I haven’t had much time to create personal art lately…the most current personal art that I created is “Chronos” which is created for Depthcore XLIII – Time. The entire process of the illustration took me about 3 weeks to complete – and this is exactly why I can’t create personal art in large quantities anymore – they just take so long!
Ok, it’s just me. For a long while now, I’ve been such a perfectionist with myself that it makes me put many more hours into an illustration, even though the general audience wouldn’t even notice the details. Do I call this self discipline, or do I call this retarded? I want to believe that this is a good thing. I’m sure I can work faster and be more carefree but somehow I can’t get myself to overlook any flaws. I noticed that I do this with client-based work as well because I just can’t seem to get myself to give up quality over simply delivering something “worth the time.” I could be doing a $1,000 job or a $10,000 job, but I still find myself putting in 101% of my efforts.
Random rant aside – I want to talk and show you guys the creative process of the “Chronos” illustration. Before I do, here is the concept of the piece:
Chronos – the father of time and the guardian of the end of time. Chronos himself is a being composed of both organic and mechanical matter. In the core on his chest, holds the world as we know it – galaxies upon galaxies.
He wields a scythe where the sands of time are located, and the 2 different asian characters on each side of the scythe’s head mean life and death. It is Chronos who controls life and death.
I was inspired to create an illustration like this long ago from playing Final Fantasy and other RPGs but I never coughed up the guts to do it until recently. I just knew that it would take so long because it would be so time-consuming because it of how elaborate I envisioned it. Of course, I was not wrong, and Chronos did take me 3 weeks to create.
Ready for a elaborate breakdown? Here we go:
Chronos Inspiration Board
I started off by putting a reference and inspiration board together for Chronos. Drawing something of this nature is new to me, so I knew I would need much inspiration along the way if I wanted this to look like how I envisioned. I searched for some Final Fantasy artwork because it was what inspired me. I’m also a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series itself because I’ve played through most of the games growing up.
I then looked for references to an old man’s face, one that would seem like he could be called “the father of time.” It turns out, the key is a stern expression and a huge beard! Once I got the inspiration going, I was ready to start sketching out my character.
Chronos – Line Art
I definitely ran into some difficulties because as I said previously, I’ve never drawn anything like this and it was hard to envision how certain things would look based on perspecrtive. I’d say it was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done as an artist! In the end, I was very happy with the final lineart and I think it looks awesome as is without any color.
Artist Note: The line art for Chronos took about a week’s time to create in Photoshop (freehand + pen tool) because of all the details.
Chronos – Painting
I was only able to do a small section every day and it was a slow process overall. This was also done in A2 sizing so it’s quite a lot of detailing. I think what would have helped was if I started shading the entire image instead of each section at a time to get the overall mood and lighting down. However, maybe I’m a bit OCD, but I can’t seem to leave an area unpolished before moving on…that’s why I worked on this in sections. I spent the most time refining the lighting of the piece and mood – it was crucial for me to get that down. I wanted it to look outworldly yet remain realistic and I believe I was able to achieve that in the final version so I was quite happy.
Artist Note: Painting the Chronos illustration took approximately 2 weeks.
Chronos – Final Adjustments
In the final stages, I added some DoF blur as well as some smoke to add to the depth and atmosphere of the piece. Overall I can say that I’m very happy with my illustration and it was an accomplishment as an artist as well – I definitely pushed myself hard for this and I’m pleased to have been able to make this polished piece. I actually haven’t gotten much love for this piece – which tends to happen when I’m not creating abstracts or my usual work, but personally I’m proud of it and I’m actually going to print this on a huge scale and frame it on my wall!
Chronos – The Father of Time
I hope you guys enjoyed reading about the process of creating Chronos, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below and share this with your friends!
You can see more details on Chronos by visiting the actual project.