Welcome to a new matte painting tutorial. This tutorial is photoshop based. I'll try to describe the main steps in creating a matte painting. Before you start it's recommended that u know some basic painting techniques, at least basic sketching, because most of the time you'll have to fit in the right pieces.
Now let's get started.
1. First we do the sketch to have a clear idea on what it should look like. For my painting I already had an idea about the look so I went searching for reference material. Open google, search images. I selected about 20 images. It's very important to feel the matching possibilities of your reference images. These are the main photos I choose to start with.
2. I started working on the background, choosing an environment image. The resolution I work with is 1600/640. It's not a typical format but I like working on a wide screen.
3. To fill the empty space in the image I have 2 alternatives: to look for a similar image and combine them (bad choice, it would last forever) or to paint the rest of the image, using the colors from the picture picked with color picker.
in the left side i'll have the castle, therefore i will not waste any time with details, all i need is the chromatic to be similar. (I fooled around a little bit and I drew a few elements that are not related to the subject in any way, just for fun :P)
4. Next step: The sky. Over the initial sketch, i added the clouds, with a transfer add (usually a bad choice, but in this case it acted well:))
The clouds are photographed by me a while ago (A very good idea would be to take your camera with you wherever you go:) Then I added the main element in the background, in order to establish my scale.
4. Now comes the retouching stage.
I established a sunset mood and for that, i need 3 adjustment layers:
- Hue/Saturation so I can decrease the image's saturation (in the evening time, the elements are more desaturated)
- Levels so we can decrease the lightness.
- Color balance to get a shade of blue, typical to this time of day