Character of the Week #365


Character of the Week #365

Barbarian Lord

The Barbarians are a strong, ruthless society. Though they prefer to live as a primitive society, they are certainly one to be reckoned with. They don’t do politics, so the leader is chosen, not by bloodlines, but through combat. The strongest of a barbarian tribe is chosen as the leader and any barbarian may challenge the leader to take over. However, there is no mercy, only an honorable death to the loser. The lord of a tribe wears a head dress of a large prey they killed on a hunt. It is a magnificent trophy they earned and usually have the scars as secondary proof.

The Guidelines:

  • Must be Barbarian (Basically a jacked up human)
  • Can be male or female.
  • Must have the trophy head dress.
  • No background this time around, Please refer to the rules below.


Basic sketch
Quick and loose gesture.


Kept the initial sketch, but lowered the opacity on it and built right on top of it.


New layer, bigger brush adding a quick value range so I can check on the volume.


Combined all those layers into one, lowered the opacity and started sketching on top of it.  I’ll probably lower the head dress a little bit and decrease the size of it.  His right leg is a bit stiff and weird so that’ll need some attention… Not sure about his sword.


Adding some value to get a better sense for the volume and weight.  Overall happy with my initial design.  I’ll have to touch up a few things I noticed in the last step before I can move forward.


“Distance yourself from negativity and great things will happen.”  Unknown

[i]Her[/i] Left


I was able to get more out of my two hours this time around than what I felt was usual.  I’m sure working in grey-scale helped, but I was happy with the results of sticking to the process I’ve seen a couple artists that inspire me use.  Things I see them consistently do were, paying attention to form first and working small (as long as possible)


First thing I did because this image wasn’t a black and white picture initially, was add a Hue and Saturation layer (dropping the saturation all the way down), then added a Levels layer and played with the settings until I felt happy with them.

I did the majority of my initial linework without any guides, just using the negative space between the edge of the image and the subject as my rule.  Very basic, very rough.


*I use Photoshop on a 21″ WACOM Cintiq monitor/tablet and this is how small the canvas is in comparison to the rest of the screen.  I worked like this as long as possible, making sure I was paying attention to form first.


You can see me resisting the urge to start drawing individual hairs here, instead capturing the general light and dark values and flow of the hair.

For her face I knew I wanted to get to the point where I was painting over the line work, so I was loose with it, and made sure to make note of the curves and structures.  Again annotating the same high and low value areas like I did with the hair.


Laying down block values (100% Opacity, hard brush)


I put the line work layer on multiply and lowered the layers opacity.

Started blending  a little, mostly working from the darkest values up and into the lighter ones.


Wash, rinse, repeat…


This was were I stopped, about two hours of work.  This image is saved at 25% and I was working at 50% when I was putting details on the eye.  You can tell I wasn’t zooming back out and checking my work, because of how skewed her let eye is.

Still I’m happy for two hours.  :)


“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.”  –Albert Schweitzer