ImagineFX - - Imaginenation Artist Q&a -

An­dreas replies

Rocks come in dif­fer­ent sizes, shapes and with var­i­ous kinds of sur­faces. Whether it’s an im­pos­ing lime­stone cliff face or a small rock on a river bed, I take the same ap­proach when paint­ing them.

I try to be aware of the over­all shape and form of the rock struc­ture, along with its tex­ture, be­cause both of th­ese are what give a rock its char­ac­ter. The over­all shape is con­trolled mainly with larger brushes paint­ing at lower zoom lev­els, whereas the tex­ture and el­e­ments such as cracks are painted with both cus­tom brushes and smaller-sized brushes.

I of­ten use sev­eral pho­tos of rocks as ref­er­ence and study them both in terms of their three-di­men­sional shape and sur­face de­tails. Also, be aware of where the light is com­ing from: the way the light in­ter­acts with the rock is what makes it be­liev­able. The sunny side has a lot of tex­tu­ral de­tail. The shad­owy side, on the other hand, should be less de­tailed and re­ceive bounced light from nearby sur­faces or from the sky.

The over­all shape gives the rock its char­ac­ter, but it’s the tex­tu­ral de­tails that makes it look be­liev­able. It’s im­por­tant that your tex­tu­ral brush­strokes fol­low the form of the planes of the rock.

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