(Originally published on 4/23/2010)

There is this challenge over at the artorder -blog that really speaks to me, not only because its for a good cause the judging panel is sheer awesome, or that Veronika Kotlajic from (The Muse: A Pictorial Journey of Fantasy & Pin-Up) is indeed a Muse, also because it is something I can really grow and experiment as an artist with this participation.

So today I got the confirmation that my entry “Skywalker” for artorder’s challenge “Discover a muse” is accepted after it took around 4 days to work on it beside other projects.
It is also published in this ArtOrder book.

The main keywords to go along with a concept were just :
strong, independent and sexy

with that in mind I came up with a concept like this one:
A first very rough draft (on the right) usually takes not more than a few minutes, but it shows if an idea could work, the less detailed it is, the better.

The next step is to gather references and inspiration for poses, colors, contrasts, and feelings of the pic U have in mind, and changes.

In this case, I changed the rooftop and cityscape view to a more wider interpretation of independence, the sky has no limit.
I think the sky is for most people the innermost description
for freedom, eagles, or birds, in general, are for me pure symbols of this independence.

The mixture of this costume describes for me the frame for allowing this composition believability, like if she is a shaman or a shapeshifter whose wings are blades when she is changing back shape to human.

I know there might be people telling either that is not possible or whatsoever, so the intention was to render this in a way that it is believable to some extent, painterly but also gives the subtle feeling of being free, like an assassin from above.

When looking for coloring I tend to use complementary contrasts wherever possible, as a cover artist it’s the guarantee for getting attention from afar.

The psychology behind is that it usually is a pain for the eye but when this rule is broken properly it works like magic.

Complementary colors are very helpful for finding natural tones and colors when working on a palette its good to be inspired by the masters, but it can never be false to try and experiment in some digital versions playfully with variations that lead to new, interesting results.

We live in times which are technically improving and enhancing the artist’s possibilities, and I did not speak about tracing or photomanipulation, I think the possibility of getting a preview with different color swatches, changing moods with just a layer-effect is a wonderful tool that daVinci would possibly had loved to use.

The finalized work and below some close-ups:

 

 

 

 

About the Author Oliver Wetter

Artorder: Discovering A Muse challenge entry
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