so i like to look at progress pictures and on occasion i make one of them myself. this was made from a photo reference. no tracing, no line art, just me and the hard round rush for 3 days. i think the last new layer i used was labelled Layer 97.
stage 1: basic stuff, trying to get some landmarks in there for orientation. it looks awful, but i'm not worried.
stage 2: more refinement. added the background. the darkest shade in the background is the darkest shade in the entire picture. now i know what shade range i'm supposed to be in. (shade range is my word, but you can use it if you like.) i had to flip the picture upside down and try to clear my head of any pre-existing notion of how i think i face should look and just paint what i saw.
stage 3: more refinement, obviously. i had to add some irises and pupils, but they look really wonky. at this stage i had started going to the hair whenever i needed a break from the face, just giving the hair a couple more strokes as i was procrastinating. it eventually got too detailed and i painted over it in stage five.
stage 4: more refinement! the eyes got a bit more love, but they still aren't very much like the reference. sent it away to get some quick pointers.
stage 5: a COMPLETE remake of the eyes. i just painted over them and started from scratch. i also tried to soften up some of the shading, but i should have done more. and of course i painted over the hair.
stage 6: tweaked her head a bit. this is what i handed in to my tutor for final review. who is my tutor? it's only Nicholas Kay [link]
(if you are serious about becoming an illustrator i HIGHLY recommend his Clinic. it is a great investment.)