Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Snake Man Progression

A current illustration project is one that I've revived from the dead, which had died by neglect and national relocations over the course of 9 years; where the project lay dormant for roughly 8.5 years. Sometimes, it takes this much time to get a sense of a project and see where it needs to go. Sometimes, life gets in the way, or, life keeps obstacles and influence coming so that when I have time to work on an old project then I have a better idea of where to go with it. This is certainly the case here.

Years ago I had an idea for a character concept, something far more dark than the current children's book fare I'm generating. By no means am I denigrating the other projects but instead am enjoying this deviation from the main thrust of current work.

The first pencil sketch of the Snake Man was:
Significantly creepy for a nightmarish character concept

Within that first year, the image took a wrong turn in the digital coloring phase:
Hideous Texture overlays that immediately left me unhappy with the project

As you can see from this second image, the work went nowhere fast. The original digital coloring was gaudy and incongruous. There was no use of a central palette nor controlled contrast range.

8 Years Later, and New Painting Software...
I've no revisited the Snake Man project and am finding my stride on the illustration. Having abandoned the previous attempts at color, I started from a simpler coloration scheme and am building it up to something that looks much better:
I'm very pleased with the face and horns
The new software is ArtRage. This application is fantastic. The painting looks authentic and each media type (oil paint, palette knife, printmaking roller, airbrush, and more) has an authentic and unique look and feel.. Colors blend well between different tools. Also great is that the software supports layers and layer groups and blending modes. So, for a painter, I get the best of Photoshop with the best of an artistic painting application.
This is certainly a painting I wouldn't have been able to create in Photoshop alone (and I LOVE Photoshop).
The ArtRage interface. Easy to use.

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