Step-by-step: The dead awak­ens…

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imagine Nation Artist Q&A -

1 I start with some re­ally rough line work, where I block in the main pose of the skele­ton as well as the over­all com­po­si­tion for the scene. I’ve done a lot of stud­ies of hu­man skele­tons in the past, so I don’t take long block­ing in the pose this time around. If you aren’t sure of the hu­man bone struc­ture, use ref­er­ence im­age to bet­ter un­der­stand the cor­rect anatomy. 2 Next up I fill the back­ground with a midgreen and also add a gra­di­ent of grey to sug­gest the di­rec­tion of the light. I block in the sil­hou­ette of the skele­ton with a darker value of the same colour and add some ba­sic shad­ows to start form­ing the shapes. I also paint in some fo­liage, in or­der to try and get a feel of the for­est swamp en­vi­ron­ment I had in mind.

3 Next I clar­ify the back­ground more by strength­en­ing the lights and adding more fo­liage and trees. Then I paint in the lights and shad­ows of the skele­ton us­ing a sub-layer and add some ‘mag­i­cal’ light ef­fects on a Color Dodge layer. I tend to use Over­lay and Soft Light lay­ers to strengthen the con­trast of var­i­ous parts and nor­mal lay­ers to add more de­tails. 4 I use var­i­ous tex­ture brushes to quickly sug­gest more de­tail in the back­ground and try to give the skele­ton it­self more painted de­tails. I cor­rect the sil­hou­ette of the bones to make them more anatom­i­cally cor­rect and paint in all the re­flect­ing lights. As a fi­nal step, I add sharper edges and fine de­tails around the head to drive more at­ten­tion to the fo­cal area.

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