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Behind the scenes: bringing a client's vision to life
A behind-the-scenes look at the artistic process of a digital art commission.
Hi there! I'm Flygohr, a digital artist here to help you thrive in the creative world.
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Every art commission is a unique journey. Today, I'll share one such adventure - creating an elf warrior from scratch. This project encapsulates my typical client relationship and creative process.
Why this project? It's a perfect example of how I work with clients to bring their visions into reality.
The story began when a new client approached me with their vision for a character illustration - an elf warrior. They came prepared, armed with detailed reference images that captured every aspect of what they envisioned for this mystical being.
These references were not just about the physical attributes; they encompassed everything from specific color palettes to poses that embodied the essence of their character. Even intricate details like clothing style and accessories were thoughtfully included in these initial discussions.
After thoroughly understanding their concept, we aligned on expectations regarding timeline and budget (including an upfront 50% deposit). This agreement marked our first step towards bringing this elven warrior to life!
Once the client's vision was clear, I embarked on my creative journey. The first step? A very rough draft to block in angles, poses and shapes - a sketchy blueprint of our elf warrior.
To ensure accuracy in proportions and perspective, I utilized 3D models and other visual aids. These tools are invaluable for creating realistic characters that resonate with viewers.
After finalizing the basic structure of our character, it was time to present this initial concept to the client. This stage is crucial as it allows us both an opportunity to make changes before diving into detailed work.
Why is this important? Changing major elements like pose after completing lineart often means starting from scratch - which can incur additional charges for clients. Hence we aim to lock down general ideas at this early stage itself.
For this project, minimal revisions were requested by the client post-concept review; their satisfaction allowed us swiftly move onto linework phase where things start getting more defined!
The line art stage is where the magic truly begins to unfold, but it's also the most time-consuming process. This is when our elf warrior started taking a more defined shape.
Every detail - from clothing and blades to eyes and hair - was meticulously refined. The client requested a few revisions at this point, ensuring that every aspect of their vision was accurately represented in my work.
Fine-tuning elements like crosshatching added depth and texture to our character, bringing him closer to life with each stroke. It's all about attention to minutiae here; even the smallest details can make or break an illustration!
With the line art complete, it was time to breathe life into our elf warrior through color.
I started by defining all the flat colors using dynamic layers in Clip Studio Paint. This tool allows me to adjust colors easily without affecting shading on a different layer - an efficient way I've found to manage colors.
Next came shadows and highlights, crucial for adding depth and dimensionality. For shadows, I used multiple layers set on multiply with a blue shade; one layer utilized soft brushes while another had hard confines for sharper edges.
Sometimes more layers were added depending upon how complex or detailed certain areas needed to be.
The process was similar for highlights but with an additional step: a very sharp layer that uses thin lines was always included at this stage. These fine lines serve as subtle emphasis points that make some surfaces pop out more than others!
This meticulous coloring process transformed our sketchy blueprint into a vibrant character illustration!
With minor edits on colors, our elf warrior was finally ready to step out of the canvas and into reality.
I sent the final files via WeTransfer and requested a review from the client - feedback is always appreciated as it helps me grow as an artist. To show my gratitude for their trust in my work, I offered them a discount for future commissions.
Additionally, I provided them with a referral code that they could share with friends who might be interested in commissioning artwork. As an extra touch, I also gave them a private link where they could purchase a physical print of their character - because there's something special about holding your vision in your hands!
And just like that, another artistic journey came to its conclusion. But every end marks the beginning of new adventures! Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes peeks into my creative process.
If you're inspired by this journey and want to bring your own characters to life or gift someone else this unique experience, visit Flygohr Art Commissions: Custom Illustrations for Tabletop Gamers. Let's create together!
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Stay tuned for more updates and insights from me. Until then, happy creating!