Digital Painting: Concept Landscapes | Jonas De Ro | Skillshare

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Digital Painting: Concept Landscapes

teacher avatar Jonas De Ro, Concept Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Class Introduction


    • 2.

      Gathering References


    • 3.

      Finding Shape Languages


    • 4.

      Thumbnail Sketching


    • 5.

      Painting Main Composition


    • 6.

      Painting Basic Colors


    • 7.

      Initial Detailing Phase


    • 8.

      Texture Detailing


    • 9.

      Lighting And Effects


    • 10.

      Final Polish


    • 11.

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About This Class

The great landscapes in game design and concept art are precise, fantastic and surreal, they are created by diligent, efficient digital painting techniques in Photoshop. . . and in this class, you'll learn them! You will learn a step-by-step approach to painting a concept fantasy landscape, covering every part of the process from sketching in Photoshop to the final piece.

You will learn to see space like an artist, conceptualizing the translation from our real world to the two dimensional.

What You'll Learn

  • References. Where do you find ideas and inspiration? What should you research? Why is it important to get different kinds of references?
  • Initial Sketch. You'll learn how to sketch efficiently in Photoshop, considering composition.
  • Values. We'll explore communicating value in space within your digital painting.
  • Composition Editing. Recreate the final compositions and split volumes into layers. Learn why using solids is important and why we keep edge information.
  • Color. We'll add color and discuss basic hues & tones.
  • Brush Detailing. We'll start our polishing phase by hand-painting details using Photoshop brushes.
  • Texturing. You will learn how to apply photo texturing to your workflow and how it can help the detailing phase.
  • Lighting & Effects. We will add final touches by adding cinematic lighting and some small effects and polishes.

What You'll Do

You will efficiently utilize techniques in Photoshop and apply them to create your own unique digital painting of an environment. You will experiment with light sources and rendering, color choices and depth. Rather than mimicking work, you will be empowered to create your own concept. You'll end up with a final piece of digitally painted artwork!

  • Deliverable. You'll create a digital painting of a fantasy landscape in Photoshop.
  • Brief. You'll use references to create a 2-dimensional sketch in Photoshop. Your composition will be treated with values to create three dimensions. Colors and textures will be added with acute brush detailing. Finally, you'll add lighting and effects to your composition to create a cinematic effect.
  • Collaboration. As you go through the class, update your project and share your progress with your fellow students. Ask your peers for their perspective on your composition. Give each other critical feedback.
  • Specs. By the end of this class, you will have artistic rendition of a fantasy landscape, painted in Photoshop.

An understanding of illustration fundamentals, a clear and focused process, and varied technical knowledge are crucial to being a successful digital painter. This course will not only teach you how to paint in Photoshop, but also how to see with an artist's eye and translate that vision to your work.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jonas De Ro

Concept Artist


Jonas De Ro, is a Belgian digital artist doing freelance and in-house concept art, design, and illustration for film and games. His clients include Warner Bros., Nike, 20th Century Fox, and Miramax among others.

