The first thing I did today was to write a structured list for the day’s tasks ahead. So as to ensure that I will complete all of the objectives intended to be met that day, at the very least. The list sets a minimum output for each day, it also gives a quantifiable volume of work to be completed that you can gauge yourself against. I find this helps, keep a steady workflow and enables the project to remain within a constant progression throughout the days and the weeks.
Today I added all of the shadows and tones to Koogar’s body and to her facial features. I duplicated the fill layers for Koogar’s trousers and shirt, dropped the brightness the new, duplicate layers. I then just cut out large areas of the dark layer to reveal the lighter layer beneath and toggled the opacity to make sure the tonal difference was just right. This gave her a fuller and life-like appearance and brought the image a lot closer to the finish line.
I gave Koogar some black markings on the tips of her ears and tail which feathered out into her lighter, fawn coloured fur. This distinguished her from a your everyday household feline and presented her as a cougar mountain lion.
I subtle adjustment I made today was to reposition her right hand to better match the supposed temper of her character in this image. I thought the hand hung a little too low and loose …so I lifted it up and tautened her wrist. Koogar now looks relaxed instead of fatigued.
Koogar’s eyes, they needed to hold a stronger presence within the image. I began building this presence by first adding the muscle tissue fibers to her eyes with the paint brush. Using first a broad and then a fine brush, loosely painting on the fibers. I then added a couple of blurring effects to soften and refine the image. And shrunk the pupils down a little which were covering a lot of the interesting details of her irises. I kept the old larger pupil layer and took the opacity down to around 10% which served a shadow giving eyes a touch more depth. These elements really gave depth to her eyes completing that glossy three-dimensional look. A combination of different layers and effects, utilizing both manually created and preset effects is what really gives that appearance of realistic depth to characters eyes.
Koogar’s eyes are much more detailed than the rest of her body. There’s a reason for this; the extra detail draws the viewers attention to her eyes, engaging her as the web site guide rather than simply just the image of a cat in humans clothes.