Kate Daniels: Process

So ... I totally forgot to make this post for my Kate Six painting. I only remembered to do this when I burned the entire folder on DVD (2,4 GB by the by) and came across my WiP images.

Kate Daniels is probably one of my favourite book characters ever and I have actually painted her before but then my external hard drive crashed and I lost pretty much everything I hadn't backed-up in a long time. And then I wallowed in self-pity and I didn't do any painting whatsoever for over six months ... probably longer than that. But I always got back to Kate as a subject. I've re-read the books about two or three times now, mostly in preparation for the upcoming sixth book. It was just the right time to start with a new Kate painting.


So this process is something I rarely do anymore: I actually *gasp* sketched it. Ohnoes! I generally dislike sketching because it makes the process so much longer than usual - I'm a slowpoke, if you didn't know. 

Unlike the Connor sketch, this one remained pretty basic. I chose earthy colours to start with. I was sorely tempted to do an all-black outfit, though.

FYI, the first Kate painting was titled "Back In Black". For this version I decided to stick to my colour palette, though her shirt went through several colour processes - one being a blood red.


Once I have most of the colours painted in I can start introducing more colours into the palette. Most of the time this is a process that goes back and forth, and I find it to be the most exciting part when I paint - though it can also be the most frustrating.

These are usually little things that can come up during painting and then, the next day, it was the worst decision you made. Sometimes, they're stupid details I fret about. Like the leather bracelet (which was eventually taken out), and the necklace (which I didn't include at first, then decided to keep).

I think Kate is very practical, so she probably wouldn't accessorize much, except carrying all manner of concealed weapons. In this case, I felt that the details and accessories completed the picture, as it were. For me,  the whole ensemble makes sense.

I also felt that the earthy tones needed a whole lot of sprucing up so I added warmer colours into the mix. But the original colours remained as a base because that first 'feel' I get when I choose colours for a painting are usually the best. In any case, I always try to keep my initial palette to the most basic colours I want in a particular painting, then add more as I go along. Otherwise the whole process becomes too rigid.


The last stage of the painting process is probably the longest for me. Texture brushes are key in this process. Because her outfit is pretty basic, I felt the need to add texture and little details to it which you probably won't even notice in the final (posted) version. The leather pants were fun to work on and one of the first things I finished that included the texture, and this was early on in the process.


If you look at the close-up of Kate's face, you can probably pick apart the various colours I use to add depth, not only for the skin, but for highlights, midtones and shadows for the entire painting. Colours aren't just used to get the mood down for an image, but they also keep a painting from looking flat. Mixing colours is so important. Also, a good tip is to make use of Layers when adding colours, especially to the skin; Layer Opacity can work so well if you get it right!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this post. This is a bit longer than I usually like, so I hope you haven't been bored by it ...

Thank you for reading. Leave a comment if you wish!

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For more information about the character Kate Daniels and the book series, please visit the Ilona Andrews website. If you're there, check out their free online serial Innkeeper Chronicles - Clean Sweep.

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Wish - Jack fan art

Last year, I made a Jack fan art entitled ‘Wish’.  This post is about the drawing of the artwork :)

For those who don't know... I'm a HUGE fan of Jack!  I think she's a very interesting character and definitely my favourite from the Mass Effect games.  Jack was, of course, voiced by the talented and equally awesome Courtenay Taylor, who I'm also a big fan of.  When I’d heard over Twitter that Ms.Taylor's birthday was coming up, I thought it'd be fun to do a little fan gift.

Initially, I had a few different ideas for the artwork.  After chatting with my bestie, Jayde, I decided to do a portrait of Jack holding a birthday cupcake.  I like Jack's new look in Mass Effect 3 but wanted her in casual clothes, like she's just chilling out, hence the t-shirt (with Hex on it, but more about that later).

Sketching it out

Like all things, I started with a rough sketch.  I like to draw the eyes first because I feel that if they're not right then the whole piece is already lost.  I then worked on her face and hair, shading and detailing as I went.  Screencaps from the game were referenced to help capture her likeness.  Her lips were a struggle to draw.  I decided to leave them for later and moved onto her hands and arms.

Uh oh... time for tattoos

I learned from past experiences that drawing Jack's tattoos can and will make you swear like Jack AND put you in a rather stabby mood.  In my first Jack fan art I ran into a problem where I was so focused on replicating every bit of tatt that I'd forgotten about her body - how the inks should wrap and stretch with her skin.  As a result her anatomy was, I think, a bit screwed :O  So this time I was determined to try and do a better job of it! 


So, why Hex?  As Jack would say: "Hey, why the f*ck not?" lol  But really, I just wanted to pay tribute to another character Ms. Taylor has voiced and felt that Hex would be a good fit for this piece.  She's a powerful undead sorceress  and I love her  "Fear the Dark! " catchphrase. 

Because the drawing was already so busy (with the tattoos) I decided to draw Hex as a simple stencilled logo.

Finishing up...

With Hex and the cupcake in place, all that was left was more shading and detailing.  I also revised her face a little because I wasn't happy with her expression (not smiling enough).  Bestie Jayde suggested a few more tears on her t-shirt near the waist.  I think that was a great call.  And this is the final drawing (which I later coloured in Photoshop).


Thanks for reading!

I can be found on Twitter @Tinkarooni :)

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World Of Warcraft - Painting

This has been sitting on my computer for a while. Though the painting was posted in the gallery I never got around to uploading the WiP images. This was the first time I've painted a World Of Warcraft fan art, so it was interesting.

Click to view larger image

I had the greyscale thumbnail down reasonably fast, which is always good as I detest greyscale thumbnails ... This method doesn't always work out for me because I usually find it tough to add colours for the painting.

Click to view larger image

To get the actual colours I wanted was a bit of a painful process; I don't really like tweaking or filtering my colour layers over the greyscale because that just messes with my head. My personal preference is working in full colour.

Click to view larger image
But occasionally the greyscale process works out in the end; it's the 'getting there' that doesn't always make me a happy panda. I also didn't post the full-sized image in the gallery, but here are some close-ups :)

Please do not post these images anywhere - just link this page. Thank you :)

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