Here's my entry.
I've been a Tim Burton fan for a long time so there was no way I was going to pass this up. Unfortunately, I found out about the contest three days before it was over, so I had to work fast. My initial concept was a traditional three-quarters portrait of Barnabas in a stiff and elegant pose. To contrast this sophistication, I was going to paint blood splatters all over the painting, implying that Barnabas had killed someone and the victim's blood got all over his fancy portrait. How annoying!
As I was sketching this concept an idea came to me of Barnabas staring straight at the viewer while in the background there was a mixture of crazy '70s colors. I really enjoyed the pop-weirdness of the "Dark Shadows" trailer so I decided that was the way to go.
For reference I primarily used these two photos that Warner Brothers provided in the contest kit:
I tried to mix and match elements from both Barnabas in creating my own. And in case you're wondering, I started from scratch. There's no copying or tracing to create my final image.
Here's mine right after inking:
I've been playing a lot with line width recently and I think that really helped out the artwork, especially in differentiating the various layers of clothing.
Here's the final line art. I went in and fixed any areas that needed fixing and eliminated dirt. The biggest change was increasing the size of the cane. The initial version was far too small, so I had to go in and scale it up. I also fixed Barnabas's eyes. Minor stuff but it all adds up.
I also used the flip test and found out the illustration was skewed too far to the left. Using Free Transformation - Skew I was able to make it look perfect. Now, color!
Color turned out to be trickier than I expected. The only idea I had was "70s Colors!" But what did that look like? This wasn't it.
Neither was this.
In a fit of desperation, I started looking at 70s movie posters on Google Image Search and find these:
Yes, that's right, "The Holy Mountain."
The colors on these two posters were fantastic! I straight up copied the colors directly into Photoshop and created this:
Almost there! I played around with hue and saturation and pumped up the colors even more:
And there you go! The finished piece.
Alas I didn't make it to the semi-finals (these talented folks did instead) but I had a great time doing it. I'm very proud of the final image and I think it might be the most technically polished thing I've done so far. That alone made the competition worth it.
See you in the theaters on May 11th!