There is no price to being the witness of how a professional illustrator goes from concept to reality. This illustration is the result from following along Cameron Scott Davis' TheGnomonWorkshop "Illustration from Imagination". Before this workshop I didn't know about Cameron, and I enjoyed his illustrations so much that I have his book in my wish list, can't wait to buy it and enjoy the fantasy and story for years to come.
I tried following along every step of the way, yet I couldn't manage to do an exact replica of his work, so I started to try to do it along with some personal decisions since I couldn't keep up. Here's an image of Cameron's result, so you can compare.
The workshop's description:
In this lecture and demonstration, join Cameron Scott Davis on a journey through his ideation and technical pipeline in the creation of the 2D image “Blood Eels of the Siren’s Ossuary”. Using years of experience and a basic set of tools, Davis discusses image creation and the importance of preserving the human touch in a digital world. Starting with a loose concept based on the mythological aspects of the mermaid, Davis explores composition and directing the eye of the viewer. Beginning with a traditional penciled line drawing that is scanned into the computer, witness the piece come to life using Adobe Photoshop and basic visual communication skills. An onslaught of rendering focuses largely on the timeless aspects of visual storytelling. Davis also discusses his desire to understand the psyche of the viewer and manipulate audience reaction to achieve maximum emotional effect. Lighting, shape, color, composition, and subject matter all work to inform the viewer how they might feel while preserving just enough of the unknown to write their own personal narrative. Davis also delves into his thoughts on career and lends advice for young professionals looking to break into the entertainment industry. A guest auditory appearance by illustrator and master teacher Marshall Vandruff rounds out the lecture and lends a unique and alternate perspective by discussing his own reactions to the image.