It is finished, oh yes. I started work on this on the first of 1st of January but the concept for the image had been around since the summer.
Why did it take so long? Well partly because this type of work (design/illustration) i find difficult to dip in and out of. I prefer to sit down and do a session or a couple of sessions. When editing photographs I usually can write down what i want to do dip in and out when i have time.
This time last year my wife and I renovated our new apartment and the walls have sat bare ever since.
In the summer my wife asked me to come up with some concepts, my only guide was, it was to be pop arty. I took this as a very loose theme and went nowhere near pop art but thought about the colours (must be purple to match the room) and the boldness of the future image.
This is the original digital sketch.
The original was quickly sketched using the brush tool and a few colors. My version of a digital sketch. I also made a few others as well to have a bit of choice.
The idea of this quite quick and rough images was to find the colors that worked and a concept for the image.
Of course all my concepts were in square format and the final image is not. This is because, between the original sketch and the final image we decided a square image would not work in the bedroom where the image is going to be.
First i took the image of the girl and the lollipop and opened it in Photoshop. I used solely vectors in this image as well as adjustment layers. The work time is close to 9 hours in total over two sessions. In the first session my goal was to create a base image to add details to.
From this I would be able to add more detail to give the image some life. The most import things for me to do in this first session was the nose and eye because for me these are the most difficult parts of the image.
Using a mixture of elliptical shapes for the iris and pupil and the all important reflection of light. Then vector shapes for the layering to give the eye some depth.
I hate drawing noses because if the nose doesn’t look right then the whole image can fail in my opinion. The nose and lips were created using vectors.
I then added shadows to the image using a curves adjustment layer clipping it to the shape. I painted on the shadows using a low opacity brush.
In the second session my goal was to give the hair life and finish the hand and background.
The back ground was created using a mixture of brushes and colours on one layer, then using the radial blur tool and the Gaussian blur tool to mix all the colours together. For the hair I used two different curves one for highlights and one for shadows. To create the ring I used vectors but filled one with a pattern to give that diamond effect.
The second session was twice as long as the first at 6 hours. The reason for this is that the blending takes time and you must be patient to create the image slowly adding and adding effects until it is finished.
I really like the image and I am quite proud of it. I know the background is a little hypnotic but it is balance with the lollipop. the blending of the hair and the skin tones is quite good without looking to computer generated or to realistic. I can’t wait to get it off to the printers and see it full scale on the wall.
What do you think of the image? Would you like to see more of my design work? Let me know using the comment box below.
End Note; Music listened to during the sessions, Avenue Q Sound Track, Rock Sound Mix CDS, Chicargo Sound Track, Ben Howard Every kingdom, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3 Soundtrack, Badly Drawn Boy- About A Boy and BBC Radio 4 on the BBC Iplayer.