I'm not quite sure yet, what it is going to be. Maybe an illustration of a classical childrens christmas book. Or maybe something completely different, focussing on a handcrafted, non-traditional multi-layered card.
Step 1.I decided to make a painting of an old woman, as an allegory for mother nature and the last days of the year.
I worked with white gesso as a primer. Then drew the most important facial structures onto the paper, without going into detail. After that I got a big brush and painted the whole sheet with diluted grey-blue-ish ink, with the sketch still showing through. While the paint was still wet I set the basic shadows, without being to accurate – the messy parts are what make it interesting. With salt, towelpapers, dry strokes and alcohol I created textures (everywhere, also on the face). Then I let everything dry an start to highlighte, again, using gesso with a brush or white charcoal an coloured pencils. I repeated this process until I was satisfied. :D
This is a early process shot:
This is a few layers later. Also, I am actually working in a sketchbook since some weeks. What normally isn't quite my thing but I always admired people who had a sketchbook, for so many reasons. So I am trying to establish the habit for my self.
Step 2.I scanned it. And realised, that I accidently used the wrong medium (the gel-medium, not the transparent gesso -which is a lot shinier and reacts different with the other mediums). This gel-medium is a real pain to digitalise, either by camera or scanner, since it kills a lot of details and also creates many little white reflections.
Also, as you can see, the scanned image turned out super dark (my scanner is crap -.- ). So my first steps were to erase the most annoying white reflections with the patch-tool and lighten up the image, while taking out a bit of the contrast.
Then I started adding more details with textured brushes. Readjusted the composition/size of the head.
Step 3.A lot of Photoshop-magic and some added ink-textures later, this is what it looks like:
I hope you enjoyed this months challenge! Make sure to check out Jana's wonderful card-illustration for the winter solstice here. And, most importently, have a wonderful Christmas and New Years Eve, everybody! :) <3