The cool damp air subsides as you make your way up the thick marble steps; a warm glow inviting you through the grand carved doors of the manor house. A squat figure with a grin wider than his face bows and beckons you in with a broad sweeping gesture; “Welcome esteemed guest - please leave your outer-garments with the cape master, and head on through to the main hall”. You continue on down the candle lined corridor, overlooked by tall portraits that seem to leer disapprovingly through the shadows. As you draw near, the gilded doors at the far end sweep open - revealing the grand hall. You stop just inside; peering around the vast space - scanning across figures of various shapes and sizes as eyes flash towards you from behind elaborate masks.
Task in brief:
Craft a portrait representing your fantasy alter-ego, including a designed mask partially or fully covering their face.
Reveal your finished masterpiece in the artwork section on 31st October 2020 (Halloween).
I’m keeping the requirements basic so people are free to interpret the theme according to their tastes.
You might want to emphasise the Halloween theme but it’s not essential e.g. maybe add horror or macabre design elements to your character and/or mask. Perhaps use subdued lighting to enhance the feeling of mystery.
Your character is meant to be a fantastical projection of your inner-self; it’s up to you how much of your own features you include - it doesn’t have to look like you at all.
I suggest keeping your portrait as a bust (head and shoulders), or no more than 3/4 length so you can more easily focus on the character/costume design over the figure or setting. This should also fit well with the theme - so it’s more intimate; like encountering faces as you move through a crowded ballroom.
If you don’t feel confident doing this on your own, or just want feedback it’s okay to post in the Work in Progress section and ask for help.
Here’s some film clips to get you in the mood and stimulate your imagination:
That last video from Labyrinth is good reference as it combines fantasy with the classic Venetian look. There’s loads of videos on youtube of the Venice Carnival which you might find inspiring, but some of the designs are very elaborate and intricate.
This is not a contest - it’s a party; So don’t hesitate - just have fun creating and participating!
Feel free to ask questions or just chat random nonsense in the comments below…
Note: At time of posting I haven’t run this by any moderators - so things may be subject to change depending on feedback.
Doing plenty of sketches first is a good starting point as you can often find more interesting designs, ideas or compositions than you would have if you jump straight in to the final image.
Edit: Here’s the initial character design sheet for a contest piece I was working on last year. I used the symmetry tool for all of these. I tried to generate a variety of shapes and features so I had plenty of ideas to pick and choose from.
How’s everyone doing? I’m curious if anyone’s working on a piece in secret?! Well… that’s basically what I suggested in the brief, so I guess I’ll just have to deal with it!
I haven’t started my own yet, but I wanted to add more tips so:
Design tip 2!: Symmetrical points on an inflexible object will line up in perspective!
Awesome!.. But what does it mean?! Well trust me to pick a subject I’m rubbish at!..
If for example you wanted to illustrate a mask with a symmetrical design in perspective; Because the design is the same on both sides, the same points on each side will line up towards a vanishing point. Keeping this in mind, you can use perspective guides to help you judge more accurately how the mask or other symmetrical object should look from the desired angle.
Following on from the previous tip about the symmetry tool, I did another more detailed sketch using that method. Then I used that sketch as a reference to do another sketch in perspective, making use of Krita’s assistants to plot and keep track of the vanishing points. I added the blue lines towards the end so you can see more clearly how points on opposite sides line up:
As you can probably tell - I had more difficulty around the top; The front view is a bit ambiguous and doesn’t have much depth information. This is why concept artists do turnarounds where they paint a design from multiple angles i.e. Front, back, sides; it provides more information for the 2D design to be translated into a 3D model.
Great stuff - so cool to see all those different artists using the set in various ways recently I’m glad, that even in grayscale they hold up quite well. Thanks for sharing and recommending them to the others
It’s cool! - Kind of like a cross between The Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
As to whether it’s on topic, well - I can see where you’re coming from with it, but it’s maybe stretching things a bit. Not exactly breaking the brief though as it was deliberately loose!
If you want to adapt it; It’s seems like a metamorphosis stage, so maybe you could progress that to a more mobile state. You could use what you already have - rotate and zoom in so the figure is more upright, maybe add a limb or two. An exposed eye would help connect with the human within and potentially make it more horrific.
If you want to ramp up the horror factor further, you could increase the fleshiness; add specular highlights to give it a wet look, maybe add some other colour tones - subtle blue/green greys or yellowish hints if there’s bone. Could also add some subsurface effects if there are thin areas. I’m not sure how well all that would mesh with the line and shade rendering though.
Just some suggestions - it’s your picture so you have to decide what’s right. It’s already cool as it is!