Inner demons

Probably it's not the best tutorial for the beginners, as I will just omit many details here. But I'd like you to see something a tad more complicated, just to give you a chance to see the whole process of painting such scene. After that you should realize that it's not that scary at all! I was, for a long time too, scared of painting anything other than portrait so it was a big jump for me. But sometimes you just need to move on, right? :D

Let's then try to follow my steps together, maybe it will inspire you to cross your own limitations. And if you have any questions or comments - I'd be very happy to hear them!

At first I need to plan the whole drawing. It's not like I sit down with a cup of tea and plan out every single detail. Many things come to me while I paint but I need to decide th general theme and feel for the whole drawing beforehand. Just so it's not completely random :D I start with the most important thing for me here - the character. I place her on the floor, curled into a ball, troubled and sad. I also pick my palette and light. I plan to use warm colors, light near the character will quickly turn into the deep shadow on the right part of the picture. There is no sketch here because right now I am just placing my vision. Next I add all other elements, whatever comes to my mind. Easel, demon behind it, something on the floor (I don't know what it is yet, I just wanted to close the composition and balance out this dark part of the drawing), sketch of a window. Then I take my time with the girl, trying to pick a good position and clothes for her.

Inner demons Inner demons Inner demons

After oh so many tries I decided to show her face and "uncurl" her a little. I sketched her out on the separate layer and slowly start coloring, also on the separate layer. I don't want to lose the edges so I use hard brush, trying to place highlights in the right places. When whole character is covered I lover the opacity and ease out transitions between colors.

Inner demons Inner demons Inner demons

I slowly smooth out transitions between colors, I use soft brush or smudge tool for that task. With brush you have to be careful not to move into dull colors, stick to those picked at the beginning, stick to the warm tones. I try to paint my character as a whole, not part by part. This way it is consistent in color, light and style. Details are delicate, subtle, mostly dots for skin texture or freckles. When girl is painted (somehow) I move on to other things, I am not interested in perfecting it right now, firstly I need to place all elements on the scene, that's more important for now.

Inner demons Inner demons Inner demons
Inner demons Inner demons Inner demons

After that other elements - missing hand and foot, her leg. In case of that hand I needed to take a reference photo of my own hand, before that something was constantly off. Sometimes it happens :D It was easier for me to draw hand without blood first and then add special effects on the separate layer. You can do that easily with 2 layers, one in opacity or color blending mode and second in the multiply mode, to darken the shadows. I painted this mostly with a soft brush, occasionally using smudge tool.

Inner demons Inner demons Inner demons

And here we go, character is sitting there properly, it's not bad at all! What is left is this super complicated background and some details. You can see many messy lines and stuff like that but from far away they are almost invisible. I will still need to fix her ear and hair though. Freckles oh her back on the other hand are almost impossible to see :D I move on anyway, paint the wall on the separate layer, trying to somehow fit the window in here. I paint on the separate layer, just above my concept.

Inner demons Inner demons Inner demons

I add drawings on the wall, I didn't think too much about them, I just didn't like that flat and empty surface. I also add window, on the separate layer. Somehow straight lines seem to be harder for me... Easel was a real torture too, I painted it on the separate layer, with a hard brush to make the edges sharp but still I needed to use smudge tool to fix some lines. Thanks too that it's all messy now. Them, on the separate layers again, I sketch out the demon in the shadows and some blank canvases on the right. Then messy group of birds torn to shreds, some brushes, additional things I want to include in the picture. Just to be able to take a look on the whole picture and decide if composition is right. There is no detail yet but everything is now placed on the separate layers and I know what I will paint exactly. I know how light works in this picture, which elements are more in the front, which are in the back and how to focus the attention of the viewer on the character.

Inner demons Inner demons Inner demons
Inner demons Inner demons Inner demons

Now I can take my time adding details and fixing the lines. Birds are first on my list but I don't spend too much time on them. I was kind of lazy when I painted them, I admit it... :D I used smudge tool for the most of the work, fixing shape of feathers and adding some small lines. Nothing special here, not much detail. There was much more to do when I came to the demon, as this is second most important thing in the whole drawing and it had to look good. Also my sketch was very flat, done with one color and without much thought put into it. I redid the whole thing, slowly adding lights until I was happy with the shape. I also added his hand and tail because it looked strange when only head was visible. Smudge tool helped to make his skin texture.

Inner demons Inner demons Inner demons

Detail on the easel was mostly painting the painting :D I also fixed those messy lines, hard eraser helped me with that. So I added some demonic-whatever on the canvas, played around with the easel itself and that was it. It was really fast, believe me. There is no point to draw detail when it won't be visible. Painting on the canvas is a bit messy and blurry but that's fine, if it was super detailed it would stick out too much and take attention from the character. We have many elements on this picture, there is no time to look on the every single pixel in search for details :D After that I add curtain to get rid of that empty space behind the easel and make some texture on the floor. Adding texture in the overlay blending mode made it possible for me to preserve lights and shadow which were already there.

Inner demons Inner demons Inner demons

Here you can see how I painted brushes and palette. It's not that hard when you look at it closely. Palette was first drawn without the paint, then I added some dark spots and bright colors as highlights. A bit of a smudge tool and here you have it. Brushes are mostly just dark lines or dark lines with highlight (additional bright line). On the close up you can see clearly that I didn't waste my time on those. Finally I fix girl's hair and add some lighter spots. I also close her eyelid completely as I decided it would look better this way.

Inner demons Inner demons Inner demons

After warming it up a little bit and playing around with the light the image is finally complete. I hope it wasn't super boring :) For me this drawing was very challenging but I guess it was really worth the struggle!