I’ve been seeing a lot of fantasy and epic surreal art lately, and I suppose that’s kinda what inspired me to do this illustration. If you didn’t already know, I LOVE fantasy, it’s probably my favourite genre alongside sci-fi. I’ve always liked reading about dragons and epic quests and otherworldly plains, but I haven’t really dabbled in making any fantasy art myself until recently. High fantasy is my absolute favourite; I just think huge cliffs, grassy green valleys and immense castles whenever I think ‘fantasy’. It might all be a bit cliché but it’s fantastical and amazing and it’s just somewhere you can imagine yourself being.
I had the Odyssey in mind as I drew this, although I wanted to add my own twist to it with the heart bubbles (which were really annoying to draw as I’ll explain further below!). I totally love fantasy art but to be completely honest I don’t think I’ll ever be able to completely draw an epic high fantasy piece…only because I love adding cute things to my drawings. And then it just doesn’t look like high fantasy anymore
So anyway, I started this in Paint Tool SAI and laid down some colours after doing a rough sketch. It was during a phase where I’d just done so much work for college that I just didn’t feel like drawing anything. But I did and I’m glad I pushed through it because I learnt a lot from this drawing technically. It was just as I was starting to refine the waves where I decided it might be a good idea to take it to Photoshop because the brushes and textures you can achieve in PS is just all round better. So I did that, and made the waves pro in Photoshop after what seemed like hours of tweaking. For the record, drawing waves at a distance then up close…is really hard. I spent ages just going over everything because I didn’t like was I was doing. And even now I just think, the waves now look way too realistic compared to the rest of the drawing.
I just think it’s hard to find a balance between ‘too realistic’ and painterly. I said on DeviantArt I don’t know if realistic drawing is my style…I’m still figuring it out but I guess I’ll see what happens. I’m still always experimenting with digital painting but I think at some point you just have to choose to either a) make the drawing look realistic and detailed, or b) just draw in your own style and see where your preferences take you. I try to do b all the time but it is hard when I’m also thinking about how it would look in real life, and getting every little detail right (I personally hate seeing huge brushstrokes..I don’t mind it so much in other people’s art but I want to learn to use more expressive brush strokes more )
Making the drawing at dusk as well was a pain because there are so many different colours in the sky at that time. Combined with the colours of the mermaid and the waves…colours in this were challenging. Ahh I’ve rambled on a bit But basically the story goes, I resaved the psd to do a bit more basework in SAI but for some reason kept getting that GODDAMN MEMORY ERROR:
Seriously, every time. I think if you go over 3000 pixels W/H in SAI it just sometimes goes ‘oh well your file’s too big I think I’ll just sit this one out now’. I LOVE the program, I think it’s just all round brilliant for drawing in general and I love the colour mixing but the memory issue…is very…very…very…FRUSTRATING. So after around an hour of trying to reopen my psd in SAI(there were no layer styles or effects in case you were wondering that might be the problem) I just decided to finish the rest off in Photoshop.
Which I guess didn’t turn out to be so bad after all because using the different brushes in Photoshop probably saved me a lot of time anyway getting the textures and everything right. As I was saying before, combining colours was a pain. I wanted the illustration to be as saturated as possible though so I upped the vibrance a bit Painting the mermaid tail was fun. And doing the sea spray!! Bubbles I had to do TWICE because they were just so hard to make a part of the painting over the sky… I dunno it’s hard to explain. But I think I got the colours right in the end
Right now I have a LOT of work to catch up on…and on a sidenote can I just say how much time commitment blogs need these days? Not that I’m complaining, I love my blog! But I also want to know what you think of it. Do I need to update more? Or less? Or blog less about crap I ramble on about like above? Let me know. Seriously. Because I know I expect quality when I subscribe to a blog and I don’t know if what I write is really that great. But I’m not worrying too much because this is also a personal thing to document my growth as a creative artist and designer. In case you didn’t already know.
Speaking of which, I can’t wait to show you all my college work. Soon…when I get time to scan/photo some of them. Because there are some collages I’m preettyy happy with. I hadn’t made collages since probably high school or something, but we had to make collages based on colour using abstract shapes and textures. And although they were a lot harder to make than I thought, I’m really happy with how they turned out! I also have a lot of drawings and sketches to post…we’re doing structural drawing right now and to be honest it’s actually quite challenging. I’ve always just sketched and erased but we use ink and lines and it’s just..different. I don’t think I’d like to be an architect, that’s for sure. But it’s also been fun, and the challenge has been pretty rewarding so far I think. Lastly, we’re also going through a logo process. Can’t wait to show you all my concepts. I have so. many. ideas. The problem is finding the right font since we’re basing our logos on existing typefaces. I should actually be doing up a client brief sheet now but…might just save that for tomorrow, lol.
Ooh I also have a lot of photos to post as well – I know I’m really bad when it comes to posting photos on this blog but I will, once the term’s over. We just had to take some different shots showing different photography principles, I think I took some pretty awesome ones if I say so myself
ALSO on a completely random note, I have updated Momentary Static. I really had to, there were just too many stars and noise at the top. So I removed it all and I think it looks tonnes better as a simplistic design. ANYWAY I think I’ve written enough for today….have a lovely week everyone!