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The Hell Tree

Tae young Choi explains how his organic painting process brings life to his artwork...

When I start painting I don’t usually begin with a final line drawing or sketch. This is because I don’t want to block out any new ideas that might arise as I’m working. Instead, I write down simple themes and the story behind the artwork. These initial ideas become my motivation to complete the painting.
I believe that a good story leads to a good painting. This story is about creating a tree in Hell where evil spirits gather and project evil to the Earth’s surface. I keep this short description by my side as I work.
Most of the time, I just start my paintings with a rough, simple value sketch and with limited colours (almost monochromatic) or even just black and white. Since I have a good idea what the final painting will look like and of the overall composition, the last thing is developing those basic pieces by including more ideas and details.
To me, the linear painting process, from concluded sketch to final colouring, is sometimes too stiff to be able to create freely. In this workshop, I’ll show how I develop my painting using an organic method in which I do sketches and continually add more ideas to the original concept. Lots of good input and happy accidents can be found through this process. For the more technical points of this workshop, I’ll demonstrate how to use references on your photos as light sources and textures, as well as some of the various brush and layer techniques I use.

From issue 15.

Click here to download the full workshop for free (PDF)
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