Saturday, July 27, 2013

A New, but Traditional Style

It's strange that a certain scene in the Wheel of Time series that feels so boring is compelling me to paint it. Maybe it's the characters who do nothing but talk, plan and think on top of a building, but for me it's probably the feeling of 'acceptance' of one character's leadership, despite the age and experience gap.

This blog contains many spoilers, especially for people who have not yet advanced in the books. So I'll leave some details out, but I'd probably name the characters once I finish the piece, or near completing it.

I looked through various painting tutorials, and although they're methodically done, the pieces seem to achieve more than mine could in such a short time. So I tried changing my style, and opened my mind to learn what other digital artists have to offer. Here's a little of the process...

1. I did the traditional way of digital painting (again!), which is completing as much pencil as possible.

2. I colored the parts slowly and flatly. However, I couldn't resist painting faces, so yes I jumped a little back and forth.

3. Found out that painting faces the traditional way was soooo much easier!

4. Added the main character - here you can see I first painted her flat.

5. I learned that to paint correct light, an object must be taken as reference in the light of choice. So in normal light, the least amount would be the darkest shadows. Then second is the brightest highlights.
On average are the lesser shadows and highlights, while the most amount would be the midtone - the flat colors. It was a revelation to me.

6. Being (quickly) satisfied with the faces, I tried to do clothing so I wouldn't get bored. I first practiced with the leftmost character, using my old style. Surprisingly, I wasn't happy anymore. Then I tried the middle character using the new style - I was quickly impressed!

7. It took half the time to finish the middle character's clothes! I think that I should be redoing the older one's but to get my enthusiasm going, I might try the other characters first. I added a blurred background to get the feel of the atmosphere. I will have to paint that last.

Let's see how well this goes!

If you're interested with the major influence of this style, here's the the link to Mominur Rahman. He posts his tutorials on, and here's his website! Thank you so much, Mominur!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

An Ageless Question

Recently, I've been wondering about my style, and although it hasn't solidified yet, I think I managed to establish a certain 'feel' to my pieces. Realizing I'm painting mostly Aes Sedai, I thought that I might as well perfect the ageless face. Since starting digital painting, I've finished four characters that are supposed to be ageless - Verin Mathwin, Siuan Sanche, Bera Harkin, and Kiruna Nachiman. So far, the nearest to the ageless look seems to be Siuan Sanche, which kinda makes me not so satisfied.

So I browsed through different approaches to digital painting, some are rough, while others are extremely polished, so I settled for something in between. Having a piece and a character in mind, I started a new style, with 'agelessness' in mind. Here's what I came up with:

My bf actually helped point out that (in photos of ageless women we browsed online),
the agelessness had something to do with the eyes - they were creased, sad, and almost droopy, while the rest of the face was unaffected. I pointed out that botox helps, and even plastic surgery - causing that tiny curl in the lip, a little cat-like in overdone cases. We both agreed that the cheeks were a little too emphasized and rounded.

My perception may be a little distorted, but I do think this unfinished portrait somehow hits near the mark. I sure do hope I can repeat it, as I suck when it comes to repeating works (hence I did not become a comic book artist). As only one of four characters in a piece I'm planning, I'm a tad bit scared to finish it.