I like keeping track of progress so here's what I did over the weekend:
I like playing with really bright colors so wanted to have that reflected in the illustration. i can't figure out the mountain's shape which is driving me nuts but I want to get the overall color and atmosphere right atm. Been playing lots of Darkest Dungeon lately so the color scheme is definitely influenced by that game.
It's definitely not looking as monochrome as before, but it's still not there in terms of value and color scheme. I want this to feel quite saturated but almost sickly. I have some good references so I should be fine along the way.
First thing I addressed was the value grouping and saturation control. Will keep evolving but this block-in is good for now. In the splash, the chest ended up being a bigger element than the headpiece which is the iconic part of her isometric design. I will try to bring the headpiece back but if the illustration looks better with it subdued, then it will have to be that way :P
Here is what the skin concept looks like right now:
After I'm done with this illustration, I'll be bouncing back to the skin concept and render that one out all pretty. I'm prioritizing the contest entry over the concept sheet.
This is such a huge learning experience.
I'm finding it much more intuitive to work straight in color, while checking on values by toggling greyscale. I don't like glazing for illustrative pieces. As soon as I picked up opaque brush settings and started slapping color on, I immediately felt better.
I still like AO +glaze for character concept sheets but for an illustration like this I much prefer a painterly push-and-pull method.
Here is where I'm leaving off for the weekend.