Life is made interesting by the existence of contrasts. For instance, good exists because there is evil. Happiness is enjoyable because there is despair. The same rule applies to art, of course. Simply painting a beautiful woman is fine, but in order to make her look more beautiful you need to balance her alongside something terrible.
In this image, I have painted an innocent-looking beautiful girl in a very dark and tainted situation using gothic imagery and heavy shading to conjure up an unsettling feeling in the viewer; thus playing innocence and sin against each other.
I often change my process to fit both my mood and the specific image. I think a flexible process such as this keeps things intuitive and fresh, which makes it fun. Always try to have fun while working on your image, no matter how much you might hate it after having worked on it for hours. It shows when you love or hate your art. Also, try to work while you’re in a good mood – this will affect your work.
This workshop follows my steps in creating this specific image. I firmly believe the computer is simply a tool and you can paint no better with it than you could learn to paint with any other medium. I was initially taught to paint with oils, I have worked in acrylics and watercolour, and have drawn illustrations throughout my whole life. All of this is what really counts when making an image.
Your artwork is the culmination of all your years of study and hard work. With each new piece you hopefully come up against new challenges and grow as an artist. Practice, in whatever form your prefer, can only make you better.