WIP images for this image:
This is not a full tutorial, but more of an exposé of the various steps and pitfalls during the making of this image. Might maybe be useful to see how another person (me) think about these things. Warning - there is no "right" way, and I don't claim to do anything "the right way" here.
Work was done using a combination of Gimp 2.8 and MyPaint-GIT. About the same time spent in both programs and I won't go into details of their use. If you have any specific questions you can ask in this thread. You can find all of these techniques outlined in the many tutorials I've done over the years (you can find them from my signature).
For reference, these are roleplaying characters from online roleplaying. The Jester is mine. The little girl is named Allie (Allison) and her mother to the right is named "Cellan". All character rights belong to the respective players. Since Allie and Cellan was meant to represent existing characters, it also meant a round of revisions with the other player to their faces to look "correct" (i.e. matching what they had in mind).
Initial, cleaned, sketch for the poses. Not that Allie is very, very small here. This was me not proply looking at the big picture. I scaled her up later.
Initial sketch for clothes, on top of the anatomical studies.
The study for the gowns with harder outlines. Once can see I'm more familiar with designing the Jester - that hasn't changed much from the initial sketch whereas Allie and Cellan are still quite rough.
First colour rough, with crude faces. I initially had this ridiculously large hairdo planned for Cellan, along with some sort of veil hanging down her back. It sticks around for a while before being scrapped (and her hair got progressively lower and lower).
First rough study of faces. No, I know this looks nothing like the final result. My first intention was to have Allie look a bit shy and "sceptical" of the jester, which also why the jester has such a passive "non-frightening" stance in this image. Cellan's massive hairdo got a bunch of ribbons and her dress got more fleshed out.
First background study. Notice the size - I had to do this in order to get perspective lines in place. But already at this point my plan was to crop this heavily down the line.
More elaborate faces. The jester is pretty much finished. This is the first version of Cellan which I later came to think felt looked too old (and not at all like the images Cellan has of her character). Her hair has however already gotten a bit smaller. Allie still has the "skeptical" attitude here.
First on-person shadow study. Note that the shadows are very simple still at this point - just plain crosses. Also there is no actual counter-light but things are kept very "bright" and evenly lit despite the shadows. Note also the shadows on Cellans dress which I really liked, but which were cut out completely in the final crop.
I repositioned Allie's hand a bit and lost her skeptical attitude to make her more cheerful. I felt this fit the relationship between the Jester and the princess better.
Nearly finished (unlit) version of the Jester's face. I did make her face slightly shorter in the final version though.
Final "first" version of Cellan. Had this not been meant to represent an existing character I would probably have gone with this. As it were, I cane to change this a lot more than I changed the Jester or Allie.
First sketch for the full window spruce pattern.
Better integrated window pattering. It's still very rough though. To continue properly from here we need to establish lighting much better.
Initial ambient light study with partial on-character shadows. Note that the floor is starting to get proper shadowing. The tricky thing here is to make their faces and poses come across in an easy-to-read way despite all those shadows (realistically) playing over them.
Cleanup. The puppet is was also added.
At this point I went into detailing mode, which is not very interesting to look at, so I only took a few snapshots along the way. This is a lot of work.
Final crop. All the stuff outside the frame were thrown away.
In this snapshot, texturing of clothes and floor are finished as well as a lot more work on the background foilage. I had this idea that while Cellan is primarily blue and the Jester primarily red, Allie should represent a sort of colour middle-way between them. In the end I removed much of this effect though since it looked too colourful and "caramel" like.
Backlighting shadows added. The image-flip is not permanent, I do it all the time to make sure anatomy (in this case, faces) are not messed up.
I did a truck load of modifications on this, including desaturating the colours considerably. It was hard to find any particular interesting spot to take screenshots of. So here we jump to the final results.
Final face of the Jester. Note how the cap has gotten more texture and that overall image is more desaturated. This is also after some feedback from Cellan (thanks!) about her looking a bit too reserved before, so her eyes are more open here, creating a more inviting expression.
Final face of Allie. Her eyes were re-focused a bit but otherwise she didn't change much during the final detailing.
Completely re-worked face of Cellan. This looks younger, and after some input from Cellan herself does look reasonably like she pictured her (I have to take her word on this of course ). Technically I re-alligned the face quite a lotand lowered the hairdo a final step so as to not give her quite as large a forehead as before.
Final image can be seen at the top. Hope this was fun to follow!
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Work process - Talk to the fool
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