Sunday, 7 July 2013

Self Portrait

It feels like it's been ages since I've posted anything online anywhere.  I suppose it has!  I'm not feeling bad about it, as there's a lot going on at the moment without the Internet being in my life too much.  It's also necessary for me to focus more inwardly on my work at times rather than putting it out online for all to see, as my way of approaching ideas can tend to turn towards crowd-pleasing, which isn't ever my aim.
For the past couple of weeks I've been in the process of designing a video game poster, and after a lot of pencil sketches, research and messing around I got into a rut.  Final layout is sorted, final character design is decided, but then the style...  My line work wasn't clicking with weak and wonky geometry and blah blah blah, so I took a step back to focus my artistic energy in another aspect towards the poster: skin tones.
I've never really stretched myself in varying light sources in my work or defined them strongly.  I knew that this would be fun but also important.  I took a few reference photos of myself with a strong upward light and set about a quick-ish painting practise.  

Completed entirely in Photoshop, my image was A5 page size at 300dpi.  I started of with a layer of the base skin tone with a layer on top of that for the background and began to carve out the figure out of the dark tones to reveal the skin tone. I slowly built layers of details and tonal values on individual layers from there.  I was pleasantly surprised with my translation of the photo to painting; despite using very different techniques and mediums it turned into a similar style to my pencil sketches for the poster.
The more I've practised and researched and practised some more I have begun to get to know myself and find my own style rather than attempting to imitate someone else's - which I enjoy doing!  And I never outright copy a style, but pick up bits here and there.  However, this time I've been relying solely on my own judgements when I get stuck for a moment.  I'm looking forward to applying all that I'm learning into one large piece of work.


  1. This is amazing!! I love the shading!

    1. Thanks Sumi! It was really fun to do, and I feel like I finally found my visual voice!
      What are you doing currently? Any more zines?