Digital painting tutorial Lady White Snake

Digital painting tutorial Lady White Snake 白蛇傳說 illustration. This post I am going to talk about how I am using an existing sketch in my sketchbook to create painted illustration. As some of you know I am trying to paint a Lady Snake, Bai Suzhen (白素貞), from the old Chinese white snake demon tale. I paint a quick composition of the piece a few weeks back, composition sketch white snake lady, but I realize it is not what I am really looking for. This time I am trying to take my paint up a few knots and take it to the next step. The one I have is very straight forward front pose and sitting on a tree. I think it is too static, plus the last two illustrations I did, “Digital illustration step by step” and “Jungle woman illustration tutorial“. Both are very identical (on purpose) and both are sitting on a tree.
Now I decided that I want it to be a little more involve, dramatic lighting, and some emotion from the characters.
So here is what I have so far. It takes me a few hours to paint and still need to put some more hours on it.
Below is a finished painting continue from the previous step by step post here, using sketch to create illustration. It is still very difficult for me to make a finished or refine illustration. Personally I like them unfinished and loosely paint. This one almost turn out that I expected but I think I went a bit too far on my taste on rendering. Well, I could say that to all my paintings. I am just always looking for the way to make it as good as I wanted it to be. It is hard. On the bright side, this painting is by far has the most emotional connection between the characters compare to any paintings I’ve done in the past. Most of them lack emotion which I should convey more in my up coming paintings. Most of the time I am just thinking more in term of execution and technique. I have never really look at the emotional side of art. It is somehow very difficult for me because I am personally not that emotional, I have to dig really deep to see it in me. I am not stone cold but I am just not an emotional person. I think 60% of me is logic, 35% is crazy and 5% feeling. So I will have to explore more on that side, maybe possibly it will make me a better artist. 😉
Anyway, here is a finished version of lady white snake.

lady white snake Bai Suzhen 白素貞

lady white snake Bai Suzhen 白素貞

Finally I have some time to finish up my version of Lady White Snake or Madam White Snake.
Just found some quote from lady white snake Chinese opera “The old tales of China tell us that all things may grow and change. A stone may become a plant. A plant may become an animal. An animal may become a human. A human may become a god.
Just so, a snake may become a woman. And we are told of one who did.
Who can say for sure how it began? Yet after centuries of ceaseless effort—meditating, disciplining herself, mastering the energies of the universe—this white snake took human form. Immortal now and with great powers, she longed for one thing more.
Human love.”
—From Lady White Snake

This illustration turns out like how I really want it and yet far superior than the previous composition sketch. It took me a long while to think up the pose. But once I had the main pose and core lighting, everything just slowly comes together nicely. This might be another better one of mine, or at least I hope. First I had an idea for a pose, then I start look through my sketchbooks, I didn’t realize I have so many. Then I found a quick figure study sketch with vague lighting that I can use as a starting point, see the sketch below.

quick sketch figure study

quick sketch figure study

Once I looked at the sketch and I had a really good idea on what I want. Then I scanned it in and start scribbling over the existing drawing as you see on the first step of the six step by step images below. As you can see, I use the existing light and shadow to apply to my idea of my fantasy illustration. Then on #2, I simplified the value into just almost 2 basic value so that is easier to work with. On #3 I decided to add more snake coil to make her look more snake like and more chaotic fun. Then I just try to simply render and keep the value how it should be. Her snake body/tail should be reflective like shiny snake scales. The in #4, I realize that she look a bit static still. So I decided to have her give a bit of body twist away from the guy as if she was trying to hide her naked torso. It was the right decision because it automatically make her looks a lot more feminine and lively. But then #6, she still look a little piss and lifeless in her expression. My solution was maybe she should have a playful smile and the guy should look more angry because it conveys the situation that the White snake lady has the upper hand. Or more so like she is just having fun toying with him because they are on totally different level. The result is shown in the final image in the bottom. More work to do though, hopefully it will turn out how I want it to.

Digital painting tutorial wuxia white snake 白蛇傳說

Digital painting tutorial wuxia white snake 白蛇傳說

Photoshop painting tips, how to paint faster.

download photoshop brushes

Then here is a monochrome version of the painting.

lady white snake 白蛇傳說 WIP

lady white snake 白蛇傳說 WIP

lady white snake Bai Suzhen 白素貞

lady white snake Bai Suzhen 白素貞

More digital painting tutorials.
-How to paint folds and wrinkles on cloth
-Speed painting tutorial Mecha robot
-How to paint asian woman face

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About Xia Taptara

Xia Taptara (黃曉聲 Huang XiaoShēng), currently a freelance concept artist for games and films, formerly a character concept artist for ArenaNet/NCsoft (GuildWars & Guildwars 2). I also work on various projects for Game of Thrones, Square-Enix, Paizo Publishing, Fantasy Fight Games, Disney Interactive, and many publishers & clients. I use Wacom Tablet Intuos and Photoshop CS2,3,4,5 to do most of my professional art work. I use pencil, pen, and traditional medium in my free time. I founded ( in 2007 to motivate myself to create more and better art. Also I get to draw and paint whatever the hell I want to. Hopefully I can inspired some young soul and old soul alike. *QUESTIONS & COMMENT: PLEASE POST THEM ON THE BLOG. Or CONTACT ME via idrawgirls Facebook page. DO NOT E-MAIL ME. Thank you. ;-)
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4 Responses to Digital painting tutorial Lady White Snake

  1. Dickson says:

    Fantastic work! Yes, u have indeed touched a young soul (not too young tho lol). Sigh… am glad you decided to create this website. i love the way the white snake lady painting evolved although i don’t have wabcom tablet but i have kinda found a way to do the same if not close using the corel draw photopaint – thanks to you bai. i will be frequent here from now… may the force be with you.

  2. qiake says:

    I have been using Google translation, but that can only be approximate mean, there may be a chance you can record the voice of a Chinese, a simple little language, which may be interesting

  3. Xia Taptara says:

    I am, but I can only speak but not even that well. Writing? LOL, that would be a disaster. You could try Google translate. It could be very helpful.

  4. qiake says:

    I ask you Chinese?Are you Asian?If your tutorial is the Chinese translation would be great

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