Adopt an un­usual an­gle in your art

ImagineFX - - Contents -

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.

Com­po­si­tion tricks

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.

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