Reworking the Background
I then worked on the background again. The huge structure in the background didn't fit anymore and so I decided to get rid of it. I used a hard round brush to do a quick paintover. I kept some of the columns from the structure as palm trees (Fig.06).
For the robot, I used the same technique as described for the young man. It's a simple technique and at the same time, a good way to explore things. I'm a big fan of happy accidents! The only thing I had in mind about the robot was that he should have a more bulky, rounded shape. I thought that this would have a nice shape contrast to the spikier environment and give a stronger connection to the roundish shape of the young fellow (Fig.07).
To get a bit more color variety into the image, I created two new layers - both set to Soft Light. On those two new layers, I added a soft round gradient with pale blue tones. The pale blue tones, combined with the overall greenish look, are responsible for the gray values on the upper right and left corners. In my opinion, it's really important to have a good understanding of light, and especially of color theory.
Happy with the actual mood and color variety, I went back to the robot. Using a new layer and a hard round brush, I started to define the shape of the robot and added some technical details to it as well. To connect those two important elements more closely, I painted in a floodlight to the head of the robot. With the rim light on the young man and the floodlight from the robot, the viewer sill start to connect both elements together. Finally, I painted in some bright leaves for a better contrast to the darker areas by using my leaf brush (Fig.08).
I hope this Making Of will give a small insight - or at least a glance - into creating a 2D digital image in Photoshop. I still believe a good understanding of light and color, values and composition, are the key to a successful image. And if you have a good understanding of it, I think the technique will just be the fun part.
Thanks for reading this Making Of and I hope that this will help you to create your own digital images.
To see more by Markus Lovadina, check out Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop: Characters
Digital Painting Techniques: Volume 5
Digital Painting Techniques: Volume 6
Digital Painting Techniques: Volume 7
and Prime - The Definitive Digital Art Collection