It’s a cold day in the fall and you come up on a wooded forest. Should you go in? Why of course you should. The waning sunset is almost complete as the last few rays of the sun shine through the darkness illuminating the woods in an eerie orange. As you walk through the woods, you can hear the sticks break underneath your feet. The breaking twigs and sticks echo off the dense trees surrounding you. The grass is tall enough to hide any critters from your sight but causes you problems as you push your way through.
About This Piece
I started out with a yellow canvas background and then shaded in where I thought the sunset would be coming through. I used a watercolor brush and made circular motions. Watercolor makes a nice transparent base that makes it easy to build off of.
On a new layer I began sketching in the trees using a thick watercolor brush and the airbrush tools. The watercolor brush made the trees seem distant and the air brush tool was used for shadows and highlights. The brown background of this layer mixed very nicely with the car of the top layer.
This is another layer with the tree details and some foliage. I scraped the individual tree details into this layer so I could play with them more without disturbing what I had on the other tree layer.
Pilgrim in the Woods visiting a Thanksgiving Dinner near you.
Pilgrim in the woods is visiting a Thanksgiving dinner near you. Halloween is over but are all the spooks really gone? The ghosts aren’t screeching and the werewolves aren’t yelping but the woods is not empty of danger.
How is it this pilgrim is here and what does he want? It’s been many long years since the Puritans first came to America and shared the first Thanksgiving. Was someone left behind or is this would be wanderer plagued with unfinished business? Time will tell when the truth is finally uncovered. I could write horror stories all year round. My goal this year is to come up with a horror idea that ties in with every major holiday. I don’t know if I will ever write a full story or not but ideas are where more ideas come from. Let me know if you have any special requests out there.
About this Design
I hope you are all enjoying my latest design. Please let me know what you think by commenting on this post or dropping a note through a form.
I used 13 different layers to design this scene. I didn’t start with a pencil sketch. In fact, I clicked on the oil paint tool and went right to work painting out the scene. The scene background was painted with the oil paint flat brush tool. The digital oils provided a nice blending affect to build the background just like playing with Play dough. I alternated shades and used the blending tool as well to get the lighting effect I wanted.
Tips and Tricks
Below are some screenshots of layers that I used. The first one is a 33% opacity layer that I drew the trees on in the distance along with some shrubs. I used a very light brown within the pallet that I was working with. This effect created some of the white noise that comes with designing wooded areas. A G-Pent was all I needed to design the trees. A darker bleed tool brush was used for the shrubs. I like to keep things murky and then pull the details out.
This next section is of just the trees themselves. See how they are on their own layer? I can manipulate the depth of the piece easier this way and control the highlights and shadows without creating digital mud. Using the selection tool helps to keep the overspray from going out of control. I still have a little. Through color discipline practice, it becomes easier to paint in this fashion. The airbrush highlight and shadow tools create nice textures on the tree. I selected where the light was coming from and then I just stayed consistent until I got the trees completed. Additional texture was created by using a darker pencil to enhance the bark.
As I go over each part of the tree, I can slowly pull out the natural texture of the tree along with other minor details such as the roots and growth defects in the tree that make it look more interesting.
I used the ink pen tool to design the Pilgrim and then I sketched out lightly what I wanted and then filled it in. I already knew that I was going to use a silhouette so I didn’t worry about every detail with the character. Extra grass created the mired affect. The woodlands known to be wet.
The Pilgrim Design
I used the polygon line tool to detail the parts of his outfit that I felt viewers would need to see to understand he is a pilgrim. I used Google to find a some good ideas for what I wanted the pilgrim to look like. Again, not a lot of serious detail required. Using my G-Pen with white pigment, I colored in some wrinkles and added some buttons. If I did my job well enough, you can tell that it’s a pilgrim.
Some additional details I added were the sun beams shining through. The line tool is awesome to get this detail. I changed the opacity on the beams so they look more transparent and played around with the color. True yellow just wasn’t covering it.
I designed the bridge with just blocks of grey matter that I blended together. I used references for this too because I just couldn’t picture the bridge the way I wanted in my head alone.
That is all for tonight. If I left some things out that you may want to know more of, please ask. I am always happy to help everyone out. Also check out my book. You can find it here. Amazon Prime holders can get it for free. It is available in hard copy and E-book format. The book has a lot of these types of tutorials designed to help you come up with design ideas.