Step-by-step: Cap­ture a fam­ily re­sem­blance

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1 I’m paint­ing two sis­ters of sim­i­lar age and one sev­eral years younger, and need to in­cor­po­rate de­vel­op­men­tal dif­fer­ences. Fea­tures tend to be­come more pro­nounced with age. I can give the two sim­i­larly aged sis­ters sim­i­lar fea­tures, but then af­ford them dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties through body lan­guage. 2 Work­ing in ArtRage, I block in colour be­hind some sketchy draw­ing of the trio us­ing the Chalk tool. Skin pal­lor and hair colour rep­re­sent two more ‘like­ness tools’ I can use. Hair type is another. I opt for wavy hair, but be­ing sis­ters they’ll want their own styles. It’s about try­ing to im­bue in­di­vid­ual per­son­al­i­ties. 3 I con­sol­i­date things, work­ing up de­tails and check­ing I’m not erring to­wards in­di­vid­u­al­ity at the ex­pense of the fam­ily like­ness. I strive for a bal­ance. For this ex­am­ple the sis­ters are all in the same piece with the same light­ing. If I were show­ing them in sep­a­rate scenes, I’d make the re­sem­blance more ob­vi­ous.

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