Welcome to a new type of blog! I’m trying to push my digital painting boundaries, and I think one of the best ways to do that is to paint every day, with the intention of getting better. This set of blogs aims to document and share that process with all of you!
I recently had the pleasure of showing Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens to my roommate. Upon watching it again, I was reminded of a painting I’ve been wanting to make ever since it showed up in the first trailers for the film. A gorgeous shot of a squadron of Tie Fighters flying during the sunset.
So, I headed into my office and got to work!
The first thing I did was pull the image off of google, pulled it into Photoshop, and created a color palette by sampling the colors in the image. After that I pulled it over onto my other monitor, and opened an 11 x 17 document to work with.
I started out by basing in the sun, clouds, and mountain colors using Kyle Webster’s Impasto Brush set, and then using a mixer brush to blend it all together.
Once I was satisfied, I painted a tie fighter, and then multiplied/ resized it to get them all in place. To add a bit of distortion from the heat waves, I took the entire group, flattened them onto one layer, and then used free transform / warp to add some subtle curvature to them. Once this was done I locked the layer, and lightly brushed on some colors sampled from the background to help unify them with the piece.
Next, I used Kyle’s Heavy Gloss and Canvas Scrape Deep impasto effects, set to impasto effect only, to add some depth to the brushstrokes.
Following that, I added the canvas grain. I did this by using the add canvas brush, with a nice umber color, and setting the layer to soft light. I put this layer underneath the impasto layers so that the brush strokes would appear to sit on top of the entire piece.
It's a subtle effect, so I recommend zooming in to see it!
The final step, bringing everything together, was to create a layer on top of it all with a burnt umber gradient that got darker towards the edges. I dropped the opacity to about 47% and used the overlay blend mode to give the piece a nice reddish glow.
That’s all for today! I hope you all enjoyed the blog!