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ImagineFX Evil Queen Workshop

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1. Produce initial sketches

I want the queen to appear menacing and evil, yet still retain a sense of beauty and allure. After all, she’s the second fairest in the kingdom. I generate a few drawings to accompany my Snow White sketches. I prefer the second sketch of the queen because she looks the most scheming. However, I like the composition of the third sketch better.

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2. Make some alterations

Sometimes sketches don’t work out the first time and there’s nothing wrong with combining ideas. I copy and paste the second sketch of the queen into the background of the third. I change the apple from green to red, which creates more cohesion with Snow White. The overall image becomes darker and more ominous as I heighten the contrast.

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3. Develop costume and background

I want the queen to appear extremely vain, and create a lavish gown with an imposing collar. The mirror also enforces her conceit and, because of its importance to the fairy tale, I have it fill most of the background. I paint over these elements with dark blue on a Soft Light layer to make the queen stand out more strongly.

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4. Hair texture

To create a soft yet textured look, I begin with a neutral base colour. When it comes to hair, I embrace the random and paint irregular marks with a soft oval brush. I use the streaky brush next to add minor details, but am careful not to overdo it.

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5. Jewellery

I want to match the queen’s jewellery with her make-up so I choose a bright green: a colour associated with envy. First I paint a darker colour, then layer on highlights. Don’t ignore the light source, and remember that shiny objects reflect colour from surfaces around them. I also consider the lighting when texturing the silver. It should be less polished than the jewels, so I paint small imperfections and speckles of colour.

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6. Lighting

I want this piece to have a similar but darker lighting scheme than Snow White. The light enters from above on the left, so I paint the cast shadows in blue on a Soft Light layer mode. I also add a soft orange light from behind to help separate the queen from the background.

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7. Composition

Compared with Snow White, this piece is far more balanced and symmetrical, which reinforces the queen’s command and confidence. I incorporate a variety of dynamic, contrasting shapes by adding circular and geometric elements such as the costume and mirror.

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