Making Of 'Hovercraft Parrot'
About Hovercraft Parrot
This is a character design which is in fact more the design of a vehicle to be used for personal transport, or racing. It has to be like a hovercraft because the surface of the planet is very rough covered by small, crystal, organic plants. These tiny plants emit an electrical power and have small magnetic shields; they are connected to one another and they give energy to the planet and its inhabitants. The armor - the vehicle - absorbs the energy simply by gliding over these energizing plants.
Most of the planet's surface is covered by these plants, as well as bushes and very small, dark rocks. The blue electrical plants are the ones that connect together - if there is too much energy they will blow away, eroding the terrain, but in doing so they create a surge of energy through which more of these new plants will come to life to take their place.
The planet doesn't have any sun or water; it is simply driven by the energy of the electrical organisms. The design is somewhat abstract because with the method I used kept changing the shapes until I found something interesting - this made the work more fun and the results became more of a surprise to me.
These are the brushes I used to create Hovercraft Parrot (Fig.00). I like to use several brushes in order to get more texture and detail variation without actually using any textures.
I started by drawing a quick concept, focusing on the top part of the character first and foremost (Fig.01). Here I was working quite simply with general shapes that I liked, but they did of course change throughout the process, as you'll see.
At this point, I'm using brushes 3 and 4 from the before-mentioned brushes (see Fig.00).
Lighting, Color & Detail
Still using brushes 3 and 4, the next stage was all about lighting and color, although nothing was yet definitive at this part of the process (Fig.02). I like to improvise whilst I create a character and so avoid making any final decisions so early on.
I started trying some ideas out at the bottom part of the character here (Fig.03) - I didn't think the legs were working as a humanoid type. Still adding lighting and some detail, and still using brushes 3 and 4 (Fig.00) - not thinking about the background, but knowing that it was going to be dark or cloudy to compliment the character design and the concept.
Refining the design further still (still brushes 3 and 4), I made a clear decision about the bottom part of the character at this stage; it was here that I knew I wanted it to be hovercraft looking (Fig.04).
I then changed some elements on the armor and the engine, trying to make it look more mechanical (again, using brushes 3 and 4) (Fig.05).
Another clear idea for the design I came up with was to give him wings to glide - some kind of flaps which, as well as being purposeful to help him in flight, are also built like armor for protection (Fig.06). I'm still using brushes 3 and 4!
To finish up the character before moving onto the background, I changed some proportions and made some final design changes. I also added some light effects to the flying engine - I think they look clearer in their function like this (Fig.07). I was still using brushes 3 and 4 here - we're about to see how the other brushes were used, though!
For the background design, I separated the figure onto a different layer to be able to paint behind it. I had more or less a clear of how the colors and lighting were going to be similar to the colors I used during the character design.
You can see that I started to apply some shapes and color down, using brushes 3 and 4, and also introducing brushes 1 and 5 (see Fig.00) to the mix, too (Fig.08).
Using brushes 7 and 8 (see Fig.00) I continued to add the small yellow plants, whilst brush 9 was helpful to apply some brightness and make the areas around the plants shine, indicating their ability to emit light and electricity (Fig.09).
Here is a close-up of the background finished (Fig.10). At this point I'd used all of the brushes shown in Fig.00. Keeping the desaturated tones I added some yellow-brown hints to give it a mossy look, and I made it clearer that the plants were connected by adding some small sparks between them.
Finally, here is a close-up detail of the character; even for the final detailing I was using brushes 3 and 4 (Fig.11). I kept some areas more detailed and left others loose, adding color and shapes to give detail without explaining the shapes too much, keeping life in the brushwork and the design.
The final composition can be seen in Fig.12. Thanks for reading!
To see more by David Munoz Velazquez, check out Digital Painting Techniques: Volume 5
Digital Painting Techniques: Volume 6
Sketching from the Imagination: Fantasy
Digital Art Masters: Volume 7
and Prime - The Definitive Digital Art Collection