Digital Painting/Composite

Canvas: 28.639×42.889 inches


I do apologize for the watermarks, but this is one of those images I prefer to protect, very proud of how it turned out.

Technique: I really enjoy this new style of integrating reality via composites into drawings then blending and drawing over the two layers to combine them. Time consuming but you get some really cool and realistic effects.

The background is largely done in a suggestive and texture based way. The detail is mostly implied. For instance the trees, like the hair, are solid blacks aside from the three rain layers. I just thinned out the rain on the closer trees to imply distance without having to detail or shade anything. Similarly the leaves in the trees were just a large textured brush with variants of red and pink, then just picked out a few spots to erase and imply light poking through.

The meat of the drawing is the porcelain or rocky kind of glimmering detail I did on the face as well as the splatter art and layering. The face itself is fifty layers, three of which are variations of the bare-bones sketch and shading. Essentially, it was a matter of replacing the facial structure and bones with different textures and effects. Everything under the zygomatic process (kinda part of the cheek bone) is meant to appear skeletal, like the skin was shattered, while the parts above remained in tact with some splintering or cracking. Fun fact, all the light ochre tones and complexion of the skin was done with a brush .abr shaped like a fence. It’s only really obvious in the crook of the nose, but that layer has about forty percent of the complexion in it.

Composites (the “real” parts of the piece): There are five notable composites in the image: The forest floor has real leaves and rocks over the red and painted textures. About half the gears in the face are from a licensed image off adobe stock of a mechanical watch face, the others were drawn or altered to blend behind the face and remove the glassy and bright appearance of the watch. The third is the texture on the eye, which was pulled from an actual eye. The little pebbles under the broken away skin near the nose come from a picture of broken concrete I took with my Iphone here on campus. Finally the smoke comes from a superimposed 3d object file (via autodesk’s Maya). It was originally a wallpaper that I beat into almost nothing then added for an emissive lighting effect.

Where to improve: The ends of the hair on the protected parts of the drawing (where the strands are over the face itself) are fine, but the light-source literally blew out half of the detailing on the top of the head and the ends sticking out without me noticing until it was too late. So I need to draw those in a multiply layer, which won’t be too difficult. The reason I use matte black hair, by the way, is the fact you don’t need to shade it like at all. You just need to contour the ends. I’m not good enough at hair to make blonde or brown work, it’d end up looking too drawn so I just stuck to inky black with some of the rain pouring over it.

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