Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lounging Demon - continuing to color

This past Friday I found I had some time to work again on the demon. When I color fantasy art, I find it easiest to finish the face and hair first, and then let the style of that area dictate how the rest of the picture will be colored. This works for me because I feel the most confident with the face and hair, and if I get that area to look decent, I have a guide to keep me on course with the more challenging areas, the body, clothes, and background. I need to make a mental note to include her will be a classic devil tail, possibly draped over the coffee table. 

I'm not sure what the final look will be, as far as the ratio between smooth and textured areas, tight and loose areas. I'm not sure if there will be dramatic light and dark, or generally flat lighting. This picture is unfolding on its own as I chisel my way through it. With enough experience I'll know what path to follow and just plow on through, but for now I'm meandering about in dense, uncharted woods. At this point persistence and faith in an eventual good outcome is what is keeping me going...I'm beyond the original starry-eyed inspiration. But I enjoy a good fight, so I carry on when I have a break from working and painting. 

One of my goals is to finish this within a matter of weeks, or months at most. I spent over a year (off and on) working on the faerie imp. I really don't want to drag this on that long...I have more sketches to color!

Notice the new hand? The hand in the original sketch took a little too much anatomical liberty. I took my own left hand and twisted it painfully so that it looked roughly like the position I was going for in the sketch. I couldn't get it exactly in that position, but it was close enough that I could use my hand as a reference for an improved demon hand. I don't have the long nails, though...they won't stay long because they keep getting dried out with paint thinner.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Starting to replace pen lines with digital lines

I used the Wacom tablet to trace some hair and face contours, in preparation for parting with the scan layer. I turned off the scan layer to see how I was doing, and was very pleased with the airy look in the hair. I feel reluctant to tighten this up much more. In the fantasy art market, work is usually very tightly rendered and finished...I'll probably hurt my marketability by staying this loose. Well, the beauty of digital work is that as I cover the loose undersketch with tighter layers, I can still keep the loose version as a separate file. Even though I'll probably tighten this up a lot more, I definitely want to preserve the flowing, strokey feel of this early stage.

I listened to songs by Carl Peterson and Marc Gunn while working on the above image. If you want to preview or buy what I listened to on iTunes, use the song information in the screencap. "My Titania" captures the essence of gothic, haunted, musty beauty ... like stumbling across Great-grandmother's forgotten music box in an attic. "Mary Ann" contains lyrical guitar phrases that are sweet and heart-twisting. This song created a sense of bliss for me as I traced the outlines of this character's face and hair. She may be a demon, but she still has a soul.

Here's an example of a tightly rendered, finished product. (Although by fantasy art standards, this still has many "unfinished" areas.) My original intent was to paint the "lounging demon" in the same style as below...but we'll see what happens as the demon painting evolves.

I couldn't work long on this tonight because of freelance work, housework, and general wasting of time.  I can't promise much for tomorrow...I'm probably going to go to a figure drawing session tomorrow evening. 

Lounging Demon - first touches of color

click to enlarge

The lines are all lowered in opacity so I can see what I'm doing when I color. I'll more than likely delete the scan lines as I build up detail. There's an overall dusky-pink tint that came about when I was turning on and off different experimental color layers. I decided to keep the tint and start laying color over, much like painting in oil on a canvas tinted with a wash. On the hair I keep referring to the original sketch scan so that I maintain my values (painterly term for contrast).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lounging Demon - starting point

I do graphic design and illustration for a living. One of the benefits of this work is that it causes this enormous tension to build up...I start craving to do my own artwork instead of someone else's all the time. Therefore, while files save or upload to FTP, or while I'm otherwise waiting on my slow computer, I vent this tension by scribbling out doodles. On particularly manic days I get doodles that I can imagine as finished is one of them:

After scanning, I finished out the bottom of the drawing with my Wacom tablet. (click to enlarge)

I love the concept of a demon-faun chilling on the couch...she's just like anyone else. I'm not sure what her upraised hand is doing. Maybe she's eating something.

I have already completed a rough stage of coloring, but I'm not ready to show it'll have to wait!

Pastel Fairy Series - 2008

This is a series of fairies drawn in 2008, with some touch up 2009-2010. They originated as pencil sketches, which I traced in Illustrator, then finished up in Photoshop. This group has mostly spring-ish pastel hues, such as pinks, yellows, and greens.


I have been a fan of fantasy art ever since I was a six-year-old lover of dragons, unicorns, and My Little Pony.

Now I still love magical reptiles and equines, and I've also added fairies, elves, fauns, and demons to my pantheon. I'll refer to this general category of magical beings as "mythicals." My style is usually playful, light-hearted anime. I don't do armor, big muscles, or horror, but a little darkness never hurts.

Now for more kid I am, age 8, with my awesome turquoise and white dragon. I put a smoke bomb in his mouth to create the fire-breathing effect.

I do a demo for my brother and sister. I have to coach them in coolness.