Skulduggery Pleasant #FanArt

This week's fan art comes from our Background Artist Fraeya Pinto who is based in our Toronto studio! Freaya is a massive fan of the Skulduggery Pleasant series and is planning a lot more fan art pieces so who knows, we may see more of her artwork here again shortly!

Fraeya: I am utterly obsessed with Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant series. At some point, I’d love to draw all the main characters from the books (of which there are currently 11, this is going to take a while!). For now, I’ve started with the main characters as they appear in book two. Stephanie, aged 13 and the skeleton detective Skulduggery:

Using Photoshop, I started with a line drawing and flats. At this point, I’m just trying to get the idea across; I’d made a few changes to the characters, the most notable being Stephanie’s hair, which I drew as short. It’s a funny thing about rendering from books. There’s a lot more freedom to interpret here. What works in writing doesn’t necessarily translate to the design.

Usually, I start with the darks, but this time I decided to try and render the main light source first. I used the lasso tool to select the areas where the light would be falling. Then created a new layer above the flats and clipped it to the layer below (ctrl+alt+g). This way, the light I painted wouldn’t go past the confines of the flat colours. From there, I used a brush with a little texture to paint in the light. I then added a little bloom to the light layer using ‘outer glow’ as a layer style. This softened it up a little. 

I then started adding in the darks and painting in the secondary light source. I started by roughing in spots where it would be hitting Stephanie. I also went over the light layer and started solidifying it. Painted the light stronger on certain parts, and blended it in others. 

Now I start detailing. I add in the darkest darks; where no light at all is falling and the lightest lights; in this case the inside of Stephanie’s coat and the specular highlight on the skeleton's head, respectively. I also paint the secondary light onto him.

Nearly there. I decided to switch the background to a darker colour to help the characters pop. Then, more detailing! The light is painted in now and the hard work is done. Now it’s just smoothing out parts and painting in little details. 

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