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Making of Grenat by Karin Y. Schmitt,Brazil Web:

grenat making

Precious Stones have since ancient times proved wonderfully fascinating to men, kindled a passion for possession and inspired ardent search; they are part of human being and, through them, tell its history, beliefs and, most important, its essence. The result is a series of 12 stones mixing, in each work, horoscope’s content, Greek and/or Roman mythology, history and popular myths about those “sparkling blossoms of the rock”. For Grenat (garnet), the first stone and piece of this series, here’s a short text I “wrote” for inspiration, after searches through various websites:

  The name grenat derives from granatum or pomegranate, a symbol of the womb since antiquity. Being associated with the feminine life force, people believed it should only be used by women and, when placed near the forehead, would help to give information from past lives. At the same time, this stone is one of the representatives of Aries, sign associated with Mars, the Roman god of bloody war. Its color is red – from blood and not from love, as translated in popular culture – and the animal is the red eagle, the symbol of dominion and power.  

old grenatThe first time I started to draw Grenat was in the beginning of this year and I tried to finish it on several occasions but, no matter what I did, the picture just didn’t work. Here is the first attempt:

I finally chosen to abandon it and, in August 09, I decided to start the one I’m presenting to you, working in on-off style. The concept, however, basically remained in both works: dark atmosphere with bold references to war and militarism.


This picture was done with a Wacom Tablet and Photoshop CS3, in a total of about 150 or 200 hours. The original file size and resolution is, respectively, 4500 x 4000 pixels and

For painting, I used a hard round edge brush with Pen Pressure option checked all the time to do almost the entire image, varying its opacity during the process: for sketch - a high opacity; for colors blending - low opacity. Few custom brushes were used to do hair, feathers and to give textures to some specific areas, like the boots. Soft round edge brush was also used, but very occasionally and mostly in the end of process to give a smooth touch and finish the picture.


When I start a drawing I generally do previous outlines but, this time, I decided to not. Instead of this, I doodled a lot, picking different colors, changing character’s pose and picture’s atmosphere. That helped to decide quicker what palette should I use and what mood and look should I opt for (another proceeding that will aid even more is to sketch with black & white colors – that allows you to choice your palette only when you’re sure about the lead features in your picture).


As the color theme of Grenat is the red, I went for, mostly, warm hues, but I also decided to pick green for some other elements, as the feathers on her shoulder: This would avoid monochromatisms and make the scene composition more harmonious and interesting.

red theme


Once I was sure about what way would I take, I started to, faintly, define the character expression and other elements in the drawing – in this case, the hair and the eagle. I didn’t pay attention on the details yet: I just did shape limitations and little anatomical corrections, everything with a high opacity (setting to about 75-80%) hard round edge brush.

starting corrections

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