andrew burke





FramePainting 2: Layers!

Posted on: 2016-05-07

I'm learning how to paint on my iPad Pro by "tracing" stills from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and sharing the results here.

The second still is from a meeting between two MI5 staff and a cabinet minister in a distinctly British-Government kind of wood panelled room.

Remembering the trouble I had with backgrounds and details in yesterday's image, this time I decided to use layers. I started with the windows and then the back walls, and moved forward. This let me have proper edges on things - a lot of the weird gaps in yesterday's picture were from not wanting to overlap and coming up short. I also used separate layers for little details like the wall filigree and the lamps, which I could redo and rearrange as necessary without having to worry about the backgrounds. You can also see at the bottom the (hidden) original image I was tracing over.

I got somewhat smarter with brushes and texture in this picture, changing sizes for different levels of detail, and getting the hang of using the brush texture itself to express shapes, like the couches or the folds of clothing. I got bolder with colour, but I think I got a little carried away with the walls, especially in the back left corner. Also: faces are hard! I got the colours and shapes sort of wrong and lost my nerve while trying to smooth things together. They look kind of cool and mask-like but that wasn't exactly what I was aiming for.

This picture is definitely an improvement over the first one! But I still have a lot to learn.

Once again, drawing a scene made me come to love all the little details the filmmakers put in. The set decorations are great: that vintage slide projector in the back left on the equally vintage folding table. The square art-deco object in the middle of the back table (is it an ice box?). I remember very little of this room from watching the movie, but clearly a lot of care was taken to get all the details right.

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