This is Kris Seitan's teacher. The image is a depiction of the painting that hangs in his bedroom across from his bed. It corresponds with this chapter. Kris makes his living as a courtesan, but he was not born knowing his job as well as he does. He took lessons from a woman who had been playing his game for centuries. She is a sly and sneaky woman with very little for morals. Though she does not bother Kris often now that he is on his own, part of the verbal contract they hold is that she may make free use of his services whenever she likes (even if that means he has to cancel business or other activities) for as long as he lives. Since she is a vampire and he is a dhampir, this contract could last for a very long time! In this painting, she holds an ankh, which is one of the symbols of vampires. In her other hand, she holds a roll of parchment to remind Kris of their contract. The ribbon that binds the parchment is wrapped around her finger, like he is.
I specifically wanted to paint this as if it were a traditional oil painting. Everything (pre-corrections) was created on one layer using only Photoshop's brush tool set on Normal. I refused to use black at all, instead creating the illusion of black by using contrasting colours in the shadows (e.g. red highlights get green shadows). I had a lot more fun painting this one than I thought I would. Learned a lot about anatomy and lighting, too. It was especially tricky since this woman is a vampire and casts a shadow only on herself, not on anything else. You can see the progress and some of my thoughts along the way, here.
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Medium: Photoshop CS
Completed: Feb. 18, 2013