#MaySketchaDay Week 2 - Value Studies and Buildings

So I feel like I've gotten a pretty good grip on doing virtual plein air, and I'll definitely be coming back to it soon. But, one of the things that I had trouble with in the past was making buildings feel like they "belonged' in the painting.

Take day 1 of week 2:

Somehow, the buidings and structure seem totally ... disconnected from the looser and more impressionistic background. In general this entire image feels like a mixture of too many styles that doesn't to me seem 'unified.'  So, with that in mind I decided to go back to value studies specific to buildings within the environment.

Based off a picture that I took while in Sintra, Portugal. Focused on approaching the buildings as masses of value instead of actual structure at first, before transitioning. Happy with this, but it brought up some things to consider; like buildings from afar, and foliage rendering.

Another drawing based off of a reference photo, with simplified buildings. Still a strong disconnect from trees/landscapes to the actual castle, but closer to feeling more structural, weighted

Decided to try to do something more contrived with some reference, and was delighted by the results. That said, the buildings were simple, so ...

Armed with that knowledge I went to another study from a photo that I modified a bit. Happy with the result

Decided then to experiment with a more detailed castle/cathedral, and found that I lost the com positional sense in doing so, but given that it's a study, no biggie.

And then I decided to end the week with a focus on composition in a completely different direction, completely contrived.  Happy with the result!

Big lesson learned this week though was that edge control is critical when it comes to buildings, as its considering the lighting of the world that you're working in.  I think this next week will be more masters studies oriented as well as architectural.





Bryce Homick is a freelance concept artist with over 10 years of experience in the videogame industry. For business inquiries please click here.