Making of Qiane

"Making of Qiane " by Shreya Shetty

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Qiane is a character from a story I am developing so I had a pretty strong idea of how I wanted her to be presented. The story is based in an alternate dimension, a world that shifts in and out of the universe as we know it. Qiane is the Goddess of Illusions, the queen of Eithanas (as the world is called) and the personaification of the false realm itself.Shifting between the living world and the afterlife, those who get into Eithanas may not get out, unless the Goddess wills them so.
The daughter of Rakhn,she inherited his power of weaver-magic. But while Rakhn prefered to weave his way into the fates of the living, Qiane wove her magic into creating her own world.Though, what her hands created, her sight destroyed. So she veiled her eyes, content to live in her own illusionary world and see through Valha and Mentit, her pet crows.
I was highly in love with the Pre-Raphaelite Art and Orientalism and I wanted to bring in some of the same rich, lush feeling into my artwork. So I first started with a couple of color keys to set the mood. I knew I wanted some richly textured fabric in the painting to add to the grandeur and I finally settled on a warm red-orange scheme with some purple blue to balance it out a bit. While I tried out the colour keys I also tried a few combination of poses for the composition and finally settled on a traditional iconic profile view.

This is the fun part! After I decide on my sketch, I usually go about collecting reference or shooting some myself. I already had some references for the style I wanted (paintings by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Waterhouse, Bouguereau) and the next thing to do was to have a photoshoot with a model. It is very important to have references when you’re painting/drawing. I think using a reference doesn’t make you a lesser artist, it makes you a smarter artist as long as one does not turn a slave to the reference (which means copying your reference blindly without analysing it and/or making no changes whatsoever). You might like certain aspects of a particular reference – colours, form, mood etc at the same time you might feel it is lacking something, which you can add by yourself in the painting. It is important to keep an open mind.
Once I have my reference images ready, I slowly start to mould my sketch into place.
I usually start with a smaller resolution, about 500x700px@300dpi and gradually increase it as I start adding more detail.I start with blocking out the basic shapes with big brushes when I start out and as I move along the painting I fill in the details. The first thing to remember whole painting is to define your light source and position and start blocking in the shadows.This helps to get a three dimensional feel to the painting.

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