Photoshop painting tutorial Medusa concept art. This tutorial is a continuation from the concept art tutorial drawing Medusa that I did earlier. So If you want to know how I get the early stage of the conceptual sketch you can click on the link. This post we will talk about my digital painting process using Photoshop to create an character concept illustration, Medusa. I want to emphasis on lighting, style and mood on this one. Though before I get to the strong mood and style, I have to get the three basic principle of painting right. Or at least at the best of what I can do at this moment. Those three things are 1) correct drawing, 2) correct value or lighting and 3) edges. If you can just get these three things down, you will be flying in painting process. Color is a totally different subject onto itself.
I did not have any lighting reference for this image. But I use combination of reference material for face, snake, bow, jewelry, and cave. I usually gather all the element I need from internet. We have to know precisely what are we painting to get the most accurate depiction of the conceptual art we are making.
Remember that each tutorial on the blog will talk about different element or subject I deal with in painting. I cannot cover all the base on each painting so each time I usually focus on different angles or focus.
Below are the digital painting process continue from the sketch of Medusa I previously did. Now we are going to paint over the sketch. Step one, I have the original sketch of Medusa show in the first panel. Step two, I used default soft round brushes around 50%-70% opacity and paint on Overlay layer on top of the original. If you want to know more about how overlay works, go to Photoshop painting tutorial Overlay mode. Step three, once I have the color base choice for my image, then I begin to clean up my image and make light, shadow and edges more clear. See panel 3, notice light and shadow on the snakes? Remember to make clear and keep it simple. Do not put too many value, a few range of value can go a long way.
Step four, I added some scale textures onto the snakes then decide to make her body blue. Again, I use overlay mode to get the color right. I also added jewelry, bow and make the light part and shadow part more clear. Step five, I add pattern design to her body. Step six, I add fog and lighting direction from the environment. If you want to know more in detail, you can watch any of my premium video tutorials. The process are very similar, but they range from basic to lighting on illustration.
After I finished the images from step six, I realized that the lighting is probably too bright for the over all mood my client wants. So now I am trying to make it a bit more menacing and mysterious using the cooler darker scene. Step seven, I change the surround color toward blue, but at this point it still stay at green. Step eight, I use color mode and paint in dark blue color to get the environment more blue, but I still keep the rim light red. I then add more light and shadow onto her tail along with darker patterns on her scales.
Below is a final character concept illustration Medusa.
I hope you enjoy the tutorial.