Hello wips

Health held up well this evening, so once I was done tweaking Cyber Berry I started something new! I was poking around my old art for inspiration and found this older painting of mine from 2007:

I thought it might be fun to “revisit” the idea. Here’s the sketch I roughed out in Photoshop:

The sketch went fast! I’m not a fan of super-refined sketches. I like to paint, not refine lineart, so I just keep these loose.

It helped, too, that I had a clear vision for what I wanted the painting to be. I spent only about 10 minutes sketching and then moved onto putting down colors on a layer under the sketch (the brown-colored layer). Once I had the colors roughed in I made a backup copy of the sketch then merged the sketch into my colors.

Now that I’ve established the light sources, the figures, the color palette, and the general composition, it’s time to refine.

I’ve become a big fan of two key workflow innovations:
1. Paint everything on the same layer (the bars on the window are the only thing on their own layer), because doing so allows edges to blend naturally which seems to better mimic real life and real painting
2. Rough out everything equally – I now try to establish all major aspects of my light sources, palette, and composition before moving on. This lets me see the painting as a whole (even if it’s rough) before I continue. No more painting the figure and then starting the background later and hoping it fits. Now everything arrives at “done” at the same time, and I think my overall painting quality has improved as a result (not to mention my speed – it’s much faster to establish, then refine than it is to make my plans as I paint and then toss my paint and repaint over and over)

Here, I started with her face and worked my way out, fixing up her hair, dress, the books behind her, the dragon in the window, and the details of her dress’s fabric along the way.

Happy with the progress so far, I continued with another pass on details, refining the fabric, the dragon, and Astrid herself a bit more.

Aside from a brief period of time where her face was majorly hideous (I actually considered scrapping the whole thing over it, it was that hideous) , this has been a really smooth-sailing kind of painting. I’m glad I pushed through the “omg it’s so UGLY” phase that many paintings inevitably go through.

It’s really rare that a new painting goes this well in the early stages for me. Usually I end up getting this far and then scrapping half of it (or all of it). I’m going to get to bed early tonight as I’m still recovering from being sick, but I’m really excited to continue my work on this!

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