Call Girl Process

Hey all, I thought I’d post a process journal for my latest piece, Call Girl

I started with a sketch, which I did in my moleskine notebook with a pencil, with Jo’s photo up on my wife’s laptop. I scanned it, desaturated it to take out the yellow of the paper, and played with the levels to bring it to this:

Next up I added some colours. Originally I had it all much darker and bolder with solid cyan and magenta, but it just didn’t feel right, so I pulled the colours right back to this. You can see the colours were really rough at this point.. this was more to establish the palette than anything else, so I needed to be able to sit back and quickly mess around with it.

I got that to a point I was happy with, so I did quite a bit of cleaning up of both the colours and the lines. This gave me a base I was happy to work from:

Next up I added a little extra colour in there. This was just to give it a little more character, and bring out the features a bit. I tried having much more variation, but the more I put into it the more I lost the original clean style I was after.

The next step was to add a wash of shadow. I tried a few variations around my pallet, purple, magenta.. I really liked the way the cyan looked, but it was too cold and too contrasting to the skin and hair, so in the end I went with a darker magenta. This was set to multiply and then the opacity was pulled right back. Doing the shadow as a colour rather than black really helped bring the elements of the illustration together by giving them all the uniform pinkish wash.

Normally I’d stop working on a piece around here, but to go with the rough pencils I really wanted a bit more texture over the colours.. so I did a quick search online for free watercolour textures, found one I liked and dropped it over the top. It was desaturated, then set to multiply as well and the opacity was pulled right back. There was a bit of tweaking to get it all right.

At this point I felt like while the colours all worked, I had lost the contrast of the cyan. The whole thing was just a little bit too washed out, and needed something extra.. so I made a layer of full cyan and dropped it over the top of everything, then set the layer to “color” so it all went blue. Next I added a layer mask so I could then selectively add the touches of blue. There was a fair bit of trial and error to get it glowing in some parts and just a touch in others, and this was the final result.

So there it is, the evolution of this piece. It was a few hours of work with lots of trial and error but I’m actually pretty happy with the result. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

Journal Comments

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