NOTE: If drawing and painting isn’t what you’re about, try looking at my universal process notes below to see how this might relate to your own creative work.


Sylwia Bomba Creative Process

Step 1: shapes and proportions

First, I try to sketch in the construction of my character. I focus on geometric shapes, negative spaces and proportions of the body.

Step 2: curves and straights

When the proportions are ready, I start to draw more details, focusing on curves and straight lines.

Step 3: basic shadows

When my clean up is ready, I paint my first shadows to feel the dimension of my character. I don’t have to be precise here, it’s just important to understand the feeling of the basic shadows.

Step 4: uniform color

I paint the uniform background for the object I’m drawing. I don’t want to create high contrast  with shadows, because I will do it later with colors.

Step 5 & 6: contrasting colors

Step by step, I create more contrast by adding complementary colors, because the opposite colors create maximum contrast with one another.

The face of the woman is lit by the yellow light – that’s why my shadows are a little purple/violet. Shadows on the body are green – because of the warm hue of the body  (dark red).

I wanted to create the movement of colors on her body through the lighting.

The color concept: Harmony and hope

For me, color symbolism has a big role in the interpretation of a paintings.

I Chose green as the dominant color because it symbolizes harmony, connection with nature and the security of a mother’s touch. The yellow is a symbol of hope – that’s why mother  is looking towards the yellow light , and baby wears a yellow shirt.


Universal process footnotes

These process tips can be used in any kind of creative work:

  •  Notice how each pass has a single point of focus, which is what that particular part of the process is all about. Use the working in passes tag to read more about that concept.
  • The logic of building a clear contrast: (1) find a good anchor, something that has to be a certain way; (2) use the anchor as a starting point to design a composition of contrasting elements. In this example: “the face was lit yellow -> the shadow was purple”. If  you’d like me to write a more detailed post about how to use this idea, let me know in the comments below 🙂
  • Give yourself permission to not be perfect – trust the process! It’ll get you there, pass by pass. See step 3 :”I don’t have to be precise here”. More about that under the perfectionism tag.

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10626676_10203878695722290_1519336697197080735_nSylwia Bomba is a freelance concept artist and character designer. She also teaches online at AnimSchool. You can see more examples of her fine art work, concept art, sculptures and animations on her blog:


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