Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Barbarienne character study

This is my first attempt at doing a fully rendered character study in Photoshop. I started with a scanned pencil drawing and went over it with "opaque" Photoshoppage. I really wanted to do the kind of absurdly clad "barbarienne" babe which I see hundreds of in other artists' portfolios. I have spent a long time (months) doing this picture, one bit at a time, trying to learn how to render textures digitally. I only used one layer over the "painted" background. If I were doing this picture now, I would use a lot more layers.

As usual, my figure drawing is mediocre at best. I had a photomodel but had to do a lot of re-working to make her look even a bit fantasy-like. What I didn't realize, and have not realized in most of my figure studies, is that "realistic" drawing as if it were from life does NOT work in fantasy character studies. Fantasy character art is like fashion drawing. The proportions of the figure are very exaggerated. In fashion drawing the figures are elongated and ultra-thin, and in fantasy drawing the figures of both men and women are made larger-than-life and "heroic." But in this drawing I'm still trying to be "realistic," which I now know is a mistake. This figure looks as if I had gotten an athletic high-school girl to pose, and she was none too pleased at having to hold the position while I worked out the figure from life.

The face, however, isn't too bad. I don't do faces any better than I do bodies, but this one, which looks a bit Italian Renaisssancey to me, is better than my usual. The nice thing about digital work is that no matter how much you mess up, you can correct it with endlessly manipulatable pixels, rather than digging a hole in a piece of overpainted illustration board.

So there you go. I have done my first digital character study. I intend to do many many more, not only stock figures like babe warriors or superheroes or medieval knights or wizards, but also once I have really got this going, I'll digitally depict my own original characters and the world of Noantri. There are plenty of scantily clad babes somewhere in that world.


Mike said...

Colour me impressed. The detail face shot is excellent.

Tristan Alexander said...

Ya know, it still looks just like your hand done stuff style wise. I don't see any real difference in realism etc. Just the odd computer done feel that these allways have (even the best experts at digital has this feel).
And your comment about "Fantesy figures" are like is limiting yourself and steriotyping. The best Fantesy figures are MUCH more realistic and any exageration is minor or done with clothing, setting etc, not with the figure!