After hours of careful screwups, and many attempts to defenestrate my Wacom - this piece is finally finished.
This piece was really difficult to pull off. One of the main concerns I had after posting the WIP was that the halo was making it look like a helmet. Not to say that Jesus wasn't into road safety, but it really didn't convey what I was trying to get out of the piece. I still wanted the halo there, but I was having a hard time conveying that over his enormous afro.
I tried posting to an artists group I'm part of for critique. They said the same thing about the helmet, but also that the heart didn't really read well as a heart. I tried numerous other ways to make it look like a heart. I posted it a few more times while in progress.. and it frustrated me to no end that the new critique was "You should do it X way"... with X being the way I had it originally. So, was it good or bad? I guess we'll never know. I finally managed to make it look more heart-like by giving it a bit more depth, and making i kindof 3D over the top curve of the forehead. I made it look like there was face paint surrounding a bleeding heart on his forehead. I think it gave it an interesting, unexpected visual.
I finished blocking out the lettering on the hair, but I didn't like how it looked. I didn't like that it was so rounded. I tried numerous things. I tried giving the hair a more textured look, but keeping the halo round. I tried making the halo more of just an outside stroke above the hair, and keeping the hair AS the halo (which I really feel was what they were implying by it in the movie). What ended up working was giving the hair a little bit of texture by erasing out to leave some negative space, but giving the hair a stable arc to cut across. And then! Then! I had the FANTASTIC idea to give the HALO some texture! And that was where I was finally happy with it.
I have about 15 versions of this because I was not happy with how it came out each time. But after taking certain elements from several different versions, I finally have one that I'm happy with.
A good friend of mine made one closing critique on it that I agreed with her on, that the face makeup I had on the version I put up on my DeviantArt was not quite as it should be.. so the version down here has been adjusted for that, and I definitely think she was right. It looks WAY better now!
So, without further incident:
I emailed Stephen Schwartz's staff and requested an address to send a print of this to him. They sent me one, but with a note that he won't be replying since he's in "artistic hibernation". That's really fine. I just want him to have a copy of it!
And now - to work on something else. I intentionally made myself sit through the entirety of Godspell yesterday to make sure I wouldn't hate it forever. I love it as a movie and as a musical, and I think my life would be so different without it. The soundtrack to Godspell is one of my earliest memories. I remember my sister singing it around the house, and her having been in a production of it. This musical has a special place in my heart <3