The Emerald Empress – A simple watercolor sketch that evolved into a fantasy character illustration.
Rarely my illustrations go larger than A4, and this was my first A3 portrait in years – which left a lot of room for detailing, blending, and background elements. The goal was to keep parts of the illustration very raw, with only quick, rough brush strokes in the background or for the hair, but then focusing all contrast and details on the face and crown to create depth.
This piece is part of a series of concept illustrations for a fantasy world. While the actual story is to be told as an illustrated novel/graphic novel, the exploration stage invites some more whimsical, detailed illustrations. Key elements are stone structures and “crystallized magic” – which are a great excuse to add some shiny gemstones to everything.