When I started painting this picture, I simply wanted to create something beautiful and neat and somehow striking. There was not much visual inside my head. I think it was somewhere around August 2014 after my return to Malaysia from a short stay in Istanbul.
Setting the moods. I was thinking of blending sandy brown and black to create a striking contrast that I was looking for. During this stage I didn’t really think about how my end result would look like.
I started with the body. My drawing style usually somewhat non-linear. I start and end and interject and sooth and go back to the past and future at will. There is no exact rule or manual to follow, just perhaps the combination of guts and hints that come along miles away when the ship start sailing. Plus some romanticism and the glitters on how it will turn out.
Perhaps I wanted to inject something evil into this image so I start drawing the head. I didn’t remember to consciously plan this, I was somewhat in a trance.
It turned out I was sketching the devil, a pretty one at that.
I started sketching the details using pencil, then scanned the image and place it onto the image as a guide. I have this tips that I’m not sure will work for other people, but it does for me. I put the paper onto the computer screen and traced the part I’ve done, lightly.
To paint onto the guide, I created two layers; one is set as ‘Multiply’ as the base color, and another one is set to be ‘Normal’, which is opaque and will cover the guide. Kind of similar to the use of Acrylic painting. I used default brushes in Photoshop with a little bit of adjustment on the brush settings.
I added all the details so the overall picture is in harmony. Little things such as shadows, highlights and the intersections between lines were taken care of. Sometimes it is all these little things that would create a difference in an image. Like many other things, this might contribute to the doom or the rise of something. Sometimes too much harmony makes something appear mundane. Certain degree of chaos is needed to remind the the viewers on what is important in the picture. And certain degree of imperfection is alright. The bottom line is to be aware of what you are doing in bigger picture, and time to come. I always ended up overdoing this step by taking too much time to 'get it right'.
I added a layer of gradient to enhance the overall tone of the devil in disguise.
The Process GIF
Extra Tips: If you are interested in seeing the images in this GIF in separate layers (around 30 layers) or one by one, you can just open the GIF file in Photoshop. Go to Window > Timeline. Now you can select any layer you wish to see.
Thank you for reading.
Special thanks to @ocd for featuring my previous post, and to all the people who support in any way. I truly appreciate it.