I was recently asked to do an illustration for NINH’s winter collection, the only request being to showcase one or more of Ninh Nguyen’s designs in one way or another. I’ll take the chance and post a bit of its process.
As the title of the piece may suggest, this work is based on Herne the Hunter, the ghost of the wild hunt and the forest. His common depiction as an antlered man binds him as a manifestation of Cernunnos. His earliest written account comes from one of Shakespeare’s comedies, The Merry Wives of Windsor.
I use this as inspiration to begin sketches, the reason being my need to tell a story. This is the sketch.
The refined linework is almost all digital except for some of the hair, which started as an experiment in clayboard and then was moved into computer and enhanced. At the time, I was in the process of executing an inks and clayboard demo for one of my classes and had an extra piece of clayboard lying around with which I decided to have some fun.
I feel very few distinctions in the usage of digital and traditional media. In fact, the very separation of the terms digital and traditional, although logical, bothers me. All media have a peculiar feeling to them. But even with their respective advantages and limitations, their differences depend more on the artist than they do on nature of the medium. To me, they all feel more similar than they do different.
For the final, the colors remained simple to let some of the heavier linework shine through.