Adding scales to the snakes
Friday I showed you the steps I used for the first part of this Medusa image. Today I'm going to step you through the finishing touches I used to make the snakes come to life. This process isn't complex, it is just very meticulous and precise, so it gets an advanced label.
Once the entire mass of snakes were fully shaded and blended as smooth greens, I needed to add texture. This part took hours to complete, but I am thrilled with how the final result ended up.
Each snake scale was made by carefully touching the artwork with the fine nib of a colorless blender in the Copic Classic marker style. The longer you hold the blender in one spot, the more it will push color out of the way. I could have used a textured cloth or something else to do this step faster, but I wanted to carefully and precisely place all the scales in such a way as to enhance my illustration.
Once the green scales were added, then I took a YG17 Sketch marker and carefully added a few dots of darker green randomly in the shadows on the snake. This makes it look more like scales. Last, I went in and added shiny white highlights with the Opaque white with a brush.
Compare the top and bottom version of this step. The top is fine, but the bottom has a lot more variety and subtlety to the coloration.
Here is a shot of the head partially colored. Compare the snakes that have scales to the snakes without. The scales really make the snakes look even more alive and believable.
Last, here is the finished, color-corrected version of the illustration that I scanned in. You can see how I added hints of Opaque white to the gemstones, to each snake, and to the teeth.
Later I'll post some more tutorials from the other pictures I colored this week. Enjoy coloring!