|Koschei the Deathless|
I’ve more or less finished the Koschei painting, and submitted it. So here it is.
It was a great deal of fun to work on, and actually didn’t take very long — maybe 10-12 hours total? I think I’m finally settling into some sort of process.
I started out with a very loose sketch (first frame, below). I did that in my sketchbook with a dark, blunt pencil and a very light touch, just letting things happen. Next I took it into Photoshop, set it up as a Multiply layer, and dropped a gradient behind it. I wasn’t feeling the pose of the arms, so I redid them completely. I gave him more of a menacing hunch, like he’s ready to spring, while creating a nice triangle pointing up to the right with his upper arms, lower arms, and leg.
Then I worked up some tones in the figure, pushing the shadows back and pushing the highlights up. I threw down a rough layer of blue to separate his skin tones from the background, and further enhanced that separation by building up the light behind him and reinforcing his silhouette.
Next I gave his face and beard some detailing so as to draw attention to that area, and added the cloak streaming out behind him. Oh yeah, and the duck. I had to use reference for that!
|Koschei Process Shots|
Speaking of reference, at this stage I started collecting reference images from the web: pictures of old faces, Slavic patterns & designs, Russian hats, photos of Ian Anderson (“Cross-Eyed Mary” was going through my head for most of this painting…)
|Koschei ref sheet|
The final stage consisted of making choices about his headgear and working out details on his clothing & jewelry, then enhancing the color saturation a bit.