10 Most Commented:
These are the steps I used for a piece called Amena
Amena is copyrighted to Lucid Raven Productions, so no touchy, and no using the images here for character portraits. Got it?
So here's what we've got so far:
||* I am working at 9x12 inches, 300 dpi.
Color, first stage. One thing I've learned is coloring on a white
background is bad. Fill the background with a neutralish value of
the background you'd eventually like to put in, and then work over that.
Yeah, this looks pretty awful. My first color stages always seem
to look horrible - I really have to work on it before the piece starts
looking anywhere close to how I want it to look. Maybe I'm a slow
color learner or something. The important thing is not to get discouraged
and walk away during the first stage, or you'll never learn how to make
You can see the inked piece faintly under the color. I had "cut
out" the figure in the inked piece, tinted the lines from black to sepia,
and reduced it to 20% opacity - just enough to make it show through, but
it would still blend in to the painting and not look comic styled.
I start coloring areas by blocking them in roughly.
You'll notice the mirror image - I tend to flip the image periodically
when I'm working on it, which is really easy to do when working digitally.
It "refreshes" your brain and helps keep you on target.
||Stage two, looking better. For some reason I like to work on
the eyes early in the drawing stage - it doesn't matter if I'm working
in pencil or digitally. I think the eyes make or break a piece -
if they are lifeless, trying to finish the rest of the drawing will be
a chore. I like to get the eyes "working", and then match the rest
of the face, and finally match the body to the face.
I picked up on a highlight color - in this case a magenta pink.
The yellow candlelight would give everything a purple shadow (shadows will
be the contrasting color of the light source), and the pink would be reflected
from the dark red silk of her gown.
I also emphasized the orange in her skin by adding transparent washes
of intense color in layers. I'd add the color, fiddle with the opacity,
and then merge it with the base "skin" layer. If I were more practiced
in digital media, or had better color sense, this would probably be unneccessary,
but I got the effect I wanted.
||Stage three - adding the hair makes a huge difference. I made
her a brunette because brunettes are highly underrated in fantasy art.
There are plenty of redheads and raven tresses, and blondes are always
popular, but not so many brunettes.
I've also started adding shading to the dress.
||Stage four - adding details like jewelry - also started work on the
candleabra. I fixed her nose, too. At this stage, there's still
some refining going on in her face.
||Stage five - close to the final stage before adding the background.
I added more of the blue highlights for the moonlight coming in behind
her, finished the jewelry and began working on the fabric of her dress.
I'm really proud of my candles - probably my favorite part of the piece
is the candles. I don't think the rest of the piece came out as well.
I also did end up adjusting the candleabra from the original inked version,
which is crooked and not quite even.
||This is the final color version of the figure with no background.
I wanted the candleabra to look like old silver, and in stage 5 it looked
more like iron. Adding some highlights made it look "shiny".
I also added more pale blue highlights on the figure. I decided her
finger was too long as depicted and changed the position. There are
a lot of finishing touches that a person might not notice, but help to
make the figure "fit" in the scene. For a while I'd just sit there
and stare at it, trying to think about the placement of shadows and highlights.
There's a lot of time in those tiny details. This is why stuff takes
me forever to finish.
||Rough background test. The figure is still unfinished at this
stage, especially the lower part.
||Background stage two. Figure is still unfinished.
||Finished piece. There you have it.
If you have any comments/questions, feel free to visit the message