While refining the sketch of Atlas I have completely redrawn the head. I changed the tilt of his head to create a more somber almost regretful or defeated expression. Draping his hair over his face creates a sense of fatigue.
I have started drawing the earth which has cracked open as it landed having been shrugged off or dropped from shoulder level. I once watched a weight lifter try one too many reps and he dumped 600 pounds off his shoulders. The bar crashed to the floor and rocked the entire gym. It was quite an attention grabber.
I began researching how the stars in the background would look and I did a little reading about the Orion constellation. Orion is known as the Hunter and often appears hunting a lion with a club. In a black and white sketch Orion appears more prominent than he will in the finished painting. I need to keep him subtle enough not to draw attention away from the central figure of Atlas.
I decided early on to leave a lot of white space on this one to give it a quick and loose feel. This is the sort of thing, when viewed years later, that makes you either want to try it again or realize it was not such a good idea after all.
The fire protection gear is a very bright yellow. The problem then becomes what color are shadows on yellow? That one had me stumped so I grabbed some paint and took the time to do a color test of yellows.
After a quick consultation with the artist Ryan Marshall to make some decisions I began painting the folds in the jacket.
You can fool the eye when it comes to details. If the underlying colors are done well you don’t have to paint every feather or strand of fur. Here are the refined base colors but I am left wondering if I need to more before I start on the details. I think the head needs more work. I’m talking about the Hummingbird, for me that goes without saying.
So I broke out the ink and the old quill. A new nib was needed and they don’t always work well right out of the box. With the nib full of ink and pressing hard it just wouldn’t lay down a line. Maddening really, but by turning it over and flexing the point a bit I managed to work it into shape.
I had to adjust some anatomy and add more background elements for this one. It was a good exercise to fine tune my motor skills. Here is the finished piece and a close up.