Step-by-step: Depict a figure caught in a fierce sandstorm
1 In Photoshop, I start off by producing a very quick sketch of a lone cloaked figure, some rock formations and indications of the sandstorm cloud. I then colour the main shapes with a Soft Round brush that’s set to Noise. I concern myself only with the lighting in the scene and achieving the right orange colours for the desert sand. 2 I choose three grainy brushes and work only with them when defining the shapes of the rocks, the sandstorm and the nomad. Using textured brushes gives the right feeling of a dry and sandy environment and it also makes the image a bit more interesting. It also makes it clear to the viewer that this is not a cloud of water, but of sand. 3 After rendering everything, I start painting grains of sand. Using two different speckled brushes on a separate layer, I lightly brush over the ground where the heavier sand in the storm is. Finally, to make the grains look like they’re blowing around, I blur the layer with Gaussian Blur and Motion Blur, setting Distance to 12 pixels and Angle to the wind direction.