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June 24, 2012
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paintings by ChristopherStevens paintings by ChristopherStevens
More practice pieces. The one on the left was the second attempt and the right, the third.

For the second, I went with three colors instead of just two and just played around with it again. The subject is the same robot again. I like it's simplicity. Makes for a fun subject at this stage.

For the third, I used the hard canvas board stuff for the first time and mixed a bunch of colors for the first time. It's a portrait of my angry dwarf from the Skull Kickers.

Learning tons and really enjoying the process. I've learned that one of my favorite brushes is my finger. Learned that you can really water acrylics down to get different effects. Leanred that acrylics dont dry fast..they dry REALLY fast. Learned that I really love the look of impasto.

I wasnt happy with the way these acrylics were drying. There was always a noticable color and value shift. I hear that's normal, but that the Liquitex acrylics I'm using have a rep for being worse than needed, so I've ordered a set of Windsor & Newtons to try out. They're suppose to be good. I've also ordered a set of oils (yikes!) and some smooth surfaced gesso boards to try out. I like canvas, but I want to see how I like a smooth surface too.

Liquitex acrylic on canvas paper and canvas board.

images Chris Stevens
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:iconplasticplayhouse:
plasticplayhouse Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
this character looks great. it kind of reminds me of some of Stan Sakai's characters, i'd love to see what your rendition of usagi yojimbo looks like.
Reply
:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
Thanks. I loved Usagi as a kid. I had almost forgotten about him. I need to go read some of those books now.
Reply
:iconkafel88:
kafel88 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
cool :D i like the dwarf mustache it looks like sea lion:]
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:icon14974:
14974 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Bravo!!!!
Reply
:iconfindingox:
FindingOx Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012
awesome experimentations! I like how your style is still showing through... the dwarf reminded me a little of VanGogh!
Reply
:iconbluejazz87:
bluejazz87 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is great. Saving it to my favorites.
Reply
:iconstarshield:
starshield Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012
Mustache = AWESOME!
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:iconjbyrd117:
jbyrd117 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I've always admired how you make your shadows. Where/how did you learn to do them the way you do? I love it in your marker renderings and it translated over to your paintings as well.
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012
Thanks, man. I don't really know where the shadows come from. Frazetta is a big influence in general, so that's a source, but other than that, I'm not sure.
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:iconjbyrd117:
jbyrd117 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
This is a good example of what I'm talking about: [link]

Like your disappearing edges and atmospheric perspective on the figure. The monsters in the background have these like solid color shadows with gradients or something.
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012
Yeah..I'm not really sure where that comes from. I think it's always been a part of my way of seeing things. Taking atmospheric perspective and just exaggerating the rules. Im just glad you dig it. Works for me then!
Reply
:icontcshen:
TCShen Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012
I sense you're going to be a monster with acrylics soon Chris.
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012
Thanks, TC. If you're wrong, I'm going to blame you for jinxing me and come to your house to deliver my patented kidney punch. From what I'm told, it really smarts.
Reply
:icontcshen:
TCShen Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012
Haha! Just make sure to bring these pieces with you. I can take a punch or two...
Reply
:iconmariochavez:
MarioChavez Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
looks great. liquitex and golden have some really good additives for acrylics. you might want to give slo-dri a try. should help with dry time.
Reply
:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012
Thanks. I'm now using a sta-wet palette that's working great.
Reply
:iconmariochavez:
MarioChavez Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
cool. thats always been an issue with acrylics. just dry super fast, but are pretty bullet proof once dry.
Reply
:iconkaze26:
kaze26 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012
awesome
Reply
:iconjasoneden:
JASONEDEN Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012
nice,,,love paints,,,,
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012
Thanks, Jason.
Reply
:iconartmegafan:
artmegafan Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
wow!
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:iconbrattyben:
BrattyBen Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
Dude, I've been doing this going on for years (painting in acrylics, that is) and you already have really strong things happening that I haven't even approached yet. KUDOS to you, man. That's amazing. Keep going!!!!!!

