Making Of 'Hecate'
Hecate is the Greek Goddess of the crossroads Wilderness and Childbirth. She is usually seen with two ghost hounds that were said to serve her. Today she is often seen as a goddess of witchcraft and evil. Hecate is said to haunt a three-way crossroad; each of her heads facing in a different direction. She is said to appear when the ebony moon shines (see Fig01 for reference). But I would like to create something a bit different to the real myth, because in my mind there must be a round moon behind her. In history, she is said to haunt a three-way crossroads, but to create something different I'm going to put three keys in her hand. Hecate is a Greek Goddess, with Greek traditional clothes, so I will give her a long skirt. I don't know why all the girls in my paintings are so heartbroken; maybe there is a crack in my own heart...
I start out with a blank, white document. Following my original concept I want to set my image at night. She will have a light in her left hand with three keys attached, and will be walking around the three-way crossroad under the moon. I was satisfied with the original sketch (Fig02).
I draw the first colour on a new layer. Picking colours for your palette is a very good idea, even in the first stages of a painting. I put both a deep, blue colour and a skin colour onto this layer (Fig03).
I keep drawing using my technique, with my goal to paint her face. I chose a precious stone's blue colour to light her eyes; a tear streaming from her eye; her lips shut tightly. I finish drawing the figure of the body and the skirt with my colours. Right now I want to attempt to change the colours to give my painting a different feeling, and to make it "prettier". To achieve this I used Photoshop's Colour Balance to change the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow (Fig04). Each group of colours display a different mood; it's very difficult to give them up. I chose to use the mood created by the colours seen on the right of Fig05. With embellished hair and lips, and with the harshness of the face having been adjusted, the face is now basically complete (Fig06).
Then I paint the mist in background. My technique of painting uses Photoshop's brush called "Airbrush Soft Round 17" (Fig07), with which I paint blue, using different shades and tones of the colour to achieve light and purity. I then use the Smudge Tool and a brush called "Chalk 60 pixels" to continue painting the background (Fig08). I have now spent about 15 hours on my picture, because 70% of it has been finished (Fig09).
In my remaining time I add some decorative pattern for the blue skirt. First I draw a pattern on a new layer named "flower1", which I set to Screen mode. I then set the copy layer named "flower1 copy" to Multiply mode. Don't forget to erase the edges to achieve the right effect (Fig10).
To make this picture more lively, I will draw a bird under her right hand. Birds' feathers should be drawn carefully, and so I must pay attention to the direction of the light (Fig11).
Moon & Light
It took me 4 hours to paint the moon and the light held in her hand, which has a glowing emerald inside. I also add some fireflies flying around the light (Fig12 - 13).
Fig. 13 - Final Image