After drawing more mountains in the background I used a mask to add mist and vapour effects to the horizon as well. Then, using brushes that imitated plants, I tried to add the maximum amount of detail to the mountain on the right edge of the picture (Fig.08). I did this to direct the attention of the viewer to the left, from then on using the mountains to similarly direct the viewer throughout the entire composition (Fig.09).
Step 5:Sky & Lighting
I decided here to go back to working on the sky in the picture, with the main task being to add lighting effects to it so that parts would be lit up with sunlight, and other parts would still be in the gloom of a thunderstorm. The left side of the sky was taken from a photograph which was overworked using the Soft Light layer blending mode. In the next step I lightened up the upper middle part of the sky, which was done using airbrush and cloud shaped brushes. This layer was set to Soft Light mode at opacity 55%.
Using the same steps, with the exception of using the Multiply mode rather than Soft Light, I darkened the right side of the painting. I painted the lightning on a separate layer, which I used in Overlay mode and duplicated. Then using Screen mode I added glow to the lightning by using the blur surface filter (Fig.10).
Step 6: Finishing Touches
On a separate layer I used a soft round brush and Eraser with a low opacity to create the mist that rises from the top of the growth up towards the sky (Fig.11 & Fig.12). Later, whilst reviewing the picture, I decided to add a waterfall flowing from one of the mountains in order to liven up the overall environment. I used a picture of a waterfall as a basis and carefully used the Lasso tool to cut pieces and re-introduce them into the picture, adding finishing touches to the edges of the water using a soft Eraser. In order to properly integrate a waterfall into my painting I again had to balance the lighting of the surrounding environment as well as add some plants onto the sides to conceal the edges (Fig.13).
As I was not sure about the colour range of the final picture, I created two Fill layers - one with blue gamma and one with hazel - and introduced them using the Overlay layer blending mode at 12% opacity. In the end I chose the hazel, which gave the painting a warmer colour range (Fig.14).
Creating a unique picture is challenging, but I found that my constant expansion of the image made it much more interesting and exciting as my work progressed. I hope you've found this "making of" interesting and thanks for reading.