Origami Cupcake

Onsen: Work in Progress 6

News, Works in Progress

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Edit: This work has been completed under the name Kitsune.

For my new work I’m giving you a glimpse behind the scenes at the way I work, step by step.
Here’s links if you’re interested in the whole process: Work in Progress OneTwoThreeFourFive and Six.

At this stage I’m adding the final light effects and finishing off the work.

You can check out more of my work in progress here.

I’ve already drawn all the major elements of the work, colored and shaded it. So what’s left? There’s a big difference between almost complete and done, and ultimately it’s a matter of personal judgement. Which means it’s time to start making decisions…

After looking at the work again one of the first things I decided was to change the background from green to red. It’s something I’d already played around earlier and I felt that the warmer tone would give the work more life and drama.  The soft pinks also work well with the figure’s skin tone, unlike a green light that would make the figure seem sickly.

To integrate the red from the background into the work, I added a gradient set to overlay over the areas where light shines on the wall and floor. Similarly I also added a pink reflection to the water surface.
I also added a gradients to give the effect of steam rising at the bottom of the image:

Then I played around with the mist a bit, trying different colors and opacity settings. I’m using a linear gradient to make the mist fade, and the opacity set to overlay.

Up till this stage I had worked on the picture step by step, finishing each stage when I was happy with it, but now I had to evaluate the work as a whole. Was I satisfied with it? Ultimately I felt like there was something missing. After some brainstorming, I decided to add the image of a kitsune, a fox spirit, into the background.

After that the image proceeded easily, from a rough sketch to the finished linework and coloring (even though the color fill is almost transparent I used the same process for coloring all of my ink work).

Initially I made the color fill almost invisible and did the outline in white:

After some experimentation I changed the fox’s outline to a dark purple gradient that fades into the background. I also added blue flames around the foxes paws and a very subtle blue glow around his eyes.

For the background I layered gradients to increased the saturation of the image a bit and make the shadows a rich purple:

With the chages I’d made I felt like the rubber duck had become a distraction. Removing it from the image was a pain (a reminder to always keep different elements neat in separate layers), but I felt that it was worth the effort.

After some final tweaking it was done. Honestly I still feel like maybe I could work on it more, but knowing when to stop is also important  ^^

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