Com­pose in sil­hou­ette

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To dis­trib­ute the im­por­tant story el­e­ments, I im­me­di­ately start block­ing out shapes in black and white, keep­ing in mind the rule of thirds. In this case, I want the pi­lot to be the fo­cal point, so I’ll place him on the right third of the com­po­si­tion. Sev­eral lines are cre­ated off of the star­ship, to di­rect you to his head as well as a cir­cle shape to help push con­trast and fo­cus.

Cre­ate a colour pal­ette

I gather ref­er­ence for the light­ing ar­range­ment as well as sub­ject mat­ter, and de­velop a colour pal­ette to pick from when de­vel­op­ing the im­age. This is a good ap­proach to take when paint­ing di­rectly; it also keeps your colours fresh. I sep­a­rate the lights and darks into the en­vi­ron­ment colours and the ob­ject colours, to dis­tin­guish be­tween am­bi­ence and sub­ject pal­ettes.

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