool! And on such a big canvas!! The comical and cartoony nature reminds me of Tim Kirk!

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  14. From idea to execution, this whole process just tells me "Jikes, I wish I would've thought about that! :D" It's glorious. Good job Justin.

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