A)Finding a client,
B)Understanding the clients concept,
C)Deciding how to price ones work,
D)Negotiating an agreeable price,
E)Ironing out the terms/contract
It’s then time to start drawing! :D
Here was my client’s initial request for this piece.
This is a specific kind of undead from Ravenloft. Here's what we got.
1. She's a beautiful woman.
2. Her eyes are totally black, but weep streams of blood. The blood dribbles onto her white dress, so she has brown streaks of dried blood on it.
3. She has an expensive looking white dress that you would see in Victorian or Edwardian times. Its hem is torn and stained, as she travels through the woods a lot. And the brown streaks of dried blood.
4. Her skin is made of white porcelain. To move her "skin" constantly breaks and reforms. So her skin needs to be obviously porcelain, and there are cracks around her elbows as she's bending her arms.
Once thing I really like about this description is that it is very succinct. It quickly gets across the most important features desired but keeps things just vague enough that I as an artist get to use my own imagination to fill in the blanks where needed. If you client gives you a book to digest you should take the time to list the most important elements in this way. So that you don’t end up half way done before realizing that you got the gender or time period all wrong. XD
I started off by sketching generic female forms until I came up with a general shape that I felt was suitable for the main form. Once I was happy with that I started researching dresses. I lucked out in that I had a figurine that had the perfect dress for me to reference. I brought in elements I liked from it and other photos I found online but made sure to keep it unique enough that few if any will ever be able to tell exactly what my references were. XD
As you can see from the incoherent madness of this splash page precisely why I avoid sharing my roughs drafts. After many hours of farming terrible sketches eventually a good pose will drop. XD After I refined her basic form I began to add on the character elements that would transform her into the character described above.
Be sure to give your client as many chances to provide their input into the piece early on so that you can avoid any unexpected changes later on. The sketching stage is when you want the client to exhaust all the changes and adjustments they could want, because once it gets to the inking stage it will be much more difficult to make adjustments.
My client only had mild to add mainly concerning the some portions of the dress and the expression. Since this is only going to be a partial background piece its important to keep in mind just how you will frame the character with the background.