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1. Class Introduction: Hi everyone. My name is Jonas Derow. I am a concept artist and illustrator working in the entertainment industry, mostly films and also games and commercials. Today, I'm going to teach you a class on digital landscape painting in Photoshop, as we can see here. Let me just start first by giving you a quick overview of the things that we're going to cover in this class. So, we'll start talking about references, this will be the first step where we basically do the ideation. So, we come up with some ideas about what we're going to do before we actually start painting. I will talk a little bit about different types of references, to photo textures, the things that you need to collect before you start working on your actual image. After that, in the next step, we're going to start doing some thumbnail sketching, where we'll look at a very small frame of our image and just focus on the main composition and the main first impression of our landscape. We're not going to focus on details just yet. Just try to figure out the main idea. When that's all done, we'll scale it up and we'll start applying the details, the lighting effects. This will be the finalizing of the image and the last phase of this class. Then, some final effects, and then we should be done normally. So, we're going to pretty much go from beginning to end of a production painting of the landscape. The reason we're doing it in this order is because I believe, along many other artists, that this is the best approach to a quality result. So that's why we're doing it like this. As you follow along, of course, after the class, hopefully you students will try to make an image of your own based on this class, on this tutorial. But what I would like you to do as a student is not to copy my image exactly, but try to come up with your own version or your own idea about it. I will talk a little bit more about this later, what I mean exactly. But I'm really not only trying to teach you how to paint beautifully or what tricks you can use, but also how to be creative and original, because that's very important if you want to work in this industry. That you can come up with things that are a bit refreshing or a bit different. So, we'll talk a little bit about that as well. Okay. So, maybe we can just jump in the first lesson and talk about gathering our references. 2. Gathering References: So, welcome to the first actual video lesson about painting a landscape in Photoshop. The first lesson we're going to look at our landscape references that we are going to gather. This will be mostly for design purposes, so these won't be images that we'll actually use inside our painting. These are just the things to get some ideas flowing, some creativity going in our head while we think about what we're going to do with our image. The first thing I'd like you to decide is what type of environment you're going to paint, because as I mentioned in the introduction is that I would like you, when you paint your own landscape after this class, that you pick something else, that you try to do something different than what I'm doing. So, I'm just going to bring up a little folder with the landscape references in my reference folder. So, this is basically just a folder with all different types of environments, pictures that are found or taken myself. Now, these are reference images. I'm going to make distinction between references and, I'll call them, textures. Basically, it's a copyright thing where with the reference images, we're not always 100 percent sure what the source is. So, we're not actually maybe allowed to use them inside our image in a prominent way. So, these are the images. So, I'm just going to look at that to get inspiration and to get an understanding of shape language, how certain environments work in terms of, let's say, the rocks or the type of plants or the colors even, all these things are important and we need to study a little bit before we get our mind going. So, I'll pick something and I hope you will pick something else. Well, you can pick the same, whatever, it doesn't really matter. I can just go through some of these categories and just look at some images because actually I haven't made up my mind myself. I will just do exactly what you're going to do just to get the creative juices flowing. So, we got some nice rock formations here. This is a place in China. I went there about two years ago, very inspiring, looks like a fantasy environment. Got some canyons in North America. If you don't want to look online, obviously there's a lot of alternatives where you can find this kind of inspiration. There's a lot of books. You can watch some documentaries, maybe from National Geographic or BBC. There's many sources these days. You just, basically, have to look around a bit and take your time, take your time to get inspired. Don't necessarily always pick the first thing that you see that you like, you can take your time with it. So, this stuff's cool, but I'm going to go for something different. This is a little bit too dry for me. So, I think I'll maybe have a look at something with some more vegetation. So, let's have a look at some Icelandic landscapes. Also very interesting stuff as you can see completely different from before, very moody, very beautiful. So, just get inspired by nature, just look around a bit, and do your research properly before you actually get into it. So, I'll just take my time after this lesson to look through it and make up my mind. So, let's just jump to the next part of what you're going to do after you've looked at landscapes and types of environment and picked something. Because the second type of reference we're going to look at is color and lighting references. So, the difference between color and lighting references and landscape preferences is that one is focusing on the very specific visual information in terms of design and shape language; and color and lighting references are only focusing on the values and the colors of the image. They can be two completely separate things. So, you should look at them as a separate thing because you can't put any environment in any color palette. For example, if you're thinking about a snow environment, you're thinking, "Okay, well, snow is white I guess." But if you get a sunset over snow environment, you can get every single color of the rainbow at some point because light has every color. So, you can pretty much bake your landscape in any type of color. So, that's something that we're going to try to do, is try to separate sign references from color references and try to combine the two while we're painting. So I've opened up here, to give you an example, a landscape reference on the top and a coloring mood reference on the bottom. Then I've just opened a blank canvas here. This is just to quickly show you the difference between the two and how you can apply them. So, let's say I'm just going to literally color pick a light value and a dark value from my color and apply it. Maybe something like that. I'll pick a dark color. Now, I'm going to start painting the mountains. So, what I'm really doing is I'm mixing these two things together to create something new. That's really how you should be using a reference. You shouldn't be copying them mindlessly. You can do that as a study but in your professional work, you should try to do your own things. So, if you look in the navigator here, you can see already that I'm starting to establish the feeling of a landscape, but the mood is completely different than in our landscape reference because I'm using a different color palette. As you can see, I'm also applying the atmospherics like the fog, stuff like that. So, just in a couple of, in less than a few minutes, we've actually got atmosphere. I could go in and maybe do a foreground element. A bit darker. Let's say that I put a little bit of grass or something like. So, we very quickly got a landscape. I've borrowed the design from this image and the mood of this image. I hope that's clear. That's the main importance of gathering landscape references and wood references. So, what I'd like you to do now is get both of them before you go to the next lesson. Just look up what type of environment you want to. Do you want to do mountains or a desert or whatever? Then look up something, what kind of mood you want to do? It doesn't mean that you'll have to stick to it exactly the way that I do, the way that I did just now. When we actually do our image, we're not going to so literally take the color palette of one image. It's just to illustrate the difference and the importance and the possibilities as well. So, just do that, get your reference images of both. Then, move on to the next lesson where we're going to talk about the third kind of references, or actually textures, as I explained before, going to gather those. I'll talk a little bit about what we're going to do with those, because this will be a very crucial part in this class. 3. Finding Shape Languages: Welcome to the next lesson, another lesson about collecting references or textures as I will explain in a minute. This one is going to focus on finding unique shape languages. What I mean by that is the point of this class is not to just paint a landscape, but we want to add something to make it unique and stand out, maybe a little bit fantasy, a little bit out of this world. The way that we're going to do that is by looking up ideas for what we'll call juxtaposition, and that's basically where we're going to take something, an element that we find somewhere that is usually not seen in nature or at least not in the way that we're going to apply it, and we're going to try to do something unique with it and integrate it into our landscape. I'll give you, as an example, the element that I've picked. So let me just open some images. So these are some images from CG Textures, my favorite texture website. So they're free, they're very high res, and you're allowed to use them. So I'm actually going to use these images in the landscape. So, they're not only a reference, they're actually going to be used as a photo texture when we detail our image, our landscape. Now, why have I picked this? Because we're going to paint a quite a large environment that we've been looking at, mountains and big rolling hills and fields and stuff, and now we're looking at something very small. The thing is, the size doesn't really matter. What we're going to try to do is pick something that is usually quite small and turn it large and integrate it into our landscape. You can immediately see how many cool possibilities we have if we do that. These corals just have amazing shapes and amazing little details that we can use in a completely different way than how we're used to seeing it, and we'll just have to play with the scale of things and the integration of the elements to make it believable and make it look cool. So what I'd like you to do is after you've picked your type of environment is to pick your juxtaposition element. If you can pick something different than a coral, that would be great. Now, maybe you're thinking, ''Okay, yeah, all right. We'll use a coral in a landscape. That's pretty cool. But what am I going to do?" So, I'll give you some ideas, some other possibilities of things that you could try. But obviously, I encourage