It's Bran aka John Jr. (wouldn't that make his son Johnny III? lololololol)
from Juliet Marillier's Son of the Shadows
. I've always wanted to do a portrait of him because of the tattoos... but was always dismayed by the amount of work that needs to be put in them. So I found a middle ground, I think: photomanipulation.
I know I got a couple of things wrong - like the side of the face/body that the tattoos are on, and I couldn't remember if he had any on his palm (apart from the bee). But in general I'm pleased with it. He turned out to look pretty much
how I imagined Bran while reading the book. So it turned out to be a mix of Marillier's description and my own interpretation.
I tried to make it as photo-realistic as possible (lol, filter) but I haven't done photomanipulation in years, so I felt a bit rusty. Probably not something I will be doing again any time soon. I watched him as he came close and touched the smith's brow with his hand, a hand patterned from the wrist of his shirt to the fingertips with feathers and spirals and interlocking links, as complex and fascinating as some ancient puzzle... [His face] was light and dark, night and day, this world and the Otherworld.on the left side, the face of a youngish man, the skin weathered but fair, the eye gray and clear, the mouth well formed if unyielding in character. On all the right side, extending from an undrawn mark down the exact center, an etching of line and curve and feathery pattern, like the mask of some fierce bird of prey. An eagle? A goshawk? No, it was, I thought, a raven, even as far as the circles about the eye, and the suggestion of predatory beak around the nostrils.
The tattoo itself took about 2-3 hours. Another 2-3 was spent on editing (am I slow or am I slow?).
Celtic knotwork: *redheadstock