Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Still Underwater

This is from 1990 and has always been one of my favorites. It didn't start as an underwater picture, but as I was doing the figure and started working on his hair, it seemed to have the look of hair underwater. So I decided to make the background underwater ruins. I really enjoy doing the surface of the water as seen from below. Getting the colors right can be difficult but when it works, it is worth it! This is called "Son of Atlan", this is in reference to several ancient cultures Gods and homelands that seem to be origins for the name Atlantis. This was a small picture, maybe 5 x 7, Acrylic, watercolor colored pencil on Canson board.


  1. Tristan:

    Two comments. First, I really like the extreme highlighting on this piece. It really emphasizes the notion that the figure is truly underwater.

    Second, I cannot imagine doing the background AFTER you've done the figure! I've always assumed (stupid, I know) that most artists paint the backgrounds first and then the figure or the primary focal point of the work so that they don't have to worry about fitting the background around the figure and possibly messing its edges up. Trying to imagine this process being done backwards just boggles my mind.

  2. Jon, great to hear from you! Most normal artists paint things like you thought, background first. I paint backwards, always have. It is much harder my way and I have tried to do it the "right" way but it's just not how I work. Doing this one, I had to add color to the body and enhance the lighting to get the effect right (once I decided he was underwater).

  3. no kidding it payed off! the water surface looks wonderfully done. it makes me want to see what you would make waves look like from below...large ones i mean. ^^

    p.s.: i've been tracking backward in your gallery when i can, but always seem to remember to do so at the wrong time. *blush* it may take time, but i'll get it done eventually. XD