How do I paint a character made of stone? Jessie van Linden, Canada
I choose to paint a goddess of earth and rocks, so that I have a recognisable human shape, but also an interesting contrast between the soft lines of a female body and the hardness of stone. Next, I sketch some of the stone irregularities that will help me depict a realistic surface.
I select the colour of the base stone and paint light and shadows on the character’s anatomy. Only when I’ve defined the body do I start to paint the stone effect on it. Then I add typical stone details, such as grain irregularities and cracks, making sure that they’re consistent with the light source. Photo references of stone surfaces come in handy at this point. I also use Hard brushes with a rough texture. Finally, I add traces of moss and mud. In some areas such as the face, shoulders, elbows and hip I paint rock formations using broken lines, which suggests the hardness of the stone material.
Keep in mind the importance of broken and hard lines when painting cracks in the rock.
Painting the anatomy before adding the details of the rock helps to maintain the recognisable human shape of the character.