Step-by-step: Grad­u­ally break­ing the mir­ror down

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1

Cre­at­ing an ini­tial sketch us­ing val­ues is a great way to be­gin your piece, but you can run the risk of in­tro­duc­ing too much muddy black if you use it as a base un­al­tered. I like to play with gra­di­ent maps on my value sketches to in­tro­duce colour into the shad­ows, and cre­ate colour schemes I may not have thought of ini­tially.

2

When tack­ling the bro­ken glass of the mir­ror, I make use of the Lasso tool to cre­ate guides for the sharp cuts in the glass. I al­ter­nate be­tween dark and light lines to show the catch of the light in the seams. I make sure to add a level of thick­ness to the glass edges, so the bro­ken pieces can read as flip­ping through space.

3

Bro­ken glass fly­ing from the mir­ror can give some com­pelling ac­tion to the scene, but has the po­ten­tial of dis­tract­ing from the main fo­cus of the im­age. I use mo­tion blurs on some of the shards to im­ply a di­rec­tion of force as well as to soften them up, leav­ing harder edges for ar­eas closer to the fo­cal point.

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