Kaitlin Moon and Miguel Filho asked:
"How do you typically create your color schemes (since that seems like one of the most important themes in your work)?", "how do you deal with so many colors to know when its good?"
I might have 5 "rules", that I usually follow (naturally):
- Using vibrating colours,
- One big dominant, several smaller secondaries,
- No perfect black,
- No rainbow (not too crowded of different colours),
- My favorite colours/ associations.
I learnt a lot about colour in art school (Emile Cohl in Lyon - France), in practicing drawing and painting: watercolor, acrylic, gouache, soft pastels... The last technique surprised me maybe the most (even if this class was terribly difficult with boring subjects that we have to analyze for 8 hours long): we can see many colours in a single tiny area of anything we see; an olive is not just green olive, the color of my skin is not just pale pink. Sometimes these colours are close, sometimes not, or at the opposite -of the color wheel- : The complementary colours literally vibrate together, red/green, blue/orange... Moreover, you can play with colours that are not so strictly opposed, you'll notice that the range in which they keep vibrating is quite large.
You can break rules that you've learnt, such as what seems logical to your eye: a blur skin portrait with yellow lips and green eyes, a purple river surrounded by pale blue fields...
One big dominant versus secondaries, or everything else
Don't take it as strict as it sounds. Think about a camaïeu of one colour, versus the others. This is helpful to lead the eye in the image, to communicate a mood, for the whole composition: make it breathe, give it depth with larger zones of camaïeu; it can work as a background, or a sky, or even a sort of fog covering and unifying the whole thing...
The issues with black (in a colour painting)
It gives too much weight to the content. We have a verb in french which is "plomber": it is too deep, too heavy, and you'll notice that you can't give birth to any colour from black, except a perfect grey. However this is a personal observation related to my tastes. I naturally avoid perfect greys, because they can't vibrate as well as any real colours. They are not "living" colours.
The issue with raindow
It is also personal, I don't like them really much, except if there is an unicorn. More seriously, it can look really ugly and/or messy, that way you might also loose your subject, the narrative feeling, the dynamic directions...
I select colours and associations that come to me naturally, because I simply love them. I keep having fun that way.
Fernando Fraga asked: "I'd like to know if you pick a color palette before adding color to a sketch, or you just add color randomly ?"
￼I usually pick a colour I like, but also depending on the background style I have in mind (dark or bright mood? I usually pick a dark blue or a creamy orange), or depending on the dominant skin colour(s) of my character. But all those colours change during the process of painting, because of the global colour modifications; since I like playing with the color balance tool, curves, and so on.
Josue Ledesma asked: "I saw a video of you drawing (both on paper and digitally) and kind of just 'freestyle' an image. Can you give us a little more insight on your process? what goes through your mind?"
I name that practice automatic drawing: I start almost from scratch, or with a vague idea, a feeling, a gesture, a mood in mind ; then I let the abstracts shapes or the few figurative parts lead myself, inspire me enough to define progressively the composition, the character(s), the environment, the details… The "cleaning" process, which is not freestyle, comes afterwards.
Kaitlin Moon asked: "Who are your fav artist inspirations?"
I would define the types of inspiration first, because -I think- there are different kinds: direct inspirations, indirect ones, and even unconscious ones.
Direct ones: I used to say that I tend to avoid looking at the work of other artists that are too close to what I do, or to what I'd like to achieve; because I'm afraid of being influenced, and of losing the "path" to my style (the graphic universe you build, whatever you call it). There is a pleasure in discovering new art vibes and feelings in creating by ourself, that I never experience if I deliberately draw inspiration on someone's work or on popular trends. That doesn't mean we are creating something totally new, there are obviously many art styles that are alike. But still, we can experience something that sounds new to us because not seen or experienced before; that's the best enjoying part as an artist, in my opinion. So I try to stay away from direct influences as much as possible, even if there might be a few of them that are reaching my sight sometimes, which become unconscious influences somehow.
Indirect ones would be music, life events, trips, photography in architecture, design, fashion, nature, art far from the style I practice at the moment, movies, series...
The most indirect but the most constant source of inspirations I think is the collection of memories we've got since we were little, still conscious or forgotten. I'm pretty sure I did illustrations influenced by things I saw when I was younger, but totally forgotten. I guess this collection keeps evolving, influenced by the upcoming memories.
These days, I'm more into plants inspirations, here are some artists related to them:
Music: Classical like Debussy, movies soundtracks, old playlists of rock/ indus/ electro/ ambiant (nostalgic, but mainly because I'm too lazy to look into new bands).