Adopt an unusual angle in your art
Sergey Kolesov captures an extraordinary image.
1 Bird’s-eye view
I’m keen to show the depth of the sea while maintaining the top-down composition. Well-defined shadows will help here, so I decide on strong sunlight as a light source. The shadow placement informs the viewer how far the object is from the bottom. Rather than plan it out beforehand, I try to visualise this while I paint the scene. I think I achieve my goal.
2 Scale in the scene
I need to maintain the same sense of scale in the image. The solution is to use similar-sized brushes for detailing all the elements. The mermaid’s arm is detailed, while the fisherman looks sketchy in comparison. In fact I’ve used the same brush size on both elements. I believe this is the right way to show scale more realistically.
3 Water everywhere
I don’t paint the water, as such. What you can see is mostly just the sea bed. Towards the end of the painting process I apply big strokes of light blue as a reflection on the surface/waves. These strokes inform the viewer that they’re looking at a marine environment, rather than the calm surface of a boating lake.
The triangular composition (1) brings more movement into the static bird’s-eye view. The image’s pivot point (2) stabilises the image. Key elements are variable detailing, colour intensity and contrast (the green arrow), which supports the weak corner of the composition. The boats and mermaid face into the image to complete the triangle.
Painting the sea bed
The texture of the sea bottom is done very easily. I use two texture brushes as a base, then add shadows from the boats on a separate Multiply layer with soft texture brush strokes. After this I add the colours using the Color and Overlay modes. To finish I introduce shadows to some of the rocks, to make them look more realistic.