Grabbed a limited palette off of lospec.com and a reference face off of thispersondoesnotexist.com
Drew in Blender’s Grease Pencil with vertex colors and max jitter and randomness
Use smaller and smaller brushes with less and less randomness
Blur the colors in Vertex Paint, then keep painting
Throw a bunch of modifiers on it
Grease Pencil is not necessarily the best choice for impressionist painting. The swatch interface means you can’t color pick like other programs, and the vector nature of grease pencil doesn’t lend itself toward blended edges. But there’s a lot of upside for it! Sculpt mode moves stroke points, which means edits work a lot cleaner than something like Photoshop’s liquefy tool. Plus, the footprint left behind with strokes and points mean the painting is great fodder for animation and modifiers. On this here stack I played with the Build, Dot Dash, and Thickness modifiers.
Here’s a WIP shot of a guy I call “The broker.” Imagine him as a floormonger on some sci-fi commodities trading market. The final design will have red LED stock-tickers and news bulletins scrolling along his belt and shoulder apparati.
My modeling approach with this dude has been experimental and strange. Many methods exist for “sketching” a sculpt in 3D. Dynamic topology, Zspheres, Blender’s skin modifier. But all of these require under-the-hood nurturing that, in my opinion, makes you lose the effortless quickness that you can have with drawing by hand.
When you’re drawing in that way, a favorite technique is to just use big abstract circles and lines of action to represent a head, a muscle, a torso. Where is the equivalency in 3D? Here’s the modifier stack I came up with.
From here, you can just Shrinkwrap clothes onto the character, then begin retopology modeling what you actually want. I got something that felt really alive and stylish, and the model served as some baseline concept art.
Should I take this to sculpt first, then finish modeling? I don’t know. Instincts say yes, but I’m having fun with some old-fashioned modeling first, sculpt later pipeline.