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

Hi! Here is a look at my latest illustration, featuring Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This walkthrough will look into my process through inspiration, conception, construction and completion. Hope it helps and provides some useful insight.

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

Step One: Research and creating the comp

Firstly I needed to research my subject matter, banking a collection of images that could prove useful when creating my illustration. I focused on drawing inspiration from the astonishing Mike Mitchell.

Mike Mitchell's work
Mike Mitchell's work

Using Mike's style for inspiration, I created a comp showcasing the side view of Kylo Ren. I had collected multiple pictures of scenes from the movie and action figures in order to manipulate them together to create the below comp.

Comp
Comp

The above composition showed a close resemblance to Mike's work, presenting the side view of a character with a block-color background. Therefore I decided to further develop my design by involving alternate ideas.

comp 2
comp 2

Using the shape and brush tool, I produced the vivid circular background design contrasting the dark subject of Kylo Ren. This allowed me to add my own personality to the piece and travel beyond my inspiration.

From here I decided to receive inspiration from another acclaimed individual, Frank Miller (300, Sin City, The Dark Knight Returns). His use of solid blacks and restricted color pallet of two contrasting colors seemed to benefit the design of my piece.

Frank Miller's work
Frank Miller's work

Step 2: Line art and shading

After producing my comp inspired by Mike Mitchell and Frank Miller, I loosely freehand sketched the line art for Kylo using a thin brush. Then using a solid brush, I start to fill in the solid black sections such as his robes and gaps on his mask.

Using the same brush with a red pallet, I loosely sketched out the highlights in his robe assessing my composition.

Going back to shading with black, I form and shape the main movements in his attire. I wanted a fluid and organic look to simulate the ripples and folds in his clothing. At this point the style and pallet closely resembled Frank Miller's work, with my own personal interpretation.

I form the main shape and texture of his helmet, achieving as much detail as possible to ensure identification of the character.

Finally I finish up the shading on the mask and alter the color levels slightly, completing the piece.

Complete illustrations
Complete illustrations

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.

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