This journey begins with the Bride. There are stories about this figure, a Palestinian woman dressed in traditional gown and decked with her wedding finery, lurking in the forests. She compels men and drains them of their energy. Below are some early concepts. The reference is from the “Witch” photo reference pack by Satine Zillah. The first concept is using a digital art program, and one in gouache on cold press paper. Finally, my most recent concept, in gouache on hot press paper.
These concepts helped me arrive at the design decision to use hot press water color paper with gouache. I like the textured marks I could make on cold press paper, but not for the rendering I wanted on the face. I also struggled with how to get the sense that this being is both alluring, supernatural and dangerous. In the stories, it seems that she looks human and easily fools her prey, but telling that story visually requires some context clues to the viewer.
I asked for feedback in one of the professional forums I have access to. They told me to hire a professional illustrator! No, this is my journey to take, for better or worse.