Cozy Winters

This is a piece to showcase another artform style I can work in. Originally it started out as work for an Art test I was taking. However, in order to show the work I had, I had to completely change everything, thus creating "cozy winters". Scroll down to see some of my process.

Softwares used: Zbrush, Photoshop


In the beginning of this project was for an art test. However, in the end I changed the piece entirely because I wanted to have something to show for my portfolio. I didn’t want to risk showing the process from my art test, so I will only show the beginning of the sculpt and then the process I went through when reforming the character.

I started off by searching for references. The types of images I ended up getting had things such as Elsa and Anna from Frozen, Moana, and many other artists are what inspired me for the look I was going for. I especially liked the itty bitty noses that were not very pronounced so I knew that was something I wanted along with a doll like face and a long neck.

This is what it started to look like once I started blocking in the basic shapes for the face. Her topology was already created from an old file I had, so all I had to do was subdivide it up and sculpt when I wanted to get more detailed.

After sculpting in the shapes I made the eyes and started to paint in the skin. At this point I wasn’t sure what I wanted her story to be. I knew I wanted her hair to be volume and to be cute/ wavey and a bit messy.

In the start I ended up picturing a Hermione Granger’s hair for her. After finding some great reference that happened to even be in a similar style of character I was going for, I started to block in the pieces of hair with a clay tube brush I made.

At this point I was liking it but then realized due to the hair, and if I just changed her neck scarf/ thing.. that it really did start to look like Hermione in my eyes. Which to me wasn’t a bad thing, but also wasn’t very original and I had JUST seen a post on someone making a nice Hermione on Artstation in a stylized sculpt, so went back to the drawing board. Something also felt like it was missing so I thought, what if I gave her pink hair? What if I tried to make it seem like her hair was blowing in the wind and made it seem like she was looking at something? Would that help? She certainly looked different but I still wasn’t what I wanted. To me, it just seemed like to me she was trying to see the colors of the wind like Pocahontas, and there just wasn’t enough story to her still. So I tried another hairstyle in hopes it would give me inspiration for an identity.

I thought what if I went the opposite rout and gave her short hair? I ended up finding reference images of a girl that looked similar like the one I had made and thought maybe I could recreate her instead. She was edgy and adorable and I liked the style. At this point I was still trying to find the identity of this character I was re-creating. So I quickly blocked in the hair shape. The hair had potential to look nice, but it just wasn’t what I was looking for. At this point I realized that I wanted her hair to be long.

In image 4 I ended up deciding to go with the style in row 3. It finally struck me what I wanted this character to be when browsing through Pinterest. I wanted her to be one of those girls you see on Pinterest with their cozy sweaters, cozy socks, warm drinks, messy hair, etc.

I started to block in the hair with the curve brush I created. I specifically gave it a beveled edge so it would have depth in the hair and wouldn’t be like flat tubes. Like I said before, I knew I wanted the hair to have volume and I knew that doing this would help create that illusion.

So I ended up giving her blonde hair and sculpted in “strands” in the chunks of hair and also ended up hand painting in polypaint the illusion of light and dark shadows to give the hair even More depth and to also look more alive and not so flat. I also changed the direction of her eyes because I wanted her to look at the camera in the final render as though you ended up taking a surprise picture of her.

At this point I went to photoshop for the render. I really wanted something soft and light but I’m also really drawn to the color light pink for some reason. So I made a few renders with that color and also explored different color schemes, and tried to decide whether or not I wanted her just on a flat background just to show the model, or if I actually wanted to make it look like she was somewhere in a room. From the images shown I ended up choosing 3 favorites and started to render them out even further. Some had color issues where she looked to orange like she received a fake tan, and others were either too dark, too light, or didn’t have enough contrast between the background and the character.

This is what the images got narrowed down into and then refined even more. I thought the circle would end up grabbing attention to the viewer if I put it there, but it didn’t really serve any purpose or meaning beyond that point. So I scrapped that all together. I was I liked the blurred background more that made it seem like she was in a room somewhere. I wasn’t sure what color I wanted to make the room though, purple made her stand out against the background more but the red tones felt much cozier and warmer.

Here were my final selection of renders that I was trying to decide to choose from. A received feedback from some friends on which ones they liked at this point. So in the end image 4 won the selection. I went on to add steam into the mug and I also went back and touched up the roots of her hair because the transition from her hair to her forehead was a bit to jarring.

This is what the model looks like without any editing or post processing done to it. The shots came just straight up out of Zbrush.