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Robert MacNeil © 2000-2008 • Terms of Use
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tutorial setup and painting techniques for digital painting
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STEP 1: Plan
STEP 2: Thumbnails
STEP 3: Rough images
STEP 4: Shape Blocking
 
fig_3 fig_3
fig_4 fig_4
 
STEP 3 STEP 5
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inthepark in the park
a quick reference to final image
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SHAPE BLOCKING
STEP 4: Leading the Eye

I decided to show this stage early on, to visualize a key theory in painting.
The block shapes, represented by the dark areas, are used as guides to visually direct a viewer through a given image. The goal of an artist is to inspire a viewer with enough visual interest to explore the entire span of your created work. Sometimes this is done in very abstract ways, but it is done. Whether it be physical or psychological, the viewer should be led through your image. Anything a viewer takes away after that, is subjective appreciation.
(see fig. 3)
In this image, as illustrated by the arrows superimposed onto it, you see the path I want the viewer to travel when admiring my work.
(see fig. 4)
For arguments sake, I do not claim that this is the only way to approach an image. However, it is a good idea to start conditioning yourself to understand that thinking through a picture (especially in the beginning) will be more effective than just jumping right in. A good plan will go a long way when creating artwork.This theory should not be limited to drawing. You should also utilize it when dealing with color, in both hue, value and rendering (the act of marrying all these elements together).
Be spontaneous here, as in your thumbnails. Allow yourself some further chances at freedom when establishing your blocking rules. Simply concern yourself with what and how you want the viewer to experience your work.

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