How I create… A circle of flames
Dumbledore’s circle of flame both frames Harry and Dumbledore, and adds some depth by breaking up the layers of Inferi (the undead inhabitants of the lake). The first step is to block in a strong base colour, in Photoshop, with big textured brushes, bold marks and a free-flowing hand.
I want the flames to be full of movement and to really bring the cover painting to life. I flip between Photoshop and Painter in almost all of my work, and here I use a variety of Painter 12’s Real Bristle and Flat Oil brushes, to build up layers of colour and texture.
I’m not after a realistic depiction of flames. My characters are stylised and so I can carry that over into the scenes, effects and lighting. I continue to build up colours and texture using Painter and Photoshop, then add blood-orange glows on the edge of the flames, and lighting effects on the characters.