you to just take your time again and think a little bit about what you can do. Try to come up with something unique and original because this is actually going to be where it's supposed to be, what is going to be the strength of our painting in terms of design. So, apart from all the technical stuff that we're going to apply to make this image look good and attractive, so to speak, pleasant to look at. We're also going to try to focus on a cool idea that people go like, ''Okay, it's beautifully painted, but it's also a cool idea.'' If you combine those two, you can actually really raise your image to another level. So here's some ideas. So I've picked the corals here, but maybe how about sea shells? They have very interesting shapes, so you could maybe enlarge seashells and use them as large, I don't know, artifacts that are scattered around in your environment. Maybe you could use giant flowers, animal bones that could be rock formations, giant trees. Maybe look at tropical fruits and the peels of tropical fruits or look at crystals. There's so many things that you can try to apply. Just try to find something natural maybe, but that is normally a small size and we'll try to enlarge that and turn that into a recurring element within our environment. That's basically what we're going to do. Yeah, as I said before, this is really going to raise our originality of our image. So yeah, just do that and get your images together. When you're looking for images for the shape language, try to look for images that you're actually allowed to use as a photo texture. That will be very handy because these are very specific shapes and designs and it would be good if we can actually just use the images. There's a bunch of ways to get them. So, as I mentioned before, you've got CG Textures or if you just type free textures in Google, you'll find plenty of great websites. But you can actually also just use Google images and there's some such advanced search tools. If you look through those where you can pick copyright information and you can actually pick ones that are allowing commercial or any type of reusage or modification. The same on Flickr, you can also filter by images that you're allowed to use. So just make sure that you get that stuff sorted because we're actually going to use these images in our painting in the detailing phase. But we're not there yet. So in the next lesson, we're going to actually start painting and we'll work on our thumbnail sketching. So we're not actually going to be looking at this stuff just yet. We'll just put this away for a minute and we'll just focus on the main landscape. All right. 4. Thumbnail Sketching: Hi, and welcome to this second unit of this class and this lesson we're going to start painting. We've talked enough about references and collecting images so, let's actually jump in and start doing something. This video lesson we're going to focus on thumbnail sketching. It's not something that's required, but I do encourage you to do it because it's a good way to explore ideas before you actually start your actual final image. It's just generally, a sort of trusted and grounded way of working that has proven again and again to be very efficient and to guarantee you good final results. Because there's a lot of ways of working on an image in a wrong workflow and then getting stuck and not actually being able to to fix it anymore because everything's already so detailed and rendered and stuck, so to speak. This is why the thumbnail phase is very important because we're very loose and we're just focusing on the big shapes, and the values, and the main composition, and this is something that always rules your image despite the level of detail or rendering. These things are always will actually sort of, are the first impression of what a person sees even if you present them with all the details straight away the big shapes and the main values is what you perceive and which will actually make you decide if you enjoy the image or not, and these are usually called fundamentals. They go bit broader, there's also your prospective and scale stuff. We're not going to focus that much on that just yet. We're mostly going to talk about composition and values. To help us with working with values specifically, we're going to work in black and white. This is a common practice, in the thumbnail sketching phase, but when we start doing the actual painting we're going to work straight in color and I'll explain to you at that point why we're doing that. But for now, let's just jump in and start and if you've got some screen space maybe just put up your references, you can't see mine they're outside of the borders, but I've got my landscape references up and some mode references so, I'm just going to look at that. The mode is not so important just yet, because we're still working in black and white and I haven't really decided on the lighting yet, we can get to that a little bit later. First, we're going to focus on the shapes, and the type of environment and the main composition. I'm going to make it a little bit smaller because we don't really need a lot of resolution at this stage and the brush strokes in Photoshop tend to be a bit smoother if you work smaller and I'm just going to take a one-by-two aspect ratio because I love this aspect ratio, very wide, it's very cinematic. All right, and I don't want to start with a white canvas, I actually want to go for a middle value and the reason that I'm doing it, is because it gives me more room to play with adding light and adding shadows or dark parts. If you work with white you sort of have to work down entirely because you're starting with the brightest color straightaway and that's usually not a good thing to do. I'm just going to pick sort of a slightly darker gray and then a slightly brighter gray and I'll just apply a basic gradient like this, and I'm giving the sky a little bit brighter value. If you zoom out you can sort of already feel let's say, a bottom piece and a top piece which is sky. Let's just add a new layer and while looking at your landscape references, just start painting type of environment. I'll just take a paint brush and so, I'm thinking about the corals not that much just yet, but I've got it in the back of my head that sort of doing something with a giant corals. I use it a little bit in the sort of shape language that I'm applying with my brush, but this could be rocks, this could be anything. As you can see as I'm going more in deeper into depth of my space, I'm using a lighter value and I'm going to go a little bit dark on the foreground. This is a common practice and it usually works so, going to apply here. What I'm going to do now and this is something that is recommended a lot and I'm always going to recommend you to do it as well, is to flip the canvas while you're working. This should somehow, just becomes something that you automatically do, it's just good to help you stay focused, and you can also maybe zoom in and zoom out to different zoom levels while you're working this also helps you get a fresh look at your work. You don't have to stick with one thumbnail sketch if you think it's not working. I'll just stick this in a group and maybe turn them off and just try something new. Maybe I want to work a bit more with a dynamic angle so, I'll just use a slanted horizon line and I don't know what exactly I'm drawing. I know that I've got the corals in the back my head and I know that I've got a landscape in the back of my head, but what exactly it is I'm not sure of yet, it's not important. The main thing that we're seeing is just the separation of dark colors and light colors or values actually, they're not colors and this is really what we're looking at making it that small saturated. Just to show you like, what do we just see? We see dark parts, light parts, and sort of middle tone parts, and that's actually the only really important thing and we can extract whatever from that afterwards. You can see this is a completely different composition, this is much a bit more boring, a bit more stable flat I guess, but we could use a wide scale and here we've got more of a wide lens kind of look something like that. So, maybe let's try something else, just don't be afraid to try different things and do not be afraid to make things that maybe not don't look so good. The good thing about this phase is that it's really fast so, you don't really waste a lot of time. So I'm quite liking this I've got sort of a nice layering going on. Maybe this is something on top. So, I'm starting to see something in here that I quite like so this could be a foreground element and this could be a large chunk of coral or something, and then there seems to be some elimination going on underneath it and here's some smaller pieces and then repetition of shapes in the background which will help us to show scale. Maybe I can already apply a little bit of lighting here, I'm just going to take a soft round, put on linear dodge add and just paint a little bit of a lighten there, may be some light rays, some volumetric light, and may be there's some reflection of that on our ground surface. So, I quite like this one so, I'll get rid of the rest and may be one thing we can do, before we accept our thumbnail and get into the next phase, is just change like slight little things just sort of function a little bit. For example, I want to create a little bit more scale on this foreground so, I'll just copy that and I'll just use a little bit of warping and free transform to create a bit more scale difference. So, if I'm using a more straight lines, you get more of the sort of feeling of perspective, maybe losing some space here so, maybe I can just play around a bit with it. If you find something maybe an interesting way of concealing the foreground, maybe you can already come up with something, some shape that could be in the foreground or in the background. Just a little bit of fine tuning basically to your thumbnail but nothing too fixed yet, we're still going to play around with it. But usually, when you do this you start getting ideas, your mind starts seeing things, we're looking for sort of a happy accidents, and interesting shapes or forms or so maybe a sort of a tunnel here or something and this leads to there. We can start thinking about the composition obviously, while we're doing this and maybe thinking about where we want to place focal points. Right now, if I just apply the rule of thirds more or less, there is a point of interest here and maybe there'll be a point of interest here. So, perhaps I could just move this up a little bit, this tunnel which will be a point of interest so, it just matches the third a little bit more. You don't have to precisely follow this but it is a guideline for a reason so, you can. Then here we'll just come up with something interesting. So, basically, what our eye is going to do we're going to follow a sort of foreplan into this passage here and then somehow try to lead the eye to whatever we're going to put here, I don't know yet. A second focal point and so that's the composition I think I'm going to go for. So, try this yourself and do as many thumbnails as you think you need to until you're satisfied. As you see, I added three rough ones in around 10 minutes and you can easily spend half an hour or more however long it takes to explore ideas and before you actually scale this up and get into like the hard labor. In the next image, we're going to just blow this up not with T and T just the image size. We're going to start painting the main composition in a bit more detail and talk a bit more about the values and the shapes specifically and maybe apply a little bit of lighting and a little bit of color. So, yeah, let's move on to the next video lesson. 