What’s the best way to realistically paint someone frozen in ice? Dieter Wolf, Germany
Ice is mainly translucent, so you should be able to see the character inside – unless the ice is covered with snow, frost or something else. Light passing through ice is refracted in one way or another, so the thicker and more irregular the ice is, the more distorted the things inside will appear. Furthermore, although light can pass through ice, it’s not totally transparent, so lights and shadows will be cast over it, just like any other solid object.
Find some pictures of ice and objects frozen in ice, and observe how the refraction usually distorts how we see the objects inside, common shapes of ice, how the light passes through it, and how it shines when it’s clean. Once you’re familiar with the material, you can start painting it.
I would advise painting the full figure (you don’t need to put too much details on the parts that will be inside the ice) and then, using different layers, begin painting the ice encasing your creature.
Before I finish the image, I add details such as icicles and snowflakes to boost the feeling of a cold environment. If you spend some time studying the
nature of ice, its shape, how is affected by light and so on, then painting ice shouldn’t be a problem.