Half Her Heart’s Duet © 2009 Cynthia Sheppard
Digital painting - Photoshop, Wacom Cintiq.
There’s so much I could say about this piece. I feel like it has a rich story, but I want to see more of what’s beyond that fence. I tend to think of my non-client-driven work as vignettes based on a certain mood more than illustrative representations of an event, but I think this one is both.
My husband is responsible for some of the symbolism - he saw what I was working on at the start when it was just a lass and an amorphous instrument, and would send me excited emails as it developed detailing the life and times of our red-haired protagonist - “...she’s an only child, no older brother to take over the farm when her dad dies, or to keep the family name. She’s been trying to adapt for so long, and in this moment she’s wandered off to have a moment to herself, in her nice dress instead of her daily farm clothes.”
Technically I think this one is worth a look. I took much longer to consider certain elements than I normally do, and switched up references a couple times. For example, I had a photo reference of a friend I was using for the dress and body posture, but the hands looked stiff, and a lot like mittens, so I had to change that and referenced my hands instead. I’m really trying to get better about making conscious decisions instead of taking something that doesn’t work and beating it to death. It’s especially easy to let a reference photo make bad decisions for you if you’re not mindful.
I’m also getting better at combining referenced areas with imagined stuff, which is so important for consistency. The head/neck were both from imagination, but the hair was behaving the same way as the hands, stiff stiff stiff, so I reworked it until it looked right, (which in total was about 12 times.)
I will stop talking now, but feel free to ask if you have questions! Enjoy