Christmas Concept Art (With Lighting Effects)

Christmas Concept Art

Tis the season for Christmas Concept Art. The assignment I gave myself was to design a Christmas scene with a focus on textures and lighting effects also ensuring that I divided the foreground, middle, and backgrounds appropriately. This piece was created with Clip Studio Paint and is almost 43 layers…Yikes! That’s a lot for me.

What did I do first?

The first thing I did was browse through internet to find some references of Christmas scenes, winter backgrounds, and some cool colored environments….brr. After getting a general idea for what I wanted to create, I sketched out my different sections using a selection tool this time. I used to just pencil the whole design out using a G-Pen or brush tool but the selection tool saved me a lot of time. I also used reduced the opacity each time that I went further into the background.

Next Steps

I built the entire scene using only a grayscale and focused entirely on where the lights and darks needed to be along with any other atmospheric dispersion. Spending the most time on this part really helped me identify any composition errors, tangents (where an element touches something else create depth confusion), and balance.

Coloring

During the coloring phase, I used a lot of different layer settings. I used Hue, Color, and Overlay layers the most. I found that I could quickly play around with different color schemes without having to erase a lot. Gradient maps also saved me a ton of time combined with the air brush selection tool combo.

Finishing Touches

I used additional gradient maps to darken specific areas and glow layers to add some special effects. Mote time was spent than normal zooming around the design and adding thoughtful detail. I actually saved my progress, walked away for a day, and then returned to it to make a lot of corrections that I was missing during my initial phases. Lots of last minute tweaks.

To get the effect that you see in this design, I used a dark blue exclusion layer over the whole piece. This really added a nice level of nighttime darkness which I erased back out where light would naturally fall. Once I did all that and was happy, I exported the version with the exclusion layer as a .jpg and then reimported it into Clip Studio Paint. After extending my canvas, I dropped the other version next to the first one I did so you can see the differences side by side.

Special Thanks.

I have been studying a lot of techniques offered by Trent Kamingua. His courses have helped me to identify a lot of the flaws that I have missed in my own work and really helps you understand the basics. Simplicity is where it starts. Too complex, and you drown in your own process. I am no way an instant professional now that I’ve practiced these skills. It’s something you have to do every day.

Courses which helped me the most are.

Landscape Painting Workshop Lessons 1-10 (gumroad.com)

This one really showed me how to simplify environments…and when he says don’t just jump to the colorization video, he means it. I did that. You really have to practice how to read a reference.

Diablo 3 Environment Concept Art Workshop “Overgrown Dungeon” (gumroad.com)

This was just really cool. I loved playing the Diablo games and never knew he was one of the artists…wow. Anyway, another good set of techniques to help understand how elements are supposed to work together.

Hearthstone Illustration Workshop (gumroad.com)

I enjoyed the thumbnailing process in this course. This is useful in building some ideas to get started.

horror compilation cover

Hello everyone. I have finished my cover art for my horror compilation graphic novel. I waited until the end to do the cover but honestly I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do to. I had a lot of great ideas. The cover is for a 20 page book with two stories that will be going on sale with Amazon as soon as it’s complete. I am finishing the colors and edits at this time.

Please enjoy and let me know what you think. I have also included a time lapse video sample of my drawing process.

The cover for my new book.

finding your style

Finding Your Style

Finding your style takes time and experimentation along with the ability to let yourself know that you don’t have to be perfect. Being too critical about every line that you put down on paper or an electronic tablet in this day and age will force you into frustration. I watched an old Bob Ross video and I remember him saying to embrace the happy accidents and let them help add to your painting. I think the same can be said about drawing as well. This week’s post is of my current horror comic, a time lapse of my work, and some of my discovered insights.

WIP

My latest time lapse video

My WIP is from my second story which is part of my horror anthology that I’m working on. The tool I used to create this is actually in Clip Studio Paint. I clearly haven’t been paying attention to some of their recent developments but I’m happy to say it sure works well. This is relatively short BUT I don’t want to give away too much before my book is complete. I’m expecting to release it on Amazon over the next couple of months. If you notice I’m not posting as much, wellllll, it’s probably because I’m going full force into finishing this project.

One of the things I struggle with my line art is perfection. Why does it have to be perfect? I don’t think it does at all. It just has to be be able to tell the story well. Not every line may work the way it’s supposed to. Input I received from other people is that they like the roughness of the scenes and that it gives the story an edgy look. I’ll take it as a compliment and as a realization that art appreciation is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Not everyone will like everything but everybody likes something. So when you feel like you are not good enough. Shake the feeling off and keep drawing. Improvement along with style development comes with time.

If you like this excerpt, I have provided the first story for free and it’s right here. You know I’m always looking for likes and comments. Please leave yours. I’ll be sure to comment back. Have a great evening!

Rainy and Ghostly Evening!

Hello everyone!

Tonight I experimented with some of Clip Studio Paint’s animation capability. With a little trial and error, I was able to make the haunted look of this design even more frightening by adding some willow O’ wisps, rain effects and a soft fiery glow to the pumpkin’s eyes.

If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it again. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year…and not just because of Halloween. I enjoy the color changes in the leaves and the smell of the air as neighbors burn them (only where it is legal of course).

Hope you enjoy this .GIF. Let me know your thoughts about this or anything else you see on my website. If you have questions, please ask. I love to help!

Goodnight all!

Ghosts and Pumpkins

Dark spooky nights and visits from ghosts. Who could ask for more fall fun? Lots more coming your way as my imagination takes off. Stay tuned! Follow my blog!

Something specific you want to see? Let me know. I’ll gladly create a scene and post it to my site!