In this piece, I wanted to interpret a new feeling of an old Chinese poem, and try to make it more fantastical, sci-fi and surreal. So I started out by doing research some research. Here are a few images I found from a Google Image search.
Here are some rough concept sketches, composed with the "pipa" (a musical instrument) photograph and graphic elements to see how it would all look together.
So, when I could see what compositions I was after, I chose the most suitable one and started painting...
Black and White
In this step, I started out with just black and white first, and I drew every element for each layer. I did this because it's easier to change colour for each element using the Hue/Saturation and Replace Color tool to change the colour.
I filled a gradient on the background and put the sketch as a guideline above, lowering the opacity if the layer.
I then started with the skin, just painting grey tonal shades and working on the values.