Step by Step: Lay­ing the ground­work in Pho­to­shop

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Fantasy Workshops -

1 Ar­range the com­po­nents

This sketch is to work out com­po­si­tional el­e­ments and de­tails. Once I know what’s needed, I can be­gin to col­lect ref­er­ence: pe­riod cloth­ing, lost pet signs, posed pho­tos and so on. All my pre­lim­i­nary work is done in Pho­to­shop us­ing Kyle T Web­ster’s brushes (www.kyle­brush.com).

2 Tighten all the de­tails

Still in Pho­to­shop, I cre­ate a new layer to tighten up the draw­ing. This is the stage where I look at my ref­er­ence the most, ei­ther past­ing im­ages di­rectly into the doc­u­ment or us­ing a splitscreen. I then add an­other layer (set to Mul­ti­ply) where I work out a rough colour study.

3 Trans­fer and paint

Us­ing an Ad­just­ment layer, I make the im­age a very light orange to mimic a burnt si­enna un­der­paint­ing. I print out the draw­ing on thick water­colour pa­per at 13x19 inches. I some­times do a monochro­matic un­der­paint­ing, but here I just start paint­ing, mostly washes at first.

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