The making of The Gods at War
Sveta, thank you for your compliments on the OFDW studies, i think you can probably actually see some influence they had on my latest paintings. the biggest thing i learned there -- subtlety! one need not be brash and slapdash to achieve satisfying results.
trev! hey, dude, thanks for stoppin' by! you mean they pay people to have this much fun?! :D contact me any time, 24-7. powerful G.A.W. TD entry, btw.
GriNGoLoCo: thanks, man, you're always welcome here.
Rebecca, so nice to have you visit. i may try some silverpoint again myself, if i can find all my old jewelry-making supplies and claw-mechanical pencil.
ikuru, stop by any time, grasshopper, just behave yourself and don't pester the adults :P (just kidding. really!)
some development stuff that eventually led to a number of images, all resulting from enlisting in the Gods at War Thunderdome.
a study for Yama, Deathgod, as described in Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light. My first TD concept was the Hellwell battle from that excellent novel. back & forth between Painter Elements & PSCS2.
a quick Painter Elements pose&gesture doodle for Kali, again from the above book. she's walking down a set of low steps.
bust portrait (pun intended) PS sketch for Kali, led to the following progression from Kali to my twisted Miss America:
initial pose&gesture; adding some accessories (typical Kali accoutrements, plus tiger skull & belladonna flower) from web refs
laying in hue & tone in Painter Elements, building BG, changing hair style. by this time i was starting to see a completely different incarnation of Kali -- Di doo, strangely mutated crown, a twisted Miss was being born.
ditched the arm gesture, changed the head tilt to more coy, bobbed the hair a bit, started in on the Miss in earnest. just paint, paint, paint. got to a point it seemed a Critique Center session was in order (right image)
the final image, with feedback incorporated -- used a ref for the mouth & moue, polished the strokes into translucence (i LOVE this look for the skin -- nearly a true subsurface scattering), polished the jewelry, nose pierced, tweaked and nitpicked and then done.
The concept was a sardonic look back at America that was, a sort of sexy innocence represented by a better-known pageant, now become a still-attractive but dangerous-looking Kali-esque parody. An American Kali as death goddess, not her nuturing alter ego.
the scanned pencil for ArmaRagnaGeddonRock-yer-Yuga (ARGRYY). this preceded the text, though the entire concept was set in my mind by now.
i'd started painting ARGRYY with the BG clouds and Skoll, and had done a crappy version of La Bomba, when i lost my nerve on this as my TD entry, and started in on Ragnarok. This is the only image i have left of the formative steps. i painted Fenrir (big toothy wolf-thing) in direct, then digitally sketched in Odin, Thor and Jormy. i fought with the fire giant Surtur -- this is version 3, the others are dead and gone & good riddance! you may note a major difference in color structure compared to my submission -- it was at this time i started using PS color modifying layers to decide on a new color approach more appropriate to the no-longer-light-and-humorous subject matter.