Saturday, September 17, 2016

Butterflies and Secret Portals

For Colour Collective's 'Sage Grey' prompt I was inspired by Scandinavian tales. Sage is an herb, of course, but it can also refer to someone who has gained wisdom, so I decided to use that meaning to direct my illustration, and created a wise troll character to blend in with the grey rocks. I do like to try different things with my Colour Collective pieces, it's such a good opportunity for experimentation!

I was also heavily inspired by Swedish golden age illustrator John Bauer, who illustrated for Bland Tomtar Och Troll (Among Gnomes and Trolls), a Swedish folklore anthology, from 1907 to 1915. He was succeeded by Gustaf Tenggren. I looked at a lot of Bauer and Tenggren's work when I did my thesis on Golden Age Illustrators, but didn't have any opportunity to be influenced by their Scandinavian aesthetic in my own work at that time, as it didn't match my thesis project, which was much more influenced by the Russian and Turkish elements of Golden Age illustration.

Image from Wikipedia
Image from Wikipedia
Here's a progress gif. I worked on it in brief snatches over the week, and in total spent about 8 hours on it, almost all as wind-downs after finishing my day's work. If I'd had more time I would have liked to have added more details, more beads and leather and the like, like the trolls in Bauer's work above.... but as it is, I'm pretty swamped with work so I kept it minimal. I had a lot of fun doing those curvaceous rocks!

And here's a detail of the faces:

Adobe Photoshop CC2015 on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2, using Kyle Webster's brushes.

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