Now, I kinda thought that #1 was cool after looking at all of these, so i decided to go with that one and continue working on it. I copied the part of the thumbnails layer, created a new document about 2000 pixels wide and pasted in the thumbnail. This is how it looks now in its own document:
I will now take and refine this one and take it into a presentable state. For this tutorial, I won’t spend that much time on it, but I end up spending 40 minutes extra on it. Here is the PSD for this painting with the following steps.
The Process After Thumbnailing
These are the steps in the process:
I start off by just cleaning up the edges around the painting to get a clear view of it.
After that, I start adding on texture in it. I use the texture & painting brushes in my brush pack. I get some more flow and detailing going in the rocks, always aware of the light source from the top/top-right. I also started painting in fog, atmospheric distance haze, cracks and added more interest into the landscape.
Then I do some quick color balance (hit cmd-B on Mac or ctrl-B on PC) and levels adjustments (hit cmd-L on Mac or ctrl-L on PC). I wanted to dim down the sky a bit, it was too bright. This is often the issue with having pure white as background, so make sure to dim your 100% whites down a bit.
There is quite a large jump between the second final and the final step, and that is all the rest that comes with painting – to add on more details, fix up the characters, some more atmospheric effects, lighting, and more. I am using a linear dodge layer here with some of my brushes from the brush pack, added an eagle, some feathers and epic-fied it. This tutorial won’t go in-depth in taking paintings to a full finish as that would require an entire course to go through – the important part in this exercise is the thumbnailing.
This tutorial is geared towards the exercise and workflow of making environment thumbnails, and not to epic-fy things (but do stay updated on the tutorials, articles and courses coming up on that).
This exercise is fantastic and fun to do. You get a flow going, you can mess up because it doesn’t matter – you’re not spending that much time on it and you’re practicing.
A tip is to check out environment concept art thumbnails from other artists on DeviantArt and Google Images, and you’ll find that most of them use a lot more values in their thumbnails, more details and such. I want to encourage you to start with only 4 values, and then progressing more into using more values, and more brushes. You will find that this is a fantastic exercise and you can do a lot more cool paintings in this very quick and fun way.
Hope this has been useful in any way, and if you have any questions or suggestions, post them in the comments section below. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Design Inner Circle!
Until next time, guys! Stay awesome. 🙂