Here’s the progress of Forest Boy, finished in May 2015. The unframed image is 12″x16″.
(Click any image for a larger view).
I started off wanting to paint a little boy in the woods. Why are all my figures in the woods? It’s a cool place to be – that’s all you need to know. So I started painting, and after a couple hours of painting I had what you see in figure 1. Your eyes see into my soul, little boy.
I worked a bit more and painted in his hair (figure 2). All the while I’m trying to figure out who this kid is. He’s not Forest Boy yet. He’s just a kid in the woods. I had kicked around the idea of giving him a fun hat (like Fox Girl), but decided against it.
I blocked in his cloak and then was working on his face a bit more (made his nose smaller, etc.) and this happened. “This” being those weird, leafy, tattoo-like designs on his face (figure 3). They were just a textural thing at first, but then I thought, “Maybe he got these by living in the woods. Maybe he’s becoming part of the forest somehow.” Kind of creepy and feral, am I right?
I continued to work on his face, softening edges, messing with light. I also decided to texture up his cloak. Trust me, “texturing up” something is a real thing. I also began to add the background (figure 4).
I finished the background, becoming, in the process, especially fond of the spooky silhouettes of trees you can see to the right of and just above his head (figure 5).
And lastly, I added a little acorn to the string of his cloak. Naturally, Forest Boy likes acorns and would put them on his cloak.
I did some final touches to the forest, added some texture to his shirt, and he’s done!