I’m really late. Having a computer on the fritz is beginning to annoy me. However I couldn’t leave this unfinished. Please be patient, I do owe a few speedpaints. I’ll make sure to fix that.
Also this took like 6 and something hours. I can’t even check because the files are on the other computer. But one thing is for sure; it doesn’t look like 6 hours of work. Another couple of hours would have made a big difference, but too much went wrong during this piece in my opinion, although things like the little details in her corset and her hair are pretty good.
Again, if you want the diatribe, read below. Sorry, no process pictures this time; I forgot. Just recording the video was a nightmare, so if there are jump cuts, its because my old computer was shutting off on me and I lost work. In fact, its why I’m calling this finished. I still haven’t finished the other sketches, and I only have a few days to go. I will still be doing those promised videos though. I may come back to this afterwards though. Or try redoing it.
Originally, as you will see in the speedpaints, I wanted her to be a steampunk pirate. I had found a character generator on tumblr, and it helped a lot in gaining ideas.
It kinda went well, but when I realised I had accidentally made her seductive, I decided to turn her into an archaeologist instead; who is being corrupted by the power of the staff she now wields. You can already see some of the changes, such as the horns, and the tail curved around the staff. She looks, as one of my friends said ‘ thirsty as hell’.
When I started this piece I focused on getting the base right first, which required a lot of tweaking and extra work. Once I had gotten the worst of it out of the way, things became much easier, and the second base, where I start mapping out features was much better. Usually this can make or break a piece, as if I message up on the face, especially the eyes or nose, I won’t realise until much later.
Once that was out of the way I started on clothing. Most of it was just referencing from random images, and my own ideas to create a woman who looks like a pirate. Around about when I got to the base outline for the skirt did I realise the pirate wasn’t going to work. So I improved and changed it to a woman of science, and the the idea for an archaeologist, who is slowly being corrupted by the staff, rather than a pirate was born.
It was just a case of accident, I never really planned for her to be seductive. She was supposed to be shy, like the stock name. I don’t know if that should count as a failure or success.
Anyway, when it came to mapping features, I struggled because of the awkward angle of the horns, since her head is at a strange angle. I eventually got something I liked there too. Most of the time I just power on through it, and if I really hate it, alter it during colouring, which you can tell I did a lot of.
Speaking of colouring, finding a good colour palette for this was quite hard. I liked the reddish colour, but felt that it was too “muggy”, and I needed some extra pop. Eventually I figured green would be good, but this took a few attempts over the course of a few days (yes, there are jumps in the middle of the video as after result.) When I added the gold accents it balanced everything else out much more. Although I suppose a hat would have done the job too.
Shading this was a nightmare, and I’m quickly beginning to realise that shading is becoming the bane of my existence. I’m trying to stop the last pictures issue of being too blurry when you scroll in, but to do that requires a brush that was not so blurry. You can tell one method was to just use smaller brush sizes, and erasing, and while it worked on the shirt, I got bored of constantly changing setting for that. Eventually, after working on the skirt (and as you read earlier, changing the colour after greyscaling it because I couldn’t see the colour properly, eventually settle on a method that works. It was long winded to sharpen every edge with a marker tool, but I’m glad I did. Even through its not quite what I want, I’m definitely getting somewhere.
The rest of it wasn’t so bad, until I got to the face, and by then frustration got the better of me. Its not terrible. But compared to before, and how I’ve been silent in the meantime, I still fell like this should be so much better. Its a reminder to not be over confident, since that can come back to bite you later.