Spider Witch Black and White Block In Sketch

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By robgale November 9, 2018

Here’s a black and white sketch for a painting I’m working on based loosely on Shelob from the Return of the King. I took some liberties with the character and made her more of a half-woman / spider witch. 

The process I’m experimenting with is one I learned from Stéphane Wootha Richard who likes to start his 2D paintings in this purely black and white world, creating interesting shadow shapes and focusing on the composition of light and dark to create form and tell a story. 

He’s got a lot of great tutorials on Gumroad if you want to learn more about his process. He’s french so sometimes his english is a bit hard to understand, but he’s a phenomenal artist, and he started his art journey relatively late in life (36), so he’s an inspiration to me in that regard as well. 

The next step for me is to continue to refine these shapes and try to think about how they are actually describing form. Right now the forms are somewhat loose, and my focus was on trying to get an interesting composition. The challenge is getting the form in there without losing the sense of gesture, texture and balance that I have right now, and to improve that rather than detract from it. 

It’s this step where I often can get stuck, and gathering good reference materials will be key to help me move forward with confidence. So it’s all about slowing down and making sure I set myself up well. 

The real goal though with this piece is really just to take it to a finish, a task that I’ve historically struggled with. After the quick bursts of the daily Inktober sketches, this is a good new challenge in a different direction.

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