How to create a vivid fairy queen

Being asked to paint a bad-ass Fairy Queen by none other than my favourite magazine, ImagineFX, got me very excited, and slightly nervous. Because this was my first magazine cover I wanted to be as prepared as possible before beginning to paint. Good reference can spark a whole bunch of ideas, so I started my hunt by looking up different films and art books, as well as old paintings of real queens. I draw bits and pieces from my gathered references when painting my thumbnails, but also make sure not to get too reliant on it, because this can limit my creativity.

I’ve painted many fantasy females before, so I felt comfortable tackling this theme. I also consciously didn’t stray too far from my comfort zone: I wanted to avoid the risk of struggling while being under a very tight deadline, while also having a full-time job and thus little free time. That said, I hope that you find this workshop and Photoshop tutorial helpful.

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Viktoria Gavrilenko, who’s known as Vik to her friends and family, lives in the city of Newcastle, where she works at Atomhawk, creating concept art for games and various other hush-hush projects.