Dreaming up the Trackless Paths

– by Joshua Chiang – 

(‘Trackless Paths’ the book is now out in Select Books and Kinokuniya in Singapore, as well as available online here)


For the past few years I had been pursuing an improvement to my illustrating craft as well as enriching my life spiritually. Trackless Paths is where these two threads meet. Up to this point, most of my illustrations were rendered in an oil-painting style, and none of the original pencil sketch lines remained in the final painting. I felt that for the subject matter this time round, a softer and more organic look would work better. I had initially wanted to work using digital watercolors in Corel Painter, but it didn’t quite exactly give me the effect I would expect if I were using real watercolor paints (the Real Watercolor brushes in the latest Corel Painter are far superior). I decided to work entirely on Photoshop this time round.

On average, it takes about 5 hours to paint one illustration. (And that is excluding the time it takes to design each character. Designing time varies from ten minutes to an entire day in some cases.) You can see the whole process for one of the illustrations in the photo slideshow below-

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