Original post of drawing: http://imaginetheending.tumblr.com/post/29083357109/this-piece-is-called-i-feel-so-different
I meant to post progress shots of this one for a while now, and from being busy with everything, I forgot. So, here you go. A progress from start to finish. If anyone wants close ups or a more detailed tutorial, just ask.
Sorry for typos. I am really bad about typos and now I have apple’s auto correct spelling thing. Which makes everything worse.
Sketch stage: After I got done with the sketch part of this, I knew there was a lot of proportional issues with it. It just didn’t look like Tom Hiddleston. That was my goal. For it to have his likeness, which is very difficult to do. When I feel as though there is a problem with a piece, often I will flip it over and bring it to the light. I did this several times and from that knew it needed a lot of work when it came to the photoshop stage.
Grayscale: You can see a drastic difference between this stage and the sketch stage. Here I continuously flipped the image in photoshop and looked at a great deal of reference. Finally, I got it to look like him, with the most difficult part being the mouth.
Often, when I realize the coloring stage will be too hard, I work in grayscale first. Realism of the face is very sensitive. One point of value off of what you want, and the face will become distorted. It won’t look natural. Grayscale makes it easier to do a draft, especially since you only have to deal with black, gray, and white. Not Red, green, blue, yellow, orange, and all between.
Actually there is an emotion in this stage that got lost in the color stage. Proportional problems started to raise when I was coloring, and I had to adjust the piece. So, his sadness faded as more work was done.
Color stage: Color was applied here along with a few more changes to the face. I used a great deal of reference. I can’t stress that enough to digital painters. Use reference. Try not to color from your head. The difference in your work will be incredible. Here are the references I used:
The first one I used for grayscale because of the lighting and angle of his face. The second and third were used for color. I actually preferred the third image because it’s more life like. That and I wanted to put more Tom in there than just Loki, and I liked the idea that this photo manipulated image used Tom Hiddleston’s face from an ordinary photo. The second one was very useful to the blue and green values. And for the hair obviously.
Despite all of this, the mouth was still giving me a lot of struggle. I spent hours on the mouth just because there wasn’t any reference of this specific expression in this specific lighting. I had to make a guesstament. Luckily, at the end, it turned out fine.
Final stage: I did some more proportion changed and completed the drawing. I purposely wanted the full figure to be more rushed than the realistic one. I felt like having two photorealistic drawings wouldn’t convey what I wanted to convey. It was an artistic choice.
For the blue skin I actually used Avatar. There was very little to no good references of the Ice Giants from Thor. There wasn’t enough detail. Luckily there was very large resolution images of the Avatar characters, so it worked out. Usually I would use cosplay photos, actually, for blue skin. Typically I avoid reference from movies because it takes away some of the originality. The image would relate too much to the source.