Share with readers the details of how this piece came into being. Did you have a clear story idea/inspiration from the beginning?
One morning, on my subway commute, I glanced at a poster on the train. It was a picture of a beautiful gold watch. Out of all the visual stimuli around me, the poster of the gold watch caught my attention. I wanted to personify that gold into a character and capture that same shimmering bright feeling.
After browsing for references I had a clearer idea for the subject matter. As a big fan of John William Waterhouse and Lawrence Alma-Tadema, I chose paintings from these artists for inspiration."
“Lillian in Gold” captures a feeling of enticing sensuality, heightened by wonderful texture and colour. Please, take us through your creative process on the painting, and how you went about achieving its distinctive mood.
Texture and color are very important to me. I try to strive for that “tactile” feel as if there’s some traditional qualities to the digital paint.
I did two sketches in different poses for Lillian. She had to feel sensual but not over the top.
Sketch 1: First pose is a profile view with a gold moon in the background. I wanted to convey a feeling of mystery so I imagined dark colors and Lillian as a silhouette, backlit by the moon. The dress would shimmer gold wherever there’s moonlight.
Sketch 2: I decided on a horizontal pose. Her presence felt commanding but still sensual. It also gave me the opportunity to add in an environment which she rests on. I also opted for brighter colors since that would show off the golden colors better."
Did you encounter any creative challenges when working on the piece? If so, how did you tackle them? Is there anything you would do differently now if you could?
Painting the right gold color was a challenge. If there’s too much yellow the gold looks fake. If there’s too much red, then the gold looks bronze. Where should the highlights be? And how glossy?
Fortunately there's an infinite amount of reference out there and I collected pictures of gold dresses and metallic fabrics to help me. By the way, Pinterest is really great for collecting references!"
What’s one piece of advice that you would share with other artists hoping to reach this standard of work in the future?
It's very important to art direct your illustrations-- especially if it's personal work. I'm constantly asking myself what else could I add to enhance the story? And just as necessary to ask: Which details can I remove that's unnecessary? I'm reminded by an illustration teacher who once said "Edit! Edit! Edit!"
What does this DD feature represent or mean to you at this stage of your artistic development? What can your watchers look forward to next?
The DD feature has been amazing. Shortly after the feature I had clients approach me and they mentioned they saw my work because of the Daily Deviation recognition. I just want to say thank you! The DD feature really does make a difference.
Since Lillian in Gold I've been working on trying to expand into different genres. I think my next batch of illustrations will still be fantasy based but also dip into sci-fi and horror."
Bonus question: Can you cite a memorable reaction to this piece in the comments at DA?
From : 'She looks mysteriously seductive. <3'
Those are two qualities I definitely wanted to achieve!"
Special thanks to Ochrehand for kindly consenting to the interview!
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