Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Painting Process: The Making of "Omens" [HD Video]

Yesterday I posted this painting. Today I want to show you how I made it.



Why make a video?

The answers because I could, and for fun bubble up to the surface, but of course there's more to it than that. For one, it was an educational process for me. To be able to go back and review high definition video gave me a rare glimpse at both the good and bad habits I've cultivated over the years. It was worthwhile in critiquing what I need to keep doing or change to make better paintings in the future.

Most of all, I wanted an opportunity to invite a wide audience into my studio to see how I make paintings, so they could appreciate not only the finished original, but the whole process. If you're a professional or serious student looking for an instructional video about oil painting, this is not that video. There are plenty of others out there that do a more in-depth job, like Dan Dos Santos's "Warbreaker" video, and Donato Giancola's "The Mechanic" and "Joan of Arc" videos. Theirs certainly inspired me to film myself, but where theirs go into extreme detail, mine is an easily-digestible ten minute overview. My hope is that it's accessible and fun to watch for artists and non-artists alike.

Is the technique demonstrated the best one for everyone to use?

It's one road of many you can travel to make a painting, and it just happens to be the way I'm currently making paintings after several years of instruction and experimentation. It's important to remember, though, that even when you've found methods that work for you, it's still a good idea to try new things and challenge your idea of what's conventional often.

If you have any questions about the video, please feel free to leave a comment. I hope you enjoy it!

UPDATE #1:
Since a few people have asked, I also created original music for the video, and (because I'm nice and music is just a side hobby) you can download each of the 3 tracks from the video here. The tracks were created using FL Studio 9. Yes, that is me singing in track 3. Enjoy!

Download: Omens Soundtrack 01 | LENGTH: 1M 09S
Download: Omens Soundtrack 02 | LENGTH: 3M 54S
Download: Omens Soundtrack 02 | LENGTH: 3M 20S

19 comments:

  1. Having just recently found your blog and art, you've instantly won a new fan! Really glad you shared your process with us.

    As an aspiring illustrator, I'm really curious about two things I noticed in the video:

    - How did you divide the lineart within the computer, so you could print that poster-sized puzzle? Is it a plugin within Photoshop? Or you did it measuring it manually?

    - How long did you have to wait until you could apply that last blue shading?

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    1. Great questions, Juan!

      1. To cut up the line template, I measured out 8.5x11 inch sections with Guides and cut it up manually in Photoshop, leaving .5 inches of overlap on the sides of each selection. Each 8.5x11 selection was copied to a document and printed as its own page. Let me know if that makes sense. If there's a plugin that does the same thing I'd love to get my hands on it. :)

      2. I waited 2 days before the glazing at the end, since the black crows were the last thing I had painted and black dries quicker than white.

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  2. Thank you very much for sharing this. I loved seeing how this piece was made. I look forward to more of these. :)

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    1. Thanks, Jason! I hope to be able to make more in the future :)

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  3. Thank you Cynthia for sharing this! I will definitely be coming back to the video. Any tips for oil colour mixing on your blog or a next Awesome horse tutorial??? I'd love to watch out for that one :).

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    1. Thanks ivanka k! I'll keep color mixing in mind for a post soon. It's one of my favorite things about oil. I do have a post from a while back about "borrowing" colors from master paintings: http://sheppard-arts.blogspot.com/2011/11/color-mixing-from-masters.html

      Also, check out Aaron Miller's awesome palette blog for some color ideas: http://oilcolorpalettes.blogspot.com/

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  4. This was a fantastic watch. As an appreciator of art in its many forms, having a glimpse into the making process really allows you to appreciate the finished product so much more.

    I was also impressed, both in the video and your blog posts, at how incredibly articulate you are. I could listen to you talk about your art for hours. Keep it up!

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  5. Amazing video and amazing painting. It makes me want to get back to some traditional painting myself. Thanks a heap for posting this and the other informative info you have on your blog. Cheers.

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  6. This painting is one of my favorites from you, and I've loved waching the video. THANK YOU for your time recording and your art!.

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  7. I stumbled across this page and though, wait, is that the Cynthia Sheppard from AwesomeHorse? It is! You are! \o/ Thanks for posting this video of such beautiful work. I'm barely learning digital art, and the more digital I look at, the more I like learning from traditional artists. Your process is an education, and I really appreciate it. :)

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  8. Thank you for sharing this. It was nice to see how you work. Seems a bit of a labor intensive process, but the end result is lovely.

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    1. It's true that I added a couple steps to my process for this painting that aren't necessary. It wasn't required of me, for example, to do a separate transfer drawing onto the illustration board. I could have coated the drawing paper and painted directly on top of that, or painted over a mounted photocopy, or done the drawing entirely digitally. There are lots of shortcuts that are totally fine to use.

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    2. It's true that I added a couple steps to my process for this painting that aren't necessary. It wasn't required of me, for example, to do a separate transfer drawing onto the illustration board. I could have coated the drawing paper and painted directly on top of that, or painted over a mounted photocopy, or done the drawing entirely digitally. There are lots of shortcuts that are totally fine to use.

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  9. Amazing! Thanks for sharing this video, is inspiring :).

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  11. Beautiful work! I love your blog. I wish much success !!! Congratulations!!

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  12. Thank you for sharing this interesting and informative article, painting with airless spray gun will be faster and more interesting!
    regards,
    Resin Paint

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  13. Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the great work!
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