Freelance Digital Illustrator Specialising in Fantasy & Imagined Subjects
Sunday, 25 March 2012
Sunday 25th March - C is for Contradictions
A slight change! The original sketch on Bristol Board I decided, when I saw the scan, to alter in Photoshop - I didn't like the 100% profile shot of the mermaid. The fact you cannot see her face in the second one does distance the viewer somewhat, but it's a worthy price to pay in my opinion.
I needed a light colour palette! I knew this from the start. So, with a big ass texture brush, I layered in what I considered to be a decent fantasy sea colour.
So much time went in to this stage! I'm not sure what I wanted when I sketched the image... A plain background, or some loose detail... But when painting, I made a split decision to paint in some coral reefs backing the image. This helped give such a big implication of distance, and some contrasting colours. I was unnecessarily happy with the background...
And so begins the blocking in of the foreground characters! The tail needed to be complimentary to the sea, so as to create a focal point and offer some distinction.
And the unfortunate pirate! While I wanted his waistcoat a red colour, to offer another focal point, blue just seemed to work a lot better.
Tidying up the image, painting over the pencil lines finally to neaten it all up a little.
Mmm... Skin... Yeah. First actual topless paint study of a female (which is always enjoyable!) And as, for one reason or another, I think this could be a focal point (for 50% of the audience at least), I went ahead and used a soft chalk brush to really help create some nice gradients and tones on her skin.
Sorting out that hair! It had been annoying me since I sketched it long, and as I knew from the offset that this image had a lot of potential, I went the extra mile and changed her hairstyle completely. Short Hair is probably more sensible for a mermaid anyway - long hair would get in the way. Plus I like short hair on women a lot more... Oh yeah, and added in that second fin thing under her left arm.
Splash effects! These really help to add dynamism.
Final polish up pass over with adjustment layers... Made the contrast pop a little, sharpened some edges, and fixed some colours.
The finished version which can be viewed on my DeviantArt and CGHub.