The brainstorm! Some people like charts. Some people like bubble-webs. I like a wall of text. It is basically a stream-of-consciousness word-spew where I eliminate all of my terrible ideas. I start out writing down ideas that pop into my mind, but then I systematically find new ideas. How I like to work is take two ideas that summarize my article, find visual representations for each idea, and then combine those two visual representations to create an interesting illustration. For this article I found dealing with testing methods on synesthetes, I found visual representations for "testing" and visual representations for "synesthesia". For instance "stethoscope" representing testing paired with "lab rat" for synesthete. You can see the problem with that combination without having to literally "see" it in a thumbnail sketch. My image would read more as a commentary on animal testing. Scratch that. I re-thought how I could represent synesthetes and decided to use a literal representation of a synesthete being tested alongside some metaphorical imagery.
Preliminary scribbles that should never see the light of day.
A more presentable sketch.
Comp. variation 1.
Comp variation 3.
My alter ego with a swimming cap made of octopus tentacle. Unfortunately, I don't have any pre-polished painting to show you. Basically, I work monochomatically with a basic round brush and then use a nice texturey "oil paint" mixer brush for blending. I develop each of the elements in this piece on a separate layer before merging.
I have learned to introduce a general idea of my color scheme before I am completely done with rendering. This somehow enhances the messy brushstrokes that need more taming and gives me an idea of what to do to fight the greying affect that any color on color mode gives to mid-range values.