ByJake Kontou, writer at Creators.co
Concept Artist
Jake Kontou

Hi! Here is a look at my latest illustration, featuring Martial Arts legend, Bruce Lee. This walkthrough will look into my process in an attempt to help and provides some useful insight in my method of construction.

If you are interested in purchasing a print I will be very grateful and appreciate the support.

Click here to view my shop and purchase prints.

Tools of the trade: Adobe Photoshop - Time to completion: 9hrs - Artist: Jake Kontou

Complete illustration
Complete illustration

Inspiration

The inspiration for the piece came from the cover shot of Bruce Lee's 'Tao of Jeet Kune Do'. I wanted to take the already well established image and recreate it with my own flare and modern aesthetics.

Initial Sketch and painting

After I decided on my inspiration and the direction I wanted to take the piece, I created the initial sketch in Adobe Photoshop then gradually began to paint the canvas using the Brush tool. I use a very similar process to traditional painting, so my background in fine art helps establish my personal work flow, movements and process.

Rough line art
Rough line art
blocking in the highlights on his face.
blocking in the highlights on his face.

I slowly continue the process, filling out his face and constantly refining my strokes. I used a clear white pallet to contrast the dark background.

The same exact process is continued onto his hands. Its all about laying the basic ground work and foundation to assist later in the development of the piece. Ensuring you just need to fill in and refine you work, making it look as crisp as possible.

Adding the finer details

After the main bulk of the painting is complete, I decided I wanted to represent the piece as a tradition martial arts movie poster that has shown age. Paying homage to the original photo and Bruce Lee's background in Kung Fu cinema history. For this I found a 'folded paper' texture on the internet. Imported it onto my painting and set its function to 'screen' in photoshop (layer options).

paper texture.
paper texture.

From here I tweaked the level, brightness and transparency of the paper texture until I achieved the preferred look. I wanted it to look subtle yet noticeable and heighten the feel of the piece. I didn't want it to look like a direct study of the famous photo.

finished illustration
finished illustration

This process indicates my inspirations and showcased how they developed the ideas of my piece in order to achieve the final outcome.

I hope this walkthrough provided a useful insightful look into my process. Thanks for taking the time to view my work.

If you are interested in purchasing a print I will be very grateful and appreciate the support.

Click here to view my shop and purchase prints.

Social Media and Links: