For this making of article I would like to take you through the steps I took when creating my image, "The Twisted Room". It's an older image, but it is a piece that I had a lot of fun creating and I'd like to share that process with you, from concept to completion. I will be talking about how the image came to be and what steps were taken to create the final piece. Hopefully you'll be able to get something out of it that will aid you in your own artistic endeavors! Now, for the sake of entertainment and the fact that I'm super hungry, I'm going to present this "making of" in the form of a sandwich! So first let's set out the plate.
The initial spark for this particular image began with the two words: twisted and room. Sometimes when you're stuck and looking for an idea, mixing and matching random words can be a great solution to the problem. I no longer have the time or luxury of getting "stuck", but when I did I had a lot of fun with random word pairings and phrases, such as "valley of the ghost king", "waffle canyon", or "sloppy slayer". So if you're struggling for an idea, give it a shot! You'd be surprised at how many mouth-watering combinations you can come up with!
I had a lot of ideas floating around in my soupy head for this image; some fairly straightforward - bet you can guess what those would be - and some more obscure in concept. Eventually I decided on one that was somewhat in-between. I also wanted to keep it open so the viewers could add in their own interpretations as well. For some, it would represent the secluded state that can result in a poor and unchecked gaming habit; for others it would bring back fond memories of the time they stayed up all night finishing their favorite game. These thoughts ran through my head as the concept developed. I wanted the viewer to question the motives of the demons outside the window. Are they real? Are they simply part of the boy's imagination? Has the game come to life? Or are they the lost players that the boy is soon to join? Once the concept had simmered a bit it was time to put it to paper!
Let's lay down the first slice of our sure-to-be-delicious sandwich: the sketch
This piece was done in a very short period of time, so the sketch is very simple. Normally I sketch everything out to make it easier for me later on, but the scene was simple and I had a clear vision of how I wanted it to look. In Fig.01 you can see the resulting simplicity. The perspective was also pretty straightforward, but in more complex setups the Pen Tool can be very helpful in setting up guidelines.
Next up: the meat (or Tofurky, if you prefer)
I threw in some values to see how I wanted the focus to present itself (Fig.02 - 03).
I knew the boy would take the center stage, so I filled the surrounding area behind where the boy was going to sit with darker values. I also wanted the window to be a point of interest, so I decided to keep it in a midrange value. Once I had the ground work in I could start adding in the details (Fig.04).