A fogg y, rainy mood
A good image always starts with an accurate base, not sloppy groundwork, as Guweiz explains…
I wanted to draw an image in which old Hong Kong-style apartment blocks featured in the scene. A low camera angle is a favourite of mine, so I started with a photo in the background to help me find a perspective to latch on to. I manipulated the photo using Photoshop’s Transform tools until I achieved the exact feeling I was after. Then I threw on a black-andwhite filter and painted in the silhouette of the character.
Once the character and the cat silhouette were in place, it was just a case of drawing line sketches over them and placing all the elements, then finally rendering them to be consistent with the foggy, rainy mood.
The colouring stage was quite straightforward. I used a Gradient Map to remove the pure greys, and then Soft Light layers to add local colour. After this stage, I painted over the sketch until I was satisfied. Flat, untextured brushes are great for developing forms. Later on, I also used some texture brushes to make the fabric of the dress look a little grittier.
Photoshop’s Lasso tool comes in very handy, especially when trying to add details to edges that require a consistent look. After applying the Smudge tool to control edge sharpness, and the Airbrush to create edge value contrasts, I felt that the image was up to a decent standard.
A big lesson I learnt here was that, more often than not, a good image really needs to start with an accurate base. If you’re struggling to produce the effect or scene you have in mind, check if your groundwork is sloppy.