5. Painting Main Composition: Okay. Welcome to the next lesson. So, in the previous lesson, we talked about the thumbnail sketches and this was the final thumbnail that we ended with. This is by no means finished, but it gives me a general idea about what I'm going to do and how I'm going to separate planes and big forms in my image. But now we're going to start our new image and we're actually going to start from scratch and just keep this open as a reference. But let me just open up my other reference as well, so that we can look at that as well and let's open a new document. This will be our new image. For now, I'll make it 2,000 by 1,000, but we can crank it up as we detail it more. Okay. We can go to "Window", "Arrange" and then use "Stacked". So basically, this will allow me to put my reference images up here, just scale out a little bit, so I can see it a bit more and I'll keep this on an interesting part. Let's see. I quite like these shapes so that's what I was going for, you can maybe see a tiny bit in here. Okay. So, I'm just going to color pick a light value, but an actual color from this image. It's not that important, it's just to get some color in there because we're not going to work in black and white anymore, we're going to work straight in color. That's going to help us get a richness in color as we progress and as we paint layer over layer over layer. Then, let's take something like that. Okay. I'm going to do the same thing as before, which is just apply a gradient. Okay. Again, I'll put the bright sky on top, maybe let's see. I'm trying to sort of imitate this composition, you can see that my dark pieces already sort of this foreground element. Okay. Now, we're going to do everything on separate layers and we're going to try to get really nice, clean shapes that we can work with and just paint these in. For now, let's just do it with a nice dark value and we'll give them more specific colors after that, but I'm not going to take pure black, I'm actually going to take something from the color range that I already have just to get a little bit of a richness in there. Okay. So, let's start with the foreground. So, I might have to make it a little bit darker. I'm just trying to get a nice confident shape. I'm moving my brush quite fast so that I can cut and get a nice confident shape. Okay. So, that doesn't look too bad for now. So, let's keep that on a separate layer and let's move on to the next one. Then, I'm going to be painting this big form here. So, I'll put up my reference. Okay. I'll just bring up eraser as well so that I can cut away if I'm not happy with something. Okay. Let's just brighten this up a little so we can see it separate from the foreground because now it's just the same color. Okay. So, the next one is take this value right here and start with the next one, and I'm going to repeat the shape, but a little bit smaller, and this will be the first way that we're starting to play scale as well because the way that our eye reads scale or the way that we can help our eye to read scale is by repeating forms of which we assume that they are roughly the same size. In this case, that will be mushroomy-looking giant corals. So again, let's flip the canvas. Okay. I quite like this shape. Onto the next one. Again, I'll make them a bit smaller, but I'll pin with a bit bigger and then maybe scale them down because if it gets too small, it's sometimes harder to paint things with finesse so, I'll just paint it over here. Now, I'm going to scale it down and put it in the background. Let's think about the composition a bit, try to spread them out and place them somewhat interesting way. Let me just give some brightness there in the background so that I can see a little better. I might want to use a softer brush for this. Okay. I'll just copy it and move it around and maybe change the size of it. Let me just copy this whole thing here and scale that down as well, and place it in the background or maybe you want to flip it so that it's not that obvious that I'm just copy-pasting it. Basically, I'm trying to show you don't have to necessarily even paint everything, you can just play around with copies of shapes a little. Okay. Let's make that darker. Looks like I got a little issue going on here. Okay. Then, we're missing our background element and so I'll pick this value here and then make it a little bit brighter. This was our second focal point remember. I guess this would be a really large structure, so you can start thinking about the shape and the scale. A good way to do this is to just, the forms that you're repeating, just try to draw those at a smaller scale. So, I'm basically following this shape language and by doing it smaller. I'm suggesting [inaudible] using a lighter value. Those two together suggest that this is a large faraway structure. Maybe here, we have some smaller ones. Again, this will help us with our scale. I'll probably want to add small copies again of the same shape again, to emphasize the scale difference. Let's use the Free Transform to fine tune a little, and you can look at the Navigator that's why I've got it open here, how it reads at a smaller size, but I think it looks okay. We'll probably fine tune it a bit more. Watch tangents, so make sure that elements either overlap, or have some space to breathe. Maybe, the foreground one can even be a bit bigger. You can also always use the Warp Tool or even Liquify if you want to suddenly move elements around, because we're going to use these as masks in the next step. Another thing that you can do to help scale is just take part. Maybe, I'll just cut it out, and I'll scale it down, and then copy it, and just mess around a little with that. Because the smaller the shapes, the more that you can create illusion that this is something far away. It looks like I've merged the wrong layers, so be careful with that. Maybe I can apply a little bit of exaggerated perspective here by following some diagonal lines. So, they're all converging to about here where I'm holding my cursor at the moment. In a landscapes, you can get away a bit more with not super-type perspective. Obviously, that the rules of perspective always apply. But rocks are organic so sometimes, they can be off a little bit, or they can give a weird effect. But you got more freedom with that than, let's say, if you're doing architecture, which is very very tight and precise and at the slightest mistake in perspective will be noticeable straightaway. But still, these fundamentals are important obviously but you got to a bit more space to play with doing organic environments. So, I'll go in a little more. See the way that I'm going to guide the eye through this alley, I'll call it, is by making these shapes point up so that your eye wants to follow this ridge, and then we're going to have a focal point here on the top of this structure, whatever it's going to be, I still don't know. So, I think that's good for now, and then let's just do a little bit of basic value separation. I mean, we've already done it, but we're strictly working in silhouettes right now, and we can do a little more. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to turn on the lock transparency for every layer so that I can just easily paint inside of it without affecting the edge work, because that's basically what I've been doing now. I've just been focusing on the silhouette the edge work but we can lock that here. Then, we can paint inside our shape. So, they're all locked, and basically, what I want to do is introduce some new values that give us more information about the form and the shape and all those things. So, in this one I'll do a maybe a slight bottom lid, I guess. Maybe there's a light source here, and I'll do the same here, but maybe a bit more subtle. A good thing to do while doing this is to squint a little bit. I know it sounds a bit silly and you look a bit silly while you're doing it but it really helps to see what you're doing on a more broad level. Or if you're wearing glasses and you don't really see sharp, try painting without your glasses. Seriously, in this stage, it can actually benefit you to not see every details because details tend to distract you. They're very dangerous. We love details, but they're actually not as important as you might think. They're nice and when you res something up, you see something large scale and nice to see details, but they're actually not that important. Then, in the background, I'll just add a bit of smoke or fog, whatever it is. This always helps also to separate the the planes. If we were to paint a similar lighting solution as we did here, we'd want to paint very small, so that we're selling that scale again. That scale is going to be very important, because we're going to introduce these coral elements, and we know what the coral looks like, and what size it is, and we're going to have to create the illusion to the viewer that these are really big. You don't want to give that away. That all has to do with scale, it's something very difficult, something that I find I have a lot of trouble with but it's very important. Definitely, if you're doing a large environment. So, at this point, I'm suggesting that there's a similar lit parts on the structure. But by making them really sparse and a lot smaller, I am suggesting scale. I can probably make the sky a bit darker. So that I will have more room to play with light. But here, you want to watch out in the back. I want this value of the sky here to always be lighter than my silhouettes. Otherwise, they will not read anymore. So, let me just compress the contrast here. Something like that, this will give me a nice space to play with. So, that's pretty much it for this lesson. In the next lesson, we're going to apply a bit more color, and we're going to start talking about the actual materials. So, not so much focused on the silhouettes but actually, what is everything made of. We won't use any photos yet. We'll just stick a painting for now but it's a it's a bit more defining, and we can also think about our light source, because we actually don't really have definitive light source yet. So, that will be in the next video lesson 6. Painting Basic Colors: Okay. So, welcome to the last lesson in the second unit. Before we go into the real detailing and polishing of our landscape, we're going to start using a bit more color. So, this lesson is going to focus on painting the main colors, or we'll talk about local colors and what those are as well, and materials. We'll just still for now be using brushes, and then in the second part of this lesson, we'll start lighting a bit more thinking about our light source and add some highlights and stuff. As you can see, I've pulled up two call references, because before I didn't need these, I was looking at the landscape references only, this one here. Now we're going to start thinking more about color and mood. So, now we need to bring up the other references that we collected earlier in