HOW: the Dream _ Workflow

Here I come again with a new tutorial about my workflow on my illustration called ” the Dream “, featuring a (rooster) Picasso painting (cockatiel) Marie Thérèse Walter’s portrait. I got inspired by Le Rêve (the Dream) Picasso, 1932. 

WORKFLOW _ STEP 1: Sketching 
The biggest difficulty here was finding a bird “with hair”, in order to be as loyal as possible to the original painting. I chose the cockatiel for the long feathers on top of its head, which could be easily arranged as a hairstyle. The soft, curvy lines of the painting gave me the impression of a chubby model, that’s the reason why the cockatiel looks so adorably puffed up. Later I looked for picture of the real Marie Thérèse and discovered she was actually pretty slim XD Let’s call this one an artistic license!

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WORKFLOW _ STEP 2: Inking
While inking, I decided to correct the rooster’s hand, not only because I didn’t like the anatomy but also because I wanted the brush to be more tilted. Nothing else to say about this part actually.

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WORKFLOW _ STEP 3:  the painting
This part was extremely funny! Somehow it felt like I was desecrating a famous masterpiece, but I had to do it for the sake of the picture! In the Daily_Bird Challenge, all characters are avian anthros… I couldn’t let the Rooster paint a human, it just didn’t fit at all. Please forgive me, master Picasso!
I added the beak, changed the face, removed eyebrows and got rid of that perky nipple. Don’t misunderstand me, I have absolutely zero problems drawing nudity, but birds are oviparous, they don’t breastfeed their babies… they just don’t need boobs :V in fact, the cockatiel is displaying a huge, fluffy, massive feathery chest instead.

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WORKFLOW _ STEP 4: Flat coloring
As usual, this is a very important, but boring part. I arranged the flats on 6 layers: painting and easel, the rooster, the cockatiel, the sofa, curtains and the background. I tried to use the same colors of the original painting, even if giving them a common sense was pretty difficult: yellow, white, green, blue, red, black, brown… not exactly an easy palette to deal with.

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WORKFLOW _ STEP 5: Shading & Lighting
Shading: I applied 2 different colors to gave the right atmosphere and to start separating the foreground from the background. I used a dark, dirty green on the painting and the rooster – giving it a colder tone – and a warmer brown on the cockatiel and the background. Both of them in “multiply” mod.
Lighting: this part gave the picture a whole new sense. It was made with white on a “screen” layer, and DAMN I love the focus point it created on the model! Light is a great helper when it comes to the narration of the illustration. I wanted the viewer’s eye to follow this path: model, painting and then the painter, like a zoom out. I know that – for the Rooster – painting with the canvas in the dark is not wise, but I don’t really care! The painting isn’t the main element of the picture, so I threw it in a dark corner 😛

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WORKFLOW _ STEP 6:  Detailed Shadows
Unluckily, with a single color in the shadows characters look pretty flat! So I had to add some details: I made the top of the head darker and greener, I added some reflected red on the elbow and “hair”. In the end I worked a bit on the Rooster. He doesn’t have lights on him, so I had to gave the volumes with more shadows!

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WORKFLOW _ STEP 7:  Details
We are slowly approaching to the end of the process. I added a vivid orange line between shadow and light on the cockatiel in order to make the light look very bright and “burning”. Some darker shadows in the corners, stripes on the wall and specular lights on the necklace.

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WORKFLOW _ STEP 6: Final adjustments
For the final step I added a weak wash of warm vivid light, then I played a bit with “color balance” and made greens go more towards browns. In the end I adjusted luminosity/contrast a bit, then added signature and logo. Ta-dan! Mission Completed!

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I hope you found this article useful! If you have any question, please feel free to contact me on my FB page. Don’t be shy!
You can view the finished artwork in the portfolio section! See you to the next tutorial!

Be good and stay safe! : D