Drawing the Area of Interest
During this stage, I mainly used a very small Round brush to add detail. I concentrated on her face and upper body, as I wanted these aspects to draw the most attention.
From then on, I started to think about the design of her armor. I added several deep lines to divide the armor into more intricate, smaller shapes. I concentrated on her upper arm and chest. I wanted the texture of her upper arm to be different to other parts of the armor and so I decided to make it into an artificial muscle (Fig.06).
Guided by large shapes, I made the edges sharper and put some cool lights on the armor. This added a very technological look and balanced the color of the whole picture. I didn't take too long making the surface smooth or working on the finer detail.
I then put more detail on the head, especially in her hair, by adding different shades. I drew more lights on her helmet; as it's the highest area of interest, I wanted it to have a greater technological look. I cleaned up her face and added some highlights to her eyes, so she had the expression that she is looking up into the sky (Fig.07).
Environment and Details
I then added detail to the whole image. Within the character, I concentrated on the rest of the body design and details. I decide to keep one natural hand, as two canon arms made her seem too much like a weapon. I opened up the back of her left leg to give the impression the machine is doing the repair (Fig.08). I used the default airbrush to add light and higher definition to make the surface of the armor appear smoother (Fig.09). For the head, I finished the screen she's looking at and with that the image was almost complete (Fig.10).
To finish I added more details to the background, such as some tiny pipes and stitches to make the whole scene more detailed and realistic. I shaded in some darker colors onto the machines, and made sure the contrast was weaker than that of the character. Because the environment should also be affected by the warm light source in the foreground, I drew some highlights on the machine to make it look more real. Also, because the contrast of the distant machines and objects should be lower than that of the character, I used a large brush and airbrush as there was no need to draw as much definition.
The foreground and focal point needed to have more intricate details. To make the lighting look consistent and believable was of major importance.
At last, I looked at the image as a whole and cleaned up any loose ends and missing details (Fig.11).