The reason I gather references after creating my thumbnails instead of before is so that I can preserve the energy of my drawing without getting caught up on details that don't need to be defined just yet. It can be a real time sink when you're trying to get ideas out fast!
But now? Research, glorious research! Here are just a few of the images I pulled up to get my creative juices flowing:
|This is just a sample of the items I've gathered |
on my Kushiel's Legacy Board on Pinterest.
The visual themes I kept in mind while I researched:
- Classical Orientalist/Romantic paintings
- Blood red roses
- White marble
- Sheer cloth
- Glowing skin
I also lit and photographed my own references for the figure. Here's just one from the set of many that I took trying to get it right:
After getting more concrete visuals in mind, I finally was brave enough to put digital brush to digital canvas:
I liked the idea of having neutral tones with the garnet red as a vivid accent to draw the viewer's eye. Blood red has become so symbolic to this series as well. However, after Donato's cover came out during my progress, I decided our versions were too similar and that mine needed re-tooling.
The Rough Draft
What could I change to make this image more unique? In the end, I opted for more ceremonial garb and to switch the red to the roses, where they lead the eye around the image instead of overwhelming it, as the dress in the color study did. I also read the commentary by fans of the series about how the red dress also felt inappropriate, since it was featured so prominently in Kushiel's Chosen.
So here we have my progress thus far! Still very rough and using a photomanipped version of the original marque's design as a placeholder until I can decide what kind of marque to use, but that's a whole other entry, altogether.
For now, enjoy this glimpse of my work in progress till the final comes along!
For a detailed step-by-step with process notes, see this painting at WiPnation.