Distillation studies are a lot involved with decision-making. A 70–30 light to dark ratio is preferred. Be willing to lose details -> use bigger/combined shapes.
Avoid lines as much as possible — but you can use landmarks lines to keep track of shapes.
Usually, all the colors you need are already in the canvas, practice distinguishing the same color under different shadows/tones.
What makes good blending?
- Making Strokes that follow along with the form or are perpendicular to it
- Practice by making contour lines
- Getting the most value out of each stroke & shape, minimizing the amount of stroke and shape to create a form.
A pitfall to look for: Banding
- An unappealing effect that creates a pattern that is unaesthetic/unappealing to look at.
A way to avoid this is to break up the stroke economy with big/medium/small and implement a good shape design.
- Refining stroke economy
- Stroke direction based rendering
- Use the biggest brush you can for any direction
When to airbrush:
- Hue variety/Tonal Shift
- Making colors more cohesive
A distillation study I’ve done for this post:
It was pretty in line with the feel of the original, the lighting here made it much easier to capture the silhouettes of the subject. This can easily be turned into a more detailed study/render when I probably (won’t) have the time and willpower to do it, or to learn the proper way to do it first before attempting.