15. Paintings and Process
Ongoing Newsletter for THE PHANTOM PLEASURE
Hello, everyone! Here is a digital illustration of ECHO I’ve been working on for The Phantom Pleasure. It’s pretty much finished, just some tweaks to do on the lines here and there, especially on the hands. I plan on using it for a cover, I might even do an ensemble piece like the old school Sadamoto Evangelion manga covers.
I also plan on selling a single (one only) signed and numbered print of this piece once it’s completely finished; I’ll let you know on here and Instagram when it’s available.
Now… For artists or art fans who’re interested in this sort of thing, I’ll walk you through some of the process I used to draw this piece:
This time I knew exactly what kind of pose I wanted, and how I was going to ‘build’ the details on top of it, so I quickly sketched that thing on the left. After that, I painted over it with the dark base layer on the right.
As you can see, I just went in with a dark grey/green color and mapped out the various coils and slithering wires that make up the Synth Suit. I think there were 4 layers of color, total; each one getting brighter. I used a traditional paint brush tip for the broad strokes, and a soft oil-like blending brush to round out the edges and apply light.
I kept the main outline of the figure on a separate layer so I could always check it, to make sure I was correctly illustrating the details the crossed arms; since the base layer is just a mass of dark color.
I have no idea if this method is advisable, I’m not exactly classically trained by the masters or youtube.
I learned quite a lot by going through this process, I want to incorporate some of these techniques into the actual comic panels.
Here is a breakdown of the process for the face and hair. Again, I didn’t use many layers for the shading, just a few for the shade and one for the bright shine. I used the same brushes as for the suit, just with a smaller tip and a much softer application of pressure.
Echo’s eyes are glowing white here, which happens when Halo is ‘playing as her’ by invasively plugging into her mind. The reasons Halo is able to do this are pretty interesting, I look forward to explaining it in detail in the story. It ties in nicely with the overall mythology of the Geo-City One world.
I’m also working on a character illustration of Halo using the same process, but it’s not finished just yet:
I tend to liken Echo to a mouse in a maze, and Halo (as well as others from the GOGG Republic) as snakes and vampires. Dangerous things that wear the night well, mysterious like a kiss in the dark.
With this particular piece, I was inspired by the Chinese Jiangshi/Xiāngxī/Hopping Vampire mythological creature. There are some satisfying thematic reasons why this is appropriate, and I promise to reveal all in the comic. She’ll actually be suspended by cables like a marionette puppet once it’s finished.
Sorry about the hair! I promise it will look cool when I actually shape and detail it properly. Also, unlike Echo, Halo has different outfits. She’s got several armor layers when she logs into THE PUBLIC ACCESS ZONE to find Echo, but she ends up losing them along the way.
Here is a VERY EARLY (don’t judge me!) in-progress illustration of GEO-CITY ONE. The subterranean civilization is made up of six gigantic ‘Epocholiths’, as well as some smaller stalactite structures.
Once I’ve applied the proper rock and bio-mechanical textures and structures, you’ll get a better idea of what the world looks like. Screens, monitors, payment processors and other hardware grow like mold on the structures in GC-1. When they grow on a living user, they call it ‘Fragmentation’; a deadly mutating disease.
Of course, because these things are so massive and the characters live inside them, they would probably never get to see a view like this. Each one of those tiny beads of light could be a whole city block.
And with the severe population decrease, you could spend weeks traveling and starving to death through mostly deserted linkways before you found a view of the outer darkness.
I hope this was enjoyable! I’m also working on the next set of panels, continuing the explanation of the Synth Suit as Echo gets ready to log out and scroll on the linkways.
Much love, more soon!