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Week 4: Colour!

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

FINALLY, a week dedicated to colour! Our first task for homework was to take one of the tonal backgrounds we've doned over the last few weeks, and render it in colour. We were instructed to choose a type of colour scheme, (analogous, triadic, complimentary, etc...) - and I chose analogous!

The one I chose was Mutated Graveyard from last week's homework. I decided to render this one in particular as I immediately knew how I would colour it based on my inspiration sources:

My main source of inspiration was from the Playstation classic, MediEvil. I touched on it last week, but I really cannot emphasis the sheer nostaglic joy that this game and its art style brings me. I included images of the original 1998 release - as even back with the graphical limitations of back then, the game's gothic, murky, fairtytale aesthetic is still, (ironically) jaw-dropping. The murky forest greens and deep, rich violets and indigos combine to create this eerie atmosphere; up until recently, I thought the blackness that fills te sky was actually the sky... and not really tall mountains. Yep. The remake takes this palette and only amps it up with gorgeous, eerie fog and a purple haze that claims the scenery. As these colours create an analogous scheme, I wanted to use it as my reference. I also refamiliarised myself with the stunning concept art for the original game. I can't get enough of the example I included, and wanted to take the black shading style and incorporate it. Additionally, I used Mario Odyssey's Cap Kingdom again to influence the "flowy" grass banks and ribbony fog. The final reference I used was a background from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy - a wonderfullly wicked show I've recently got into. The abstract, wispy clouds, hills, and crooked fence further inspired me.

And oh boy - digital painting is rough. Whilst I believe I'm strong at lineart and colouring, for some reason with backgrounds I still can't make them look legit and as if they were from an actual show. I tried my best to achieve this through using textured brushes, and different layer effects - such as Screentone 2, which created the retro, comic book style dots. I wanted everything to be crooked and exaggerated like in the MediEvil concepts - so I made the moon crescent and crooked, with over-the-top clouds and bent fences. The Cap Kingdom from Mario Odyssey inspired the purple, wispy fog which I really liked. The hardest art was adding bioluminescent green in a manner that wasn't too subtle or too overpowering. Overall, whilst i don't believe that the final outcome looks legit, as a piece I believe it looks good! I'm definitely not strong with backgrounds, but the task helped me experiment more with textures and exaggeration.

The next task after this was to take the following lineart, and render 2 colour studies - both influenced by a different emotion to show how said emotions can effect the colours of a scene for storytelling:

I decided to do one render using the emotion of love, and the other with lonliness - so to work with what are essentially polar opposites.

Compared to having to make a whole background from scratch: this was less of a challenge and oddly theraputic. Immediately, when I thought of colours to use for the Love background,I thought of teals and pinks. I wanted to steer away from conventiona,l analogous pink palettes, and I thought the teal would compliment any warm colours well. Foe the sky, I wanted to go for blossom and salmon pinks, using a loose blending style so to try and capture a "painted" aesthetic. I used purples for the rocks and cliffs to convey how the pink atmosphere would affect the greys on them. The mountains in the far background were coloured in slightly more pink than the rocks and cliffs so to translate distance. The grass and trees were made marine so they would pop amongst all the warm colours, and I believed it was a more interesting colour than simply making them green. The river was coloured with mulberry so to reflect the sky, and and reflections of the grass were made deep teal. I finally added cheesy, heart-shaped clouds to the sky - so to realy push the corny, love-is-in-the-air, (quite literally!) aesthetic.

For the palette, I wanted to switch around where I used warm/cool colours in contrast to the Love background. Where warm colours were used on said background, I would instead use cool colours in its place for this one, and vice versa. This meant that the previously pink river with marine shading became a tea green river with burgundy shading. The dusty pink rocks became ice grey, (bar the one excpetion that I made cocoa cuz I felt it helped incorporate the browns better) the teal grass became walnut brown, and the previously carmine sky became a mix of powder blue and lilac. The trees I changed from marine to moss green as wanted to retain the forest vibes. Overall, the colours I chose were fuelled by the crisp, cold, and still Wintery morning feel I was going for.

I uploaded both of the backgrounds to a palette generator, and I'm really pleased with the palettes it showed. The colours that were picked all accumulate to produce the respective vibes that I was going for in both! Out of the two pieces, I definitely prefer the Love background: the complimentary palette of pink/teal I found is rather unorthodox. When comparing love-themed palettes, there was a very rare use of cool colours - and if there was any, it was usually mints or lilacs, with lilac symbolising first love initself. I'm happy I married the complimentary colours, so they didn't seem unnatural as they might seem together. I also prefer this background as I admittedly appreciate the cheesy heart-shaped clouds...

The next task was to take 3 backgrounds from shows we like and create colour scripts for them:

The 3 shows I focused on were: The Owl House, Steven Universe, and Hazbin Hotel. The difference in styles was so fascinating to me - with The Owl House having cartoony but still detailed and grounded visuals with earthy colour palettes, Steven Universe using pastels and analogous colour schemes, (along with perhaps one of the most recognisable sky backgrounds in any show) and Hazbin Hotel predominantly using crimsons and minimalistic yet striking cityscapes.

The three thumbnails on the top row were colour scripts made by me, with the real backgrounds being on the bottom. These three gave me a good range of styles to play with and I had a blast with them. From a distance, I actually couldn't tell which background was the legit one so I suppose that's good! It was a fun way to really break down these different styles of backgrounds - plus until this week I never even knew this colour scripting existed and I'd love to do more!

Finally, for class I rendered another character design! I went with the idea of the angler-fish girl we brainstormed, as I loved the concept of this adorable little girl with contrastingly huge chompers. I researched anglerfish to help figure out their core shapes to play around wth. After this, I sketched up a design and figured out a colour palette. I wanted to play with the surprisingly warm colours of this fish, whilst also staying away from typical sea blues and greens. I went with analogous purples and pinks, with pops of yellow to compliment the purple. I absoloutely love the outcome - and toying with the idea of her light conveying her emotions, and trying to figure out her creepy teeth was super fun!

(plz forgive me I'll have all this typed up today,,,)

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