Week 03-04 Photoshop: Digital Painting

Color Sketches

This week mission is digital painting in Adobe Photoshop. First, I’m assigned to research for artists finding the color palettes for my painting. My teacher says it’s better to learn from the masters’ work of how to use color at the first tries and I can later experiment with my own color palette.




Color palette : Mark Ryden – Yoshi – the forest spirit

In my first sketches, I want my painting to look quite realistic. And I want to depict the moment that the Rompo just steals a corpse of a dead African man from a graveyard. There are some signs on the graveyard on the right which are from African burial tradition.

I choose the color palette from Mark Ryden’s Yoshi – the forest spirit because the way he paints it looks so realistic. The overall color is not saturated.




Color Palette : Femke Hiemstra – Mountain woman

In this sketche, I want to push myself to do a variety of style of paiting. So, in this one, I decide to paint it in a more like graphic way. Less realistic and flatter.




Color palette : Wassily Kandinsky – Churches new Jerusalem

The idea of this sketch is to close up to the Rompo’s face and see a reflection of a skull in his eye since it is looking for the dead people. The colorful fur on its face is to represent the candy color that reminds me of children and innocence. It shows the thought of this Rompo when it’s luring its prey using its innocent jackrabbit face.




Color palette : Mark Ryden – Grotto Card




Color Palette : Mark Ryden – The meat show

Final Painting & Short Blurb


My final painting is inspires by the sketches. Different and story ideas from each one.

In this painting, I want to convey the ideas of life and death along with the main purpose to depict the rompo in its environment. To introduce my beast for a simple idea of what it is, Rompo is a mythical creature with the head of a jackrabbit, the ears of a human, the forelegs of  a badger, the hind legs of a bear and a skeletal body whose legend can be found in Africa and India. It eats human corpses.Sometimes the word ‘rompo’ is referred to a hyena which makes sense because they’re both scavengers. As hyenas do attack people sometimes, the rompo has the potential to do so if its in a safe chance. Its jackrabbit face can be a tricky part. Its innocent and harmless can lure its prey to come closer and then the rompo can use its strong claws to snatch and kill the careless prey.

I choose to paint a baby corpse as I want to tell you that death never be merciful to anybody, no matter how old you are, either aged or young. I compose the rompo based on the rule of third and put it eyes on the position that based on the same rule as well just to say that it’s the main subject of this painting. And I also put the direction of the tree, the rompo and the baby corpse as a circular movement to represent life in a circle. Life begins at birth, simbolized by the baby, it grows and survives, simbolized by the tree that seems to be ever-growing, and it dies, simbolized by the rompo itself.

Besides, the tree is also meant to be a reference to Africa, one of the place that the rompo’s story comes from. This kind of tree with a sunset background is quite a traditional and representing  photograph for the Africanness.

There is also a story behind the painting. As the rompo’s food is the corpse, one of the place that you are most likely to find a rompo is the graveyards which is the background of my painting. The rompo sneaks out from the far right corner beneath the tree as you might notice some footprints coming along to the position it is standing. It goes out  of the frame of the painting at some point to show that the scenery doesn’t end in the boundary of this painting but there’re something more to explore out there. And I also want it to create some S curves in the painting to give sense of nature, to make this creature seems more real. and right behind the rompo is a hole that it just uses its strong sharp claws of badgers to dig for the baby corpse. Before it starts to salvage the dead body, on its four legs, it starts to smell and hear something, therefore, it stands on its two hind legs just like a bear to get better sense of sight, hearing which is its weak point, and smelling. And there you are! It knows that your there. When you look into its eyes, its innocent face might be luring you into its trap.

Another reason I paint it to look right in to you is to represent an idea that death is always looking for you. We have no idea of when death is going to reach us. So, let’s be more careful in life and do our best in every moment of living, so that we don’t regret it later. 🙂 Also, if you have do your best all the way along in your life, you’ll have nothing left behind to be worried about, and therefore you have no need to be afraid of the rompo, or in another word, death.

Another metaphor for this painting is that I compare life to the sun. Life starts at being nothing from a combination of a two little cells and at birth being a small powerless baby, rises to its highest peak when matured, then finally goes back to the point where it starts, turning back into corpses, decomposed, and becoming nothingness again. And the process keeps repeating over and over again. The sun is pretty much the same in a way. It rises everyday, reaches its peak at noon, and then sets back to the ground at the end of everyday. So I use the sunset at the background as another way to represent death.

The way I chose the overall color to be in the warm color scheme can be interpreted in two different ways. The redness and hotness of it gives the sense of critical moment. But still it is also the color for the sunset which is one of the moment that are the most beautiful and pleasing for most people. Death is the moment that is fear most by many people. However, for some reason, if you’re dead, you rest.

I depict my beast in a very down-to-earth environment or the places you might actually see in this world because, if the rompo were to be real, I think it would be just like another species of a wildlife. It’s not kind of beast that has to deal with god power or magic or anything. Just as simple as a normal living creature can possibly be.

I’ve got some comments from my friend in class that I should have put some reflection on the rompo’s fur which I personally evaluate that as a valid comment. It might somehow make my rompo belong to this scenery much more and could be much more interesting to play with light. And he also gives me a suggestion of the post of the rompo to gobbling the corpse or to have some part of the body in its mouth to show that it’s eating. and make it more like sneaky creature. That’s interesting as it could be another side of the rompo that I did not think of before.

That’s pretty much of it. Hope you all like my rompo. Feel free to give comments and suggestions for me. I’m truly happy and will surely appreciate to read it.  😀 Thank you for coming!


This is my short blurb design for my Rompo beast. The idea is simply having the rompo digging through the ground to find something interesting.

Color Palette : By Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden is a modern artist who is really great as  a surrealist nowadays. His colors are usually not saturated but very realistic, although some objects that he draws might not be the real existing one. His choice of color in most of his paintings gives the feeling of loveliness but creepy at the same time. So do the objects appearing in his painting. It seems like every single part of it has a meaning and it keeps me wondering what might be the message behind the painting that this artist wants to convey. What is the purpose/meaning of each object that he puts in there. It’s kind of fascinating for me that it can keep me looking at it and try to figure its puzzle out and at the same time, appreciating its beauty. So decided to choose his painting as my color palette for my rompo, which I think is creepy but cute at the same time. 😛

The painting becomes much more fascinating, interesting and attractive when not only its visual element is pleasing, but also when there are some messages and meanings  lying underneath of what you see , waiting for the audience to figure it out.

PS. I still need to finish writing some of my ideas about the sketches. Hope I can manage to do it soon!