Christmas Cave Alternate Version

Christmas Cave Alternate Version

Using some different lighting effects, I played around and created an entirely different mood. I also added some different background elements so it stands alone as a separate version.

Please let me know what you think in the comments.

Christmas Cave Entrance (WIP)

Christmas Cave Entrance (WIP)

Christmas Cave Entrance (WIP) is on about day four of progression since I started. This is the third painting of my Christmas Fantasy themed world.

I would love to hear your feedbacks or comments.

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.

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!

Freelance Artistry

I am gathering opinions on my latest design. What do you think?

It is a new banner idea that I may use for my websites and other social media. I need to work on the sizing for sure as it is a bit big for Twitter and Facebook.

The inspiration for the design came from the origin of the word “freelance”. A freelance was considered a mercenary back in medieval times. These “Freelancers” would take on work in return for payment. This was once the easiest way to raise an army to fight for a cause. I imagine the downside of this is that your opponent could have more gold to offer and your troops would be bought out from under you. Tides would quickly be turned as the cause is only worth as much as the gold that is backing it.

Please enjoy and let me know what you think.

knight

Season’s Greetings From the Mountain Snowman

Season’s Greetings From the Mountain Snowman

Season’s Greetings to all of my fans out there. Thanks so much for your comments and support to my page and my designs. This week I incorporated some Photoshop video integration to create the .GIF File you see below. The layered technology of Photoshop made it extremely easy to build. The stock was available here.

Season’s Greeting From the Mountain Snowman!

The Design Process

This design was painted using brushes I purchased from @TrentKaniuga located from his store at Trent Kaniuga (gumroad.com) . The entire design took about four hours all together. Using separate layers I was able to create the illusion of depth by making adjustments to contrast and brightness. A nice glow layer with the brightness turned all the way up was used for the fine highlights. I think this added a nice haunted appeal to the whole piece overall.

Most of my time was spent blending the colors together until I found a nice selection. By keeping the color selection simple, I reduced the complexity of the shading process. Had there been more colors, there would have been more to balance….and it would have taken a lot longer I’m sure to get the desired results.

The simple red scarf provides just enough of an added focal point since that’s the only other color there really. It makes the eyes jump to it and then over to the moon.

What Do You Think?

I’d really like to see your comments and questions. If there is something you’d like me to create, drop a comment and let me know. I’d love the challenge. By the way, I am very new to Photoshop. I’ve used Clip Studio Paint forever but it never hurts to learn something new. Another shout out to all the artists who create YouTube videos because that’s how I learn the best!

Until next time….Good night!

Mountain Lair of the Wizard King

Lair

Lair of the Wizard King

stony

The Lair of the Wizard King sits far into the mountains. As the Wizard King plans his next move from the safety of his sanctum, he is protected from almost every direction. The tower is built into the side of a mountain and was once owned by the local dwarves that lived in the region. Once they regroup, they will take back their home and remove the wizard from his stolen home. The story continues later so stay tuned for more.

If you enjoyed this, please check out these other posts.

Wizard Mountain

Wizard Spire