Aquatic fox

  • Hello everyone!
    The other day I made a quick pencil doodle that I later decided to scan and turn into a digital painting. Here's the result and I would love to hear your opinion on it. And here are some things in particular that I'd appreciate comments on:

    • Line art: I've tried to move away from line art in my paintings but haven't found a good way to really keep track of what I'm doing without it. How do you paint without line art?

    • Colors: I decided to make the fish green(ish) in an effort to balance it with both the orange and the blue in the picture. But I'm not sure if it works the way I wanted.

    • Consistency: I often paint in slightly different styles, and it feels like I mixed several techniques here. Like having both the heavy lineart and the bubbles that are air brushed in. So I'm wondering if it makes the painting look inconsistent.

    0_1538897270011_Aquatic fox-low.jpeg

  • I feel your paint regarding the lineart. It's something I can't seem to go without, either.

    Nice work, though! I think if the water we're closer to the blue side of blue than the green side of blue (if you get what I mean) the fish may pop more.

  • With regards to line art 50% of the time I start with lines the 50% I don't but I find my odds of success vary one of last paintings I did that way became one of my best paintings to date. Check out this course or go to his website and check out painting 3. The term drawing with paint comes up often and it really is the mind set you need to start with out a solid sketch. Cheers

  • First question that came to mind, how is this fox aquatic other than it is under water? Style and colour wise I like. For me, just needs some added work in keeping colours within the lines and cleaning up some blends. I really like his tail. 🙂

  • @art-of-b Thanks for the comment! Ah, yes, I understand what you mean. I'll experiment with that and see what happens.

  • @rcartwright thanks a lot, I will check that out!

    @Heather-Boyd oh, it has gills. You just can't see them for all the fur. And some kind of swim bladder I'd assume. Yep.

  • Possible simple simple solution to painting without lines: I too always used lines in my paintings because I created everything in Illustrator. Once I moved to Photoshop, I kept the line work on a separate layer. When I was done with the painting, I simply made the line layer invisible. If the main characters didn't "pop" enough, I added shading either at edges where the lines would have been or, I darkened/lightened the background closest to the subject.
    Hope that helps.

  • What a cute little moment! I like the soft bubbles you have in the background and I definitely think you could find success with a less line-dependent style if that is what you want to do. I don't think anything is wrong with using linework, but if you want to move away from it I suggest focusing on creating silhouettes or shapes, then adding details within those shapes, rather than making outlines and filling them in. The SVS class on Creative Composition (Is that the class title? I need to check) helps a lot with this approach. Does that make sense?

  • As for lineart - What I do is i block main colors when lineart is fully viseable . I render shadows, then i lower opacity of lineart until i can still see it, but its starts to merg with shadows. I flatten shadows and lineart. Then I render lights and experiment? I used it for some of my pictures.
    I have one video where i recorded myself painting without lineart, cause i was doing photo study - I think it may be usefull to do couple to get comfortable with just painting.

    As for consistency - i really like bottom of sea - rendering the is nice. But then there is seaweed i dont like look of. Try to play with design of fox a bit, as somebody said, i was wondering how he breath underwater, cuase they just look like regular fox 😃
    Hope to see more, i really like foxes.

  • I try to avoid any hard linework in my own paintings and have stopped worrying about my line quality if it won't be seen. I still need to make the design of the sketch as best as possible before coloring, but as long as I know where things will be the lines are just my guide.

    I recently changed my painting process to be a bit more streamlined and faster. I start with the local colors, which I block in first on separate layers and build up the forms and light form there. I will occasionally flick on and off the linework, but once I am on stage 3 I don't really need them anymore (they are more of a hindrance than help).


    All that isn't to say that line art isn't bad, it just depends on what you want your style to be. If you are going for flatter colors and less reliance on the light and shadows, then line art is going to help you more than if you are focusing on creating more 3d forms. Also remember that line art doesn't have to be black, it should be any color that suits your scene.

  • Thanks for the feedback everyone! It's really appreciated. I agree that line art isn't bad. For me it's just that I have a hard time to make it look more... I don't know, like it's a natural part of the picture I suppose. I have tried to change the colors of the lines, and here I did brighten up a few of them. But I feel like I haven't been very successful with that yet.

    And the fox looks the way it does because when I first drew it with a pencil, I wanted to make it a bit ambiguous if it was a fox that was underwater or a fish that was flying above land. A concept that I wanted to bring into the digital painting too, but then I decided that it's more fun to paint underwater scenes.

  • @joen-söderholm i think the line art vs no line is a nice mix. it makes the linart pop out as well. i dig the rock bottom textures and colors w specks of light.

  • @bradyblack Thanks, that's an interesting perspective!

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