In my artwork, I generally try to express a feeling, to tell a story… Seheiah is a bit different. I had been asked to illustrate August for a publishing firm. So I based my artwork on the idea of a kind of goddess in an antic style. I wanted it to depict a quite "fresh and radiant” feeling, a reminder of a summer morning. Thus I decided to include a wood with a lake above which my goddess would fly.
Step 1 Concept Sketch
Before I start with the composition, I choose the colours (background and characters) harmoniously. In this example I wanted the character to be very radiant, nearly unreal. Thus I chose a turquoise bluish-white and then chose a pastel pink for the basis of the wood and turquoise green for water to add some contrast and the idea of warmth to the composition.
Furthermore, I work on a very wide format so that I can work on details. Here, the original format is 7,250 x 12,000 pixels in 300dpi.
I lay and blend the colours on another layer so that I can always remember them. Here I don't pay to much attention to detail, with regards to the entire composition but rather to the overall atmosphere.
Tool: at this step, I use a hard round edge brush with opacity set to pen pressure.
Step 2 Colouring Process
When I have laid down the colours, I refine the whole composition, I add shadows and lights. As it's a summer morning, the light is rather diffuse, the shadows will be thus, rather light and overall it will be very radiant, especially the character.
I also add all the details of the wood, the wave and the hairstyle of the character (which is the most colourful element of the composition).
Tool: in order to blend the colours, I use the speckled brush on a inconsistent basis. The richer the colour is, the more credible the depiction is. I never use soft edges as I think they don't give any dynamism or life to the colour.