Sunday, June 7, 2015

Under the Sea

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:

The dividing line is about where the spine is on the magazine, so I had to make sure the image could function with just the front half. Only a couple of them accomplish this effectively, one being the last thumbnail. The flowing kelp really sells the design and the content has more narrative potential than some of the others.

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.

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