Siren

I painted this one on summer holidays, when I was in Tatry (Polish mountains). It was pouring for a few days and maybe that's why I came up with such an underwater picture ;) It did not take much time and it was pleasure to draw, especially because of this strange color scheme I used here. I'll try to show you how it was all made.

If there are some mistakes or something is unclear - I apologize. I'll fix anything you spot if you tell me about it ;)

I start with a black page and some fast sketch. When I paint from imagination such sketch doesn't hold much meaning as I tend to change everything in the process... Still, it helps me to plan the whole picture and all the things I want to include in it. As you can see general idea survived but facial features of the girl herself are completely different :D I start to paint some first colors, as always with a soft and wide brush. I try to focus on deep shadows (where to place them), sketching with color all the elements of the face and so on. For now it's more like play than actual painting ;)

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I continue my play, trying to get out some decent facial features. Nose comes out first, with some sharp highlights, which make the skin look slippery. Then I try to design some unique eyes for my siren and add some shiny fish scale to her skin, just to make the picture more interesting. I also change her eyebrows into something more strange ;D It's still a phase when I try to figure out my character, not really paying attention to the details or how the image looks as a whole.

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Finally I finish with all this design, I give her a second eye (in the same time fixing what was totally wrong - her right eye was placed lower that it should be till now) and proper jaw. After a while I correct it a little, because it seems way too wide. Second thing is making skin look more interesting. Somehow I don't want to play around with little dots so I try something different. On the new layer I draw some stains and splashes with a brush of irregular and rugged brush of low opacity. You can't really see that from a distance, but skin looks a bit more interesting.

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After all that I focus on the details. I work with the image zoomed so it's important to look at the whole piece from time to time too check if everything looks the way it should. Well, this will be actually watched from a distance ;) Pictures below show more than I could possibly say about drawing details.

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After mouth and nose I draw details on eyes and that concludes my work with face features. I change some colors and light on the face, just to make it more interesting (again). I do that by creating another layer and changing it from a "Normal" layer to "Multiply" one. After that, with soft brush, I paint some additional shadows and colors. This specially prepared layer blends nicely into the picture below it and I achieve what I wanted :)

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When face is finished I make the whole picture a bit bigger, to get some space for hair. I paint the background with some dark color and I sketch (with a soft brush) some main hair strand. Hair tends to group into such locks, it usually doesn't just lay in separate strands. After sketching hair I realize that my siren needs at least one ear so I draw it. In addition I draw some gills on the neck. Just after that I focus on painting detail on hair - with very thin and hard brush I draw separate strands. I change colors often, to make hair look more realistic.

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Siren

Strands grow in number and I am getting slightly mad while drawing xD Just not to get completely insane from drawing such monotone thing I paint little, sickly blue fish in siren's hair. Such strange color corresponds with her eyes, which actually break whole color scheme for this picture. After some more time I give up on hair, trying to convince myself that it's done ;D (which is not exactly true....)

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After some minor corrections picture is finally finished :)