Step-by-step Leia part 2.
Today, I continue what I started yesterday, if you haven’t seen part 1 you can check out the early stages in my previous post.
Step 5. By this stage I had to choose what type of medium I wanted to work in. I’m comfortable working with both digital and traditional media, but as this piece was to have a “vintage” feel to it, I chose watercolour. I don’t paint aquarelle (unfortunately), but my gouache type watercolours are great for most styles I work with. They’re not fancy at all, and therefore I’m not really careful with them either. But I love them. I only have a small selection, but I find them to be sufficient for all types of hues that I can think of. I don’t pre-mix my colours, I just blend them as I work.
Step 6. I already had a fairly good idea in my head about how I wanted the design to look, so I just started to blend colours and to paint the surfaces. The watercolours I use are semi-transparant but are non-transparant when you add white to the mixture. Therefore, I had to paint carefully, and not overuse them. As this is a tattoo design, I had to remember that the background really isn’t white, but flesh coloured, so I have just added the darker shades to accentuate her facial features and the bones in her hand. I also made sure that I left a little white between the contours and the shading, as this will look better and makes the colours “pop” more then tattooed.
Step 7. When I had finished the coulouring I started to paint the contours. There are no contours in real life, but we have to add them in a tattoo design in order to make the design understandable and also in this case, the contours add to the old school feel of the design. I still had a little trouble to choose which colour to use for the Rebel Alliance logo, so I left if blank until the rest of the design was done in order to see what colour that would be most suitable.
Step 8. After finishing all the contours I added a little shading in order to create depth and make the painting a little more life-like. Old school tattoos are usually shaded with either black or a really dark grey, so I decided to go with that. As I don’t have a scanner, I photographed the finished painting with my telephone and by using Photoshop I adjusted the brightness and contrast to make it look (almost) as good as it would if I had scanned it. No other adjustments are made. Here is the finished result. The whole project took me about 4 hours.
This is pretty much how I proceed with all my artwork. I usually have a pretty good idea about how it’ll look even before I put pen to paper, but it still takes a lot of effort to acquire enough knowledge about specific styles. I like to vary myself and explore many different styles instead of being expert on one. To have a huge range of styles is good for the profession I’ve chosen for myself, as I can adapt to clients and their needs. I do not aspire to become a great artist, merely a professional illustrator that can design things that works in a context.
This is just one way to proceed with a design project, I’d love to see how others work, so if you’re up for it, please make a similar post and link it in the comments below!