THE DEPICTION OF LIFE // ILLUSTRATION
Original finished piece. Estimated time taken: 5 hours (mainly due to slow laptop because of document size).
Design process:
Phase1: Very rough sketch of my initial concept. So the ideas behind this is, the girl is experiencing a very deep depression to the very point where it is affecting her mental state, making her hallucinate about her teddy bear being that persuasive part of our brain as a companion (antagonist to the us/viewer). Im thinking that the backgroud colour will be filled black with some marker pens to give that creepy roughly made feel kind of like somehting that a troubled child in horror movies would draw. Furthermore, I'm not 100% sure with the writing, if I was to put them forward to develoment, I will go over them with a brush pen very roughly, to reinforce that handmade creepy look and colour wise, it will be white to represent the only part of the girl left that is present where as the black background represents the depression taking over her, pushing her to end her life.
Here I played around with some finliners to test out which thickness would be perfect for the main sketch and also to experiment with details and shading. Again very rough.
Phase 2: So here we have the refined version of my intial sketch. As you can see I haven't altered much but her hair, there is no meaningful reason for this. I messed up the shadow areas of the folds on her dress, but not to worry I can easily polish this up in Photoshop, which is what I will be using through out the digitalising and compilling of this piece.
Phase 3: I thought that it would be too plain and simple with just the bear, therefore I decided to add more antagonists into the concept to make it more elaborate and tense. I used the snake to portray how severely trapped she is from her depressive state and the mini creature is to represent the self inflicted violence that depression can influence someone to partake in.
Here we have the refined and finelined piece.
Phase 4: My favorite part,  Digitalising and Compiling! Document size = A1 (which also means very SLOW laptop, which made everything from here and onwards a very slow process). I simply start by changing the background colour to this creamy blue.
Next I scanned in my black filled page using marker pens (very roughly done on purpose to give it a great texture).
Here we have the main background with the texture page on a layer placed obove with the blending mode set to multiply and the opacity lowered down.
After polishing the scan of the character sketch, I placed it in the document (I will be showing the layer orders at the end) and changed the outline colour by double clicking the layer and choosing colour overlay (I will also be talking about the colour palettes used towards the end).
Next I coloured in her dress on a layer under the outline.
I changed her hair colour by using the same principles as to when I changed the outline colour however I had to duplicate the outline layer first then changed the outline colour to black then erased the rest of her body, revealing the original dark blue outline layer.
I took the same steps to change the teddy's outline and base colour.
Snake and mini creature scan placed on top + outline colour change. Removed the mini creature to another layer so that it will be easier to manipulate.
Snakes base colour painted + opacity lowered to make the snake see through, to give an impression that the snake is not 100%  there (Just imagination or supernatural. it's up to the viewer to interpret this in their own way).
Faint shadow on snake added to achieve a slight 3d finish.
Coloured in the snakes tongue, it's on two separate layers, one for the outline and one for the fill.
Now bringing the mini creature onto the picture, I chose to give it the same outline colour as the snake to show relation between them, to show that neither one of them are real, just hallucination.
Fill colour is the same as the snakes too. 
Snakes eyes, mini creatures eyes and pulled hair coloured in black.
Details on the snakes eyes painted on.
1.
2.
Scan of hang rope added + outline colour changed.
Fill in.
Speech bubbles added.
Words placed.
Black trail to combine with the snakes eyes.
 
At this point, I thought the piece was finished so I spent some time going back to clean up the layers and retouching bits and pieces when inspiration hit me.
 
As I watch alot of anime in my spare time, I'm very familiar with fight scenes and battles within anime (a great example is Akira), alot of these consisted of  animated visual effects such as fire trails, smoke trails and plenty more intense effects and as I visually analysed tthe snakes deadly trailing eyes, I realised that I could expand it to a bigger scale to add some action into the piece to top everything off. 
Here is the black trail in action. I also played around with the trail and the middle speeche bubble to make the trail seem to actually be spinning around the character.
Version 2. I experimented with different colours and this turned out really nice and got some attention from my class which is a stepping stone to my goal for this project. However I still haven't decided which one I will put forward to present.
THE DEPICTION OF LIFE // ILLUSTRATION
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THE DEPICTION OF LIFE // ILLUSTRATION

This is a project blog containing my entire process for my college course assignment called "The Depictions of Life".
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Published:

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