3692Of the PBN boon provided me by my Brown Eyed Girl on my birthday, I've breached the first and have largely conquered it. And here's the general arc of the diver.
The PBN in question was PaintWorks by Dimensions' #73-91424, Lighthouse in Moonlight,
based on a painting by artist Al Hogue
. This work is very much his artist's voice, if you see the other works on his site: soft-focus stylized landscapes drenched in moonlight made of magical realism. All very dreamscape-like.
In the past my overall strategic approach to one of these paintings was to find a color and hit it wherever I found it, trying to get as many of, say, color 4 (or any given mixture) in one pass. This has been efficient but ultimately unsatisfying. The layout of the painting seemed to speak to me to try a different approach: doing one region at a time even if it meant I'd be remixing and reopening pots later on. It made it a very rewarding experience.
I started with the sky because enclosing the Moon appealed to me in a gut way.
The clouds and moon precipitated out of the sky like those old Polaroid instant photos developed. It was fun to watch it happen.
Once the sky was sufficiently filled in, I moved on to the promontory.
This is a painting with a great many small fussy areas to fill in. It's not uncommon for me to regard these as small countries, with areas you get familiar with and then move on once you've done your time there. Specifically satisfying was to watch the colorful foliage display blossom under the brush. Al Hogue knows from palette; the colors, warm and cool, coming out with a lush, rich sense of calm and comfort.
I then worked up the tower of the lighthouse, ending at the rather detailed filling in of the light and structures around it itself. If I get nothing else from PBNing, the dexterity workout is worth it alone.
Last but certainly not least I entered upon the sea and the waves. I'm always charmed by the way the interplay of color, thoughtfully selected, makes for the illusion of a phosphorescent, translucent, yet solid wave of water. This painting had that and more. At this point, I hit that moment of epiphany, got that feeling of frisson when the painting became more than just a pattern of lines I was filling in with color but a thing I was creating, that had volume and space and depth, that I was a participant in. I'm convinced that this is part of the magic of art making, whether you're creating original work or rotely following directions. You get into it and it gets into you.
This makes completing a mere PBN more than just following directions. PBNs are an easy way for the non-pro to get a taste of what the pro feels when they're in the zone, and it's a great feeling to have, that moment of realization. I recommend it to literally everyone.
In the more practical wise, it was satisfying to watch the waves emerge from the ground the way they did, and it was also easy to recognize that it was the interplay of light and dark colors, perspective generated of contrast, that made it all so.
Next, and cruising into the homestretch now, we get the colors that define the foreground and cause the small wave in front to emerge from the pattern just like the bigger wave in back did. Warm colors reflecting the lighthouse and reddened moonglow and darker greens giving dimension to the water's surface tie the whole thing into a coherent whole.
All but completed. All the colors are filled in but I'm going to confront a thing now. The extra added feature of PaintWorks kits, as I've said before, is that it gives you more than just a pattern to follow, it encourages you to take it a little farther. There are blends that would make this painting even more of a visual treat, blending the borders between the gradient bands circling the Moon and the shadows on the lighthouse tower and these call for drybrushing, which the kit, as all PaintWorks kits do, give you instructions for.
PaintWorks' system gives you actual instruction in some basic painterly things. Drybrushing is the most common. However, not only am I an impatient artist, I also am having a bit of trouble grasping drybrushing. I've tried in on a few of them and have been dissatisfied with the results. However, the Brown Eyed Girl, whose skill with painting RPG miniatures I've sncerely not matched elsewhere, gave me some protips on drybrushing and I learned something there, and I'm going to try them here. I'll work around the Moon first, then try them on the tower if it works.
So, stay tuned for that.