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About Deviant Artist Ari SuonpääMale/Finland Recent Activity
Deviant for 11 Years
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Ari Suonpää
Having lived most of my life in small Finnish towns have given me an opportunity to be inspired by the country's rich nature on a daily basis. Painting and drawing have been my passion since a child. One of my fondest memory from school was a time when we spent an art class outside drawing an old iron works.

Being also an engineer keeps me intrigued by all the digital tools for creating art, but meanwhile I've always enjoyed landscapes by the old masters. This must be the reason why most of my paintings are created using digital tools, but they still look almost identical to my traditional paintings. When not in front of my computer, I like to do studies into my sketchbook, and paint using oils and acrylics. Most popular subjects in my paintings are nature and people, since it's easy to appreciate the beauty in both subjects. Being a fan of fantasy genre, sometimes a dragon or two might also end up into my paintings.

What keeps me painting is the chance to create beauty out of nothing. I like to paint in realistic style, but not just to copy what I see. The feeling of control comes from the ability to combine things you like from several sources, be it something seen outside, or something inside my head.


Enchanted Forest
This is my first painting done entirely in Krita. This replaces my previous workflow of going back and forth between Corel Painter and Photoshop.

In this painting I paid attention to having variation in edges and color. This means there are a mixture of hard, soft, and lost edges as well as some hue variations which gives more natural look. After all the nature itself is full of variation. You just need to be careful to still keep the harmony in place when varying the hues. For that the foreground only contains cool colors and all the warms are in the background. This time I also used some grays to make the adjacent colors more vivid.

For the subject itself I left room for the viewer to come up with a story. In my opinion it adds to the viewing experience. 

The character was referenced from a stock photo made by Liam-stock: :iconliam-stock:
Back from Adventure
For almost a week I spent time studying color theory whenever the kids were sleeping. Here is my latest painting where I tried to apply what I had learnt. Most importantly the warm and cool tones are put next to each other in almost every area of the painting. Notice how the warm areas of the horse are surrounded by cool tones, and the cool shadows of the horse have warm shadows of the trees next to it. Also the lower part of the horse is having warmth because of the reflected sunlight from the ground. Again it gives nice contrast with the cool area lit by the sky.

This time I also tried to keep my values simple and have large areas of light and shadow. Instead of using only values to render forms, I also tried to suggest it by having a shift in temperature. This way the values could be kept more simple, which in turn allows large shapes to have a stronger impact for the composition.

Again I’m going after a feel of a traditional painting, and it's entirely painted in ArtRage 5. I was using palette knife to soften some areas more than what I did in my previous painting to get some edge variation.

Hope you like it. Any comments would be appreciated.

Sometimes I post progress shots and extra insight to my painting process on my Facebook page:…

Stock photos used as a reference:
Milking Time
As you might know I’ve tried to reproduce a feel of traditional oils in my digital paintings. This time I spent a great deal of time to change my workflow to get closer to that goal. The process involved studying paintings from the old masters. I got especially inspired by the cow themed paintings by Julien Dupre (1851-1910). Cows are perfect subjects for portraying dramatic light because of the white skin color. I thought I knew how to do natural lighting by using warm light and cool shadows, but looking at the paintings I realized the shadows can be warm where the cool light cast by the sky is obscured. He also made interesting paintings where the main subjects were in shadow and the background was brightly lit. That’s something I never tried before in my previous paintings.

To get more convincing oil painting effect I tried my hands on the latest Corel Painter. I did a finished painting, but I wasn’t satisfied enough to publish it. Clearly looking at the paintings from old masters makes you critical on your own paintings — which is good when trying to improve. So I spent more time studying a book of my favorite Finnish painter Albert Edelfelt (1854 - 1905) and then started a new painting.

This time I wanted all the main elements to be right. First the composition and lighting: I took the subject of my previous painting and made a simple 3d scene of that in Blender. Then I took that to Corel Painter and made a grayscale study based on the render. That’s how I usually work since the values are a foundation of a painting. Then came the part that is always the hardest: adding color. This time I really took effort to study paintings of the old masters by taking them to Photoshop and pushing up the contrast to really see how they’ve done the colors. Learning from that I was able to get a decent color sketch.

The painting started to look nice when viewing from a distance, but looking closer it was what digital paintings usually are: too soft with textures looking too artificial. So I bought the latest version of ArtRage and started experimenting how to achieve the different oil painting effects. One is the technique called dry brushing, where using only a little paint makes the canvas texture still visible when brushed lightly. Another is impasto, which is a term for using really thick paint, usually in the areas of brightest highlights. Third is a blending effect achieved by pushing paint using a palette knife. ArtRage was able to deliver all those effects, although it took some time to figure out how to do them. So I took the painting into ArtRage and basically repainted it on top of the existing one using the tools mentioned. I was surprised how nice the end results were. I’m sure to continue learning how to push the traditional look in my future paintings. After all that’s what makes me different from all the other digital painters.

Now I’d like to hear your opinion. What do you think of the oil painting effect? Do you want to see detail shots that really show the effect when viewed closer? 


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RealAlike Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Merry Christmas and happy New Year! :D (Big Grin)
poisonmonkey Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Komeita ovat :)
arisuonpaa Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2017
Kiitos :)
tigerapple5 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2017  Hobbyist
Thank you for the llama all those years ago :) (my art was SO bad)
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