Making Of 'Under The Rain'
Of course, in any piece of art the idea comes first. I wanted to try to paint something that showed the boundary between a dream and being awake, when your consciousness is just about to start a strange journey.
For me only a mystical revelation can be considered true art. Other products of intellectual speculations only interest me from a technological point of view. My favorite paintings are created during insight, or a sudden connection with a certain field of information. These paintings should be an interpretation of my vision, using all of my life experience to create my work. Carlos Castaneda gave a definition of the creative process, with which I mostly agree: "The Nagual Elias, as a solitary dreamer, visited, let's say, the junkyard of infinity, when no one was around - and copied whatever he saw, but never knew what those things were used for, or their source".
I have tried out various techniques, including traditional inks, pens and brushes. I've also experimented with digital art, and now I use Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter all the time. I just use brushes, no fancy stuff or filters. By using this limited toolset I am able to achieve stylistic consistency throughout my portfolio. I focus more on the expression of my creative concepts than on the technology or tools. While working in the digital medium, I am free of the limitations of traditional tools, such as drying oil paint, changing gouache color or etching line width. Also I am able to constantly see and control the final result of my work during its creation, and that suits my style.
Besides the basic Photoshop brushes I used three custom brushes for this image, for the rust, rain and trees. The rain was for the creation of the falling rain drops, the tree brush was for creating the structure of the foliage in the background and the rust brush was applied to a lot of the elements. I have included the base files for these so you can make your own brushes.
The first part to creating the painting was transferring the picture from my head to the canvas without heavy losses in perception. I started by creating a canvas that was 3000 x 4000px and filled the background with a primary color. Using the rust brush I painted the basic contours of the future figures and started to build the general composition (Fig.01).
On a new layer I used the rain brush to add the falling raindrops, and plan the patches of light on the floating man, the umbrella, the streetlight and the girl. In general I try to do each new variation on a new layer so it is possible to return to the previous version and see if the image has improved (Fig.02).
I then created a separate layer set to Overlay mode and using a basic soft brush, I created the areas where the light was glowing and reflecting. The light is coming from the streetlight which is outside the frame (Fig.03).
Using the rust brush I traced the basic details of the umbrella, raincoat, bandage, cords, pipe, asphalt and pools of water (Fig.04).
I then create the fencing based on traditional railings that you commonly see in Saint Petersburg (Fig.05).
I then duplicated that part of the image so that it filled the width of the image (Fig.06). I also added patches of light to the railing in different areas so that it breaks up the pattern and makes each part of the railing look original.
Using the tree brush I drew some subtle foliage in the background. The foliage need to look wet and heavy as the leaves sagged under the weight of the rainwater. I drew the electric wires going from the streetlight using the basic brush (Fig.07).
Using the rust brush I continued to add to the details (Fig.08).
Then I added some fish. This was very important as before this there was no contrast between the left and the right part of the picture. This makes you question whether the scene is underwater. It is important to reflect the illumination correctly, even on small features like this (Fig.09). The unreality of the scene should be combined with realistic illumination to make it more interesting.
The final step was to add some patches of light and to correct the pose of the girl. I also changed the arrangement of the cords and bandages on the man (Fig.10).