Since people seem to have enjoyed my last process post, here’s another one! This one comes with extra self-doubt and style-searching.
You’ve all seen the image I went with in the end, so I won’t discuss the whole tattoo aspect again. Instead, let’s see what transformations this image underwent in the process!
I started with a graphite pencil sketch. It may not be ideal, but I find it too hard to get the precision I want for my lines from softer colour pencils, and in this particular image I even kept some of the original lines (after a cleanup) as part of the image: for instance, the line of her ear.
Now, I find mouths really hard to draw, but this one was a lucky first time perfect line. I looked over the composition and decided that I was aiming for something very similar to my first effort in this style: all the skin had to be as realistic as possible, all clothes very flat and the background — as abstract as they come. The pattern was presumed to be a given.
I was very unhappy with the quality of the skin in that previous image, so I was nervous starting on this one. The thing that worried me the most was the knees and the way the tattoos sat on them. In the end, pencilling turned out to not be as bad as I expected, and to avoid the mess of dealing with horrible textures you get when you try to go over a huge area in one colour with a pencil, I inked it.
Pretty neat, eh? Certainly more confident than before.
Then I obviously ported it to Photoshop and started messing about with some brushes while creating a background. It looked good. I touched up bits of her face, darkened her hair a bit to create more contrast, and then did a halo-y thing around her head. The pattern I’d used before ended up landing on the coat so perfectly that I could barely contain my excitement at how good it looked.
Pretty neat, right? I thought so too, but something wasn’t right about it. The face kind of gets lost in all this feast of colours and shapes, that’s why in the end, despite the loveliness of the pattern, there’s none of it in the final image.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison thing I made for myself. I picked image #1. Which one would you choose?