I finally finished my sample portfolio piece of Lini and Droogami today. She was put to the wayside for a bit in need of working on some commissions for clients, but I have finally managed to get her all done with time to spare for adding her to my portfolio. She's already on my main website, but I want to have her in my portfolio book come review time at Gen Con with AD's from Paizo.
Let me share with you a little peek into what it took to create this piece.
It really started out with a doodle in a sketchbook of her head. I have been wanting to court Paizo as a client for a while now and after much pushing and prodding by my artistic friends I decided it was time to start on a piece. It was recommended to have at least one of their iconic characters in a portfolio so they could see how their IP translates in my style rather than having to guess.
So I sat down and did a couple small sketches, decided which I liked, and did a drawing based on that. Then I browsed for some reference material to help me out with some things.
On Pathfinder's website I was able to look at images of Lini and Droogami for reference to the characters. I was also able to read a bio about the character that was helpful in coming up with an idea for the illustration. The image above was produced by Wayne Reynolds.
I gathered a few more images to help me with details for the drawing, including a reference photo lent to my by my buddy Lucas. Once the drawing was finished I traced over it on my light table and taped the board down.
I like to work on Arches 140lb hotpress paper. It has a smooth surface which I find ideal for drawing on, though I have been told by others that it is harder to blend on without leaving streaks. I guess I'm just used to the surface. I buy mine in blocks, tape them to a piece of Masonite board (I like to use black artist tape because I don't tend to paint dark enough, so it helps me to have something to gauge my tones from).
I use a blend of watercolors. My pallet is always looking like a total mess.
I start out with dropping in my shadow areas and placing in colors. I tend to paint intuitively so I don't employ color studies much at all unless I run into a problem in determining what colors I want to try beforehand. Then I simply enjoy the process of painting.
Watercolors can be a tricky a medium to use. There are a number of things that come up in painting with them from inconsistent paint pigment, to weird sizing issues with the paper, ect. I did learn a lot of techniques in college and I do paint in watercolors all the time so I have gotten used to developing a relationship with the media. It just takes patience and a lot of practice.
The final piece was done on 12 x 16 inch Arches hotpress paper, but the actual size of the live art is closer to 10 3/4 x 13 inches. The above piece was scanned into Photoshop and altered to better fit into the framed section.
This piece will be featured in the portfolio of work I take for a review in the hopes to someday get commissions from Paizo on their Pathfinder property. Aside from playing the game, I am and have always been a huge fan of the artwork done by the artists of the IP.