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Speed Painting 'Cracking Earth'

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Date Added: 15th September 2009
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Hey folks! The topic for this speed painting is "Great cracks split the earth as the ground shook beneath them". I will be using Adobe Photoshop CS3 exclusively for this tutorial.

I'm going to start by roughing out my basic composition and ideas. I usually need to start with some sort of preliminary drawing otherwise my piece ends in disaster! I'm thinking of having a spacecraft rushing through a crumbling canyon/mountain, with the earth continuing to split and shake above and beneath it, sending rocks tumbling down towards the ship. I would like to try to add as much excitement to the piece as possible and also a sense of danger and urgency, as if the viewer isn't sure if the ship is going to pull through or not. In terms of color, I would like for there to be a nice transition between the warmer, dangerously hot lava rock at the bottom to the cooler tones and safety of the sky above (Fig.01).

Fig. 01

My rough drawing is mostly complete and I am laying in some preliminary tones and colors. The inside of the canyon is going to be a hazy gray-brown, somewhat neutral, so that the ground and sky can really pop out and contrast with each other. I'm not too worried about the ship right now, mainly the landscape around it (Fig.02).

Fig. 02

Here I have started to put in some of the warm hues of the lava down below and have added some of the reflected light to the bottom of the falling rocks. I'm also solidifying the shape of the canyon walls and experimenting with some rock textures (Fig.03).

Fig. 03

continued on next page >

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