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Water of Urd

This  commission asked for three women; a mother, a maiden, and a crone, dressed in nordic attire, standing over a stone basin of dark water over the a world spanning tree.

Final Image

This was going to be a challenge, as painting elderly folks requires a lot of finesse to not overdo. But after collecting enough reference on my Pinterest, I felt I knew how to tackle it.

I began by having my lovely partner pose for several photos around an imaginary basin. This was to make sure I had all the anatomy right as well as the angles. It took dozens of photos, and even though it was slightly harder to align them together, given that when she was portraying any of the characters she could not see how they stood in relation to the others. we still wound up with a pretty decent compilation of images for reference.

I began by making a few sketches. I felt like what the art director was looking for was something more in like with typical fantasy fare, women in a hut. That sort of thing. However after looking at the mythology of other triple goddess' mythologies I wanted to go with something more arcane. Having these women view their mysticism through a natural basin of water on the floor.

I proposed the following sketches:

The Art Director eventually went with the carved basin, but I was happy that I had suggested my idea. I knew I would've regretted it had I not pitched it as it may have proven to be the better option.

Now I proceeded to block in the greyscale. My idea for this was to have the light focusing on each of the character defining traits. The maiden's beauty, the mothers body, and the crones intellect. And so I focused my lights in these areas to better describe who they were.

I knew getting the faces right was crucial in this image, and so special attention was paid to them.

I knew getting the faces right was crucial in this image, and so special attention was paid to them.

Greyscale completed. But the colour part would be tricky. The issue I had was that there were several colour schemes I could think to go with this image. Mytical, myterious, natural. All seemed to work. But after seeing some tutorials by Tom Scholes, I decided to try a technique he used. Overlaying previous images in various layer modes to see what colours you get. I ended up with the following:

At this point I knew I wanted Orange to be in there somehow, so I started overlaying more colour layers, basically just tweaked everything until I had something roughly how I wanted it.

Almost there, just some final alterations and we're complete. Although I want to make special mention of the girls portrait as I was very happy with how this came out.

And complete!


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