Hi, everybody, my name is Lin Bo. In this tutorial I will show you how I work, from the original concept stage through to the final image. This is my first tutorial so please forgive me if I miss anything out. Now, let's start!
At the beginning I had no clear idea about what this painting was going to look like. All I knew was that I wanted to create a sea war between two naval fleets. As soon as I had decided on this idea I started to block in some really rough brush strokes with simple flat colors (Fig.01). I wanted it to be clear from the angle of the scene that the two fleets were attacking each other, so I chose a subjective viewpoint.
Fig. 01 - Click to Enlarge
I started to develop the scene whilst trying to get a clear idea about what the image would look like and what it would convey to the viewer. I painted some fire into the closest boat, and on the other side of the scene I placed an island which could be the destination of the war (Fig.02).
Fig. 02 - Click to Enlarge
I added another boat in the middle to balance the picture (Fig.03). I also increased the contrast of the image. I decided that the side defending the island would have blue sails, whilst the attacking boats sails would be white.
Fig. 03 - Click to Enlarge
At this point I didn't feel like the image was working; if felt a bit boring and simple. I decided the defending side should be a tribe with trained dragons (I think this was inspired by How to Train Your Dragon). The inhabitants of the island can ride dragons to attack others. This explains why the closest boat is on fire. I also thought it would be good if the boat on fire was full of dynamite and about to explode. Finally I chose to set the scene at dusk, with the sunlight coming from the left (Fig.04).
Fig. 04 - Click to Enlarge
The sea needed more attention, particularly the performance of the waves. As it was dusk I added an orange color to the bottom of the cloud.
This seemed like a good point to add some detail to the buildings on the island. Because these are far away I kept the detailing quite simple. Also the clouds still looked too messy so I cleaned them up a lot (Fig.05).
Fig. 05 - Click to Enlarge
I enlarged the image and added another dragon circling above, in order to make the picture more interesting. I lightened the background also at this stage and darkened the foreground, this was to add to the depth and overall feel of the image (Fig.06).
Fig. 06 - Click to Enlarge
The image was nearly finished at this point, so I started adding details starting with the ropes on the boats. I also added another dragon to the mid ground to add to the interest in this part of the image (Fig.07).
Fig. 07 - Click to Enlarge
There were still a few problems with the image but these were solved by continuing to develop and detail parts of the scene, particularly in the foreground (Fig.08).
Fig. 08 - Click to Enlarge
Here is my final image (Fig.09). If you have any question and suggestions about the image, please let me know!
Fig. 09 - Click to Enlarge