Mar 2, 2012

Lyssa the Shaman

At the beginning of February I took the time to do a painting for the Art Evolution Challenge over at the ArtOrder. It was my second time partaking in an ArtOrder challenge - some of you may remember the first one.

The participants were asked to depict Lyssa, "A young female human wizard with black hair who always wears white trimmed in gold." (More info here)
The description is quite vague, yet quickly evokes some clear ideas. I knew this was going to be fun!

This week the results were announced and I'm thrilled to be one of the five winners out of 126 great entries!
The winners will be published in Black Gate Magazine soon - I believe mine will be in May.

Without further ado, here is the painting and the lovely things the judges Todd Lockwood, Jeff Easley and David Deitrick have said about it:

“Has nailed the lighting in this snowy mountain scene. The skin tones are perfect. The movement in the figure and skirts suggest that she might have been running but a moment before; the wind is blowing in any case. “You see that I can summon a mystical spirit ibex, do you not?” she might be saying. “Now what are you doing on my mountain? Be gone before I summon a herd of mystical spirit yeti.” Beautiful balance of colors and values. Excellent!”
Todd Lockwood

“The bones of this painting are very strong, and backed with solid composition in the subject. Warm colors of the figure offset the cold background and had great impact on the scene. A truly stunning piece!”
Jeff Easley

“The warm colors of Anna’s figure stands out against the cool background. Anna’s work makes me think of mornings back in Alaska when the fog is just burning away. I can feel the chill through my parka. Atmospheric perspective adds to the feeling of depth.”
David Deitrick

I'm very honored :)

Now to spice this wordy post up with some pictures...

Progress animation - please click to enlarge!

(More progress stuff like thumbnails over at wipNation!)
... and some very rushed studies!



  1. Oh wow, this is fantastic! I love the progress animation. You did the ibex in color and then made it all ghostly ... did you just put a white color layer over it, or was it a layer or two set to something like Luminosity?

    1. Thanks Kessie! I actually had to look at the file again to remember what exactly I did - usually I just experiment with stuff like this until it looks right.
      First I duplicated the layer and made it greenish using Hue/Saturation, then I changed the layer mode to "screen".
      On top of that there are some more screen and soft light layers to darken and lighten different areas.
      Hope that answers your question! :)

    2. Thanks so much for replying! It figures that the ghosty effect wasn't anything as simple as changing one layer setting. I'm glad you clarified that. I enjoy your blog and look forward to future updates!

  2. Your work is great ! Subtle and poetic, bravo.

    Congratulations from France, on behalf of the collective Forgesonges!