Jon posted a challenge over on Art Order for a Dungeon Delve, depicting a lost and weary traveler inside of some kind of dungeon or space. I've been working on this for weeks and it's been proving to be a difficult challenge for me.
Above is one of my original sketches. I did a bunch to try to figure out what I was going to do but this is the one that I settled on because I liked it the most. The original character was a bard....I didn't have a race in mind really but I was juggling between an elf and a gnome.
After a while I did a grey tone comp to see what I was really working with, changing up the composition a little bit. I really like how this turned out but there are a lot of issues with the anatomy of my figure and not any detail shows through.
I decided at this point I wanted to do a gnome, which proved to be a lot more difficult than I imagined. Their proportions are different and I kept drawing more accurate proportions for a human and 'tooning' the image the way I do with my pin ups sometimes. In the end I began to really hate what I was doing so I decided to leave it alone and come back to it.
After taking a break for a day or two and working on my other dungeon piece (Knights of The Dragon), I came back to this. I got my sister to shoot some reference photos of me to help me out with the anatomy and scraped the idea to make my bard a gnome for the sake of getting out a piece I could be happy with. Don't worry....I will do a gnome piece in the future just to prove to myself that I can.
While I like this sketch a lot more I need to push it still. I am not happy with the perspective here and am not sure how I feel about the angel head in the foreground.
I showed the composition around and made a few changes to the scene, keeping my figure the same. I changed the head in the foreground and the angels in the background. I do plan to get fairly dark with this piece....once I am happy with my sketch I will render a grey tone and then go into color. I have my pallet selected already....keeping it simple.
Quick grey tone comp to figure out my lighting....I want this to be dark. I'm not sold on my water just yet and think I need some rim light (reflected light) to pop my lost bard out a bit more.
Well....it couldn't last forever I suppose. Man, I really hate coloring digitally....at least over grey tone. I am thinking of going back to the original pencil before the grey tone and building up my colors like I would in watercolor cause working dark to light here is really messing me up. And look at that pallet! What the heck am I thinking!?!
I am finding it very VERY hard to paint over a grey tone drawing. I got so frustrated that I copied my image and started rendering over white. It's going better a bit, I still have my grey tone up to look at but I am still feeling frustrated with my piece and am thinking of adjusting the pallet a bit to the one I tend to use a bit more: violet, sienna, and a bit of yellow.
Below are some of the 'references' that I am using on this piece. I have a mood board set up of images to help me out with what it is I plan to do. (A mood board is like a collage of images that carries a vibe to it.)
Some things I am looking at are form and surface texture I plan to use....statues have some great things going on with them in age and weather....
Picture of some weird dorkwad in her pj's trying not to laugh at herself....
I put these images up (above and below) because I didn't realize how useful they would ever be. The above was a study I did of white on white but I am looking at the way that light effects the stone. The bottom image is a pic I took and painted a doodle of for no reason, but I find I keep looking at both the picture and the watercolor I did while rendering my current piece.