I am a complete nerd for Game of Thrones. I’m fairly sure I’ve never seen a TV show that has grabbed me so much in all of my 44 years. It’s a beautiful combination of, well, beauty and brutality. The energy, passion, violence and intensity of pretty much every scene is right up my street.
I love so many of the characters. The people’s favourite Tyrion Lannister is right up there. As is the delicious (can’t think of a better word) Daenerys Targaryen. But it’s Cersei Lannister that steals the show for me. Always elegant, always devious, always gorgeous and always more than half way to being pissed she just shines. Actress Lena Heady is every bit as beautiful as her scheming character but she is at the same time quite different in appearance.
I wanted to paint Cersei and see how far I could push the image in terms of applying brush strokes and working in the detail.
But there was something missing. A sense of depth that clearly belonged to the darker regions of the image. The neck, hair and eyes stood out as being prime for improvement.
The lighter regions now stood out much more. This was an image that really demanded a darker canvas.
Photoshop is obviously a massively powerful tool but all I wanted from it was to apply some lighting.
I picked an omni light and applied it to a grey-ish background. Roughly 30,30,30 (RGB) since you cannot apply lighting directly to a pure black layer.
By providing a light source it instantly gave Cersei a relevance in terms of her position in the image.
(Incidentally I always create A4 sized images in Procreate)
As with the previous image I switched to a fine gel pen to blend and blur the hair. It provides a really fine detail and by pulling the hair out over the darkness you can also hint at those whisps of hair that add a little more interest.
I really hate this and it is something that I don’t like to see in digital art. Too much blur can render an image “plasticy” and fake.
Taken out of context (i.e. in the detail above) the eyes work well for me. They have depth and character.
I think it will perhaps just take a little time to adjust to the style of the blur tool using the damp brush as opposed to the more precise etched feel of the gel or ink bleed pens.
I think I’ve honoured the actresses beauty and the character’s mood. It is of course a direct study from a still from the show so I can’t take credit for the composition. But I’m happy that everything translated well from source to final piece.