Sketch Diary: Angel of January Part 2

You all might remember my last sketch diary entry for this image? If not, go check it out for idea development and thumbnail sketches. Wow, has it really been nearly a YEAR since I’ve come back to this piece? Guess that burnout wave hit me harder than I thought! (More on that later, as it’s been on my mind a lot lately)

My favorite thumbnail sketch.

Next up, developing the final draft! With my favorite thumbnail sketch out of the many in mind, I shot some stock reference for myself with the idea of a veiled or draped figure stepping into sunlight to echo the themes of the emergence of Persephone (which is associated with the gemstone for January with its pomegranate seed-like clusters of garnets).

January is also named for Janus, the god of doorways and transitions, signaling the coming of the new season and new year.

This particular stock pose caught my eye most with the inquisitive angle of the head, the assymetrical sweep of the arms, and the idea of ‘stepping into the sunlight’ echoed in the pose.:

More poses at my stock gallery.
The first base sketch. The wings cover too much of the
stained glass window.

With that stock pose in mind, I did several rough sketches in Photoshop and finally arrived at a base figure, with all of my background elements on separate layers so I could tweak them individually.  This phase also involved doing a rough sketch of the stained glass window pane with its Snow Drop and Carnations motif with no attention paid to exact symmetry just yet, but rather scribbles filling out the main idea of the design and how it might integrate with the figure first.

However, I kept running into a problem with the wings.  They seemed either covered up too much of the lovely window, were too flat, or too cramped into the space I had in mind.

Too cramped and thin…
Much better flow that leads the viewer’s
eye through the figure!

With the main figure taken care of, I refined the window by copying, pasting, and flipping parts of the window as needed to create a more symmetrical shape.  I then transferred the sketch to illustration board, refining the details as I went along until I arrived at this:

Very light pencil sketch…
…which morphed into color pencil outline!


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