Developing the background
For the smoke, I used a Pastel-oil Large 4 brush and a Soft Round Pressure Opacity brush. First I do a rough sketch with the Pastel brush, then add softer edges and details with the Soft Round brush. I also add Tilt-Shift blur (Filter>Blur Gallery>TiltShift) to the background, to create more depth and ensure the character’s more in focus because the background’s no longer as detailed and sharp. Finally, I use the Rectangle-one Soft edge brush on an Overlay layer for various effects over the buildings.