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Glasgow, United Kingdom
An illustrator and games artist living and working in Scotland. I have various hobbies: coding, travel, art and games; and I enjoy writing about them.

10 December 2013

Ebran Fyela

Here is the process images for another commission. This one is for Mitch Sanford, he's a writer and generally a cool guy.

First step is always thumbnails. They are not as chaotic and random as I originally thought. It turns out it's not the case of putting random lines on paper and figuring out what the blobs kinda look like. There is that element of randomness obviously, but it's a more conscious effort of thinking, right, this is going here, and now I'm gonna try putting him in this pose. You can also see there I experiment with different approaches to thumbnails. I think I like the last few the best.

Once we decided on 4 of his favourite I went away and came back with them slightly more refined.

He absolutely loved the second one, so we decided to go with it. At this point I realised why people say that brushes don't matter at all if you don't know your fundamentals. It is so true. But! Once you know your fundamentals different cool brushes with different settings can turn a generic sketch into a really, really cool looking one. That's what happened with the second one. I experimented with different brushes trying to achieve this paintery look and suddenly the thumbnail just popped. I know that a few more hours of work and it can become a really cool looking speed paint. Moving on to colour.

Nothing special here. He liked the first two so I went with sort of a mix of both.

The image above is a rough WiP but you can already see how it's taking shape. With this I re-discovered the importance of good reference. I painted his face without reference and his torso with some anatomy images on the other monitor. Can you see the difference? I sure can. Another cool thing I want to mention is the painting technique taught to me by the awesome Darek Zabrocki: If you use small dabs of paint quickly in an area is quickly creates suggested detail. Great for blocking things out!

And here is the final image. I don't remember where I picked it up, a tutorial on Youtube I think, but the idea is that the closer you get to the focal point the more contrasting and sharp things should look. That's why the face in the painting is super sharp and as things get further away they either lose contrast or become blurry. Personally I think it's a great effect, AND a bit of a cheat. Upon finishing this painting I got some great feedback on DeviantArt... aaaaand promptly forgot to save it. The general gist was that tattoos on a separate layer with the opacity turned down is a big no-no. Also more detail is needed on his skin. I see where they are coming from. Can't stand looking at these tattoos now. But on the plus side, I did get paid for it, and the guy was perfectly happy with it.

This concludes my mini-analysis of my painting.