Progressive Views of "Metanoia" WIPs

After doing a lot of traditional pieces (physical pieces on paper) in rather small scales and feeling somewhat claustrophobic, it was a nice change of pace to do a larger drawing and detailed digital coloring for the Enchanted Visions Project's theme "Changes".  I would like to put together here the WIPs I had saved along the way during the days it took to complete this artwork.

First phase always involves the lightening of the grey scale lines and tinting it with colorizing option.  I usually choose some shade of brown/ red ochre.  And then tint the entire image to set the "paper" color.  I wanted this piece to have fiery glow, so I chose light peach/beige.  As always, I use Corel Painter for the free-hand coloring phase of my work.  The tablet used is Wacom's Intuos 3.

Right on top of the "canvas" layer, which is the treated line drawing file, I created a "background wash" layer and spread the colors in red, orange, and purple.  Going over the colors with the "salt" brush at different opacity and tip size.  This phase of the painting process is very loose and quick.  The brush type used is primarily "diffuse water" from the watercolor tools selection.

Just above the "background wash" layer, I place another layer for the hair.  I erased along the line art for a crisp edge for the hair detail.

In the next step, I started working on the shades in dark purple on another layer set just under the "background wash" and above "canvas".  I do this layer usually before any of the individual elements, but this time I did her hair first and shades second.

Then i set another layer for the red juban (the innermost layer of the kimono).  Still applying colors with watercolor tools: "new simple water" and "diffuse water".

On the same layer as the red juban, I colored all the masks that were not touching the red juban.  The masks that has borders sharing the red juban were colored on the same layer as her hair.  Two layers were added on top of all previous layers for the butterflies to the top and the left of the image.  They were drawn with "soft charcoal" tool in various shades of yellow/orange, then different levels opacity was set for each of the two layers to create the illusion of depth.  A new layer is place on top for the highlights.  I usually put the highlights with the "soft charcoal" tool set at various opacity.

I place yet another layer just above the "background wash" for the kimono and obi's base colors.

The final phase involved a tedious drawing of the kimono textile designs.  It would be easier to just import some patterns, but for some projects, I'd like to do it all by hand.  This piece was one of these occasions.  It can be meditative, but can also test my patience.

Here's a closeup view of the kimono textile patterns.  This piece has a LOT of details in it, and it's hard to see them all in a web resolution, limited-size version.  The best way to enjoy is by actual prints.

I wanted to do an over-the-top illustration for this theme since I wanted to tackle the theme "Changes" from a psychological angel.  Within a single person, many emotional states can manifest.  And in some individuals, there are even different personalities.  At times, we all experience chaos in varying degrees.  And in some Noh plays, a woman is pushed beyond her normal state by extreme anger or jealousy and turns into a hannya (the horned demon).  The title of this piece, Metanoia, is a term used by Carl Jung for the process of reforming the psyche as a form of self healing, a proposed explanation for the phenomenon of psychotic breakdown. 


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