Hey everyone. I just completed this tutorial for my website. It's sort of a documentation of how I completed this specific piece. I doubt that's very usefull to anyone but myself. Really, after completing this, I'd recomend that everyone should make a tutorial. Not necessarily to help others but more to just gain insight into your own process and look at it as a whole.
1. I start pretty simple with what I like to call a base coat. It's just something to establish a bit of texture. I'm getting ready to start one of my quick (by quick I mean 30-45 minute) self-portraits.
2. Originally this piece started as a normal self portrait. I used a variation of the loaded pallet knife to just define some quick forms and some lights and darks.
3. Because it had started to look like one I had already done, I decided to have some fun with it rather than start over. I changed some of the features so they'd look more skeletal.
4. Now, I'm just sketching with a camel hair brush. I'm keeping everything one one layer and I'm really just doing this all on the fly.
5. I'm now starting to smooth out some of my strokes in order to make my forms more coherent. I'm using some larger camel hair brushes and the pallet knife.
6. There were a few things I didn't like and they needed to be fixed. I got rid of the little insect limbs as they were more of an ugly distraction than a supporting element. I'm also rendering the facial features more to tighten up what I do like.
7. Now it's time to lower the contrast a bit and darken it up in preparation for the addition of more dynamic lighting and eventually color. Like I said, this is a quickie for me. Normally I'd just plan this stuff out a little better. I've also decided to reintroduce the insect legs back into the piece only this time I'm actually giving some thought as to where I place them. The canvas just seemed weird with just a floating head coming from the upper corner.
8. Now I'm adding some more directional lighting in on a second, somewhat transparent layer. Just general airbrushed white over the flatter areas and some finer highlights with the camel hair.
9. Now it's time to introduce some color. Keep in mind, normally I'd just paint in color if I intend for something to be in color but that's when I at least have some sort of color scheme in mind when I first start. This is all spontaneous and so is the color choice. I'm just experimenting with flat colors (I settled on a crimsonish maroon) to put on a new "colorize" layer and then airbrushing in some orange highlights on to that same layer... Hopefully by now, you've realized how chaotic and inefficient my process is and you no longer have any desire to try and emulate it.
10. I collapse everything back on to one layer and put in the finishing touches. I add some proper gold-orange highlights where they need to go and clean up what needs to be cleaned up.
Here's the final image.