There is a new contest up on Infected by Art that sounds way too cool to pass up. It's a cover illustration for a literary and art magazine called F(r)iction depicting a surreal/mysterious underwater scene with emphasis on the color blue. I like surreal and mysterious things. I like underwater things. And the color blue is awesome. We're a perfect match to say the least.
Here are some rough thumbnail ideas. I was particularly conscious of light and how I could use it compositionally:
Here's a more revised version of the thumbnail. I took the diving mask off of the diver since the expression is so important to the mood of the illustration.
A little bit of development on the jellyfish princess. At this point, the upper-body and lower-body look cool by themselves, but they don't mesh as a single creature. I looked to 18th century ball gowns and the fashionable poofy hairstyles of the same time for further inspiration.
I next sculpted my jellyfish princess in Sculptris using a pre-existing model that I imported from Daz for the upper body. I modified a few things to help unify her design.
I posed my other character in Daz. I can use him for lighting later and also as anatomy reference for my physical maquette.
This little beauty is a kelp forest made of paper, tape, wire, hot glue, foil, saran wrap, and eye of newt. I wanted to make something where I could simulate the play of back-lighting on translucent kelp blades.
Here's a close-up shot with the lighting in place. I'm just about done with reference gathering and can move on to rendering the illustration. I have one week--it's time for business.