Half Her Heart's Duet, Cynthia Sheppard (2D)

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  03 March 2009
Half Her Heart's Duet, Cynthia Sheppard (2D)

Title: Half Her Heart's Duet
Name: Cynthia Sheppard
Country: USA
Software: Photoshop

Half Her Heart's Duet © 2009 Cynthia Sheppard

Digital painting - Photoshop, Wacom Cintiq.

There's so much I could say about this piece. I feel like it has a rich story, but I want to see more of what's beyond that fence. I tend to think of my non-client-driven work as vignettes based on a certain mood more than illustrative representations of an event, but I think this one is both.

My husband is responsible for some of the symbolism - he saw what I was working on at the start when it was just a lass and an amorphous instrument, and would send me excited emails as it developed detailing the life and times of our red-haired protagonist - "...she's an only child, no older brother to take over the farm when her dad dies, or to keep the family name. She's been trying to adapt for so long, and in this moment she's wandered off to have a moment to herself, in her nice dress instead of her daily farm clothes."

Technically I think this one is worth a look. I took much longer to consider certain elements than I normally do, and switched up references a couple times. For example, I had a photo reference of a friend I was using for the dress and body posture, but the hands looked stiff, and a lot like mittens, so I had to change that and referenced my hands instead. I'm really trying to get better about making conscious decisions instead of taking something that doesn't work and beating it to death. It's especially easy to let a reference photo make bad decisions for you if you're not mindful.

I'm also getting better at combining referenced areas with imagined stuff, which is so important for consistency. The head/neck were both from imagination, but the hair was behaving the same way as the hands, stiff stiff stiff, so I reworked it until it looked right, (which in total was about 12 times.)

I will stop talking now, but feel free to ask if you have questions! Enjoy
http://www.sheppard-arts.com, Modern alternative & Fantasy Illustration by Cynthia Sheppard
  03 March 2009
Very nice collors and overall feeling, I like it
  03 March 2009
I think it's a great piece! I usually don't like this kind of pictures but I find this one exceptional... What really stands out is her face- not a typical beauty that you can see in 99% of paintings representing women figures. And I love her mysterious expression. Colors are great, so is your painterly style... 5*
  03 March 2009

What a marvelous piece. It is truly a feast for the eyes. The color is stunning and the depth is incredible. I am particularly drawn to your rendering of her dress. The strokes really come together on this element. Great job on her hands. They are very elegant. I also enjoy the burning bits of paper. The glowing edge of the piece in the lower foreground really makes it pop off the page. In all, it sounds like you really put a lot of thought and effort into this painting and I think it shows. Great job!

I tend to mull over my pieces a lot so I empathize with you in slaving over the various details. Keep up the great work! 5 stars!


  03 March 2009
Awesome image!
Her dress and the b urning papers are really impressive....
  03 March 2009
Originally Posted by TMArtist: I tend to mull over my pieces a lot so I empathize with you in slaving over the various details.

I like to tell people I "beat my pieces to death" with detail. Sometimes it can hurt the image but sometimes we get lucky and it just works.

Thanks for the comments!
http://www.sheppard-arts.com, Modern alternative & Fantasy Illustration by Cynthia Sheppard
  03 March 2009
Geez, triple-A stuff! The clothes could compete with any classic artist, in fact they have the same classic scent. As Lordbiernac, I'm not very fond on this kind of themes, but this piece is top-notch, front cover stuff. If at all, the only thing I could remotely argue is that the specular light in the very center in the image is a bit too strong and competes with the girl's face, but seriously, don't trust me... it's just awesome!
  03 March 2009
5 stars for me!
Really amazing work!you are very good artist!
  03 March 2009
great piece of work! I especially like the yellows and oranges.
  03 March 2009
amazing....looks like another choice award
  03 March 2009
wow, it's breathtaking.
I also have a thing for redheads in general too...many of them look so fragile and intelligent
( so medieval, so mysterious )
how many hours it took you to finish this piece from the very beginning?
can you estimate?
  03 March 2009
This is a masterpiece! 5 stars are not enough, congrtulations!
Jose Pardo

Massive update to my site, tons of new art!

”I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.”
Roy Batty, replicant.
  03 March 2009

This is truly amazing Cynthia. Great colors and layout...Absolutely a wonderful piece.
"Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment". Claude Monet
  03 March 2009
beautiful colors...

awesome work man.
  03 March 2009
You have handled the details very well and the emotional value of the painting communicates accordingly and exceptional work, thanks for sharing.
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