day by day!
full view of download for a bandwidth killer (but only if you live in the dark ages)
okay so here is the promised step by step image of that collab with explainations. this is by no means a tutorial. if you learn something thats great, but it's not meant for that. this is how we work, you should always find your own way
every step minus the 1st and 3rd steps are what i finished and sent back to corey
so the first step here is actually the second step. we both didn't save the first one! corey started it out as a waterfall mid canvas off to the left.
i took that waterfall, duplicated that layer, flipped it and put it together as you can see here. corey added the boars head and some more small details.
next step was adding in some characters. starting to round off an idea for the scene. the second step here is characters added, minus clothes. bubble form is how i start all of that out, it helps figure out composition quickly without struggling with details. you can see here how the canvas was much smaller at this point, after this step i decide to make it bigger to balance the depth of fields a bit and also the composition.
i thought here first that maybe the girl who finds these ruins has a gun, but that idea didn't stay for long.
3rd step here (corey didn't send it to me with the full picture, mind you, only his work on the piece thus far) is more further fleshing out of the scene. corey added a costume to the winged girl and some guys around her. he also added the totem polls. at this point it started to take on a rather mayan hostile environment, but i decided we wanted it to look more otherworldly rather than identifiable as a speciffic culture, like the explorer found something never before seen. also i thought perhaps the position of the guys affected the composition negatively, but i liked the idea of a muscley and stern fellow. i didn't want this to turn into some pervert's heavy metal wet dream so i discouraged that hostile feel. see next step.
i drew in a guy, complete with horrible anatomy. i loved his expression though. notice both tribal characters had wings and tails. something that eventually got lost, although i'm not entirely sure why. i drew in a dragon, because who doesn't love the idea of a dragon as a pet! i wanted to make sure to keep him wingless though, like that was a feature reserved for his owners. my dragons always turn out girly and fairy/horse/dog like, so i requested that corey give him a better go. at this time i add some blobby colors, because i always feel the best way to create a believable color scheme and world the characters exsist in is to believe it yourself. if you get lost in that world, then you can see your surroundings and create accordingly
i got the next .psd back with a redrawn fiercer dragon and the other girl now has an outfit. corey added also some foreground foliage, which i blurred. i have much love for this effect in paintings as i feel it really adds another level of depth that really stands out from the rest of the picture. so i add some more blobby background colors again (although much too warm saturated and glowy) and flesh out the girls eh, flesh. i also used a quick brightness/contrast adjustment layer to demonstrate hot spots in lighting.
so i send it back. corey sends back these awesome wings (although what you see here is also what i have done to those wings, so his WIP (if he posts one) will show his initial wings). he paints in the explorer's hair and arm complete with bloody bandage, and he paints in the winged girl's sceptre. i start trying to paint the guy, and immediately run into problems painting his arms due to bad drawing. i send it back with them not painted.
every few steps corey would send these back with a little joke painted on a seperate layer, he did a little scuba guy in the water once, and i think a shark once too. i send it back this time with a little slingblade joke, as thats the voice i gave the dragon
i was quite happy with that dragon, i used a good about of texture refferenc and a little bit of the clone stamp to give him that awesome skin.
the next step is a big jump, because i sat for a few hours and painted one half of the background here. i experimented with brush settings on the basic round to get that water texture. i took the basic round, flattened it, scatter, lower scatter count, set color dynamics and other dynamics, and voila. those rocks are the best damn rocks i've ever painted, and i think i really have a method now! yay! plus corey paints this awesome mossy rock for the girl to lean on.
i started tightening the scene at this piont, adding in some darker shadows to the dragon and the girl, and using some reference i repainted the guy. corey had sent this back with his arms painted with the same anatomy problems, so i decided to find ref for it. bad ref, guys make sure you give alot of conscious thought while you use ref so it doesn't lead you into making dumb mistakes. as blond points out here, his shoulders are much too high, and his left elbow is HUGE. but at this point i'm satisfied, third time his arms are painted, and i send it back. i mention to corey that he should give that waterfall a go, being he's done a really cool one in the past.
so i get back streamy soft waterfall painted, and girls outfit painted. i then add a bit of a shallow pool and some specular highlights to make things seem a bit mroe wet. blond actually takes this moment to make a joke now "so whats the story on this, police woman finds some ruins?" so i decided, what would it look like if she had a more jungle explorer khaki colored shirt? after doing that i noticed the guys loincloth thing really needs to be a different color, so i change it to a slate grey and bam, the whole thing harmonizes and fits. blue and purple are colors reserved for the tribal couple and that makes sense in itself.
i then paint in the other side of the background, and work a bit on corey's idea of volumetric lighting. he also had the idea of putting a rainbow into the mist of the waterfall, although i had to take what he did and make it more subtle. i also decide due to blond's nagging (kidding,male muscle anatomy seems to be his specialty) i decided to repaint the guy's arms for a 4th and final time. i set blond out to find me a good ref, so he did. corey finishes the boars head in the waterfall too.
so i add some more details to the girl's clothes and at this point i'm thinking it's done. i email corey and ask him if he's done too, and he says he is. so i then do a bit of post work that i do on my paintings.
i use filters to sharpen up things just a tad and bring out the details more, and also use some color adjustment layers to harmonize things a bit more and make it seem more real. this bottom screencap here is a bit cropped, if you want you can see the full image here [link]
hope you enjoy