Making Of 'By the Sea'

Introduction

I am a sci-fi fan and I like the appearance of space ships, with a strong perspective.  I decided to make a large ship hovering over the sea, and in the back of the painting I thought about adding a small, normal ship in order to achieve the correct proportions and to have a good visual impact.  I am happy with the final result because I worked on this piece with only a mouse, not with tablet, and it was all created in Photoshop.  For the colours, my inspiration came from classic painters, like Pieter Paul Rubens and Leonardo, and from the 'Flamande' painters such as Brueghel and Caravaggio.  For the spaceships, the classic sci-fi movies like Star Wars and Blade Runner, amongst others, inspired me.

To begin, I will explain how I started this piece.  To start, I chose a good, strong perspective - one to make the visual impact more clear (Fig01).

Fig. 01

Fig. 01

After the sketch was down, I moved on to work and started building the clouds (Fig02).  I used photographic textures of clouds and combined them to make something very atmospheric. 

Fig. 02

Fig. 02

I have presented the process of building the clouds.  For the first step, I had a photograph of part of some clouds; I cropped the photo in some parts and pieced what I had together.  The next step was to mix them to become just one part, using the Eraser tool, the Dodge tool and the Burn tool.  The result can be seen in Fig02, Fig03, Fig04 and Fig05.

Fig. 03

Fig. 03

Fig. 04

Fig. 04

Fig. 05

Fig. 05

For the sea and the rocks I used the very same technique as for the clouds.

Now I will show you how I built the spaceship (Fig06). I built the spaceship from a photographic part of train's engine, and other industrial things, and along with a metal texture the result came out as can be seen in Fig07. I cropped parts from the engine and combined them, using the Eraser tool, Dodge tool and Burn tool, to make the dark and the light parts of the space engine. For the larger part of the ship I used a part from a navy ship; I stretched it, cropped it, duplicated and combined it, as shown in Fig08, Fig09, Fig10 and Fig11.

Fig. 06

Fig. 06

Fig. 07

Fig. 07

Fig. 08

Fig. 08

Fig. 09

Fig. 09

Fig. 10

Fig. 10

Fig. 11

Fig. 11



The next step was to start adding elements, like the water, rocks, and small photographic textures combined, to build the full composition.  The process was not so simple though because every layer had a different colour.  To resolve the matter, I used the Color Balance and Hue Saturation tools.  I made a lot of layers with pass colours and painted fog for the added depth.

At this stage, however, the lighting still needed a lot of work.  After I put the space ship into the background I composited the scene; one layer for the background, one layer for the ship, one for the haze/fog, and one for the light of the scene.

To set the light in the scene I duplicated the final composition in three layers: the base colour, the light colour, and the dark colour for the shadow (Fig12).  With the lighting sorted, I came up with my final image.

Fig. 12

Fig. 12

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