this class. So, I'm going to go for this kind of color palette at the moment. I can still change it at the end if I don't like it but I like this color variation, and we're going to pick from it. You can see I've got one photo here that is very detailed, and then here I've got something blurry. Something that I didn't mention before but which is pretty important is that, when you're looking up mood references or call references, you don't have to pick a landscape in a certain lighting condition. You can actually look at anything with color. It can be super abstract. It's absolutely fine. As long as the palate is beautiful and works, you can extract color from it, or you can even choose which colors you extract. It's all up to you. So, let's just jump in and start. I'm just going to paint a bit on the foreground, and you've probably seen it by now, but I've got my color window up here. I haven't really been using it, I've been actually going here to the color picker but I'm going to change that now. I'm actually going to start working with this color picker. The reason that I do that is because here I can lock the value. It's a nice way of working. You can use other ways of using color transfer modes etc. But I'd like to work with full colors and not rely on blending modes, and just control my color manually, like in a traditional way, but only a lot easier obviously. So, I've just set this two H's be which is the hue the saturation and brightness. So, now every time when I pick a value here, so I can see about where it is. Let's say I want to pick a value from here, I can also see where about it is. That way I can compare them and stick to my value range that I have which I think is good right now. Or you can just manually move the sliders to whatever color use hues is there. So, I'll just pick this blue, and maybe I'll do a little bit of work on the the background first, just get a tiny bit of color in there because it's quite blunt and boring at the moment, and you can already see that I'm putting a light source on the top of the image. Another thing that I could have done is done something like that. So, I put the light source at the bottom of the image. It's really up to you, and this is going to affect obviously the lighting. I'm just looking at the navigator, which one I like the most, and I think I might actually go for this one. Because I want this to be my first focal point, and then I want to lead the viewer up to the top of this structure, and because this is a light and bright, that's what you're going to look first. You can see it in the thumbnail. That's what you're looking first, and with this you look at the top structure first. So, something you have to think about, what am I telling? What am I saying? And what do I want as an importance? I could also try and mix of both but, maybe that's going to attract a little bit too much attention. So, let's see which one should I go with. So, I think I'm going to go with with this one after all. The reason is because I'm going to use local illumination here, and if I use this one, there's already a lot of illumination there. So, I'm just going to take advantage of the sky color to put a focus on my second focal point, and I'll bring in local illumination here to draw attention to it. You'll see that develop as we go along. So, let me just put a little bit of color variety, and we just color picking from from my mood references. You don't have to, you can play around with these sliders a little bit. Am just trying to be careful so that you maintain your values that you had before. Okay. So, I think this is good. I was talking about the color before. It's something that you can do as well. I could just use the color mode to color this, and as you can see I'm not really touching the value right now. But personally, I like to work just with the normal blending mode, and just control the color manually. I like to use a bit more gray, a grey turns a little bit more desaturated as I go down, and a bit more saturated as I go up. Okay. Now, let's apply the same to this, and normally what you'd normally do is that you'd make things in the background more the saturated than in the foreground. That's usually what happens in an atmosphere. Just much these, and pick that value. So, I can see I can just pick that value and then change the saturation or whatever settings, and then paint and it is not affected. You don't have to worry too much about having the super exact color. We're just trying to get a little bit of variation there, like a base foundation of basic colors. We're not going to worry about the local color yet, which is the actual color of our object. We're looking more about underlying colors. I think background's a bit too saturated. So, I'll just get rid of a bit of that green. Make it a bit color maybe. Okay, that's not bad. Now, that we've actually started working in color, maybe you'll notice that it becomes slightly harder to see if your values are good. To do that, we're going to add a layer that will actually turn the image back into black and white so that we can continue to see if our values are working. So, let me just pick a grey color and fill a new empty layer with that and just set it to saturation. So that way, we can just turn it on and off. If we want to look if our values are still working because that's quite important. Now, yeah, we can just continue painting a little bit more. Put some slight variations and sky maybe. Don't worry about details right now, we're just mostly doing gradients and a little bit of texturing because we don't use photo textures. That will just add so much detail straight away. But this is just not really important right now, just trying to get foundation there that we can work with. Okay, and now as I said before, the second part would be to choose a light source and start applying that a bit too. I think the light source is going to be up here. In my sketch that I had, you can see that also applied a light source here and maybe we can play some volumetric light like I was thinking before. That's for later. So, for now let's just add a little bit of the highlights. I guess if the light source was here, obviously it would follow this direction, okay? So, let me just pick this layer and I'll pick one of the bright colors of the coral here and maybe a different brush. Just go in there and give it some highlights. Don't worry about the color too much. It's really not that important yet. It's all about the value right now and the underlying color. So, just to have something there. Again, we can just change some parameters here. Don't be afraid, you can even do stuff randomly trying to get color variety. So, just move the slide around. As long as you stay in the grays, it can't really do that much wrong because there's so many subtle grays everywhere in the world around us. You can just play around with that. You can get some really nice natural looking colors. So, I'm just really randomly changing it around. The only thing I'm really trying to keep in mind is that the light source is here. So, this is where light will hit. I guess if we're underneath the structure, we wouldn't see actually much from the top. It would be pretty dark actually come to think of it. You have to be careful with that so that you don't kill the scale somehow. Maybe here and there you'd see like as tiny little highlight. Then, the foreground, I guess we can have a look there what we can do, just very basic. For now try to keep it quite dark but maybe just put a slight little bit of texture in there. Okay. Maybe here I feel like this needs a bit of texture. We're just setting the foundation for our materials very roughly. Again, just play around with the colors. You can go a bit crazy if you want. Just try explore different ideas and just get that richness in there, that's the most important part. Just get a rich variety that will then turn back once we start applying our photo textures. Obviously, always keep your values in mind so don't worry about going back and seeing that you didn't mess things up. Okay. So, I think that's pretty good for now. We're not going to go that much deeper into lighting the actual the real nice cinematic lighting that you're probably waiting for. We'll do that later in the detailing phase. Here we're more focusing on choosing an actual light source. That's something that we couldn't see before and now we just know, okay, lights coming from up there and it's hitting the top of these structures that's pretty clear now. The thumbnail, you can see it pretty well. This also helps to define form, read form. So, yeah, you can see that we're slowly getting to this. Looks a bit mushroom, we're still but we're slowly getting to this design language of these course and we'll add the other ideas later on. So, yeah, that's pretty much it for this lesson. After this, we're going into unit three which is the final part actually. Obviously, the detailing faces actually the phase that takes the longest because you're focusing on much more pixels so to speak. So, we'll split it up in a couple of different sections so that you can just nicely follow along. The first will be painting detail, the first part, then we'll talk about texture detailing. So, then we're actually going to use photos and that will drastically improve the level of detail in our image. Then at the end, we'll apply like the extra lighting effects. So, yeah, let's move on to the next lesson. 7. Initial Detailing Phase: Okay. So, welcome to the third unit and the final one of this class, and this will be the detailing and finalizing the image. So, we've got the main composition, the main ideas there but we're still missing a few things. You can see that we're still missing some lighting and stuff. The main lighting direction is there, but it's not yet very crisp board or very popping, or anything like that but we'll do that over time. The main information is actually already there, but it's just a bit low contrasted, the colors are a bit all over the place, and it just doesn't look very good yet. But actually, the fundamentals are more or less here. It's not going to change that much. So, in this lesson, we're going to do the first detailing phase, and this will be where we begin to paint details. We'll focus a bit more on color variation, we'll focus a bit more on the actual material, but we're going to stick with brushes for now. We're not gonna use any photos yet, so that we can just look at painting with brushes. So, let's just jump right in. As you can see, I've removed my call references, I don't really need it anymore at the moment. I can just color pick from the image, because there's quite a lot there, and I've got my color wheel over here. So, let's just start with that, and when I'm adding stuff, I'm trying not to change the value that is already there too much because we've already established values, and they work. So, let's try to respect that as much as possible, but still add a bit more volume and a bit more definitions to our shapes. So, we're going to just pick one in a bit. Let's maybe pick a different paintbrush. The types of brush that you use don't really matter that much. I'm just using paintbrushes and texture brushes mostly, nothing fancy. Doesn't really matter which one you use. It's good to stick with something that has a little bit of texture, but if you're just using the