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Making Of 'Cold Sky'

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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While painting smaller clouds, I decided on what would be the main object in my scene. I looked to see if I had any old models or ideas that I would be able to add to this piece, and luckily I found an old 3D model of a steam-punk flying ship! Unfortunately, I didn't take any screenshots whilst I painted the ship, but it's not too difficult to make one afterwards. I thought that adding the small ship as the main focus for the piece would work, although some would say that the composition isn't the best. For me, the small ship works much better than a huge one because it shows the boundless sky, and shows what a human machine actually looks like when compared to nature which can be so kind and beautiful at times. Also, if you are drawing moving objects, it's important to remember that there must be space where the object is moving in to. I used a Layout Grid in Painter (Canvas > Compositions) to place ship correctly (Fig05 - 06).

Fig. 05
Fig. 06

More Clouds

At this stage, I was looking for the cloud shapes. As you can see, I started drawing in the borders of the clouds. You will also notice that the Sun is behind the clouds, which gives them that nicely lit border.


From here on in, I want to show you the brushes that I used to create this picture. I also wish to prove that there is no need to create extra brushes in Painter every time you paint a new piece...
Fig07 and 08 were painted using only the Flat Colour Pens brush, and the Blender brush for blurring. Do not be afraid to use large Pen brushes with the transparency near 10, as it will work great when blending colours! When you start to add some detail, just use smaller brush sizes and play with the transparency.

Fig. 07
Fig. 08

I decided to change the shape of the cloud near the Sun, and you can see that some small details were also drawn above the Sun, here. For this, I used another great and universal brush: Detail Oils Brush. I used spots of colours that stayed whilst drawing using big brushes, and made small clouds, or parts of clouds, from them by adding details (Fig09).

Fig. 09

I then used the Artist Pastel Chalk brush when adding details and making the clouds fluffier - a really great brush for this type of work. Now, looking at the six steps shown in Fig10, the first and second picture captured colours using the Dropper tool and a big Pen brush. I started placing main colours and, in the third and fourth steps, I simply took a smaller brush and added more colours. Note: painting with high transparency helps you to achieve good colour blending. I then started on the details using the Oils and Blender brushes (Fig10).

Fig. 10

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