Anger plus fear is a lethal combination, I've heard. Both, I'm sure, course through the veins of soldiers like the one on this page, every day and all over the world.
Bleed the Freak is a sample image, ultimately destined for my portfolio, at this point. However, I had some parameters for its completion.
The image needed to reflect a dramatic point of view. It also needed to be cold and unwelcoming. I have since added the flash of red, for warmth and added drama. Lastly, it needed to project emotion and tell a bit of a story.
Who is he? What's he reaching for? Where is he? Why is he in anguish?
These are questions a viewer can pose. They are also ones that the viewer can answer, or at least draw some plausible conclusions, based on the context.
I shot some photos and used the one I thought captured a good mix of emotion, shape, light, and composition.
I zoomed-in a bit more on the figure, than what I had shot, to make him further inescapable to the viewer. After the painting phase, I took the art to the computer, where I adjusted the local and global values, as well as the local color, bringing barely saturated teals to the clothing and helmet and the slightest bit of warmth to his skin tones.
To bring some rawness to the image, there needed to be more texture -- another layer or two of obscurity between your eyes and his. I wanted to make it less-clean.
Some radiating wood texture brought a carved look while aiding in an explosive feel, apropos to the subject. On top of it all, a spatter texture, I thought, brought a sense of debris and, obviously, blood -- also appropriate.
Illustrations like this harken to the amazingly well-crafted and complex, yet seemingly spontaneous work one can see in comics and graphic novels -- something that captivated many a young artist. It is a reminder of the pure magic of illustration.