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What I’ve Been Working On 8/29/13


Hey everybody, You may have noticed that I have not had many updates lately. For those of you following the site, I apologize for the lack of updates but I have a good excuse. I’ve been working on freelance gigs! Now I run into the problem of I can either take the paying gigs or update this site but not both, so the site looses out a lot. But last week my friend Billy was ribbing me about having a “What I’m Working On” column on the site that I never show anything on. So I’m going to post something just to prove it wrong. (Also, Hi Billy.)

So without further ado, lets get on to the actual work. This week I’m going to show off another piece of silhouette concept art similar to the ones I did two months ago, but this time I saved some work in process shots as I went along so you could see a little better what I mean when I say I’m working up the light source from the black silhouette.  I’ve started with a black figure that I painted over from a photo I found online (for the sake of time I don’t need to reinvent anatomy). This particular character is a paratrooper so I went out to find a good action pose that showed him falling without the parachute deployed. Once I’ve got the blacked in figure I decided I would switch it up a little and make this a night scene with the lighting coming from below which is very different from pretty much any other digital painting I do.

So now that I have my light source it’s time to start thinking about the shapes involved and how that light effects them. Once I’ve determined that, I start to layer on a medium grey and we start to see the shape of the figure as a little more recognizable human form. This process continued over and over again getting a little more refined with each pass. The next step is to start adding details. Again these start out at the most basic shape level and then I work them up. Once I’m done with that I’ll go back over and darken or lighten areas that I think are two strong one way or the other and try to balance the image out a bit more. I intentionally left this one a little dark since it’s suppose to be a night shot, otherwise I would have made the image lighter for sure.


Silhouette work ups

So now that I have my character model in a grey scale it’s time to add some color. Coloring over the top of grey scale is one of the easiest ways ways to color something in photoshop and is why I work this way. Additionally it’s easy to put together multiple color schemes this way too so it’s a super flexible option for painting anything you think you might have to change later. And this kind og greyscale painting is much faster for me which is always a bonus.

Okay so I color it, but then it still needs a little something before it’s ready to show. So I add a motion blur effect and some speed lines to help give the illusion that he’s falling through the night. I also add a darker gradient to the sky to help show the light source below (we can assume it’s a city or something) and I add some clouds that kinda look like AA fire but just enough so that your not sure what they are.


Paratrooper Rendering

And there you have a “fighting solider from the sky” in a multi-layered .psd file that can be changed and updated as needed. What do you think about this piece or the process? Please feel free to leave a comment. And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

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