standard chalk brush, or whatever, that's absolutely fine. Let's pick a little bit of this bounce light, because you can see here on the rocks, I've bouncing some light from the sky which always looks quite nice. Obviously, I would have that here, I wouldn't have that here. Here, I would actually bounce the local color of this surface, depending how much light shines on it, but we can we can worry about that later. Pick a brighter value here, so that I can again add some more definition, and don't forget to look in your navigator because you can sometimes see what's going on much better,. For those who don't know, Alt is what I'm using to pick the color picker, while I'm painting. This is super handy to just quickly pick colors while you're painting from around the painting, and you can really add lots of nice richness to your image very quickly. Maybe here, on our main structure, let's do some plain separation. You can see I've sort of already done it here, but I want to do a bit more, and this will help us sell the scale and the perspective. We can just fade it into the smoke, and just try to think of your perspective as much as possible, what angle are we looking at? Really low angle. So, let's try to emphasize that by making sure that everything we paint looks like we're looking at it from underneath, standing underneath it. So, we can never really see the top of a structure, you can ever see the top of the building from the street level, it's simply impossible. So, these are things that you have to keep in mind, so that you don't kill the perspective or the illusion of a perspective, and again scale. So, repeating forms, make them a bit smaller. Okay. Now I'm going to jump to these ones, and I think I want to add a little bit of illumination there on the bottom. I quite like this here. This one here, we got the nice little reds going on, a little bit of variety, and maybe the foreground can just use a little bit more work. What we can do, for example, is just copy this piece, there, and maybe cut a little bit of here, make it a bit smaller, and then put the duplicated piece behind, but scaled down. Just scaling down the same element, just an exact copy will actually give you the illusion of perspective because we're just copying the same shape that we see, and we're just literally scaling it down. Maybe we can do it twice, just to exaggerate and illustrate my point. So, yeah, you can see the difference, and the opposite, you can do as well. So, maybe you can take a part of the foreground, and then just stretch it a little bit and see how that really helps to sell the idea of perspective of a path leading somewhere. We're not really sure about the human scale of this environment just yet. So, maybe with the photo textures we can decide that by how much we scale it, because right now it looks like we're quite close to the ground, and these structures aren't super big. So, maybe we'll make them bigger, I'm not sure yet. We'll see as we get there. Okay. So, let's paint some more details. Let's try some color variation again, and let's maybe have a look at our reference, and have a look at the shape language here. So, what have we got? We've got a honeycomb thing going on here. So, maybe we want to try to incorporate that already a bit in our painting. So, let's just try to think about how that light hits. So, if our light source is here, then obviously the highlights would be underneath it, over here, something like that. So, I'm just applying a little bit of painted detail. Obviously, we're going to nicely crank this up textures later on. It's just to get just a little in there. This, we can do some more bound slides. It's always good to include the color of the environment subtly into your painting, maybe at a slightly darker value, but the sky is a bright thing and it actually it bounces a lot definitely in the shaded areas, the areas that are not completely lit or not lit at all. A lot of spill from the sky can be seen, and that's for example, why shadows tend to look cool and blue. Often they're just reflecting a blue-sky. Okay. I'm also going to refine the shapes a little bit. So, this back shape is quite rough, and it's stylized which I like, but that's not really the style we're going for right now. So, I'm just going to use the lasso tool and just cut a bit away, and since I know it's far away, I don't have to worry about fine detail, I can do it pretty fine, which is still okay. Again, this will help us sell the scale of whatever we're looking at. Sometimes, if you flip the canvas, you can also just flip it like that, just completely turn around because a composition should actually work in every single direction. There's nothing wrong with flipping vertically as well. I'm just making tiny little cuts just to sell at scale, again, give it the illusion that it's far away and much bigger, and some smoke. Some atmosphere in there always works nicely. So, okay. So, I might do a little bit more work on this, but I think you get the main point. In the next lesson, we're going to look at texture detailing, and this is really going to res up our image really fast. So, I hope by now that you've collected some textures, some image that you're allowed to use of the environment, that you picked the type of environment and the juxtaposition element that we talked about, so those two. But I think, in my case for example, the juxtaposition one is the most important because I haven't got that much space for other stuff. It depends how I'm going to fill this big structure over here, and this foreground, but the rest will probably be mostly coral based. Okay. So, let's go to the next lesson about texture detailing. 8. Texture Detailing: All right. Welcome to the next piece about texture detailing. In this lesson we're going to start using photos. So, we've up until now only use the Photoshop brushes to create sort of landscape, but now we sort of want to take to the next level of detail, and rather than painting every single detail by hand we're going to use photo texturing to help us with that. Then we'll paint on top of that to nicely blend everything in. The first thing I'm going to focus on is the sky, because the sky needs a lot of work. I'm just going to pull in a bunch of photos and most of them are I actually took myself, skies. We're just going to see what we can do with it. So, I'll bring in my first one here, and just copy paste it in there. Let's just see what kind of mood it gives us and I actually quite like it right off the bat. It looks quite nice, turning the horizon, and maybe look at the scale it's quite important so that you sort of have a look at the scale so that all seems right. I feel like there needs to be a slight curve or something here. Look in the navigator while you're doing this there's this really helps to do it well, and I think I want to compress this bit here, and then stretch this bit which will give the illusion of scale. Okay. So I quite like this. I'm not sure about this little light patch here. So, I'll just get rid of that. There we go and if I look in the navigator, I think this actually looks really nice. I'm not sure if I need another one, but just for demonstration purposes, I will just put another one in there. Okay. So, this one another one taken from a balcony couple of years ago, quite similar might have been taken on the same night. I'll just scale this one down even more so that there's more fine detail. So again that scale just to make this as big an epic as we can because we're quite at a low angle so we can't see much of the surrounding area. So, we got to use other ways of selling that size, that environment, and that's a good way to do it. You can sort of see the light lines are getting bigger and further apart as we go up. That gives you the illusion of depth because everything gets compressed as we go further into space. Okay. So, I'm actually quite happy with these color. I don't think they need that much adjusting anymore. So, I'll just stick with that, and now we can start texturing our foreground elements. So, maybe let's just start with this ground piece here. So, I'll just look through my references. So, that's the first texture I pull up and this is a good foreground element because there's a lot of depth here. You can see how the pebbles show you how the space kind of works. So, I'll use that. In order to fit it onto the shape that we've predefined, I'm actually going to control click layer, and then create a new group and press the layer mask, and this space is going to create a group that has masked to this shape. So, if I paste this photo in, I don't have to worry about the edges or anything like that. So, let's maybe compress this a little, and maybe a little bit of bending because it's not perfectly straight as we've seen. This doesn't have to be super exact. This is more about just adding some visual noise that are precious just don't give us. Now, this doesn't look quite right, and the main reason is because we have an adjusted values of it. So, I'm just going to turn on the value layer, and this immediately tells me that this image too bright. So let me just darken down. While I do that, I look in the navigator to see if, when I don't see it anymore then it's actually good. See you can't really see a difference that much in the navigator now. So, I can turn it off again, and maybe use a mask again to sort of blended it in a quite like the paint work I've done here. So, I'll leave that and I'll just use it, just put in some of the other areas. I'll use ever so slightly here, but you can just see how this immediately adds so much nice detail. Then I can start color picking from that and painting on top of that. Just nicely fine tune it, and flip the canvas. What I'm trying to do here is basically make the front pebbles look a little bit more stretched, a little bit wider, and that will give the illusion that there's sort of a curving going on, and then these ones here can be a bit more flat and compressed because that's kind of how it would look in perspective. It creates the illusion of some perspective going on. I'll make this edge a bit darker because I have some plans of doing some illumination behind there. We just make this darker. Okay. So, that's quite nice. Maybe let's start adding some corals stuff and we can start with the big one, or actually let's start with this one. Let's use this one here as our guinea pig. So, I'll go into the textures, and you can see the perspective on this is slightly different. So we'll have to maybe mess around a bit with it but I'll just roughly cut the stuff. It doesn't even have to be precise, and that's the great thing about this technique is because we've defined the forms before we can just literally use those, and they are fine. It looks like I've copied from a wrong layer. So, let me just do it again. Okay. Again, let's blend it in first. We can tell that the values are completely off. So, looking in the navigator again, until I don't really see it anymore. There we go. I only see that much. I'm just going to warp this to fit because we have to follow the perspective. Now, again, let's blend it in and while you're blending it in, what you can do, since we've painted silhouettes, you can actually just leave out some of the unlit areas. Because you wouldn't really see that much detail in there anyway and that way you're preserving the sort of shape