Tackle large shapes first

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Workshops -

Un­der­paint­ing the scene

I cre­ate a Color layer and fill it with a colour that com­ple­ments my light source. I want to use a warm light, so I pick a de­sat­u­rated blue-green. On a sec­ond Color layer, I add a sat­u­rated blue to shadow ar­eas. When I be­gin to build up colours on top of this, I’ll use a pres­sure-sen­si­tive brush and leave a lit­tle of th­ese colours show­ing through, es­pe­cially in shadow ar­eas.

Don’t be afraid to ad­just el­e­ments

Once I have my back­ground loosely laid in, I move to the fo­cal point: her face. This is where I want con­trast and sat­u­ra­tion, to draw the viewer’s eye at first glance. I start with a colour layer to block in her skin­tone, and re­alise that I’ve made her skin too light. So I cre­ate a Mul­ti­ply layer and ap­ply a de­sat­u­rated shade of the skin­tone to darken it.

I think of ways to group my main colours. Colour is good for guid­ing the eye, but it loses ef­fec­tive­ness when used with­out con­trol. Us­ing sep­a­rate Color lay­ers, I block in the lo­cal colours of the wa­ter, rock and leaves. I want the wa­ter’s green leaves to bring the viewer’s eye down to dis­cover the re­flec­tion, so I use an ad­di­tional Over­lay layer to amp up the sat­u­ra­tion.

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