In between portfolio and work, I came up with an on-going challenge called "The Muses", which is a series of triptych portraits of personified songs where the goal is to practice different brushes, lighting, colours, and special effects in Photoshop. Each portrait of a triptych must be complete in no more than 2 hours. Here are the first three that I've done:
The Muses are mysterious beings that are the embodiment of their respective song. The names of each "Muse" are song titles:
Clarity (by Zedd ft. Foxes)
Curiosity (Genki Rockets)
Days [to Come] (Seven Lions ft. Fiora)
Dead Star (Muse)
Diamond Eyes (Deftones)
Walking On Air (Kerli)
Most of these portraits are based on their respective song's album art or music video (for instance, Clarity, Curiosity, Crush, and Days are based on their album art whereas the rest are inspired from their music videos).
Another reason I came up with this exercise was to draw faces faster and (hopefully) stray away from a style that is too anime. I still have anime roots in my line art... I wanted to break away from it a bit.