Can you please help me paint the scarred wings of a creature warrior?
Graham Davis, England
When painting scarred wings it’s always a good idea to work with Layer Masks. These will enable you to tear and destroy your wings as much as you like, without actually losing your hard-earned pixels. So with that in mind you might as well start out by painting fully intact wings and cutting away on them later.
The first step is blocking out the form of the wings on a separate layer. Once you have the basic form laid down, start adding monochromatic values. Looking up some reference of insect wings will come in helpful. Carefully study how insect wings are constructed and try to mimic that in your painting. Notice how the big planes are made up of little facets. This will enable you to destroy them in an logical way later on in the painting process.
Keep on adding detail, and look for a support colour. Most insect wings are shiny and will subtly change colour towards the base of the wings. Finally, add a mask to the layer (click the Layer Mask button in the bottom of Photoshop’s layer palette). With black as the foreground colour and a sharp brush you can now scar away as much as you want. Don’t go overboard though, but try to make the wings looked scarred like they would be in nature. Facets can be cut out, but the skeleton of the wings will for the most part remain intact.