Making Of 'Dragon'
The finished size for of image was 3338 x 4450 pixels. I worked with only two simple brushes. For the first Brush I selected the 'Airbrush Soft Round', changed hardness of 0 to 100% and deactivated the Airbrush Button (Fig.01). The second Brush is only one Spatter (Fig.02).I used brush 1 mainly for sketch and general composition, the brush 2 I used more for the finishing and also to create a little of the texture in the image. I almost always use the value of the brush set toÂ 50% opacity, but after an hour or so I usually modify this value. To speed up the workflow I type in the keyboard the value that I want for the opacity, for example: with brush tool selected type 10 in the keyboard that automatically the value of opacity of brush goes to 10%. This also serves for other tools as the Clone Stamp, Eraser, Gradient and others. It can also control the opacity layer in the same way. Here are some essential shortcuts which I use:
B = Brush
E = Erase
"[" and "]" (brush tool selected) = increases and decreases the size of brush
Ctrl + and Ctrl - = Zoom in and Zoom out
Space (hold) = Pan Control
N = New Layer
Ctrl E = Merge Layers
I do not have a standard method of making my work, in this case for example, I preferred not to use line art. I realised the composition of this image purely by imagining and then painting. A positive point in this way of working is that it gives a better feel to the general composition, because the form has a good prominence in the scene. To create this sketch I used two layers, one for the background and another one for the dragon. I saved out some images with the steps for this making of (Fig.03). Now the sketch of the dragon is finished (Fig.04). The composition is an important step after the sketch, but it is in this next step that I really get to better define the composition of the image. This is for me one of the most important parts in this process.
Composition and Colour
First I create a new layer. Now, for the foreground, I always try to keep the shapes of the image in harmony with each other for a good composition. With the colours yellow and orange and in the Painting Mode 'Overlay' I placed colour in background, simulating the sun and also in the dragon layer to create highlights on the dragons wings from the sun. In this next sequence I tried to define the composition of the scene. you can clearly see the use of brush 2 (Spatter) and also the use of the Filter Colour and Hue & Saturation in the layers. I changed the settings until I obtained the desired result (Fig.05).
You can see in the next image the picture is already cleaner, with a better definition of detail and also colour (Fig.06). It is now almost ready, with the only job remaining to make the soldiers, effects and do the colour correction. I now add a new layer to make the soldiers. This was perhaps the fastest part of the painting. The knights are modified copies of one soldier (indicated with the arrow). After each was copied and slightly modified in an individual layer, the were merged into one (Fig.07). Soon after, I added two more layers, one for the fire and another one for smoke (Fig.08).
Here are the last layers I created for the final image (Fig.09). Dark: I filled layer with black, after which I used the Lens Flare filter, defined its centre for the same position as the main sword, changed the Layer Mode tor 'Colour Burn' and the opacity to 30%. I added a Layer Mask to remove the dark tones from some of the regions, mainly from the central part of the image. You can achieve practicallyÂ the same result using a 'Radial Gradient' with the colours white and black, inÂ place of the Lens Flare. With this layer I obtained a more uniform result for the image. Photo Filter: I added a Photo Filter Cyan, density at 70%, then added a Layer Mask and painted mainly the low part of the image to obtain a colour similar to green/blue.
More Details: I made this layer to add some details, for example an orange brightness in the horn and hand of the dragon corresponding to the fire that is located below it and also some dust around the horses. Sword Power: This Layer was to create the energy light of the sword. I modified the mode of layer for Hard Light. Photo Filter: I added a Photo Filter Deep Yellow, density of 50%. With this layer I obtained a better contrast to the image. I also Sharpened and Sharpened More to better enhance the brush marks. (Fig.10). Thank you for reading, hope you find this 'making of' useful.