|Lady Galaxy - final version.|
This is my latest digital illustration. It's an image done for my personal project "Twisted Beauties", for which I already have two other illustrations (Lord of Light and Lady Bombyx). I made my very first attempt to record my painting process : soon, I might upload the timelapse video of my photoshop session for this painting. For now, let me show you the steps of creation for "Lady Galaxy" :)
Basic composition : I tried to nail down the basic shapes of the composition first. No need to elaborate the line work too much here, I just needed to separate the different elements of the image (for instance, to figure out where the planet, the characters or the asteroids should be.) I tried to find the flow of the composition too, especially for the asteroids, trying to lead the viewer's eye to my focal point which is the face of the main character. I had no intention to give her so many arms in the beginning, but I drew them for the composition (to imagine several posibilities of arm positions) and finally I kept them like I had drawn them and here we are : six arms at the end ^^'
Basic Line Work : I worked a bit more on the drawing. Trying to define what was going to be the design of the character. I added impact craters on the lady and gave her a "saturn head". I hadn't drawn it this way, but I already knew that she was going to have four "nebula-arms" and just two "normal" arms compared to the other ones.
Basic Values : Here, my intentions were to put a sens of depth with a very basic values work. I focused on where the contrast between light and dark would be. This step shows that I wanted the arms (at the left of the image) to appear pretty dark compared to the bright background for instance. Once again, I wanted the attention of the viewer very focused on the action of the scene, so I didn't put a lot of contrasted areas near the legs or the other corners of the image.
Colors : I chose the first colors, placed it on the values layer and I put it under my line work layer. I started to detail the face because it was the most important to me and I wanted to nail it down first. An advice here : I should have thought more about the colors, I chose these pretty fast, knowing I would probably change it later, and that's what I did, but I would have had a better and early overall view of what was going to be my final image if I had cared more about colors before starting details...
The following steps are just rendering stuff after stuff. It's a personal project and it's photoshop so it means two things : first, I have all the time I want (in a reasonable way ;) ) so I don't really need to work on all the image at the same time. But for client works it's important to have a more serious schedule. Second, I can correct and modify things through my process because a lot of layers options allowed me to. That's of course not possible with traditional medias.
About the planets : I used a GREAT tutorial, made by an awesome guy I know, you can read and use for free his tutorial to make a gaz planet in photoshop just right HERE. Thanks Camille :)
These steps are just rendering and detailing. The last one shows I changed the background colors. I had been thinking from the start it was too flashy and I didn't like it so I chose a duller blue and cool greens, which catch less attention and highlight the character colors (the orange color of the planet-head looks fine with the blues of the back).
I finally added a little creature, sitting on the rings of the right planet. I know these rings are made of asteroids and an hypothetic personn, even a giant one, couldn't litterally sit on it. But it was just for the sake of dramatization ;)
I changed a little bit the overall contrasts of the image and tried to correct the colors of the main character.
I added and rendered a bunch of asteroids, trying to create more depth and especially a flow of composition, leading the viewer to the center of attention. I put the little lady near one of the arms of the big one, to lead us to the top of the picture again. I made her pretty bright because I wanted the viewer to be free (to not put all the attention to the main character's face and let the rest of the elements being boring) and allow him to take a look around the big lady. I thought the little bright character would be a good way to make us go a little bit away from the imposing central figure :)