Woo!! Another Friday so soon!! LOL! I only got to work on this for three days this week. I was sick on Monday and Tuesday, food poisoning. (Don't ask and I won't tell!)
After drawing the lion in with more detail it was time to flesh him out a bit. Start filling in information and get him blocked in fairly well. You "SHOULD" work the entire image at the same time. Make sure that all the elements work well against one another. Determine your light source and lock down your forms in a fairly 3-dimensional way. Well, sometimes I do that, sometimes I don't. My instinct is not to. To just jump into an illustration and paint what I have the strongest urge to first. Which honestly creates a lot of problems later on because you tend to work on the elements you are comfortable with and leave what you think are hard parts for later. (Achemm...notice strong continued absence of mouse in image!)
In situations where I know my enthusiasm will surpass common sense, I at the very least force myself to work from back to front. Which lets me incorporate the background into the mid ground, the mid ground into the foreground and so on and so forth. I'm sure that much is apparent from the process steps you see in these posts. I hope so anyway!
On Thursday I'm still nailing down things and blocking in forms. I'm also trying to remember elements of the first lion that I liked and want to definitely include on this image. The dark streak in his Elvis-like Pompadour was a definite keeper. My Lion is definitely styled by Vidal Sassoon! Lots of hairspray for his majesty! Mroowwwrr!! LOL! I also want to make sure that I am pulling a lot of pinks from the background into his skin and hair. The Mucha hair tribute wasn't something I thought I would be keeping. But for giggles I put it in. Right now I worry about it flattening the lion since it is so graphic in execution. We'll see what the rest of the hair allows.
On Thursday it's time to deepen my shadows and liven them up with the compliment for the dominant orange, yellow orange tones in the piece. You can see all the blue/purple tones going into the shadow areas and giving some final sense of form and depth to the lion. It's also time for me to go in and start smoothing out a bunch of the rough areas and cleaning things up. I still think that in the end I will need to punch up the brightness of the Lion and push the shadows and highlights more to help pull him from the background. Adding those blue purple hues seems to have dulled out a lot of my dark areas. But I'm gonna force myself to execute the mouse first and then adjust the entire image when done. It's really funny looking back at the original image now and I am very glad that I went with the idea to paint the lion the way that I would now rather than trying to duplicate what I did 13 years ago. I'll have to put up a little animation or side by side and get you guys input on what you think about the differences.
I attempted to redo the mouse but I was rushing and making it up out of my head. It just wasn't working for what I wanted. I'm also not sure what moment I want to capture with this image. Will this be the moment that the Mouse is still afraid of the lion and cowering? Will it be when he is offering hi services to the lion? Or will it be after he's pulled the thron out? The lion's expression says that it will be one of the first two, but we'll see! Let me know what you think!
So Monday all I'll be doing is finding reference for the mouse. I took a quick dig at it today and found an African striped back mouse. How much fun will that be! And it will add some regional clarity to the image. Hopefully the mouse ends up in a pose that shows his back to the reader. We'll see!! Also, looking at the image shrunk makes me think that I need to pull more of the dark areas of mane from the left to the right along the inside of his right paw. Do you see what I'm talking about? Hmmm...Well, have a good weekend folks. Don't forget to click the images for larger views if you like!