Choosing a theme and collecting referencesTo work harder on my portfolio and find clients and publishers that suit the way I illustrate I decided to contact a professional advisor for illustrators. Through the German illustrator's organisation IO I was introduced to Mrs Karin Gruß, who has been working with illustrator's in the editorial offices of many of the important german publishers for over twenty years.
We thoroughly went through my portfolio and decided to as well add a few a more darker pictures.
A good oportunity to play around with two themes that I wanted to explore a bit more for a longer time:
the weird fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and a bit of Steampunk.
I started out with some sketching and decided to go for a composition like this:
In the Natural historical museum in Berlin there's one big room with old compounds in glasses; floating and warped in their conserving fluid I find them most peculiar and strange and being locked in with them in a room at night seemed to be one of the most unpleasant things I could think of.
Sending our protagonist at nighttimes through a creepy old univeristy, filled with mysterious books and Grimoires and as well some of those weird species invented by Lovecraft preparated in those jugs seemed to be a fitting setting to me.
Here are some of the reference pictures I took at the Natural Historical Museum in Berlin:
Concerning the protagonist for the pictures (it's going to be a small series) I wanted to go for a female protagonist. A cunning investigator of the supernatural who is capable of dealing with fierce, extraterrestrial, ancient species.
I gave her the name of an old character a friend of mine used in the "Call of Cthulhu" roleplaying game:
Two good Friends of mine, singer and actress Mirjam Zipf and her husband photographer Philipp Schläper liked the project, joined the fun and helped me with quickly improvised costumes with diver-goggles and an old coat:
My brother Martin got me a reference shot of himself for the old and worn out leather jacket:
Another dear friend, Alanna Schmitt a.k.a. Inkibus who is making props and costumes helped me tremendously with the costume research and was so generous to let me use one of her props as a basis for the weapon of Siobhain McCorkindale:
A big and cordially thank you for all of your support!!!
Those were the main references. During the process of painting I added a few more, like an old sheepfur for the collar of the jacket etc.
Tomorrow I show you how I built and lit a small reference modell and the process of the painting.