Time for a new tutorial, this time less detailed and quite more advanced. It´s something completely different from my usual cartoonish style. This is a more realistic illustration of a MMA fighter (Mixed Martial Arts). I painted it for a logotype, aimed at the printing on T-shirts, of a new brand named Temper Tantrum.
I have to admit that I´m not completely satisfied with the result, because the process was a bit chaotic, and I had to spent many more hours than I expected. After speeding up the video x10, it still lasted 1 hour, so I had to speed it up x20 to make it suitable for Youtube:
If you want to download the original video, 1 hour long, you can do it from Mega Upload.
And now let´s explain the way I work when I´m asked for this type of illustrations. As I said before, this is just a serie of steps briefly described more than a tutorial. It would last forever to make a detailed tutorial about this topic.
STEP 1: References
I looked for some references to arrange the pose, when you´re so used to cartoonish style you tend to simplify the shapes too much. After finishing the job, I realise that I should have paid more attention to this step… Lesson learned!!
STEP 2: Sketch
When I paint in a more realistic style, I don´t need a very detailed sketch because I´ll remove it at the end. As you can see, the drawing is quite basic, I used Photoshop to make a collage of previous drawings as a template.
STEP 3: Isolating plain colors
I put the sketch in Multiply mode and I create a new layer below it. On this layer, I´ll paint each area of the character with plain colors of medium intensity. This way we can make quick selections.
STEP 4: Painting basic volumes
Now I add a new layer above it and I draw with darker colors to give deepness to the volumes. On each stroke, I reduce a bit the opacity of the layer of the sketch, until I make it dissapear.
STEP 5: Adding a bit of light
I add a new layer under the shadows one, on which I´ll paint with a brighter color.
STEP 6: Adding reflections
I add a new layer where I´ll paint the light reflected on the skin. This illumination looks now too soft but at the end I´ll put it on Linear Dodge mode to make it stronger.
STEP 7: Softing the volumes
Now that I have already ended the color sketch, I´ll flat all the layers except the reflections one, and I go mixing and softing the gradients, adding more and more detail. I disable the reflections layer for this, notice how it looks when I enable it again and I put it on Linear Dodge mode:
STEP 8: Cleaning and adding volume
I continue softing the gradients, I correct the anatomy, and I add darker and brighter tones to reinforce the volumes.
STEP 9: Details
For the clothing I follow the same procedure, plain colors on the general shapes first, and then I go adding volume and details.
For the hair, I add layers in different fusion modes (Screen for the reflections and Linear Dodge for the blonde hair lock) and I use the Smudge Tool to fuse the shades.
For the blood, I use a layer in Multiply mode with red color saturated to the maximum.
STEP 10: Change of plans
The client made some changes:
The pants gave me a little trouble, I liked better the first one, but the client chose the second.
Same for the face, I liked better the first one, but he chose the second.
STEP 11: Design of the logotype
This is the final logotype, I also made a simpler vectorial version to use in some cases:
I guess there are lots of them, hehe. If you need me to describe any steps, you only have to leave a comment.