For one thing digital painting is still foreign to me...but mountains, trees, and other natural or organic objects have eluded my for years! I have to make one for my Digital Ink and Paint class but I just don't know how to do i t yet...can anyone help?

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  • Okay, Painting isn't my strong suit, so I'll mainly help you with the drawing aspects of this. The image above was rushed a bit, but I'll do my best to explain things verbally. (the handwriting will be better in the future, I just haven't used my wacom in a while) First thing to note is that I like your overall start to your composition. The red arrows are showing how the perspective will work, and you've got what you need to move forward. It's not all there yet, thouh. The color is making the piece look very flat. The ground is largely orange, the mountains brown, and the sky one shade of blue. The first thing to do though, is to crop off the top. Nothin's going on in the sky. The mountains are what we're looking at. The more sky you show, the more you have to paint, so lop the top off that sucker and we're on our way. To fix the color problem, we need to start thinking in layers. The first thing about landscape perspective that really helped me get started is called "atmospheric perspective." Think of it like "smog in between." The further something is away from you, the more smog (atmosphere/air/clouds) are between you. Air is invisible, but the stuff flying through it isn't. More air, more stuff. What usually happens is that the air bends the light to create a blue tint (same reason the sky is blue) and as things become more distant, they become ligher and more blueish. In figure A in the drawing, you'll see I've kindof re-outlined your mountains to show how I think they're layered going further back. If you think in layers you can decide how far each layer is from each other by adding more or less blue/white tint. Figure B is just a rough mockup of how some of the atmospheric perspective might look. Really, you can divide the mountains up a whole lot of ways, the point is that they need to be separated by color, not just outline. The outlines only separate them the distance of say, playing cards on a tabletop. The image will still look flat most of the time. In fact it's better to leave off outlines when doing landscapes and just work on shapes. Things tend to look more natural that way. Another thing you might do is work with a lighter, almost white blue color at the bottom of the sky, and work your way gradually to this color of blue only at the very top. This will make your sky have distance in it was well. I also added some clouds in both drawings to show how even the clouds can help leads the audience's eye to the vanishing point, just to the left of center. You can also add a mountain really large in the front of the frame, like maybe we're standing on it (let it bleed off the edge, don't put it in the middle), looking into the distance. Make the one in the front the darkest of all. That's the rule of atmospheric perspective. Darker=Closer/Nearer. When doing things like this, always think about what's nearer and what's farther. Hope that helps some. Let me know if I can explain something clearer, or if I'm taking it too slow. ~R
    • Thanks Randy, I forgot to mention the theme to the image though it didn't matter to the class just that if it worked or not. I wanted to make a rock formation in the shape of a giant laying down, and the huge peak to the right was going to be the head and the hills to the left side was the hand...and whatever culture lived in my environment came up with this legend about that giant because it was shaped that way...hence the image being titled "valley of the fallen giant..." Well, it worked in my thumbs...but I just got too frustrated trying to figure out how to paint in Photoshop and I couldn't figure out the brushes and whatnot so I couldn't focus on the composition at all! Your version still would have given me a better critique than what it did (the whole class has to participate)....
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