My God, it’s full of Stars (from my Patreon page)

Tonight I find myself contemplating stars, Star Wars stars to be more specific.  Each Science Fiction movie and television show has found their own way to depict the star filled expanse of outer space through which their iconic vehicles wander.  From Star Trek’s orbs of light streaming by to Babylon 5’s enveloping nebulae, views of outer space have been varied and beautiful.  For my Carrie Fisher tribute I decided to try to capture the kind of starry backdrop seen in the movies.  I re-watched my favorite, “The Empire Strikes Back”, yesterday to study the star fields.

Unlike the skies I have done so far, there are no obvious depictions of galaxies or nebula mixed into the star fields, yet there are areas of soft fuzzy light such as you see from a mass of stars together.  As I looked closer, I could see a layer of very diffuse stars in clumps behind much sharper stars, which created the glow.  In addition, I noticed relatively  dark areas creating splotches of darkness throughout the pattern.  Now, the trick is to try to recreate this effect decently in the painting.  You will have to let me know how I do.

New $5 Reward (from my Patreon account)

For this week’s $5 reward I uploaded a copy of some fox kits I started working on in watercolor but did not finish.  I keep using the wrong paper for working watercolor because I do not like the feel of the paper that should be used.  Sigh.  Anyway, the image is not too bad and shows some potential.  In addition, I uploaded a copy of the Y-Wing image above.  For the most part it is the finished version of the ones I will use in the Carrie Fisher tribute I have been working on.  I may tweak it a little more but not a lot.

The reason I did not post yesterday was because I have not been working on my art much lately and chose to paint instead.  I let life get in the way.  I had hoped to have this on the final background before I posted it again, but I did not get that far.  However, I can say that I am ready to set up the final canvas and to begin placing the separate components (Carrie Fisher, Y-Wings, Planet).  Hopefully soon I will be sharing the complete picture.

Y Wing Update (from my Patreon page)

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Here is where I am with the Y Wing part of my Carrie Fisher tribute.  I have had to back track a few times and undo parts I was not happy with.  I finally decided to work from the cockpit backwards, which seems to be working better for me; however, this will never be an honest reproduction.  My goal is to create a strong enough image that at a smaller size will not be off so far that it is jarring.  I am glad I was able to finally add the R2 unit and I think the cockpit module looks good although I have to place the forward guns yet.

Speaking of Star Wars vehicles, I tried to make my own Imperial Walker out of cardboard from a picture in my vinyl soundtrack slip cover.  I never got further than the head but it wasn’t too bad for the time, given I was in junior high.  They are the coolest vehicles in the series.

Project Update (from my Patreon page)

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Here is the progress of the pieces that will become my Carrie Fisher tribute.  Both are on temporary backgrounds so that I can see the painting better, while Leia is further along, the Y-Wing is still very basic (mostly undercoat).  Once i get the y-Wing finished, I can add as many as I like but I am only planning on two right now.  I will add exhaust trails when I place them on the space background.

Gold Wing Ready (from my Patreon page)

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Here is the drawing of the Y-Wing I want to put into my Carrie Fisher tribute.  It is only a fair approximation taken from an image at a different angle and I am not a patient draftsman, which is why I generally stay away from mechanical drawings.  I am hoping when I get it into gimp that I can soften it to washout some of the poor draftsmanship.  I also plan to rotate and make a pair for the painting.  Basically, I have to do post production on my canned film.  Hopefully you won’t critique too hard on this one.  LOL.

Simple Things (from my Patreon Page)

Sorry for not posting the other day but I caught the bug going around and my drive is about at zero.  Heads up to anyone who gets regular allergy shots, when they say don’t get your shot when you are sick, don’t get you shot.  The shot knocks down your immune system.  Anyway, lets talk about simple things.

Some artwork can be full of details and ideas, while others are busy with a riot of colors.  However, sometimes it is the simplest aspects that can really make an image.  I have moved away from working on Carrie Fisher’s face to work on her dress a bit.  I have always enjoyed working on folds in clothing because there isn’t much to them, but when done correctly they look really great.  The use of contrast makes all the difference.  Dark tone below light tone then a medium tone above that, where the dark represents the shadow under the fold and the light is the area directly above the fold that blends into the medium tone (semi-shadow).  Simple.  The hardest part is trying not to over think it.

When simple aspects of any painting are done well, most people won’t even notice them because they add to the overall painting.  But when they are done wrong, they stand out glaringly.  For me as an artist, little things like a well done fold in a piece of fabric can be more interesting than all the detail work in a complex painting.  Take a look at the clothes on the figures in the next painting you see.  Do the folds look good or slapped on?  Have fun.