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I started by working on the areas where the light interacted with the armor, using the Scale brush to add further detail to the armor. For the cloak I tried to capture the momentum rather than consider the folds carefully, and I adjusted the color gradually as the cape became more affected by the background color. My favorite brushes are marked in red in Fig.05.

I then added a yellow color to parts of the armor highlight, which enhanced the image and contrasted with the red of the cape (Fig.06).

1479_tid_Step 6.jpg
Fig. 06

I also added some color to the light reflecting from parts of the main character, as this implies that it is part of a larger scene and that there is more around him to reflect color. Then it was time to start to think about finishing off the image. I continued to adjust the image and refined the areas where the light reflected off the armor. I also cleaned up the structure of the armor on the horse's neck. In order to enhance the mysterious feeling of the image, I added some spikes and skeletons to the foreground (Fig.07).

1479_tid_Step 7.jpg
Fig. 07

To finish everything off I continued to refine some of the details. I enriched the detail on the armor to show more of the design and when that was done I went on to make sure the light and shadow on it was accurate. I used a variety of random brushwork to make the image look relaxed and full of passion. This process continued until I felt that the image was completed (Fig.08 - 09).

1479_tid_Step 8.jpg
Fig. 08

1479_tid_Step 9.jpg
Fig. 09

The entire process of creating this image was fast. It was important for me to use expressive brush strokes to enhance the free flowing effect. I sincerely hope all of you liked my Making Of and learnt something from it.

Thank you.

To see more by Songnan Li, check out Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop



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