Step-by-step: Merging wisps of colours together
1 I begin by blocking in the largest shapes of my smoke. At this stage, I treat the shapes as though they’re solid but malleable, as if I’m working with clay. I’m focusing on how the individual colours of smoke overlap and flow together to create a pleasing pattern. With my large shapes in place, I think 2 about the form of each smoke pillar: where they wrap around one another and where they begin to merge. This will help me achieve the effect that the smoke itself is coloured; a smooth colour gradient would suggest a coloured light. 3 I often utilise photo texture when painting smoke up close. While I’m confident I could paint something by hand through careful observation, it would take time. Finally, I look for areas where the smoke colours would mix together to form new hues and soft colour transitions.