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I dared myself to start working in color earlier for this piece. Part of the reason was due to wanting to change up my working progress. In the last year, my process was to work to a very high finish grayscale version.
With this piece, I’m starting to bring in color sooner due to the size of the piece. There are essentially three characters (five if you count the deer and the small dragon) to be rendered. And given the complexity of the piece, I felt it best to start rendering in color to be able to cut down the process. Not necessarily the total time, but the mechanics of it all.
To go to full final grayscale with so many moving parts seems too laborious. Truthfully, my hope is that I rekindle an appreciation for working directly in color again. That darned grayscale & gradient map painting style is so easy to fall into.