Attached we find some progress pics for the recently finished Winsome’s Sword. As you can see, I began with a line sketch of the character, and behind her put and and sky. I wish now that the colors were not so rich and cartoonish. The trees in the background were quickly sketched out, and the sort of blurry leaves made them seem distant. The foreground trees were done in the manner of a tutorial I found on Youtube, and I actually kind of like them. The same video linked to grass and leaf brushes used in this drawing. The backgrounds were done over the course of one evening, perhaps 3 hours all together with all the trial and error.
The next night I started on the girl, using skin tones to block out the basic shapes, then adding shadows and highlights for a more realistic effect. The armor was begun with a simple brown, then using the burn (darken) and dodge (lighten) tools I drew in the woven textures by hand, and added some stippling to make the material more like leather and less like plastic. The weapons were actually easier than I thought… I tried for the first time to use a simple rectangle-selection box, rotate it and bucket fill the color. This allowed for a perfectly straight and crisp edge. A little bit of airbrushing light blues and greys over this, then again dodge/burns to add scratch marks, and it was done in no time.
Finally I started on the face. At first, I went with dodges and burns to start detailing the eyes and nose, then some painting and smudging to fill and smooth it all out. I was zoomed into the face, and got caught up in detailing down to the eyelashes and skin creases. The first face I did was meant to be a fierce “war” face… and boy was it scary looking. She wound up looking like a crazed 40 year old instead of a butt-kicking 20 year old. I asked my wife for an opinion, and all she said when she saw it was “aaaahh!!” which confirmed that I had really missed the mark. I started over, intent on drawing a face typical of fantasy heroines… you know, the swim suit model type! I was doing fine until I again got caught up in details… and she now looked like some disco momma from the 70’s.
Not that there is anything wrong with that… having grown up in the 70’s I find that whole look of big feathered hair, lip gloss and tight yet ugly fashion patterns so sexy! I suppose I was influenced by TV… I loved watching old black and white shows from the 40’s, and then current shows like Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, Fantasy Island, etc. So today I am hopelessly turned on by smart, fast talking dames in evening gowns (a la Crawford, Hayworth, Bacall, Davis, Gardner, etc). My wife and relatives still find it funny that when we play that game of “if you could, which celebrity would you chose for a night of anything goes” I always pick Lucille Ball. She was soooo gorgeous and funny. When I say “I Love Lucy” I ain’t kidding! LOL. Yet I still have a thing for those 70’s girls, I suppose cause those at the time current looks were mostly prime time and in more “adult oriented” shows, so I associate that style with sexuality, whereas the 40’s girls are more about smarts and sophistication for me. If anyone out there can think of a movie where a Debby Harry type time travels back to the 40’s and is involved in a murder mystery in an art deco mansion, let me know
Aargh! You see how easily distracted I get with faces? Where was I? Ah, I guess I still am not happy with the current face… she looks like someone closer to 30 years old, and though its not so bad zoomed in, when you look at the whole end product it all seems off. I think it may be because the rest of her has a rough technique of painted skin tones, and the face is too crisp and has too many dark lines. I think I need to go a third time, and try to paint the face while zoomed out… only then will everything match better. I also want to find a different method of implying motion besides blurring out the background trees… when they were in focus, the sense of depth was better. Any reader out there with suggestions, PLEASE comment.