Step-by-step: Chang­ing the mood

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1Let’s start with a hot monochro­matic pal­ette. Here I’ve taken my orig­i­nal paint­ing and colour bal­anced it to a hot red hue us­ing the Hue/Sat­u­ra­tion and Color Bal­ance tools. To sell the change it’s worth adding a few ad­di­tional de­tails, in this case lava, some heat haze painted with a Soft brush and some em­bers! Now it feels ag­gres­sive and scary.

2Next up is an­other monochro­matic pal­ette from the op­po­site end of the spec­trum: cold blue. For the de­tails I find a ref­er­ence pho­to­graph of an ice cave and use it to help me paint the ici­cles and to give the rocks a wet, icy feel. While sim­ply hue-shift­ing it to blue would have been ef­fec­tive, th­ese ad­di­tional de­tails all help to sell the snowy en­vi­ron­ment.

3Fi­nally, I have fun with a creepy look­ing, anal­o­gous pal­ette. I start by shift­ing to a blue pal­ette with green mid­tones, then paint the green mist in us­ing a Soft brush on a Soft Light layer. I add some re­flec­tions in the dark wa­ter and then ad­just the im­age to give it a darker feel over­all, which feels ap­pro­pri­ate for the spooky set­ting.

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