Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Commission: LILITHIA

This was a fun one of an original character from Stef (see various comments and photos). That's her and I in the Comics 'R' Us photo. Stef has been asking artists to do renditions of her fictional character for ages.

Most people I work with are very shy about giving me too much information about the picture. I'd rather what Stef did and give me heaps and let me draw the line (so to speak) when enough is enough. Stef gave me links to all the previous commissions she had requested, photos of her necklace and gown. I also asked her to write me a short story which helped inform me as to what the character was about.

SKETCHES: I did a whole bunch of sketches. You can see here that I got up to 12 different sketches here.
This stage is very important compositionally. I like to make sure that the client is getting exactly what they want. I had it narrowed down to three that I like and Stef picked one of them! Way to be on the same page! Creatively this is the toughest part for me. Having to wrap your brain around a problem 12 different ways is intense. I was saved from this on Batman as Lee knew exactly what sketch she wanted. All I knew was that she had a long gown, a necklace (all the poses would show off the necklace so no profiles), and she was associated with the moon. I wanted her sitting on a crescent moon like a fairy tale.

LINEART: Stef also came up with the idea that she could be holding something in her left hand, so I added that. In the story, Lilithia is a cosmic being who creates galaxies on the other side of the universe. Unknowingly she is being watched and loved from afar by an astronomer from Earth. I tilted the head so that she's not looking at us anymore (unaware of the viewer) and had the idea to pop some sort of galaxy in her hand. I also extended the dress so that it drifted off on the cosmic winds to add some sort of scale and depth to the piece. Stef as an aside mentioned that Lilithia is also associated with the lotus flower and lilies. To further add depth I drew a whole bunch of lotus flowers drifting off into the distance.

TONE: As I mentioned, I scanned in a water colour greyscale texture that I painted once. I then start going in and painting my form. I knew I wanted a powerful down light on her face, and a strong fill light coming from behind her. I also made sure that the moon was lit in the same way. While there was a lot of copy and paste on the lotus flowers for the line art, I textured them all individually here. I left the train of the dress white as I knew I wanted it glowing ethereally. I also knew that the galaxy in her left hand would be glowing so I made sure that my tones reflected that.

BASIC COLOURS: Normally I let my background define my foreground colours, but Stef had a very clear idea of what colour her dress, hair and wings were. I painted all this in exactly as she wanted.

BACKGROUND: As far as a linear process goes, here's where things get a bit blurred. I found this background and I liked the basic colours it had. I blurred it out, upped the contrast and moved it all around so it would work with Lililthia in the foreground. It's also at this stage that I started taking samples from the background and painted the fill light (that pinky light on her butt and back). I could have gone blue, but that just didn't work. It made her look cold, and I wanted her to have a warmth within that loneliness. I also added the galaxy and its glow here.

AIRBRUSH: I like my airbrush, and I tend to use it conservatively, but here I went overboard as I wanted the most fantastic over-lit, over the top glow. I wanted her skin and texture to almost reflect and radiate light. It was important to me that she almost looked like a dream. I added glows from the Lotus flowers too to make them look unreal.

Overall I quite like this piece. It's a total departure from the other stuff that I've done. It was a great mental exercise and break.


If you'd like a piece done, drop me an email and I will send you a document detailing prices for all sorts of permutation.


$10 + $2 postage in Australia, and $5 anywhere else. Signed and/or personalised. Your call.


Ororo_Munroe said...

Wow! Stef and Jason, Lilithia is beautiful! You are both incredibly creative.

Stef - Are you writing a book or will she be a new comic character? Keep us updated.

jasonb said...

Thanks Lee! She was muchos fun to draw.

Begemot Geroi said...

I so need to buy that sketchbook. Soon.

Stef's commission turned out awesome. Loved the really soft colours and the "moonlighting." Gorgeous.


Lilithia/Stef said...

JASSSONNN: Lovelovelovelovelove it!! :)

Ororo... oh... I've never thought about writing about her as a comic. I used to go on a forum a lot where you'd have your own character you'd dress up. So my online alias is actually "Lilithia". My character had blue hair, & things kind of just went on from there.

I do love writing, but I've never really thought about writing about "Lilithia" in detail. What I sent Jason was pretty much the most I've written about her for details about the character.

Ororo_Munroe said...

Lilithia - all of that creativity for an online persona? Come on, I know you can take her further. I bet it wouldn't even be difficult.

BG it is so worth it! He will even autograph it for you. =)

Anonymous said...

Impressive! I love so much what you have designed the comics in the series Heroes. I live in France, I do not know whether I can buy your Heroes Sketchbook with my euros?

Thank you ^^
It's really amazing what you have designed lol