Harlequin Revised (Ginny’s Here!)
The wait is over! On February 1st, 2010 my little girl Virginia Elise Flegal was born. We call her Ginny. My wife and I are very proud, and of course a bit sleepy. Like all new parents we are learning adjust our routine, but all in all things are good.
Even though my wife and I have been very busy with our new baby girl, I’ve managed to find time to do a little painting. One of the projects I’ve wanted to tackle was revising the Harlequin Dancer piece based on the feedback I got from Jon Schindehette (Senior Art Director for Wizards of the Coast) and a few other professional artists back at Illuxcon in November.
For reference here is the original piece.
The first thing Jon pointed out was that the background needed more blue to push it back in space. This is called atmospheric perspective, as objects move back in space they become closer in color to the blue sky. He also suggested that the arm that the Dancer was pointing with was too ridged. The rest of her form had a nice flow and that perhaps it would be nicer to see her pointing arm be more fluid and open like the rest of her. He then noticed that her pointing arm was thinner than her other arm. He told me that neither size was wrong, but that I needed to choose a size and make both arms match. Finally he suggested that I ad some element to bring the viewer back into the piece, because the tree, the dancer, and the rock all point out of the composition it would be helpful to have something to bring the viewer back in.
Another suggestion I got was from Don Maitz. He pointed out that I needed to increase the values around the Dancer’s face to make sure that her face was the focal point of the piece. He explained that if I made the clouds around her head the brightest white in the piece that the viewer would be drawn to her face immediately.
Several artists at Illuxcon encouraged me to find some reference for the tree and the rocks in the piece, and go back in a render them some more. I can’t remember who but one of the artists told me that the tree was like a second character in the composition and that I should bring it to a level of detail as the Dancer.
I took all these suggestions and spent another 3 or 4 hours working on the Harlequin Dancer. In the end I feel that the final result is MUCH stronger. I hope you enjoy it too.