Monday, September 27, 2010

Amanita, Beautiful but Deadly

This is an entry for DeviantART's "Concept World" weekly contest, "Character: Beautiful and Deadly."
The all white Amanita mushroom, Amanita ocreata, is one of the most poisonous mushrooms in the world. It is often called the "death angel." My character is the spirit of the Amanita, holding up her deadly mushroom in the dark forest where it grows.

You saw the background for this, now here's the final job. The original reference for this was a Hollywood glamour costume from the 1930s. I am not at all satisfied with this figure, but I had a deadline for the submission and had to do with what I could. I am least satisfied with the face. It is truly disappointing. I hope someday I will learn to paint faces and figures in digital media. I don't know how, right now. If I had known I was gonna be an artist, I would have gone to art school instead of spending 6 years of my life studying Greek and Latin. But back then I looked down on art school and art as "un-intellectual." If I had money and time, I would go to art school now and start all over again.

"Amanita" is done in Photoshop CS4, about 7 hours.


Tristan Alexander said...

OK, since I know you are like me and want helpful feedback. I will not comment on the fact it is digital because you know how I feel about that.
In this case it seems to smooth, the cloth is flat and seems to have no real form. Looking recently at my PreRaphelite books, the folds, and craeses and hard light and shadow in their cloth is what this needs. You do buildings so well and so structuraly real looking, that is what is missing here, She seem flat and not structuraly real to me and I think alot of the reason is the way the cloth looks.

Pyracantha said...

Tristan, as usual you make good sense with your comments and I agree with you. I struggled with the folds and the modeling in the skirt, and I would have had even more trouble if I were painting in acrylic. Acrylic whites and pale colors tend to build up into slick layers that won't take overpainting.
The satin skirt that the model (a 1930's movie star) was wearing bent and folded stiffly, in a way that disguised her legs completely, and I was out of luck with attempting to reconstruct it.
I also did poorly with the face, I really need to work on doing faces. But at least I tried, and entered the contest.

Amanda said...

Also, your lighting is very, very flat, almost like a camera flash at the viewpoint--you are trying to use shading to denote depth away from the viewer rather than using it to show how light is falling on the figure and the fabric.