- Software: GIMP (or Photoshop)
- Level: Advanced
- Subject: Golden Amulet
For the past couple of days, I have been attempting at trying to paint gold and other glossy/reflective materials more realistically. I realized, when working on Raged Ravan, that the approach I am currently taking does not seem to be apt.
This is a pretty random design, and is not very pleasing. It can actually be shaped any way. The focus of this study was actually on painting gold texture.
Gold – Study
Before working on the above line art, I wanted to study the way a golden glossy surface behaved. Hence I started with a spherical gold surface.
My first impulse was to shade it with usual gradation of shadows, midtones and highlights – but that is what I have been doing and the result is less than satisfactory. After a bit of pondering, I realized that the gold (or any other metal) has a highly reflective surface. It would almost be like a mirror with a faint yellow tint. Basically, we need to render the area behind the viewer in the weird fish eye kind of distortion on the circle.
That means, I need to first assume there is something behind the viewer and for sake of simplicity, I assumed a normal horizon line and a source of light.
Hence I tried a couple of different darker shades. Initially I tried a warmer dark yellow, and later settled for a cool dark yellow tone. The convex surface of the spherical surface would create a curved line. It would dip down at the center if the eye level is above the horizon. It would bulge upwards in the center, if the eye level is below the horizon and the viewer is looking up at the sphere. It may take a while to figure out and visualize it. But after a bit of practice, and study of actual reflective objects, it can be intuitive. ( Note that a sphere has convex surface. If the surface is concave, the horizon lines drawn on it will be flipped. )
Applying highlights is the fun part. Assume the light source and put a contrasting hightlight tone. You will notice that it is still a bit ambiguous in terms of whether it is convex (sphere) or concave. To fix this, render the slight gradations of the shadow areas.
Gold Texture Applied To Amulet
Now let us look at the the same principle applied to the amulet.
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