My magic wand ef­fects don’t look par­tic­u­larly mag­i­cal. Any ad­vice?

Martha Sokolowski, US

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

An­swer

Mélanie replies

Here I choose to paint a ba­sic magic ef­fect, but the pos­si­bil­i­ties are in­fi­nite. I be­gin by choos­ing a suit­able colour for my mag­i­cal ray of light. I want my char­ac­ter to be very girly so I pick a bright pink, af­ter dis­re­gard­ing yel­low. I use this colour to lay down the base of my mag­i­cal ef­fects, by cre­at­ing a huge glow of light on the top of the wand, and a long curly ray/wave – like a shoot­ing star, for ex­am­ple – all around the char­ac­ter. This ray fol­lows the tra­jec­tory of the wand or the di­rec­tion of the magic spell that’s be­ing cast.

Be­cause I want the light wave to be dif­fuse I use a cus­tom brush that’s very soft and tex­tured. You can down­load it along with the rest of this month’s re­sources. You can also play with the Layer Opac­ity or mode to gen­er­ate more cool colour ef­fects. Here, I erase some parts to achieve the per­fect ren­der.

I also work with dif­fer­ent shades of pink, to en­hance the mag­i­cal look and also to bring in more tex­ture. I mix a pale pink with a deep pink and cre­ate some ex­tra waves over the ray of light.

The top of the wand will be the bright­est part, so I ramp up the vis­i­ble light here. Fi­nally, to in­crease the mag­i­cal ef­fect I add sparkles around the wand and the wave. I use a pre­cise brush to do so, with sharp edges to gen­er­ate marks that are neat and well de­fined.

The wand’s light must af­fect ev­ery­thing around it, in this case the spell­caster’s face and cloth­ing. So I add more pink light to her jaw­line and lips. I tend to add a lot (maybe too much!) of sparkles and ef­fects when I paint magic in ac­tion. Ad­just such vi­su­als to suit the story

you’re telling.

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