Sunday, June 29, 2014

Life in the ice ring

Here's a quick little 5 x 7 painting that I did for Convergence.  A vintage "Rock and Ball" style spacescape.

Working quickly with my filbert brushes, I tried to get color in as many areas as possible.

As always with the Shaded Basecoat, you block in large areas of colors in order to establish that all important value pattern.  You can already see it emerging with the mountains in the foreground.

See the difference placing that dark color near the planet makes.  The atmosphere colors that once seemed so dark have become light!

Also, I am trying to be aware of color shifts.  Some areas are more reddish... others more towards green.

Now all major sections have been blocked in.  Value pattern established!

Further work will concentrate on those color shifts, creating a center of interest, value and edge contrasts, etc.

Lighter colors applied to the mountains start to bring them forward...

While on the planet, I use the "scumbling" technique with the filbert to create the clouds.  That is a drier brush, literally scrubbing the surface to make a softer effect.

Now for the ice chunks of the ring.  This planet is similar to one of the "shepherd" moons of Saturn, at the outer edge of the ring.

Some rudimentary shading applied to the chunks of ice.  They must not compete too much with the foreground, so the brightest colors and highest value contrasts will be focused there.

More development of those ice chunks.

As I continue to work on the ice chunks, I add some of the brightest highlights on the entire painting on the mountains...

That helps to bring them forward, and focus attention on those very hard edges, and extreme contrast in value.

Almost there!  More work on the ice chunks.

Finished!  Again, this was a quick study, a very small piece.  However, it is quite clear that the regular methods I use for painting my minis is the same in principle here.

Oh yes, I also used miniature paints for the whole thing! :-)


  1. You mentioned you painted this for Convergence. Do you mean CONvergence convention happening in Bloomington, MN next week?

    1. Excellent. Question. Are planning on attending CONvergence next week?

    2. Yes... that's Cathy's hometown, so we will be visiting relatives as well.

    3. Great! Two quick things.

      I'm one of the bigwigs that runs CONvergence. If you are planning on attending CONvergence I'd suggest contacting them regarding being listed as an "Invited Participant" since you are attending professional, in my opinion. Here's a link:

      You will no doubt be extremely busy at CON, if you're interested I'd like to meet up with you for an hour to chat about your painting technique. Been an admirer of your work for quite sometime and figured it'd be worth asking if you're interested in chatting with a fellow blogger/artist about your talents. Wouldn't want to miss the chance to chat with you in person. If you're interested please feel free to email me at sallueleh at gmail dot com.

      Thanks for your time. Have a relaxing vacation.

    4. Thanks! :-) No vacation for me, however. I am there as a temporary employee of OffWorld Designs. Just about the only way Cathy and I will get to see her folks, or each other for that matter...