A breakdown of my Village Invasion fight scene

Hey, so here's some snapshots to show the basic process of a digital picture I created recently, thought I'd post it here in the hopes of helping someone's artmaking. I personally love seeing other people's techniques!

Ya might like to click the 'view full size' button to see larger details.

This image was drawn entirely in Photoshop using a Wacom.

• Top image - The initial rough concept, sorting out staging, lighting idea and basic tonal structure of the piece.

• Second Image - So next step, I decided on a blue nighttime background colour (it's a night scene), and brushed that in on its own layer. Then you'll see that I made a greyscale flat layer for each character; I use different colouring layers for each character, because I just find it easier to manipulate later if I do it that way.

• Third Image - Next I added the moon in the top right, and the rough flames from the exploded tank. If I add these early on, it helps me to remember where my lighting is coming from, and the colour and intensity.

Next, I use those greyscale flat layers I created earlier to paint in the local colours for each character. By 'local colours', I just mean the original colour and shading of the character without any external lighting such as highlights, bounce light, darker shadows or any of that extra stuff. I then added a few details to the background (again on their own layers); some hut shapes and some ground texture, just because I felt like it was a good time to add them in, no other reason really.

• Fourth Image - Here's where I started going nuts and adding all sorts of effects and environment details; smoke, mist, fire details, posts etc.Once again, I add these elements on separate layers. A lot of the time I'll use photos; for example, for some of the detail in the fire I'll import a photo of some flames and then manipulate it; change the hues, muck around with the blending mode and opacity, puppet warp it to change the shape, that sort of thing. Big time saver rather than trying to paint every little flame. At this point I also painted the cut off lizard's head in the bottom left corner.

• Fifth Image - final steps. I added the lighting on the characters, once again on separate layers, using a combo of layer blending modes; mostly 'overlay' and 'colour dodge' modes for highlights, and 'multiply' mode for shadows. Then some final texturing and effects; sparks from the fire, some 'noise' and grime to give the image some more grit and atmosphere, then just messing around a bit with tweaking layers.


This is just a breakdown of my process, and is not a tutorial, however I'm wondering whether anyone would be interested if I made a much more in-depth tutorial video where I show every step of my process in extreme depth. If I made it and put it on Gumroad for people to purchase, would anyone be interested? I've purchased a few tutorials myself from Gumroad, and while I've been mostly satisfied with them, I've found myself wishing that each tutorial had been more in depth and hadn't skipped over explaining some crucial steps and technique. So I'd like to make my own, where I go as much into every detail as I possibly can, including everything from brushes I use, layers, lighting...everything. I'm definitely not as talented as a whole bunch of other artists out there, but I'm a part-time teacher and so I reckon I can make a tutorial that might fill the gaps where other tutorials forget to include things. What do you reckon; anyone keen for that?

Cheers, hope you like the picture!

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  • Nice work ! Matt!

  • This is beautiful work, Matt. Thanks for sharing your process!

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