After detailing the face I started detailing the rest of the body, including the accessories and ornaments worn by the warrior. I also added details to the skin because I wanted it to look fresh from war, which means looking a bit dirty, sweaty and bloody. I used the splatter custom brush I'd used to create the background earlier again, just adjusting the opacity to suit the feel and look of the image. In Fig.07, you'll notice my generous amount of brown hues and this is solely because I feel the color has a certain classicism and dramatic effect. I also took the warrior's outfit into consideration, which is like most Filipino costumes with rich brown and red hues.
I started detailing the image at this point, along with the accessories and weapons which I based on my references. I used a custom brush for the grass and added lighting from the left side (Fig.08).
The image here is almost complete. I just added a tattoo to make the subject more interesting. I decided to add a tattoo because most of our male ancestors use tattoos to symbolize their bravery and their stature in life (Fig.09).
This is what my workflow looks like. I made the tattoo manually and on a separate layer using a Standard brush with a hard edge and Pen Pressure enabled. I always use separate layers so that if there will be additional changes, I can easily go back to the layer containing the area I need to modify (Fig.10).
I used a custom brush for the grass in this image. I had three different grass layers. The first layer has a motion blur coming from the bottom of the image. The second layer doesn't have a motion blur, but has more lighting. In adding the lighting, I enabled the lock transparency so as to not cause unnecessary changes to the background and simply to add lighting to the grass alone. The third layer of grass is darker because it acts as a foreground and it also has the motion blur effect to show some sort of wind motion in this out-of-focus camera perspective (Fig.11).
After finishing the warrior and the grass, I added some effects to the surrounding area such as leaves that are being blown by the wind, which are in motion blur as wel,l and I added some embers to show the existence of fire (Fig.12).
Finally, I added lighting to the background and retouched the highlights a little. I used Color Dodge for the highlights and adjusted the contrast for final touches (Fig.13).
This is my final image. I'm happy with the results and I find it a pleasure to be able to share this.
I hope that this tutorial has been helpful and has inspired you a little. This is how I usually create my art pieces. How a person creates art is surely a subjective process and my way might be different from others. What's important is that we remember that the proper usage of composition, lighting and color is strongly important when considering an artwork a masterpiece.