definition that you have been doing at the earlier stage. You're keeping true to that while applying this photo texture detail. Because it's very easy with a photo texture to mess that up because you start focusing too much on the photo texture and you start applying the shape definition of the photo texture. You don't want to do that too much at least not on a large form scale. Small shapes that's fine, that's what we needed for, this small stuff but on a large scale, we don't want that. Because that's actually the point of the thumbnail phase. If we don't stick to that then that phase was pointless. So, we're going to stick to that. Maybe for the brightness here because this is quite bright, I'll just make a copy and move it around a little and then I'll brighten this up like that. I can paint with that on the top part where the light would hit a bit more. So, that way I can still paint, stick to the value, and the lighting that we've set up but still get that photo detail in there. Let's take some more stuff. So, I'm just going to take something else, just let's take this random bit here and let's just plump it in this big one here. I'll just show this to you a couple of times so that you understand how this photo texturing business works. It takes quite a lot of time so we don't really have to go through all of it because it's always actually the same. I'll just show you a few times and then you can just try yourself. It's quite fun because it introduces new shapes and because we've picked something unique like these corals were getting stuff that we're not used to seeing. Like always, just keep in mind that you stick to your values so that your form doesn't such read differently, like here I can see some some dangerous stuff going on. The confusing light sources. So, just paint away that stuff. See what else we can use. Maybe go to the other photos because I've got some more photos over here. See, for example, the top sorry could be the bottom of our big shape here. So, you'll see right away where I mean. Really, this photo texture is all about visual noise that takes much longer with brushes and doesn't offer as much variety. This really bring some new design ideas with it and it's just the analog variety of the real world, is just has nothing that beats it really. Maybe we can just copy it and do some scaled copies. You don't need to always pick a new texture for everything, you can sometimes just use the same texture in different places, in different opacities or whatever. So, you can see it there. I'll just show you one more example and then I'll just detail a bit more off-screen so that we can move onto the next part. I'll just show a little bit about this big structure here. Because again, scale I keep talking about it, I know. It's very important. So, I need to find an image that represents this accurately. So, I brought in this image that I took in China and this is a very similar perspective to the one that we're using. I think this will be a pretty good one to use. Let me just cut away the sky to make it easier but it's not really necessary but it's up the tolerance here. We can refine the edge a little. The reason I'm actually doing this is that maybe I can take some of this edge information because this is nice fine detail of edge information. Now, let's copy this and go back to our image and let's create another mask folder for the background. So, let's see maybe we can flip it around. Let's just have a look what looks best. Not entirely sure. I think flipping will be the best because there are some rocks over there. As a bit of playing around, you just want it to look right. There's still some issues here, I think it's still too large, if I'm not mistaken. Let's go with something like that and just blend it out a bit. Get a bit more subtle. Plan it out a bit and paint it in a bit. That way you still have some proper control of what you're doing but you have the benefits of the photo texture. Maybe I'll just paste it again. Something like that. For example, what I can do is, I could make the top a bit darker. Actually, make the whole thing a bit darker. Obviously, not darker than what we have in the foreground but we can do some more value separation between these different planes by adding layers of smoke. Obviously, this is too much, but I'm just going to turn the opacity down a bit until I find a balance. There we go. Now, we've got a lot of photo information to work with. I'll just merge these layers and then I can start cutting out from this entire thing. Fill out some edge details. You can just take a bit of this edge and copy it and just stick it in there. Maybe put it behind and stick it in there and paint it up. So, I think you get the main idea about photo texturing and I would suggest just doing this for a while, and just trying to get a lot of stuff in there. I'm going to do that as well and then in the next lesson, we'll get back and see how it's evolved. Will start actually, getting into the final phase which is using lighting and effects to put everything together nicely. So, let's move onto the next lesson. 9. Lighting And Effects: Okay, so welcome to the next lesson. I've done a little bit more work on the texture, and you can see that I've got a bunch more details in here. Basically, I've just been reapplying the technique that I showed you in the last lesson on every single piece, and really, it's up to you how much time you want to spend doing that. You can do it for hours if you want to but like I said before, and I can't stress it enough, the details are actually not that important. Everything we've done before is a lot more important to be able to get to this stage, and after that, the detailing is just sort of noising it up with interesting pixel information to make a dense, noisy, I would call it. But in this lesson, we're going to stop focusing on the photo texturing, and we're going to do some final lighting because our images is pretty much done in terms of detail, but it needs a little bit of punch. It's missing something. It doesn't look quite ready, and this will be a fun pie. That's why I've actually waited until the entity it is because when you start playing with light, you suddenly get that sort of magical thing happening, and that's what we're going to try to achieve here. Now to do that, the thing that I like to do is actually to darken everything, and the reason that I do that is because it will give me new space in the light values to play with. So if I bring up my color picker and I check here, you can see it's pretty bright already. I mean, I still have this amount of space here until I get to the brightest value, but I'm gonna darken it a little bit nonetheless. So I'm just gonna go through every layer one by one and just bring up the levels and darken them a little. Maybe I can do it with the value checking layer on so that I can actually see that I'm not ruining my values. Okay. Now, let's make this one a little bit darker, and then this one. You can see that I'm bringing down to gamma which is the middle, little slighter here instead of the darks because this tends to crush the shadows very quickly and sometimes destroys the image a little. So it's safer to just bring down the mid tones a little, and this will make the image darker as well. You can also just bring down the output levels. So this is a bit darker. Okay. Now, let's start playing with light. This is a fun part. So the first thing I'm gonna do is throw some light in the background, and I know we said that we'd have a light source up here but I've actually changed my mind, and because of these photos, I'm gonna go back to the other plan that we had which was having light source here in the back. I still feel like this is our sort of main focal point, this sort of pathway, and this tower is a bit secondary. So I'm gonna create a new layer, and I'm just going to pick a soft round brush. Then I'm going to pick a very dark saturated color. Sunlight is a warm color, so let's pick something in the sort of orangey, red kind of range, dark, and saturated. I'll set the layer to Linear Dodge Add, and I'm also going to set my brush to Linear Dodge Add so that when I paint on top of my brush strokes, I'm actually adding upon that as well, and you'll see how that looks. So if I just start painting here, I'm immediately getting beautiful light in the background and sort of creating a magical glow. So let's do a little of that, not too much in a top, just maybe a little bit of spill here. Okay, so that looks quite nice. Now, let's copy this layer and put it on top of everything, and we'll just empty it for a minute but we're gonna do the same so that we actually have a glow that's coming over our shapes, kind of like a flare, I guess it would be. So something like that, and you can see how much attention that draws that point because it's so bright. It's grabbing all the attention. So, okay, that's quite nice. Now, let's do some layers in between our layers. So we've separated all these shapes and there's still space between them, so we can emphasize that a bit more by putting more layers in between those layers. So I'll just start with putting something between the back layer and these ones here. I'll just take a simple smoke brush or a cloud brush, and let's pick a kind of a bright value, and let's just paint some smoke in here. You can see how that's helping us separate the planes and creating more of an interesting light. We'll do the same between the next two layers. So here, got a little bit of value separation going on. Not too much, maybe you don't want to do it where the light wouldn't hit it because the smoke would not be illuminated naturally. So maybe you want to tone it down in some areas, so that it doesn't become too much. Let's add one between these two layers as well. So here, I can actually sort of separate this as well. Not too much, again, keep those values under control. It's very important. All right, so that looks pretty nice. Let's do some more light effects, just flipped my canvas here. Let's do a little bit of vignetting. So let's do a little bit more darkening in the corner areas. So I'll just take my Burn tool and set it to midtones. Again, the midtones is the safest range to play with. So I'll just darken this, just darken here, and I might want to look in values while I'm doing this just so that I have better control. So this is where there would be a lack of light on that side. So I'm just darkening it there. But of course, we have bounced light from the sky and stuff, so we got to keep some information in there. Okay, it looks quite good, and maybe this one here needs a little bit of brightening, again and the midtones on this side. So we'll just brighten that up a little. It's maybe a bit too much. Try to keep it subtle. Maybe we can darken the tops a bit. That always reads nicely, and here, we almost get a pure silhouette because the light is right behind it so that when it shines in our eyes, we'll disable our vision in terms of seeing details. So, basically, when you look directly at light, whatever's in front of it, it sort of becomes a silhouette because your eyes trying to adjust to the exposure, making things that would otherwise be well-illuminated to dark in order to compensate for the bright color. So you don't need to put much detail and information in there or at least not as much as in other parts where