The basic shading is done mostly with the hard round brush, with size based on Wacom pen pressure. To get a more textured touch, I also paint with a rough round bristle, set on dual brush with a chalk or pastel brush (Fig.10). For the background textures I used a few custom brushes created by Goro Fujita, which I downloaded quite some time ago (and still use) – they’re great brushes for background foliage, bushes and dirt.
There are two light sources in this image (Fig.11). I wanted to create a high dynamic light source on the left, from the sunlight shining through and highlighting the focus points of the image. This gave me the opportunity to create some translucence interaction with the tentacles and leaves. I then added a blue light source from the right, to give some variation in colour to the overall image. I didn't want to overdo it, so the second light source is quite subtle. To get some contrast and depth in the image I made the lower right parts of the image a lot darker, with deep shadows between the tentacles. By doing this I try to direct the viewers' eyes to stay in the image, circulating between the Flytrap King and the flying creatures.
The Importance of Detail :
In every illustration there is a certain degree of detail to be expected, which you have to apply as an illustrator to make it 'believable'. By detail I mean the specific detail for certain subjects in certain environments. If you paint an attic, you add dust particles and light beams shining through the cracks. If you paint a robot, you paint rust on the metal, dirt stains, scratches and worn out edges, small highlights on the shiny parts. In this case, we have to create the details you'd expect from a jungle and the creatures in it. Moist, beams of sunlight, dirt on the Flytrap King and his teeth, highlights on his gums, dripping saliva, small hairs on his tentacles, etcetera. As I said, these details are very important, but a lot of them are easily overlooked. It's all about setting the right mood and creating an atmosphere.
The original image was done completely in Photoshop CS3, and its resolution is roughly 3500 by 2400 pixels. As a final touch I like to cheat a little by adding a Smart Sharpen filter on the flattened result, to get a slightly crispier look. It really helps to make small details, like highlight spots, stand out. Enjoy!
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