The goal was to have a nice wide screen shot of a loading dock, with a greenish palette. I was given an exact picture (original plate), and asked to extend it and come up with some magic. I decided to go super wide, 5000x1500 pixels wide at 300dpi (Fig.01).
Right away I made a folder to plot my perspective lines and make sure I wouldn't run into any problems as the painting got more complicating. Here I changed the palette as soon as I could, to see where I could take this painting. I used green tints/overlays/layer modes and color adjustments. I blocked in the wide screen areas really quickly, and copy and pasted a section of the photo to the left just for a place holder (Fig.02).
Here, I worked on the left side while trying to figure out what I was going to put there. It was still very early on in the process for me to make any solid decisions. It was more of a playing around stage before I committed (Fig.03).
Now it was time to work on the right side, by adding realistic elements that a loading dock would have. Again, using photos with the lasso tool and square brushes, I blocked in detail very quickly. Nothing here was locked in, as again I like to see where a painting will take me. I also desaturated/color adjusted according to the rest of the painting so that everything fitted together. Adding some haze and clouds also gave more depth to this piece (Fig.04).
This step is where I started making more clear-cut decisions, such as wanting more of an open space. It felt way too cluttered, so I decided to go with another ship coming down a water channel. I quickly blocked in the water channel with a custom water brush that creates ripples for me (Fig.05).
Now I hopped back to the left side, and started making decisions about this side, such as adding more detail while using the perspective lines to make sure that the scale was correct. Here I used a chalk brush, also known as the "dusso" brush, which I love to use for refining details, along with the lasso tool to select areas to get the crisp reaction of the brush (Fig.06).