Monday, July 14, 2014

Making of "Releasing the Soul"

Hi all! It's been a while, but I'm finally ready to summarize what I have learned at the Illustration Master Class. Yes, I had a very fun and productive time at IMC this year in June, and I'm proud I was able to finish another portfolio piece while I was there. Following is the process for the painting above, "Releasing the Soul".

Above is the first pencil drawn thumbnail study in my sketchbook. I was thinking about painting a hunter like creature sitting on her prey.

After the thumbnail I went to Photoshop to refine the sketch and made a rough draft of the composition. 

I presented the sketch at the first critique, and I received good feedback from the instructors. Many of the teachers had concerns about hiding the face of the character. I never thought it'll be an issue, but seeing their reaction made me realize the weakness of the creature design. 

So I refined the draft, trying to make the design more effective. I tried more weird design for the creature on her shoulder too... This one is flipped because I often flip the image to adjust the balance of the composition. I probably forgot to flip it back to the original direction when I was saving the wip image :p

Then I photographed myself for reference with a help of my classmate. Using the reference I kept refining value of the painting. 

I threw in some color... At this stage I usually use "color" option in layer mode. After blocking general color for each elements I make a new layer on top and start refining with normal layer mode. I got feedback from Iain McCaig at this point that the feet are not working with the flow of creature design. Also, Greg Manchess commented the spear blade should be defined more, as well as the background, adding more bodies to give perspective. Then Donato Giancola came over and suggested to refine the tail more. He also said the creature on the shoulder is disappearing that I should change the hue to make it pop more. I remember Dan Dos Santos gave me a feedback that the blue blood should be saturated more. (Yes, more blue indeed. It's so Dan! giggles)

This is the final version after working on the revisions. Do you see a difference? 

One thing I learned from this year's IMC is that I need to be more conscious about the character's pose. I tend to depict characters in subtle gestures, and sometimes it's not the best way to show what exactly is going on. I have strong urge not to make my paintings too obvious and shallow, so this is one of the things I need to focus for future projects.

Well, this is all. Thank you for reading!

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