Making Of 'Flower Concept'


I created this illustration as a concept design for "Baran", a short 3D animation. The story is about a girl that lives in a flower, and the theme was slightly different from my previous work and style, so it was a real challenge for me to experience some new stuff.

As a concept artist, I make the scenes based on the script, in a way that a 3D artist can easily recognise the lighting, materials, and colours and so on. In this tutorial, I am going to talk you through the steps I took to reach the final image for this particular concept.

Sketching & Basic Colours

I usually make sketches and doodles in the search for an idea for my illustrations and the best way to tell the story. With this piece I made a sketch and then redrew it, added some additional details and then made some changes in Photoshop (Fig.01).


I always set the blending mode of the line art layer to multiply, and on the lower layer I quickly applied some basic colours. I use dark colours for the first step because I find it easier to control the tones one by one; from darkest to lightest (I learned this style from Frank Frazetta's works). Using a brush with 100% opacity I find very exciting - it helps you to build confidence in your painting abilities (Fig.02). 


Adding Details

I preferred using a very simple round brush to make this illustration. Details were added little by little and the rough colour blocks were smoothed. This stage is really fun for me, but at the same time very important. I find that every little detail taken care of at this stage can have a huge impact on the overall feeling of the final image. As an example, the positions of the mouth or the lines that form the eyes hugely define the inner feelings of the little girl, who in this case is full of curiosity and suspense. Any tiny deviations in her facial components could have ruined the feeling I was after, at this crucial stage of the image's development (Fig.03).


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I considered two types of lighting for this illustration. The ambient light inside the stem was created using green tones, and the candle light was achieved with a warm yellow palette. Using a few complimentary colours enriches your painting and can bring it away from a monotone impression, and much closer to the lighting effects seen in reality. I used a warm purple in some areas as the complimentary colour for green (Fig.04).


At this stage, the main painting in Photoshop was complete. I transferred the image to Painter, provided direction for the brushes and smoothed the edges whilst trying to approach a traditional painting style (Fig.05).


Refining the Image & Final Renderings

I used the Oil Palette Knife brush in Painter, to smooth my rough brushwork done in Photoshop, and tried to form the volumes. Reducing the opacity in some parts helped to protect the details and the main forms, but other areas, such as the stairs under the candle, were painted with very rough and wild brushing. The tools available in Painter helped to provide a more natural brush style for the painting (Fig.06).


At this point I took the painting back into Photoshop. Using the Burn Tool, I darkened the parts that I felt needed it. For the parts which I needed to show high intensity light effects, such as the candle light or the small light reflections on the girl's forehead, or even the tiny light particles in the air, I used the Dodge Tool (I did this with extra care and very low opacity) (Fig.07).


For the final colour touches and grading of an image, I use the different image adjustment functions which Photoshop provides, such as Colour Balance, Hue and Saturation. In this image, I used the Image > Adjustments > Variation option. I also added a little red and magenta (Fig.08).


I tried to place the different variations next to one another, and then selected the one which I felt was most appropriate (Fig.09). As the final touch, I used the Unsharp Mask filter over the final illustration (Fig.10).



Well, these were the steps I took and the tools which I used to create this painting. If you are interested in viewing some other concepts and previews from the "Baran" animation, simply visit:
Finally, I would like to thank 3DTotal and 2DArtist magazine. Thanks for reading.

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