3 Colour blocking


In this step I choose the colours for the scene, character and objects. I decide on a warm colour and lighter values for the foreground and cool colours and darker values for the background, because the environmen­t is a planet in black space with white, astronaut-inspired objects within it.


Next, I differenti­ate the materials like metal, hair, skin and plastic. For metal, I keep the specular highlight large, soft, saturated and medium toned. For plastic, I add a bright, sharper, smaller highlight. For skin and hair, I add subsurface scattering over the lit or highlighte­d areas with the airbrush using a fully saturated red for the skin, and a fully saturated pink, purple or blue for the hair.

Photo reference and textures

In this step I add a photo of Saturn to the sky on a screen layer, a moon crater photo to the planet surface on an overlay layer using the Distort tool, and metal photo texture to the spaceship shell, softly erasing out the texture where the ship goes into shadow.

Stars brush

Now I add a full starry sky with the stars brush. I adjust the size of the brush as I paint with it using the Alt key and dragging the cursor left or right to make the brush larger or smaller. I also add stars to the sky behind the spaceship’s transparen­t top.

Specular details

Next, I add some finishing specular details, like wrinkle highlights, detailed hairs and facial highlights. I also add detail to existing highlighte­d areas to bring out the realism. This is an important finishing step, because it quickly details the important parts of the painting.

Colour and value focus

I use a large airbrush and darken the edges with a dark, blackish blue on a new layer. I then use a light red on an overlay layer to pop out the character from the background. I also create levels adjustment layers to add contrast to the foreground and to reduce contrast in the background and around the edges of the scene.


Now I hit Ctrl+shift+c to copy merged layers, and then I create a new layer and hit Ctrl+v to paste. On this layer I use the Gaussian Blur filter. I then use the airbrush to erase out the focal point areas in the foreground.

Add particles

I use the embers brush to add particle details on specular highlighte­d areas and in the air. I add bigger embers by enlarging the brush by hitting Alt and clickdragg­ing left or right, into the foreground and smaller ones further back. I erase any particles that cover up important areas or where there are too many of them.


Now I hit Ctrl+shift+c to copy merged layers, then I create a new layer and hit Ctrl+v to paste. On this layer I use the Smart Sharpen filter to create a crisp, clear foreground and focal points. I erase the edges of this layer with a large airbrush to keep only the important areas sharp.


Finally, to add some iridescenc­e to the space scene, I go to Image>duplicate. In the new file, I go to the channels, select the red, blue and green channels and slightly move them each separately in different directions. Then I flatten the artwork and drag it into the previous PSD file on top. Now I erase this top layer with an airbrush to only remain around the edges and in receding areas.

 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia