|CGSociety :: Tutorial|
14 October 2008, by Henning Ludvigsen
Henning Ludvigsen has a great career in character work behind him, working freelance in Europe over the past decade or more. His 'Martian PinUp', seen as a spread on pages 130-131 of EXOTIQUE 4 is just the latest in a series of smashing works.
Even though I enjoy painting girls, I don’t really consider myself a pin-up artist. I did a project for Eidos Interactive a while ago where I painted three retro-looking pin-up girls, and that’s when it hit me how much fun this genre truly is.
The Martian pin-up was done for the cover of ImagineFX magazine issue #22, and it also came with an extensive workshop on how to paint pin-up girls, in which I learned a lot from myself while writing it. It was painted using Photoshop CS2 on a Wacom Intuos 2 tablet.
As I had already learned from my earlier pin-up paintings; I tried to capture the same expression as the old-school pin-up masters, and still have a modern take to it. It’s all about the facial expression, the body talk and choice of colors.
Once I had this assignment, I tried a couple of takes on a different approach with the girl on a hovercraft. The client knew what they had in mind, and they supplied me with a very helpful conceptual sketch to work from, but I still had more than enough freedom to have fun and play around with this piece. With this painting, I wanted to prove that you can still create a modern painting by using the old pin-up master’s techniques in mind.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the legs should be the star of the piece, and therefore you can take some liberties and lengthen them a bit further than what is realistic.
A flirtatious facial expression and an elegant, sexy silhouette is also one of the main elements for achieving the right expression. Most things have been exaggerated just a little; from the already mentioned length of her legs, to the curve of her waist, chest, and her hands and fingers, where the latter can play quite an important role for this specific genre of art; they need to be elegant, and have the correct pose. Holding this pose in real life would be quite hard, at least for normal office nerds like me, but it still looks quite ok in the painting.
I prefer starting off in grey-scale before adding any colours to the piece. Once I had the line-art sketch blocked in, I used my favorite hard-edged brush, and quite roughly got the main shape up and running. This is my favourite part of the painting process: working with shape.
With the shape roughly 'pinned up', I apply some base colors to the girl and the rocket launcher using a normal hard-edged brush set to 'color' mode. I don’t spend much time on this, as I know that I’m going to go over the piece several more times. It’s just important to get the color-balance in as early as possible in the process, especially if you’re starting out in grey-scale as I do.
Once the basic colors have been applied, I go over the piece again with my brush set to “normal” mode. This is where I start adding color variations to the different surfaces and correct the values a tad more.
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