Step-by-step: Il­lus­trate ris­ing ten­drils of smoke

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

Be­gin by block­ing in your smoke. It’ll 1 help to use a brush that’s not too tex­tured, and choose a mid-tone for this step. Some­times paint­ing ex­tremely ab­stract shapes can be a bit of a men­tal bat­tle, as our brains love pat­terns and sym­me­try. Look at some im­ages of smoke to get an idea of just how twisty and ran­dom those shapes can be. Start to de­fine those shapes. This kind 2 of ris­ing smoke has more sharp edges than you might ex­pect. One side of a plume of smoke can be sharp, grad­u­ally fad­ing to a softer edge. Re­duce your Brush Flow in Pho­to­shop for more con­trol over this sub­tle gra­di­ent. Don’t for­get to softly add some thin­ner ten­drils of smoke, break­ing away from the main shapes. It’s time to add some high­lights. Ris­ing 3 smoke tends to be thick when close to its source, or in­ter­sect­ing with other smoke ten­drils. Choose a bright colour and grad­u­ally build up the bright­ness in these ar­eas. I like to use a Color Dodge layer for this. Try dou­ble- click­ing your layer and tog­gling off Trans­parency Shapes Layer to cre­ate slightly dif­fer­ent ef­fects.

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