Inside Tarsier: Lady Red

Today we are starting a new article series called Inside Tarsier!

The articles in this series can be anything from illustrations, ideas and random thoughts, to little snippets of writing, videos, and musings on small side-projects that the creative folks here at Tarsier are working on in their spare time.

We start with illustration of a mysterious red-haired lady, drawn by Andreas, who is one of our artists.

You can read more about how he drew it below and he also include a timelapse of the whole image being drawn.


For this illustration I used a workflow quite different from what I normally use.

Laying on an abstract base with my own customized brushes I build up shapes by marking them out with the lasso tool and paint inside the selection. This way I can also build up gradients inside the shapes which provides for shading and other effects.

This approach is quite stimulating when working without predetermined goals and simply letting the image tell you what it needs. As with looking at clouds it’s just a matter of time before you start seeing figures in the mess and move on to define them further.

If you like this illustration you may find this timelapse interesting, which covers the process from start to finish.

You can see more of Andreas’ art on his blog over here.

  • Mark Hall

    Beautiful work Andreas! Was interesting how the initial design was so complex but then you dialled it back a lot. The simpler, final design really captured the character’s elegance, beauty and mystery a lot more! Was great seeing it come together! :) cant wait for the next ‘Inside Tarsier’!

    • Andreas Karlsson

      Thanks, and I very much like your observation. Lately I’ve become more into trying to find the essentials or minimalism in a design, what shapes really matter and so on, although some of it comes down to tendencies as well. It’s hard to make complex things without turning the whole thing into noise.
      But I find it a good approach to disregard those principles at the very start and let loose. It’s easier to remove the undesired elements than to add new ones.

  • Kyle Barrett

    Very cool. What program are you using? I am still using Photoshop CS2, becuase it’s free, but it’s not GIMP or Illustrator, I have no idea what it is. :S

    • Andreas Karlsson

      It’s GIMP actually, 2.8 to be specific. I cut off the top menu bar in the video so maybe that was a bit misleading.