Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Morgana creation process

I don't usually do much in the way of process articles. Not because I don't want to, or because I don't understand the uses of such materials, hell, if there had been one hundredth the tutorials available when I was learning digital art myself, it would have shaved years off my learning curve.
But that's kind of the point. There are so many tutorials, by so many artists far more talented then I, and far better at explaining their process and methods, that it seems a bit unnecessary. Nevertheless, I do want to share the creation steps of this particular image, as it is the rare exception to the rule, in that I remembered to save progress shots while in production.
This was another personal piece, done late last year, and one of the more recent personal works I've had time to actually complete. As such, it is a little simpler in composition then some of my work, and the process was fairly straight forward from start to finish. Because of its simplicity, it is a perfect example of the kind of atmosphere, lighting and color finishing I try to apply towards the latter stages of an image.
Here I've laid down the basic lines, shapes, and tones, using a lot of exploratory elements to find the right curves.

Here I've begun to get rid of the lines, and fill in some of the basic directional lighting. I also decide to add the crescent shaped wall opening behind her, to frame the bottom half of the composition.

Here I've refined the lighting a little more, and started with the area light, to make sure the main figure reads well in relation to the background. I've also begun to drop in some composite elements for detail work.

I've finished with the lines layers, and added in some subtle textures. I've also continued building up the highlights and finding the light forms with the rim lighting.

Here I'm just continuing to add highlights, and begin to darken in the shadows as well. Also defining more drape to the fabric, and additional details and composite objects to add interest to the figure.

This is where I really started to think about color and texture, and how to pull the character out of the background. I also added in a lot more refinement to the tree details and worked up a lot of smaller branches to help break up all the directional lines created by the big branches.
And finally, I darkened up the image considerably to achieve the mood that would lend itself best to the scene, saturated the coloring a bit to bring up the earth tones and create a sphere of interest in the center of the image, and added in a few more details, like blowing leaves, to create a sense of motion.