The second of three tutorials originally created by Alex Ruiz, reworked and reworded for this blog by Lloyd Harvey.
1) Starting off in Photoshop with a greyscale sketch, Alex worked in some details on the large left structure and generally got the composition down as well as working out some of the tonal values. Here, the slanted take of the landscape helps to create diagonal lines which helps steer the viewer’s eyes across the picture. A focal point is used in the mid foreground that is slightly darker than its surroundings which creates contrast and stands out. Also, it adheres to that magic rule of thirds as it is placed roughly a third in from the right.
2) A harmonious colour wash is added on a new layer with Overlay set. As most of the picture is set in shadow, cool blue tones are used to contrast against what appears to be a setting sun sky. The focal structure of the foreground is developed and added to using custom made shapes. As the complex looking structure is the main focal point at this stage, Alex would have wanted it to hold attention longer and a way of doing this is to detail your focal points more than other parts of the painting.
3) The canvas area is extended to make the scene take on a more epic scale and the focal point now sits just off centre which works well. Design is added to the ground around the structure to emphasise its importance. The foreground is now worked but tones are kept dark to help frame the image and help draw viewers in. The centre structure is detailed further and given some shape and depth, making it more interesting.
4) The detailing on the floor is faded slightly as not to clash with the main focal point. Blue lights are added to create contrast and stand out which makes it the first thing you look at. The picture is nearing completion and time is now spent detailing the surroundings but not to a degree where they steal focus.
5) Tiny figures are added at the base of the structure to create scale and in the sky, numerous ships are added to create implied movement in the piece. The sky also has been made more intense in colour and the ground around the focal point has been rendered in a way to reflect the structure and the light. This gives the ground a glass like look and adds interest to the piece.
For more of Alex's work, go to his website.
Also see www.shrunkenheaddesign.co.uk