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Kelly Knowles
April 5, 2018
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Two portraits of some cool cyberpunk ladies! I practiced my geometric illustration style in this Westworld and Blade Runner fan art. Faking traditional art textures with digital tools seemed appropriate for these synthetic women. I also went balls-to-the-wall with color to create something really distinct!

I watched Westworld and Blade Runner again, and was struck by a tiny similarity between them (aside from being organic androids.) They both defiantly killed a bug: Dolores, when her "wouldn't hurt a fly" code was tampered with; and Rachel, who said she'd kill a wasp during her voight-kampff empathy test.

They've always been on my cyberpunk fan art to-do list, so I took this opportunity to draw both! To make the designs more my own, I added some extra "punk" to them. I've been experimenting with an angular & geometric style, so I used that to add some extra character as well as to block out some interesting chunks of color. I created some symmetry and movement by mirroring Rachel's drifting smoke with Dolores' flowing golden hair. Japanese woodblock prints are a huge inspiration—I try to emulate their bold fields of color contrasted by busy patterns, the way negative space can become positive space, and their charming flatness!

I started by filling a couple pieces of paper with thumbnail sketches, so I could come up with a composition I liked. After trying a couple large rough sketches of each portrait, I moved to digital. I liquified the sketches in Photoshop to fix the anatomy as best as I could, then I moved to Procreate app on the iPad to redraw them. I've really outgrown the screen size & software capability though, and switching between tablet & desktop computer is a real pain. I treated myself to a larger Huion tablet and finished them in Photoshop.

As much as I love digital, I still crave the texture of traditional art! I used a rough dry Photoshop brush for the line art, and I added extra texture by shading in areas with some tight strokes of that same small brush. I also couldn't resist but to add a paper texture overlay.

I got some feedback along the way from Facebook groups, which brought some new ideas and helped me see the areas that looked awkward.

Since completing it, I've gotten some social media likes/follows. As long as I'm getting eyeballs on it, I'm happy! I was also invited to post it to this site, so I guess that's a good sign!

I'm still working to solidify my own illustration style, and the direction this one went in definitely helped with that.

Kelly Knowles

Digital artist based in Massachusetts with a specialty in cyberpunk, sci fi, and fantasy illustrations.

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