there's no back illumination or direct back illumination. Okay, so this is looking quite nice. I think maybe it sounds a bit too saturated, so I'll just bring that down a little, just a little bit. Okay. Maybe now, as the final part, we can just add some nice highlights. For that, we're going to use the color dodge mode, which is quite a nice other planning mode to use because we've been using the linear dodge, we're going to use the color dodge now. So, let's see. So for example usually, when you have highlights like specular highlights from light source, you tend to get them sort of on a vertical line with the light source. So, this here would be our area of interest where we want to put the most highlights. So, just to demonstrate it, I'll copy this layer, and I'm going to turn it black. Okay? So, it's completely black now, and then I'll set it to color dodge, and then I'll reset my colors here so I've got black and white and basically with a brush now when I paint white. I'm color dodging, and when I paint black on a normal mode obviously, I'm taking it away again. So, that's just a nice way of painting light. So, let's try to just maybe add some interesting highlights here. Okay. Not too much. Try to keep it subtle and you might want to colorize it afterwards but maybe not just yet. Let's do the same for this one here. So I make it black. There we go. Set it to color dodge and of course the transparency needs to be locked, and now we can just paint in here. If it's too much we can always bring down the opacity because as you can see it's too much. You wouldn't get such a bright illumination from that sun. So, I'll just bring it down a little. It just to add a little bit of punch there, just a little and maybe you want to colorize it so that we actually get more of a warmer kind of color, and just take it away where it feels like it doesn't belong. You can also just use the lasso tool if you want to only apply to certain areas. Like that. It's another way of painting light, and try not to overdo it. Try to stay subtle and again just looking in the navigator can always help you get a sort of a different look on it or just zooming out. I think it was a little bit too much because the sun's actually kind of gone already. So you wouldn't really get that much direct illumination. But is just to add a tiny little bit you see a tiny little bit of punch there. That's just quite nice and it looks like we have a little rock spot here. Okay. Let's just get rid of that. If we turn off this layer, we can now just go in and do some more detailing. This is really sort of the end of the process of the image because this is endless and this is completely up to you for how long you want to do this, because now you can just go in and color pick from all the colors that are there. So, you've pretty much got every color you need. You can just color pick and just detail as long as you want to. The reason that I've split up the detailing phase in brushed detailing, textured detailing, and then lighting like we're doing now, is because a nice way to continue after this point is to repeat that cycle. So, I'm going in and I'm doing brushed details now, as you can see, and then maybe next I'll go in and I'll add some more photo details. So, I'll copy this and maybe stick it in there, maybe set that to a lightening or something and bring it down. Okay. So, see it got another photo texture and then I go back to lighting and brush detailing, and so on. So, you can just keep doing this until you're happy, and you can keep doing the lighting effects as well as long as you need to. So, maybe let's say that we want to add some very specific highlights here. Now maybe there's some structure here catching the light. Always be sure to turn off the flare layer because when you color pick, it will be influenced by that and you'll get the wrong value. So, you got to turn it off once in a while, and just always remember your light source where it's coming from, so that when you apply highlights they look like they're coming from the right direction. Otherwise it will totally kill the lighting or the illusion of lighting. So, see here I'm actually doing the underside because if our light source is here then that's where I would hit. See that works quite well and just be subtle with it. Okay. So, we've got a pretty nice and pretty finished image. So, in the next lesson, the final lesson actually, I'm just going to go over sort of everything that we've been through, talk a little bit more, and I'm actually going to do a tiny bit more work on this but I'm only going to be doing the last three steps of this unit that you saw and just repeating them over like I said in that order just you know, add a bit more photo texture, add a bit more light, paint a little more details and so on and so on. I'll show you the progress of that. It's basically just repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, until you're happy with the results because everything is actually here right now. It's up to you how much time you want to spend detailing it more and more. Okay. So, let's move on to the final lesson. 10. Final Polish: Okay. Welcome to the final lesson. I'm just going to go over a few things in this lesson, sort of recap everything that we've learned today. I'm also going to show you a little bit more progress that I've done on the image. So, this is what we ended up with in the last lesson without the flare actually, I've taken it out here just to show you better. Then, by repeating the three steps of the last unit, this is my next version. So, basically, you can see that I've applied the same but I've just added a little bit more detail everywhere, see I added some plants here, I've added some hanging, I don't know mass or something here, I've added some little spikes here. Basically, the thing that you have to keep in mind and most is that you always apply your shape language. In my case, the corals. And that's just all it comes down to really. See, you can see that here I've added these coral-like things on top, it's just to give it a little bit more definition and really polish that work. I've got another step and this is the next one. See, I've done again a new lighting layer, so I've painted in the sun with the same technique as before. Just a linear Add Layer with a Linear Dodge brush, just painting with around brush the sun and that way we can add some more extra highlights, as you can see, everywhere. So, here are some more little highlights with dodge technique that I showed you. So yeah, I think this is enough for this image. So, you can sort of see the final steps and how you should repeat them. But, as a final bonus I actually want to do one more thing to this image and I'll do that after we just sort of recap everything that we've done. So, hope you guys remember more or less how we started this where we were just collecting references. As I said before, I would like you now to get your own references and to get your own juxtaposition references so try something unique like what I've done here with the corals try something else and try maybe putting it in a different environment. Maybe a forest or an island. Whatever you think would be nice. Then like I showed you will go you go into the sketching phase and the thumbnails in black and white and then slowly start working out the shapes and detailing up until you get this image. Of course that's easier said than done. But if you follow the steps along and just practice you should you should be able to get there. Just watch it over if you if you've missed something. But I think here this is a pretty straightforward process and the workflow that we applied is really a safe way of doing it. You almost can go wrong because you're laying down the most important things in the beginning of the creation process and that's what really counts. All this sort of texturing and little details that's so good but the foundation of your image. The real impression that we get. That's mostly what here in the thumbnail. That is actually decided in the early phases. So, that's something that you should really try to remember with every piece that you make. Okay. So, that was just a quick sort of overview of everything we've done. Now, I just want to add one more thing to this image to make it even cooler and that is just. I'm just going to create new layer, and it's just adding some sort of bio luminescence to these corals. Just to give it another extra little magical touch. So, we'll use the same technique as before, I'm just going to create a layer set it to Linear Dodge and I'll take care your brush and set that to Linear Dodge as well. Okay. I'll just take a pretty basic drawing brush. Okay. I'll pick yeah maybe I'll pick this sort of green cyan color. I want to pick something that is sort of the opposite of the warm hues that we have here, so you can see that more of a cool color and I've got a lot of warm colors here. This is going to make it pop out. What I'm going to do is I'm just going to paint in the dark areas of my image. I'm going to paint like a sort of a faintly bioluminescent thing that's going on. You can see in the Navigator that that's really adding like a cool little touch. I will try to keep it a bit subtle, I'll not go too far with it. We don't want it to draw too much attention but it's just add to like a little bit of extra bit of magic to the image and let's keep the scale in mind, so here I'll make them a bit smaller and then here on this big one we can make them larger obviously and just sort of you erase away wherever we don't think we needed. If we press to really soften our tablet, we can also of course do some lighting effects of the light from this bioluminescence that sort of bouncing on our objects. Maybe I can add some here and again I'm trying to think about that shape language, very important. Okay. Just flip the canvas, two bit more work, and I'm trying to find that balance of leaving areas open and filling areas in so that we doesn't get too busy. Doesn't get too sparse either. Sort of try to find the nice balance between those two and then if you're happy with that maybe you can just add like a little bit of glow to it here and there. All right. So, that's start to look pretty cool. Perhaps we can apply a little, just a little bit here. Again, I'm sort of following the shape of what I've already got and I want this to be quite small here. If you need any reference, you can look at things like fins or some anatomy references or maybe rivers or things like that. You can find the sort of fractal type shapes everywhere in nature. So, if you have trouble painting it you can maybe look up some references of that first. Okay. So, I think I'm going to wrap it up maybe it's a bit too much here, and just continue to do that until you are happy. Add that fine a little punch to the image and we're done. So yeah, this is our final image. So, I hope you guys enjoyed this class that you learned some new techniques and that you can apply this workflow to your own work. So, you go out there and make it cool and mostly original landscape with things that you've learned today. I hope sort of got some ideas flowing in your head so that you could come up with something yourself and I'd be really happy to see what you guys make. So, thanks for watching this class and see you next time. Bye. 11. More Creative Classes on Skillshare: