Handling depth with edges
1 After quickly blocking in the background colours of the forest and the silhouette of the creature, I start to add the primary light sources and shadows. I don’t worry about the whole mouth area because I know that it’s going to be my main focal area. To emphasise this I make an effort to lay down brushstrokes that point towards the mouth. 2 I bring in a warmer light source, which helps to make the palette of the image more interesting, and then start detailing the composition. I want to give the image a painterly feel, so I add details that radiate out from the focal area by having the smallest brushstrokes around the creature’s mouth and teeth, and painting more loosely towards the edges. 3 I apply more contrast and definition to everything and then use various custom brushes to give more texture to the image. I define the different lines of teeth – which is the key feature of the monster – and better define the fur. Then it’s simply a case of applying final tweaks and making minor adjustments, along with any special effects.