Circe the Witch


Hurray I finished!

Circe has been sitting on the back burner for some time now, as I was a little burned out due to the research and experimentation put into painting her (see previous WIPs).  Finally I decided it was time for another go, as I am in between drawings… developing ideas for another Norske Folk or Femme Fatale series pic (Circe is FF#2, Morgana is FF#1).

This final push involved painting the animal skins on the bed, which was not that hard since I used a “fur brush” which of course helps to mimic fur.  The only pain in the ass was that I could not figure out how to rotate the brush so the fur could go in the direction I wanted.  I decided to do a goat skin which has short fur, and came out fine with the brush. under that was a second long haired fur, which came out uglier as I had to use regular round brushes and do it all manually.

The sheet around Circe comes to us with the help of my poor wife, who I had mimic this pose on our coffee table with a blanket around her and tipped over lamps pointing at her to recreate the light source.  Hey, it worked.  She was a muse, I was amused!

Finally came the lions.  I originally planned to have a table full of herbs and spell components to the left, and lions and pigs in the background. I changed my mind for two reasons…. first, I was too lazy to do another table and load it with plants I would have to research.  Second, though the myth has her palace full of various animals who were once men enchanted by Circe, I was afraid that pigs and such would make this look more like the farmer’s daughter got lucky in the barn.  Sticking to big cats feels more dangerous and sensual.  The lions were actually quite easy to do, and took very little time.  I roughly painted out shadows and light for the two in the background, then blurred the heck out of them to give that sense of distance.  The big boy up front was done much the same way, than I scratched up the edges of light/shadow with the fur brush.  Now that I think of it, the technique is similar to the way I did Circe’s skin, using a textured brush along the edges of shadows.  This was easier since fur looks better when a little sloppy, and therefore no careful attention was needed. I also gave the big lion’s back side a little blur, and the tail a little more to again help with the sense of depth.  The finishing touches were then casting rough shadows across the bed, and chopping off the top 2 inches of the canvas (as I had nothing to fill up the space with anymore).

I am really happy with this piece, I learned/practiced a few new techniques, and still avoided having to learn or use layer/texture techniques and tricks.  But for God’s sake, this had to have taken at least 20 hours all together, which is a crazy amount of time for one drawing considering this is a hobby and not a profession for me.  Lol… I have much sleep to catch up with, then its back to the ole drawing board.


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