My mentor recommended that I try doing a few master studies to be able to problem solve color mixing issues. It was hard for me to think who I would use to create a master copy from. The truth is, I think I do that exercise fairly well when it comes to paintings with definite edges and subdued color. So, I thought I should challenge myself and pick someone who was known for color, loose brushstrokes, and was alive and working today.
I then remembered Nathan Fowkes. Nathan taught at the school I attended in Los Angeles, and at the time he was working on color keys and background paintings for DreamWorks Studio. He was fresh off of working on the Prince of Egypt, a movie in which I admired the background paintings more than anything else. In fact, I remember watching that movie and falling in love with the paintings behind the animation, which prompted me to buy the Making of the Prince of Egypt book.
I always admired Nathan's work, but never got to take any of his classes, nor did I ever get the chance to meet him. I thought I would look him up and see if he was still painting. And, yes, he is still very active and doing amazing work. So, I sifted through his blog to find some very loose paintings, that were still very colorful. In essence, I was looking for something that would be very difficult for me to emulate. He didn't disappoint. Here I am so far on this study. I had to stop in the middle of it and get my boys ready for bed, then I went back downstairs and kept working. I think it's getting better, but I plan on working on it some more tomorrow.
I got up this morning and kept working on this color study. It is very hard to get that same level of brushstrokes when I'm not using the same brushes most likely, but at least the colors are getting there. I think I am done with this one.