Things just got interesting. Firstly, a big thanks to Mike Jackson (www.mikimusprime.co.uk) and Matt Garvey (www.mattgarvey.co.uk) for allowing me to paint this fantastic piece, with Mike being the artist and Matt being the writer of the ‘Cordelia Swift’ comics series which you can purchase of his website.
I have only briefly read a few snippets of the comic, regretting not picking it up when I had my chance at the last convention, but I did love the idea and the character design and so when I saw this piece by Mike I really liked his take on it. Although a steampunk detective, Mikes version, in my mind, depicts her in a very delicate french style whilst managing to keep an aura of accomplished adventurer.
There’s lots in this scene that is great, her positioning on a dark street as if she’s hot on the trail of her newest mystery, the smoking gun, the lamplight that frames everything and of course the fantastic Foulard (Scarf to us common folk) that is as wily and beautiful as the character.
From a colouring point of view, as you can see in the video below, the first thing I knew the colour for was the Foulard with it definitely to be a vibrant redish pink as I really wanted it to be vibrant and striking. The coat was a close second and at first I was thinking a lighter brown but given the time of day a darker one seemed more suitable and I think it worked well. It took a little time to decide on the background / building colours, this is my first at night painting and if you stop and look around at night you’ll realise that everything changes colour in the pale night light, I finally settled on pale green / turquoise which I think works and also adds a small eeriness to it (green being the international colour for eerie!).
What really made this pop for me in the end though after painstakingly painting all elements of the scene was to then airbrush the f**k all over it to give it depth and more accurate lighting. The shadows really help to highlight and focus the different areas and to make the colours seem even more real and vibrant, you’ll notice in the video that halfway through I splash some shadows on just to make sure it’s all progressing in the direction I’m thinking and the moment I added the test ones it completely confirmed the approach instantly.
So there we have it folks, by far my best painting to date, it’s great to see the development with each painting but it has to be said that I started from a fantastic base on this, to the point where it was probably hard not to do a good job on such a fantastic piece.