Step-by-step: Illustrate a figure encased in ice
1 First I paint the character, then I paint the ice over it on a low-value Opacity layer. Then, using the Smudge tool, I distort the figure, trying to mimic the manner in which ice usually distorts the way we see objects that are inside it. I try to do this according to the shape of the block of ice that I’m painting. It’s essentially a matter of observation. 2 After that, using a combination of Screen, Multiply and Overlay layers, I start to paint the lights and shadows of the ice. For this example I use some textured brushes to achieve a thick- ice texture. I paint the highlights on the surface of the ice, attempting to follow the shapes that I think my block of ice should have, using a bit of intuition. 3 When the ice layer starts to actually look like ice, I use normal layers to paint additional reflections of light, trying to add more information about the shape of the block of ice on the areas that look a bit empty. I also start to paint details in order to solve minor imperfections in the image. And with that I’m able finish the core of the ice structure.