J A N U A R Y  3 1,  2 0 2 1  //  J o n a t h a n  C o r r i g a n 
s u n d a y  S T U D Y  0 0 1
Painting With Shapes
Creating Strong visual elements that aid story telling and composition alike is the target which narrative painters shoot for. It is not always easy to hit this mark, but when it happens, it is greatly rewarding. Below is a look into today's painting study and the process it took to be created.
This scene of a mountain scape with the Fellowship in the foreground was created from a few different references which were compiled together to create a whole new image. The characters were created as an afterthought to pull the image together and make the scene more visually interesting.
The break down
The reference photo I used had a clear distinction between the three picture planes which made creating the composition on the canvas less of a task. I divided up my reference photo into background, middle ground, and foreground where I began blocking in my elements on the canvas. After establishing the composition from the reference, I started with the tried and true technique of putting down an underpainting which consisted a mix of geometric shapes and mid to dark-toned colors. Establishing silhouettes early in the painting process will help reveal balancing issue with your composition in addition to covering up the canvas as quick as possible. I've discovered this is a great way to add clarity and organization to the composition before getting too comfortable with detail.
After covering the canvas with an underpainting, I began to paint on the rough shapes of the mountains in the background, the rolling hills in the middle ground and the mounds of grass in the foreground. You'll notice my edges are sharp, clean, and very general at first, but gradually get looser as I approach finish. Starting with basic shapes and blocked out color gives a foundation to build upon as noticeable when you watch the mountains develop in the background.
The purpose behind starting with shapes and gradually building color is it keeps your brushwork clear and concise while also giving you boundaries to break when needed for stylization purposes. 


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