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To achieve the desired colors I used adjustment layers, which were very convenient as I could later do some extra editing to correct needed details. After this, I finished doing the textures on the buildings, although I returned to them to fix any mistakes or anything else that did not work for the painting. At that point I decided to flip the picture horizontally (Fig.09).

Fig. 09

The seawas the next element to be created in my picture. I used my brushes to draw the waves and during the process I used parts of photos to give them a more realistic look. This involved working on the edges of the pictures to make the image flow and was done using the eraser with soft edges to create the aforementioned transitions. Another important factor was adjusting the colors to make them less vivid with added distance. Changing the layering mode to Adjustment I also played around with the layer transparency for a better outlook.

In order to balance the composition, cliffs were created in the left part of the painting. I tried adding some growth to make them look more natural, but unfortunately they still didn't look quite realistic enough. In my original idea the painting was meant to have an airship in it, something similar to a hot air balloon. This airship would have been tied to the cliffs and would have added mystery to my image. In the end I decided against it as this would have drawn attention away from the city. Instead I added caves to the cliffs, which gave me the desired effect. I created the caves by zooming in on the chosen parts and then using masks to better separate the light and shadow where needed. In the far back you can see mountains that were created using similar methods (Fig.10).

Fig. 10

The background is a very important part of any image; it adds depth and realism to the entire painting. At this stage detailing was not important and it takes second place to color saturation and the sharpness of image. I had a very clear idea about what I wanted to see in the background and therefore finding image references did not take long. The result was a combination of several layers of mountains and jungles. Using small diameter brushes and a stamp instrument, I created the cliff parts. I used masks and Adjustment layers to soften the image borders (Fig.11).

Fig. 11

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