cupidsbow (cupidsbow) wrote,

Sunday Musings -- Teen Wolf, Supernatural, Life, Art

There comes a point on a Sunday evening when not only have you had all the baths you usefully can, you've also done the laundry, cleaned, shopped, changed the linen, put fresh flowers in your vase, patted the dog, cooked a nutritious dinner, and answered the email from students panicking about an assignment. And then you look back the at the weekend and find yourself wondering, "Why did I get nothing done?"

It's ridiculous. I feel like I'll never get a project finished again.

I'm currently working on several Teen Wolf projects, most of them in liminal stages of "Oh, that would be fun," with maybe some story notes and concept art, and not much else except plots in my head.

One of my most advanced projects I've been working on since the Christmas break. And you know how much of it I have done? Two pieces of art. Don't get me wrong, I think it's some seriously awesome art, and it makes me gleeful every time I look at it. But seriously. Two pieces of art in two and a half months! And that was after I got fed up and worked on the "half" for most of the night last night and finished it off. I really wish I could draw, because piecing together digital art is such a slow process. Adding shadows and colour correction alone takes ages.

How do you guys go about making digital art? Do you have nifty shortcuts to make it faster, or do you just plod away adding layer after layer? Or do you not even try for "realness" and use bricolage and masks and stuff instead?

I always want to tell a story in my pictures, like they are a still from a scene in a movie. I've figured out a few tricks -- like body doubles. I search for body doubles a lot now, mainly looking for interesting action shots. Publicity shots tend to be posed in very limited ways, mostly head-and-shoulder full-face shots, some three-quarter face shots, a few profiles, and sometimes full body shots. But pretty much always facing the camera. Makes it really hard to pose a scene if everyone ends up standing in a line facing the same way!

One of the things I find most interesting about the process of making digital art is finding the source images. It gives my Google-fu a bit of a workout.

And sometimes it totally fails me. Take my current project. I went looking for shots of Sinqua Wells, and there are just a handful of shots re-used over and over and over. They are actually pretty great, but I needed a profile shot and I could not find one anywhere -- so annoying as I found a great body double for him, but couldn't get the angles to match. In the end I changed the concept of the picture and took him out of it. It's a little easier for Holland Roden and Crystal Reed and Gage Golightly, but still pretty hard. Of course, I'm spoiled for choice when it comes to Tyler Hoechlin and Dylan O'Brien and Tyler Posey.

Do you guys have this problem too? Do you lurk on forums to find HQ pics? Make your own caps? Some other trick?

Supernatural is a whole other kettle of fish -- there's so much fan art already that it's kind of daunting making anything. That's one of the reasons I ended up doing dc_dystopia recently -- it's off the beaten track.

It helped that the prompt was unusual too. You would not believe some of the things that came up when I was searching for "dog suits" (or maybe you would!). Whatever dog suits your mind is now conjuring up, yep, I discovered all that and more. :) That was such an interesting project -- I signed up for it mainly because it was way outside my comfort zone and I knew I'd need to do stuff that was really different to my usual.

I was a bit disappointed in the art though, as I still can't get the manips to quite look real. I kind of thought that the bizarreness of Dean in a dog suit would trigger suspension of disbelief, the way fantasy images often do, and it would end up having that kind of Baudrillardian realness; but it doesn't. It just looks fake. There's something a bit off about the perspective, or angles, or lighting, or shadows. The eye can totally tell.

I have a whole new appreciation for the artists that do this professionally and are good enough to fool the eye. How do they do it?

PS: Speaking of Sinqua Wells and Gage Golightly, why does so much fanfic assume Boyd is Derek's second? It's totally Erica that Derek treats as first Beta, and for good reason -- she's clever and resilient and can make and follow a plan. Boyd is not still waters running deep -- that's not a cliche that applies to him at all. I'm not saying he's stupid -- we don't him well enough to judge that yet. He doesn't talk much, it's true, but he's actually a bit of a hothead, going for what he wants without much thought to the consequences; and he's also a follower not a leader -- it's Erica that thinks leaving Derek is the good idea, and Boyd that follows. I kind of like that about him, and I'm looking forward to seeing where his character goes in S3.

PPS: Spoiler for S8. What is going on with Cas this season? Is Dean's whole nesting/praying thing just fan-service, or are they actually treating the Cas-as-family theme seriously? Are they actually really truly seriously showing Dean as recovering from his PTSD (and hence him not drinking etc)? I loved the first part of the season because of the way it was setting up those themes, but I've been hesitant to watch since. I know if they fuck those particular themes up I'll be triggered like crazy, so I'm cautious. Thoughts?

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Tags: discussion, meta, supernatural, teen wolf
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