Step-by-step: Create a phoenix in Photoshop
First, create a basic silhouette and colour palette for your creature. If you’re adding effects to a creature you’ve already rendered, just pick an existing colour from its body and change your HSB sliders so that both the saturation and brightness are set to a higher level. Use Soft brushes for the dark shades and Hard brushes for lighter ones. Because I’m drawing a phoenix, I try to incorporate fire- based light effects by merging flames with long elegant fractals. I want my creature to be flying upwards, so all my brushstrokes should flow smoothly from the top right of my painting to the bottom left. I remove some colour from the chest and head of the bird to mimic the look of a flame. For the epicentre of your effects, the light will usually be bright and opaque. You can use Color Dodge blending or Brush mode to quickly fill this in, or do it manually by turning both your Saturation and Brightness sliders up to 100 per cent. I’m aiming for a spark-type effect here, using a hot white colour and splintering straight lines.