I've been using personal pieces as an opportunity to experiment with new techniques. So while I was at home in Michigan for Thanksgiving, without my usual ink or 21" computer monitor, I decided to challenge myself. After numerous listens while house painting, I settled on the idea of a piece about Sufjan Stevens and his new heavily-electronic album "The Age of Adz" (which is f*cking fantastic, by the way) I opted to do a straight portrait with neon facepaint, the trademark fake wings and a background of circuitry sort of emanating from his head.
After I had finished inking and brought the image into Photoshop to adjust the color of the lines, I was really unhappy with the background and the way it flattened the whole piece, no matter how many different ways I tried to solve it. So I promptly found some great reference photos of circuit boards to work from and began drawing a much more complex background of circuitry on some onionskin.
Upon adding the new circuitry background, which certainly took a while to draw, I was instantly happy with the effect it had. You can also see the face paint layer I had inked on onionskin.
In approaching the color, I wanted to use the colors I shy away from - very saturated pinks and greens. These seemed to make sense with the new neon-heavy image Sufjan has crafted to accompany the new sound. I was also glad that the background could afford to be pretty simple and solid green given the complexity of the circuitry lines over it.The layers of the image in Photoshop. It can be quite hard to keep track of!
Overall, I had a blast problem-solving this piece with tackling some new colors and some complicated drawing and inking.