The DPI was now at 300 and image size 28.5x35cm so that details could be tackled at full resolution. I also reduced the print size slightly to tighten things up.
I kept working on points of interest all over the image, zooming in and out regularly so that I could see what was working and what wasn’t. I added texture and then worked back into it some areas with the palette knife tool on its most effective setting. Since enlarging the file size, the lag in ArtRage was impeding my progress, so for bigger changes to lighting etc. I saved the image as .psd and opened it in Painter or Photoshop – Painter for painting and Photoshop for things like trying out gradient layers set to Multiply. You can open it again in ArtRage by ‘importing image’. I introduced some reflected lighting into the dark shadows of the group to help explain the volume (Fig.18, Fig.19 and Fig.20).
One such trip to Painter had me flatten the image, duplicate it, and set it to Multiply blending mode at reduced transparency. I prefer Multiply to some other additive options simply because all three software open it fairly consistently. I added a gradient (Multiply blending again – I’m an addict) over the top and worked on the mask with painting tools to pick out highlights with dark paint. I’m constantly adjusting and tweaking things all over (Fig.21 and Fig.22).
I worked on zinging up the relative tonal values as a whole to draw the focus to her and her handi- and footi-work. To try and create a sort of night-time misty haze, I’ve added some pale blue airbrushing on a lowish opacity layer, set to Overlay blending mode, and erased some of the darker shadow areas so that it sits better. The foreground wasn’t contributing at all to the composition, so I added the head of another victim, where our heroine’s attitude suggests she is looking. It makes sense with the working title which was “Did Somebody Just Say Ow...?” It ties the foreground and background together (Fig.23, Fig.24 and Fig.25).