Goodness I've been trying to upload this since last night lol and everytime the power keeps going out x__x Anyways, here is a little process thing for the Mirai painting I did recently. This is not theTHE tutorial I mentioned earlier in my journal lol (that I'm still working on) but it's a little insight into how I went about painting her
Okay so I started off this painting with a really quick sketch. At this point I'm not really worrying about details or accuracy, the focus is on just getting the posing and composition down. Since this was a fairly simple picture, all we have is a simple drawing blocking in her general shape and expression.2.
Now this is where I begin refining the drawing. I gather references and start adding details to the initial sketch and try to capture her essence as best as I can. By the way, somtimes it takes a while, for this painting, I actually erased this sketch and redid it multiple times before I was happy with it. So don't feel bad if you don't like
your initial sketch. Erase and keep working on it until you're happy
with it! 3.
Once I'm happy with the sketch I make a cleaner version of it. This is kind of an optional step, but it helps me a lot later on as I use this clean version to reference the details throughout the whole process. Since this is a lineless painting style, I don't have a lineart to rely on, so what I do is have this layer on low opacity and mostly hide it throughout the whole painting, only unhiding it whenever I need to check if I'm getting everything right. This way I can maintain the same feel that I captured in my initial sketch. You can ignore this, if you like, but I've found it a lot easier to check my painting without all the extra lines and scribbles the super rough sketch has. Again upto you.4.
Slapped on some quick colours to define the colour scheme and lighting. On this painting it wasn't THAT necessary but it usually helps a lot in general, especially for more complex paintings. Figuring out the colour scheme initially helps save a lot of time later on. I do it with most of my paintings nowadays as it has become a habit ^ ^;5.
Colour blocking! Not the most fun part but hey you gotta do whatcha gotta do XD I've lowered the opacity of the clean sketch as I mentioned earlier and use it as a guide to block in all the shapes with really bright and garish colours (helps make sure there are no gaps). The colour blocking for this painting looked like this initially: sta.sh/010hw3uwetrf
Afterwards I filled in all the proper colours. I go for a slightly darker and unsaturated colour palette for this, so that in the shading phase I can go lighter or darker.
Since I'm going for a clean look here, I made individual layers for everything. Her glasses, eyes, hair, hair behind her neck, cardigan, hand, flower, etc they're all on separate layers. It saves me a lot of headache later on, even though it does take a bit of time initially. You can have it all in one layer and be super careful while painting, if that's your cup of tea. I don't always use a lot of layers, but for this kind of look I do. Whatever floats your boat really! 6.
Finally, THE FUN BIT. Well to me atleast xD Anyways, so yeah shading! I do all the shading according to the light source I chose initially, alternating between the airbrush, hard round opacity flow brush, smudge and the eraser mostly. Going for a soft look, so no harsh textured brushes or anything. Oh and you can just use your favourite soft brush of choice in whichever software you use. I'm using Photoshop here, and nothing really special as far as brushes go for this.
At this point the shading might not feel very ambient or atmospheric, but don't worry about it! We're going to address that very soon. Focus on a kind of general soft shading at this point. No harsh shadows or super bright areas. 7.
Once the shading is done, it's time to make the background! While I did make a bright day time sky BG initially,I didn't like that..so I try messing with a kind of cosmic feel. Oh and also added in some petals on a separate layer. 8.
Right, now to make the character blend in with the background! The BG is quite dark, and to make her blend in with the surrounding atmosphere, I make a new layer on multiply above the character painting and use the airbrush to brush in this bluish purple colour. I brush it in the areas that are in shadow and also on the edges. A lot better that before, but still not done!9.
Some of the details were getting lost in the dark areas, so let's throw in some rim lights
This also helps your image pop out! I experimented with yellow light initially but I didn't like that so then I changed the light colour a few times (the advantage of having separated layers) until I arrived at this.
We're pretty much done at this stage and you could probably call it a day, but I feel the next step really gives the painting that finished feel.10.
Adjustments! Yay moar fun stuff
Messed with the curves, colour balance, levels and Iris blur (for the blur on the image). Play around with the settings until you're happy and we are done!
If you've read till this far, you ish awesome >w< And you can has a cookie if you mention it in the comments!
Thanks for looking,
Do let me know if you have any questions and such!
Ciao for now