Above we find a piece I have wanted to do for months, and finally got around to it. The source photo comes from a couple of Australian girls who are by far the greatest cosplayers (costume-play) I have found on the net. All I know about them is that their names are Chiaki & Nasrin. The girl in this pic is neither, and must be a friend as I have seen her only in the pirate picture set. The girl’s do their own costumes and makeup, as well as modeling and photography. Every aspect is very well done… and they get into details like jewelry, henna tattoos, and so on which takes them from beyond simple costuming to character creation. From what they post, I would class their work on par with any television or news stand magazine production. Their work can be found on the DeviantArt website under “chonastock”, and googling their names will also yield gobs of links to blogs that have used their work.
The drawing took me about five hours in one sitting. As inspiration, I listened to Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s Works Volume I three times over, mostly because it includes a very long song called Pirates which has excellent lyrics and music that are highly evocative of the pirate genre. The drawing consists of only three layers, a sky that fades from blue to white as a base, the water and rocks as a background layer, and the girl in the foreground. I did have a temporary sketch layer roughly outlining the girl as a guide for laying down the big blocks of color (dark brown dress, cream shirt, red buckler and bandana, black hair, etc). Once those were down, I used a “hard round” brush to do the detailing, and for once used very little smudge or dodge/burn tools. There was also a little bit of airbrushing over sprays to alter hues now and then. I am pretty happy with the outcome, but would like to add a little bit of yellow tint to create a feeling of sunshine…. but that will involve layer experimentation for another day. I like how the whole piece has a consistent technique to it, and seems detailed when viewed as a whole… yet when you zoom in it is obvious the drawing is really a sketch and even a bit crude.