As hinted at a while back, this is a progressional study in making a page – Azure style. It is right now 6 pm here in this nice little coffee shop and I have my trusty Intuos II Wacom tablet, a Dell XPS M1710, (I am both a mac and a PC guy), my iPhone and a ridiculously good set of tunes if I do say so myself. What I am going to work on from scratch and hopefully finish today, is a wallpaper for next week. I will throw up a still from my work in progress as I finish and when done, will link to the PSD file for anyone with CS1 or better to be able to download. I work in Photoshop CS3 but don’tuse too many special tools native only to that version.
Setting up the file – and sketches. I just finished a few intial sketches and a quickie background gesture. In setting up the file I took 1920 x 1200 and doubled it, giving me 2840 x 1775. I then lay down a few elements and piece them together as shown below. I am setting the layers to multiply after putting them on my background image. I will then use these as they are and modify them or paint on top of them in Photoshop.
base image w/sketches
*** Update 8:00pm ***
The next thing I do is begin to flesh out elements of the illustration. Generally it’s a good practice to do the background elements first, but honestly i jsut want to draw Azure 🙂 sooo…I went ahead and fleshed her out. Oy…there’s a way to obvious joke there. Anywho:
Note that I do most of the “fleshing out” in black and white or grey scale. This is because the water layers I will add will apply their colour to her suit thereby making her more of a part of the illustration.
*** Update 10:00pm ***
Had to pause and share the comic with some new fans, but back on track. Might need to finish in the morning. Anywho – next steps – laying the base layer for the tentacles, and sculpting the crevise sides and rock faces of the cavern. All of these steps I have been working in grayscale. I will add colour tints and layers later. For the Caverna nd the tentacles – I do each colour piece as a different layer. this si key to adjusting inidivudal colors down the line, and allows you to push and pull the depth by darkening certain layers, and lightening others.tentacle elements
*** Update 10:30pm ***
Composite piece without highlights – Added a blue multiply layer and pieced elements into scene. Will pick back up tomorrow morning. Need to crash.
*** Update 11:45am ***
Late start – had to deal with the dog…we had a disagreement of sorts. Puppies. Anywho, I cleaned up a bit of the tentacles and added more blue overlay layers as well at lights to Azure. I am setting the glowing bits to overlay as well and often times you only need to use white and the brightness will be applied to the layer below.
Blue overlay layers and lighting added
*** Update 12:45pm ***
Well my battery is about to die and I forgot my backup so heading back to the house to finish this up. Here is the latest and greatest. I have added more light and brightened up the multiply blue layer in the background. Next up is to push and pull the tentacles – to really make them look like they are emerging from the depths to coil around our sexy heroine. Next update will be tomorrow afternoon – have to go do some family stuff.
more light and embelishments
*** Update 12:45 am (10/14/08) ***
Yeah, I know – a bit laate/early – I have had some day-job stuff to deal with, and then a friend I hven’t seen for years flew into town. Needless to say, I am back in the saddle. This wallpaper will be completed later today. Here is an update to it: I added more embelishments to the tentacles, and added some suckers on one fo the arms, as well as shadows to push the tentacles further into the depths below. I am thinking there needs to be some atmospheric bluish stuff going on around those arms, but need to focus on finishing the details of the tentacles, and then clean up the walls of the cavern. My next task is to find some reference material for the cavern walls, barnacles and that sort of thing.
More details to tentacles, shadows
*** Update 10/16/08 ***
Here’s the finished piece – I added a few ebeleishments to the tentacles, and adjusted the lights and shadows in the background. I also added a few panicked fish in the foreground to add a bit to the story behind the image. Overall I’m pretty happy with this one. Please leave me a comment or two and let me know likes and dislikes with this image, or if there are any questions about it. I will out up the link later this evening to the PSD file for folks to dissect, and the wallpaper in various sizes in the wallpapers thread shortly.
Azure Wallpaper 2 – 1024 x 768
Azure Wallpaper 2 – 1600 x 1200
Azure Wallpaper 2 – 1920 x 1200