Making Of: Wrecked 2
About the Image
There's something about wrecked and sunken boats that really fascinates me and not only because they're good subjects to paint. I find them quite interesting because they can also tell stories through their look, color, structure, location, damage and even their name. And if you really think about how that may have happened, a lot of pictures and stories can come to mind just by looking at a boat. When I paint, this is what I mostly try to evoke.
I started by making a very basic 3D model in Maya (Google SketchUp is good as well). I often use a 3D model just for some insurance about perspective and such. I still wasn't sure what was going to be what at this point, but I had an idea about the composition and where my elements could be (Fig.01).
I started painting over my 3D model, erasing a few unnecessary parts of it. Then I added boats on the sides. I already had lots of objects in mind like rope, flags, barrels, sprays etc. that I could use to make the image more interesting and complete later on (Fig.02).
At this stage, I messed around a lot, trying things out for a better composition. I erased the buildings (boxes) in the background so that I could block in another boat instead. This edit changed what I had in mind at first, so I had to re-think my composition (Fig.03).
Flipping your image horizontally is something I do quite often to make sure I get a balanced image. By doing this I figured my boat in the background was really overwhelming the whole scene so I just moved it on the left (Fig.04).
I brought in some colors to get the mood and lighting, and I added a house in front of the middle boat to give a better idea of the scale and add some mystery to the story behind the image. The sky and the ground are a few photos combined together with some painting; I always bring my camera wherever I go as it's often useful (Fig.05).
In a late fix for the composition, I removed the beam from the right ship since I thought it was too much and we could also get a better view at the sunset. It also helped to add more peacefulness to the scene, which is what I wanted at the start (Fig.06).
My favorite part of this whole painting was the last step. I spent most of my time detailing the boats, adjusting the lighting, enhancing the colors and again flipping my image a lot through the process to make sure everything was right here and there (Fig.07).
Try to nail a good composition as quickly as possible. Even if your drawing is a mess or some random lines, you want to give a message without losing the eyes too much in your image. It can be useful to follow the rule of thirds; I personally found photography really helpful to get down with it as you can frame your elements in multiple ways and choose which one you think fits best. I didn't do this for this particular image, but let's say I kind of like putting my hands in hot water! (Fig.08).