Character Illustration Process

Character Illustration Process

Sigrun Koch
by sigrunkoch on 8 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

I've been drawing for quite a long time but only recently decided that I really want to pursue an art related job. I strive to be a part of a creative industry like this, I hope you enjoy my entry.

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I've been studying at SAE in Vienna since September last year. This is also where I've come to know The Rookies. While working on Student Projects, I've been mostly practicing in my sparetime and decided to start working on personal art for a character of mine. 

My personal goal was trying to make a  static pose looks as dynamic as I can, as well as practicing light and values.

I personally shy away from using the greyscale to colour workflow as I enjoy working with colours quite a bit.
Though I did want to challenge myself by having another go at a workflow like that, as it helps me a lot in terms of understanding how to choose the right values. In addition it's something that gives me a reference to work with as I tend to choose colours that are very bright in value, making the illustration later on seem flat.

1. Starting off with a really basic sketch. I'll try to keep the sketch quite simple as a very rough guideline. 

2. Once I start adding light and shadow, I'll add in more detail as well.

3. After having the basic light and shadow down, I started correcting some things in terms of anatomy.

4. Adding the first Overlay layer of various high saturated colours which I later soften in Opacity.
 I'm not trying to get a perfect match when it comes to the tones, more so a general guideline for colours.

5. At this point I've worked a bit all over. I used to render spot for spot, which isn't the most optimal workflow, or rather its quite a toxic workflow. So now I go over the whole picture with a brush, trying to make it look as uniform as I can.

6. I gave the hand a more fitting perspective as I want him to reach out, to touch someone. I took some pictures of my own hand for additional reference. 

7,8 and 9. Finish rendering and adding effects stage.
Bloom light to make the light source look better. 
Higher Saturation as I tend to "grey out" during my workprocess with greyscale to colour.
Blur at the bottom of the picture to lead the eye up to the focal point.
Motion blur to get in just that little bit more movement with the smoke (evaporating hand).
Adding some dust particles and minor details.

Character Wise. He's supposed to be something like a reaper. Essentially "reaping" the soul by touching someone, hence the pose in the illustration. Due to it being a personal project there isn't much included in terms of facial sketches, only really a wing reference and clothing explanation. I omitted the wings in the illustration as they would have filled the picture out too much.

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