Been working on this illustration over the last week.
Started off with just the idea of a lady android mid-construction, but in the end it occurred to me that the pose looks like the ones hookers in Amsterdam pull, standing in their windows, to attract customers. I liked the idea, that this piece depicts a futuristic bordello where they build you an ideal lover for the night, from your specifications.
So I ran with that theme, adding the neon red border to push the bordello window look.
Click for larger versions.
And here is the process.
1) Started with a line study of a model from stock photo reference, after finding one in the pose I wanted (the T pose).
2) Added in miscellaneous robot parts.
3) Move on to a quick layer of colour. Some artists like to get the shading perfect before moving onto colour, I’ve tried that but I find it problematic. My colours always end up looking different to how I want them to, if I try to blend them over a polished layer of shading, and I end up repainting the colour anyway. I find it easier to add shading to colour, than colour to shading, if that makes sense? Note that every artist’s process is different, find the process that works for you! Hell, my process has changed as I’ve learned, perhaps in the future I’ll feel differently and will polish the shading before moving onto colouring, who knows!
4) Final stages are just polishing and grunt work. Cleaning up the shading, making sure that edges read well, that the focal points are hightlighted (not sure I succeeded there, honestly). This stage is fairly tedious, you just have to put in the hours. And it is hours of effort. Lots of people look at the work of master artists and feel their own skills to be totally inferior, without realizing that those pieces might have taken a skilled professional a full 40 hour week to complete. Certainly, they have amazing skills and years of experience, but don’t underestimate how much difference putting in the time makes. The first time I did an 8 hour piece, I was surprised at how much further I could push the piece than I ever had before!
Overall, this was an interesting learning process! I’m horrible at colour, but I’m working on improving. This guide from Valve on their guidlines for 3D model painting is surprisingly useful for painting, for learning colour theory. I tried to follow its guidlines, choosing complementary colours, and have started examining paintings by other artists through the filter of that knowledge, looking at what colour schemes they picked. Fairly universally-applicable, these techniques.