STAGE 4 continued:
When I got to the stage where I was happy with the sketch of the four central characters I created a document with the dimensions I wanted (I normally paint on a canvas roughly 5000 x 3000 pixels in size) and pasted them in. Then I spent about an hour just moving and scaling them around the page until they were sat in a space I liked, which ended up being fairly central.
I hate doing backgrounds, I find them really dull to paint compared to characters, but in some cases you just can't do without them. In this painting quite a lot of the "story" is going to be told by the background (house blown down, bath broken etc.) so I've got to put a bit of thought into it. Firstly I drew a load of rough and quick directional lines and circles over the image marking wear the viewers eye flows around the page, and some other lines where I WANT it to flow.
The picture below is a little bit misleading because it looks like I drew the outline of the buildings/furniture etc then shaded it in, when actually it was the other way around. I slapped in some very quick tone using just the direction lines as a guide, the aim being to define and emphasize the characters. Once that was done I went back in and scribbled some rough outlines of a broken house over the blocks of tone. The main thing to point out I suppose is light pigs = dark background dark wolf = light background; this was so neither faction was more prominent than the other but both stood out against their respective backgrounds.
Having got that out of the way (and because I find backgrounds so tedious!) I went back and started working up the outfit of the wolf. I wanted her to have a sort of military/ringmastery vibe. I internally debated for ages on wheter or not to go fully nude; I normally try and avoid it if possible for a number of different reasons which I can't be bothered going into right now. In this case however the wolf just didn't look right with pants on; I like the brazen-ness it gives her character to be (nearly!) fully dressed but still essentially naked.
Then I started throwing some quick and dirty colour in. At this point I nearly threw my wacom pen done in digust and washed my hands of the whole horrible mess. Sometimes things just don't go the way you want them to! I gave myself a bit of a break from the pic and worked on some other stuff for a couple of days.
A few days away gave me a better perspective of where I was going wrong, and I went back in and started tweaking colours. This is a bit too brown/purpley at the minute, but compared to the monstrosity above it's a masterpiece!
Most of the tweaks from now on will be fairly self-explanatory so that's pretty much the end of the written portion of this run through I think. So now when I say "I did a quick sketch and then started colouring it" this is an approximation of the process that goes on. Hope it was interesting!
This is the second pic I did for Bizarre magazines editors page of one of their staff members.