Hey guys! It's been a while, hasn't it? I had taken a bit of a break from art, recharging for a bit after that whole One a Day thing where I drew some silly monsters back and forth.
Actually, there was that one thing I did for fun....
...But I digress! I'm back! But who knows for how long!? I'm still working on a major personal project but also trying to figure out something fun I could share with the audience to participate in as well.
Then there's SeeBonnydraw, the focus of today which is a series I began on YouTube that features speed paintings of pop culture characters. I've shared a few of those episodes with you guys here on TAY ever so rarely but now I've got a brand spankin' new episode for your consumption!
Here's the final piece...Clickety clack for some zoom action:
Now let's discuss the artwork!
You might remember that the last episode featured was that of Mew's, the final Pokemon to be covered in the Pokemon One a Day project. Today, I want to explore artwork created in commemoration of the re-released hit title The Last of Us, which came out two weeks ago in the form of a "remastered" edition for the PS4.
The artwork is a tonally painted piece that sits right on top of a never ending black. I decided to keep the colors simple to create a certain mood for the viewer to feel when looked over. My intention originally was to paint in negatives, having black as a background and using the greens that were so prevalent in the game to act as light to illuminate the features of the characters Joel and Ellie in their portraits.
That direction sort of makes it through in this final piece, albeit not in the original intention. The black of the background seeps into the portraits and adds a sort of mysterious element to it all, filling in the spaces of the messy and gritty strokes. The markings could be categorized as distressed and rebellious, although they come together to do their duty and inform the viewer that there is in fact some order to the grit. Joel more than Ellie is more ravaged in appearance, which is not by accident.
Joel, older and more beaten by the world than Ellie, was painted more loosely and abstractly in the hopes of telling his tale of survival of the years. The wrinkles in his face, the furrowed brows, the silver whiskers between the rest of his beard all combine together to tell the viewer this person has nearly seen it all in the apocalypse. Ellie on the other hand, is painted a lot more "fuller", with more attention to details and smoothed out planes of her face. I took liberty with her hair and made it more disheveled to fit the visual tone set by Joel.
SPOILERS*** (BUT SERIOUSLY YOU SHOULD HAVE PLAYED THIS BY NOW THO)
Ellie, who is a walking potential cure to the cordycep threat, is painted more in whole due to the fact that her body cannot be broken down by the population's serial killer.
***END SPOILERS (I MEAN COME ON MAN THERE'S TWO VERSIONS ACROSS TWO PLATFORMS PLAY IT BRUH)
That visual connection ties into her backstory and I hope that comes across well. The challenge with Ellie's portrayal was of course trying to get her age right. Early in the video, you can see how much time I spend struggling with getting Ellie's features right to make her appear younger than how I was portraying her. Eventually, she began to look a bit too old, and even crossed the realm into Ellen Paige territory, which is definitely not right.
I finally hit the nail in the head playing with finding a good balance in roundness of her faces silhouette, and by enlarging the features of her face - a more round button nose and larger eyes helped greatly.
Joel on the other hand never gave me too much trouble. I find when I paint characters, I'm especially critical of making sure they don't end up looking like other characters who may look similar due by my error until fixed. The references of Joel and Ellie come from promotional CGI art. These faces were also used for the limited edition box of the game, which is what I used as reference. Because the shadows were so heavy from those edits for the box, that was what prompted me to paint against black.
Because I decided to have Joel's face fade into the nothingness, I got a vibe of Big Boss from MGS with the one eye being visible and the other missing, almost like the iconic eye patch of the soldier of fortune. I didn't give it much thought and just went onwards, shaking off that coincidence and now I can say that certainly looks like the Joel we know and love in the final result.
As for the rest of the work, I decided to add in some lettering for the hell of composition's sake. Instead of leaving it plain, I decided to have all manner of flora set in and tangled about. I then realized I could have the whole piece connect to one another with that train of though. I added a lot of stray marks that represented vines, leaves, flowers, and even spores to cut into the blackness of the work. I think it works well and keeps the piece from looking too vanilla.
In regards to the video, this is episode 26 in a long line of character featured speed paintings, and the second not to feature any commentary. I skipped commentary for 25, Mew, allowing the music to take over and sort of build into the ending that showcased all of the work I had done for the series. Not only am I able to put out videos faster without commentary and narration, but I've become sort of busy so rather than delay the series and episodes any further, I wanted to see how these do with the alteration.
Other than that, the video is shorter than normal since I have a tendency to talk a lot (and write, apparently) which sort of segues to the end of today's write up. If you've made it this far, congrats and thanks for reading! I hope you could enjoy the video and artwork. I've got a few more characters up my sleeve for future episodes which can hopefully be a future thing like when I first started up SeeBonnyDraw.
Thanks guys for checking in! I hope to talk crits, your thoughts on the characters, the art, the game, whatever, in the comments below!