Oh, and for MY money, go Golden. They stay wet a bit longer to get that really great blending. Liquitex is good, but, it's a step below in my opinion, and really good for graphics work for laying down solid colors.
Reply
:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012
Thank you very much! I'll give Golden a shot too.
Reply
:iconvino89:
Vino89 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
these are amazing! im loving you acrylic work!
Reply
:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012
Thanks!
Reply
:iconkidneytheft:
KidneyTheft Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
def not bad at all. i like the dwarf alot
Reply
:iconplaidklaus:
plaidklaus Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
I'm with ya, I just dove into the oil field, it's scary to be away from my digital coloring safety nets. Great work, thanks for sharing your lessons learned!
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
Thanks. Good luck to you!
Reply
:iconluispuig:
LuisPuig Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Professional General Artist
Looking good. You've duplicated your marker style with paint. I like the robot too. It's simple yet interesting to look at. The color choices go well together. Keep em coming.
Reply
:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
Thanks. I'll definitely keep at it.
Reply
:iconluispuig:
LuisPuig Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Professional General Artist
Your welcome. Cool can't wait.
Reply
:icontonydennison:
TonyDennison Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012
It's good to see you experimenting with traditional(?) materials, Chris. There's an extender you can use to keep your acrylics wet for a bit longer. Good luck!
Reply
:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
Thanks! I might give that a go at some point. I'm still in that wanna try everything phase.
Reply
:icontonydennison:
TonyDennison Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
Kewl! Looking forward to following you on this new journey.
Reply
:iconseanmcfarland:
SeanMcFarland Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey these are looking great! Can't wait to see what else you can do. Some of my profs' were a bit cautious about using fingers, a lot of the bright colors are pigmented with heavy metals, which are toxic carcinogens.... but as long as you don't eat them you're probably fine.
Reply
:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
Thanks. I was blissfully ignorant t the potential dangers of finger painting until now. I havent eaten any of the paint, so I guess I'll be ok.
Reply
:iconvino89:
Vino89 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
i havent eaten any of the paint...yet. theres always time!
Reply
:icondieselhead:
DieselHead Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012  Professional General Artist
OH! i like your brushstrokes and color pallet on these! good work!!!
Reply
:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
I appreciate it, thanks!
Reply
:iconzhaanman:
Zhaanman Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Man oh Man such Stunning detail and style So cool!
Reply
:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
Thanks!
Reply
:iconlucas-irineu:
lucas-irineu Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012  Student General Artist
Waaaaaaaaaait. "Your" angry dwarf.

I have been watching you all this time without realizing you're *that* guy. Damn, I feel stupid now. And you rock.

Loving the painting here, the second one particularly great.
Reply
:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
Heh, well I don't currently draw Skull Kickers, but my buddy Jim and I created it together, so I'll always see him as "my" dwarf.

Thanks!
Reply
:iconlostgiant:
LostGiant Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012
Great painting, love the robot one.
Reply
:iconrobnor:
robnor Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I think this is a neat art experiment that i think is really working for you. Im really digging these
Reply
:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
Thank you. I'll keep sharing.
Reply
:iconsilvertales:
silvertales Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012
Love the effects you're getting on these painting experiements... and how you're documenting the process with what you're learning as you go. It's incredibly helpful, as I'm currently mucking around with acrylics, but don't have quite as much leeway when it comes to testing out brands or surfaces.

I do think, however, you might want to try either an illustration board surface or a wood panel surface for variations in detail. Canvas can tend to swallow those due to the center of the surface warping due to weave and lack of support.
Reply
:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
Thanks! I'll definitely be trying every surface out there. Canvas was the cheapest, easiest thing to start on that I knew of, but I'll give it all a go and see what I like most. I like the finished texture of canvas, but it does have it's disadvantages for sure.
Reply
:iconno-sign-of-sanity:
No-Sign-of-Sanity Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012  Professional General Artist
Great stuff man!

You might want to give a thicker illustration board a try as your surface instead of canvas. With canvas you're constantly fighting the uneven surface caused by the weave so you can only get so detailed without painting much larger. With illustration board you've got a far more consistent surface so hitting the smallest details is far easier.

Also if you go the illustration board route you'll be able to achieve some watercolor like effects layering washes and glazes that the board will soak up and hold for you. Then you can go over those opaquely with some heavier strokes. So you're able to get that extra sense of depth in your paintings by having backgrounds that are built from thin washes that sit back in the composition, versus foreground elements that are much thicker and denser and therefore look like they are coming forward in the piece. With canvas or any other gessoed surface, watercolor effects are much harder to do because the gesso acts like a plastic veneer and doesn't absorb the washes as well - they will just drip off the surface without really soaking in.

I did a couple of acrylic tutorials a while back that you be interested in checking out. This first is on how to set up a wet palette to keep your paints from drying out. That one is here = [link]

The other tutorial is a step-by-step where I make a full painting from start to finish and try to explain the process as much as I can. That one is in 2 parts.
Part 1 = [link]
Part 2 = [link]

Hope some of that helps! Again, fantastic work! Keep kicking ass!

Walter
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
Update. I looked up the tutorial. That's the best tutorial I've ever seen. Detailed, clear, thurough and amazing to watch a painting like that come to life. Incredible! We have totally different styles (thank god....cause I don't know how the hell you do that!) but all of those tips translate and I had to book mark this for future reference. Thanks again for sharing with me.
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