Hi art friends, When writing last week’s post, I found some of the old doll photos I took for Elysian Fields to use as character portraits, test costumes and generally see what ideas the images spark.

Today, I have a portrait of Kaneda (Elfdoll K) and Ethan (Dollshe Bernard). They are high school students and technomancers.

You may recognize Kaneda, here in black wig with blue eyes, as Keaton in Takashima, where he is wearing both Ethan’s wig and eyes.

In Takashima, Ethan plays the Takashima Supervisor, which a different costume, eyes and fur wig.

I’m still deciding how to address the similarity between the dolls in the two stories. Or maybe I don’t worry about it. How many actors have played The Doctor or James Bond? Now that I’m writing this out, it really doesn’t matter. The dolls serve as my actors in the story. My dolls are my own Mercury Players. That was easier to solve than all the mulling in my head.

Looking at several photos, I became nostalgic for the Elysian Fields story. In it, Kaneda and Ethan are friends.

For today’s image, I painted out the light stand behind Ethan and something behind Kaneda. Not sure what is was, but it’s gone now. I used the eye drop tool to select color on the wall behind the lads and used the Photoshop soft round brush to paint right over the photo and mask the background. Once I streamlined the background, I ran it through PhotographyBB Illustrator and added Fine and Large details.

I enchanted their eyes, added a 50% grey layer to add light and shadow to their faces.I layered on 2 Lil Owls Black Distress 9 and Acrylic Paints 8, both masked to remove distraction from the lads faces. Although on the black distress layer I left some of the scratches over Ethan face, as if someone scratched his face on the photo.

I added a blank layer and using black paint and a bunch of Awake and Photoshop Grunge class brushes, and painted a frame around the page, ran a 23% Gaussian blur then set it to soft light, masked and removed some of the elements from their faces and turned down the opacity to about 60% to draw the eye into the lads faces.

I miss these boys are their original, default looks. I miss Kaneda’s black hair and blue eyes. I miss Ethan in that ratty wig and green eyes. But, this is not time to get distracted with Elysian Fields, other than to explore more images in future posts.

It’s a way to reboot that story in my head so I can get to it once Takashima is done. I’m not sure if Elysian Fields will carry on with the black and white look. I have not yet tested the color Comic Book Maker templates, so I might do so with these revisited images.

Which means altering my blog editorial schedule. Rather than do the coloring book updates here, I’ll drop those videos in my YouTube channel. In its place, I’ll revisit the Elysian Fields imagery.

The next post will be on my method to storyboard Takashima.

Happy creating!