Well, I’ve wanted to post a good summary of my process on this for a while, but haven’t had the time to sit down and write it until now.
After doing tons of sketches, it was hard to focus on one idea for a while, I settled on Icarus feeling like it was the best fit for the Challenge and after some positive feedback.
Once that was decided, I started a whole new round of sketching compositions, experimenting with the character size and placement, as well as bg elements etc. I pretty much burnt out on the piece at that point. Decision making got slower and I began waffling on compositions and poses for Icarus. I think at that point I had taken almost too much feedback (lots wasn’t from the forums) and was trying to incorporate everything that people had to say.
Anyway, after wanting to just give up a couple times and exhausting my motivation for it, I finally settled on a composition that put the character close enough to read his expression, but wide enough to see a good amount of his Steampunk wings coming apart as he plummeted from the sky. I broke out of the posing I had previously settled on and went for a more dramatic feel, where instead of Icarus being resolved to his fall, he was still reaching upward and grasping at the sky. It was really tough to get just the right angle for it to feel like he’s falling and to still get a good look at all the elements I wanted visible.
I also decided that the Labyrinth part of his myth needed to be part of the piece. So instead of the Victorian architecture I was planning on doing for the bg, I went to an idea of a Steam Labyrinth a reinterpretation of the island of Crete and Labyrinth from the original Myth…a structure of twisting pipes, tanks and shapes rising out of the ocean. I think it really adds to the story and gives a focal point to the bg…the character now feels like he’s falling back to where he came from.
Anyway, after all the frustrations and wheel spinning and taking a good break, I began the image again using the decisions I had come up with from my laborious early process and the new motivation from a fresh start and ended up with the WIP I’ve posted.
I’ll be updating this WIP as I go more frequently. There will be a glow from the overheated wings lighting up the character more, and there’s more detail to go in everywhere as well, but this WIP gives youa good idea of where it’s going.
Where I’m at now is from a restart of the whole image I began in December. I had done tons of sketching ideas