Making Of 'Traitor'

Kazuhiro Oya reveals the process he used to create his fantasy concept, sharing techniques to enhance values and form.

Getting started

Once I had an idea in mind I began by making a pencil sketch on paper. I then scanned the sketch into Photoshop and divided up the areas using different tones of color. I used references of marine life and caterpillars to
design the dragon.

Values and form

I added in light and dark values to the image, which created the impression of three-dimensional form.


At this point I was happy with the design, so I began adding in finer details.

Adding color

Over the black and white image, I painted a Color Overlay. At this stage I decided on the final colors for the various areas of the whole image.

Adding more detail

Since I had already determined the final color palette, I began to add in more details.

Color adjustments

Whilst adding the final details, I adjusted the color tones using the curves tool. This helped the details to pop.


To bring the image together, I added a texture over the top of the whole image. I also added smoke and dust to give a sense of reality.

Contrast levels

I noticed that the contrast was too high on the entire image, so I adjusted the tones with the curve tool. I added some more small details in some areas, so the picture continued to advance evenly.

Adding noise

After I adjusted the contrast and saturation the image became quite, so I decided to add a slight noise over the whole image.

Character details

Nearing the end of the design I felt as though the character was unbalanced, so I added some horns and a tail.

Final touches

At this point I added some effects and added some more details, and then I adjusted the whole images with the curve tool again. With those adjustments the image was finished.

Related links:

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