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Friday, January 06, 2012

The Forest Troll Part IV: Color Comp and Drawing

The color comp is done as fast as possible. I don't want to get bogged down in the details here. This is all about the mood and atmosphere.

Color Comp

The main goals of the color comp are:

#1 Nail down the lighting.
(Sources, direction, strength. etc.)

#2 Nail down the value relations.
For instance, the tree behind the dwarves: is it more attractive as darker than the background or lighter? By exploring and solving this in the color comp I will be more confident when I tackle it in the final image.

 #3 Nail down the color theory.
This image will be confined to a warmer spectrum, one that you might find at midday in an old growth forest with patches of sunlight breaking through the canopy. I wanted to make most of the tones fall in a rather narrow color gamut, and then choose a bright color outside this gamut as an accent. In this case, it was mostly golds and browns accented with a bright green.
In the color comp I just want to make sure this theme will work for my image. I go through this on almost all of my pieces because my brain is incapable of solving value/color mixtures on the fly, so I need a cheat sheet. The color comp helps me idiot-proof my image so I don't bungle it in the final.

Tight Drawing


  1. This is great to see--I am happily stunned. Thanks for the post

  2. There's always something so delightfully comfortable about your trolls and dwarves.

  3. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of your process on this one, and I love the way you came up with the idea! If I were the one lost on Paris Mtn. I don't think I would have been dreaming of dwarves and trolls. Thanks for showing all the wip's.

  4. Hi Justin!

    I hope you don't mind, but I have a lot of questions about this one. First I'll say it looks like it's coming along famously!
    Question 1: On the color comp, are you working directly over the thumbnail, and if so, are you watercoloring?

    Question 2: What type of pencils are you using for the final drawing? I'm sure you've posted that a million times, but I've been trying to find a pencil that has that brownish tone that you're getting in the final.

    Question 3: And finally, what media will you be working in for the painting?

    I know that's a lot in one comment, but I've really been searching for some tried & true methods for painting that I can begin exploring. And you're blog is a pretty good place to start!

  5. Thanks for the feedback everyone!
    Will, in answer to your questions:

    #1 I'm working digitally in CS5 directly over a pencil thumbnail.

    #2 I believe I was using a Prismacolor col-erase pencils for this one. Though I will often also use Caran d'Ache Pablo pencils as well for drawings that I will be watercoloring over.

    #3 I will be working in watercolor and pencil on strathmore 500 bristol. There will likely be a little gouache and/or acrylic in the highlights.

  6. Thanks Justin! Good luck on the final painting!

  7. Excited to see how this will come to an (awesome) end! :-)

  8. Absolutely gorgeous. Great to see every step documented like this, from concept to finish. Have fun painting, I look forward to the result.