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Digital Head Study #1

Hey that guy looks like….yeah, I know!

Learning the craft 101 continues.  This time I’m wrestling with using reference materials to get the skin tones right whilst being a little worried that I’m “cheating”.  That’s why the pic is probably titled a “study” as my goal was to learn more about the face and the range of colours you get; remember in primary school when people had pink faces and that was that done!?

I’ve used what I’ve learned about composition of stock photography to create the wall in the background.  A touch of multiply here and there and a liberal dose of blurring.  Maybe the tentacles should be out of focus too…but here, I’m having fun.  One of the easiest things on the screen to create and with the best results (effort:results ratio is pleasing).  These were obviously scratch drawn, three colours and with some multiply and screen use I have shadow and shine/slime.  So they aren’t out of focus as they’re the second character on screen (and they make me smile).  I was tempted to have the glowing 8 eyes in the darkness but hey, we’ve seen enough of the glowing eye cliche from me for a while.

I was happy with how much cleaner I made this pic.  Even comparing it to my earlier efforts on site, I can see I’m getting better at blending colours and using the opacity of brushes/smudge/blur tool to merge colours much better.  I can see these early entries on site being painful to look at very quickly as I make bigger early steps.  But I keep reminding myself what fun that is too.  It’s not always possible to see your skills improvement documented so visually.

A mention of Henning Ludvigson‘s work must be made.  He does properly what I was trying to do here and after playing Arkham Horror a fair bit with Dust, I’ve been exposed to his work a lot.  So we have photorealistic people doing something whilst tentacles creep around the corner.

The story?  What’s happening in this picture?  Well maybe that’s for you to decide, I have my own story but it’s kinda fun to let you imagine to, yeah.  I must get writing, I have my next story due and I’ve already illustrated a pic for it so I need to get that up and keep moving forward.