Monday, January 21, 2013

Art Order Submission: Nymph Challenge

The Art Order challenges are back and I'm ready to bring everything I've got! In past Art Order challenges I usually start off with a lot of steam, then midway through my piece I look at the other submissions in progress and get a bit intimidated and then I slow down a bit. If I notice someone doing something similar to what I'm doing I feel like I have to scrap what I have so I don't come off as copying. For this challenge I decided to hold off looking at the other entries until I was completely finished with my own, and I'm really glad I did so. I think I was able to come up with an original concept that I'm really proud of. Below are some progress shots and the full and final image..
Original concept sketch and color study
Above is the original rough sketch I came up with for my nymph. I decided to take my time considering what I wanted to do with my nymph so to avoid just jumping into something for the sake of starting. I wanted to be happy with my idea before I started drawing. I decided to go with a fungus theme as I wanted to have a big hulking fungus creature to accompany her in my illustration. I wound up getting pretty busy and also hit a rut with my concept that kept me from completing a full illustration. I got as far as a full finished drawing for the illustration, but I wasn't happy with it so I scraped it. More on that later though.
More color options and figuring out portrait
During my rut I decided to try and focus on the portrait a little bit  more so I could get into the piece again. I played around with some color ideas but decided to stick to the original colors.
Progress shots: preliminary drawing to final product
Above is an overview of the painting process where you can see how the concept changed a bit from the original sketch. I started out painting underneath my drawing in order to keep it intact for a while, painting over areas here and there to slowly get rid of the line-work. Unsure about what to do with the lips I started out painting them purple to go with her eyeshadow, but it wasn't looking too cute so I scraped it. The most drastic change for the character over the course of the painting would have to be the tone. I also originally intended on keeping the colors muted and dead looking along with giving her eyes with no pupils, just plain white. I wanted to make it feel like the fungus was taking over her body and almost possessing her. But it wasn't working for me and it wound up slowing me down. Once I decided to brighten the colors, adjust her pose and expression a bit and then add in some pupils, I really started enjoying the painting process a lot more.
After a month of hard work I finally have a finished Nymph piece that I'm proud to be submitting to Art Order. I spent a lot of time researching for this piece and gathering reference, and I really think it paid off. I may not have been able to complete a full illustration like I had originally hoped, but I have a character I'm extremely proud of and there's nothing stopping me from completing a full illustration, and I'm actually really looking forward to doing so.

Thanks to all the people who took the time to give me feedback on this piece and to everyone who showed support. I look forward to seeing the final Art Oder Nymph Challenge lineup!