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July 6, 2023

Castle Town Ruins work in progress

 I want to document how I approached this in case I feel like revisiting the process.

Original sketch in pencil

First, map out the values. Keep everything as simple as possible and resist the urge to add detail.

Next, map out the hues. I referred to the in-game screenshots, yellow and magenta. Much like with the values, this should be as simple as possible. The hue should cover the entire shape to account for its space and mass.

Combining the hue layer with the value layer gave me the shades of yellow and magenta that I wanted. It is such a dark shade of yellow it is essentially a sickly green.

Underpainting: Circular rainbow prism pattern underneath (going for that Erin Hanson look)

Then, I painted OVER the sketch for optimized coverage. The base colors were sourced from combining the hues and values mentioned above. This is how I would approach it if it were a physical painting.

Just for funsies, I moved the painting layer under the sketch to get the lines back. The result surprised me! This is something you can’t do with traditional. I would have to go over the drawing again to keep the lines.

Where do I want to go from here?

I want it to look like Van Gogh, but I also want to keep the grungy, cartoonish N64 graphics that I accidentally ended up with. Spooky, stylized, and colorful.

Here is the original color scheme I would have used. It doesn't excite me that much, although I do like the overall mood. I am hoping to combine this with my more prefered version of the colors.

I learned something important from adding touch-ups to old artworks: only make small changes. They will add up over time while still honoring the spirit of the original. The goal is to keep the foundation that made the picture special in the first place. 

No color filters. 

No lowering layer transparency or it will become muddy and lose focus. 

Make every decision meaningful and intentional.

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