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The painting "our void" was done as a part of a series of creature portraits. This was the fourth piece for the series, and I wanted to have a very stable composition for this one. I was imagining a creature directly addressing the audience by looking at them. The challenge in this piece was to make the overall composition interesting while keeping a very stable and symmetrical look.


The first step was to make a black and white sketch. I usually work from value so that I can concentrate on the composition without worrying about color balance. I start from a light gray background layer to make it easier for both adding highlight and shadow. After working on one side of the figure, I duplicated the area and flipped it to create a perfectly balanced composition (Fig.01).

Fig. 01

Value and Composition

After finishing the sketch, I examined the piece. At this point, the concept was very loose, so it helped to take a break from drawing and self critique the piece to see what's really happening in the sketch. I decided the most important area in this composition is the head, and all the other areas should be designed to create a flow that leads viewer's eye back to the head (Fig.02).

Fig. 02

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