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    A personal Sci-Fi project following my fascination with Mars and inspired by the book "Old Mars". Work in progress included.
A personal piece inspired by "Old Mars", a selection of short stories about the mythical Mars, the world of fantastic adventures, lost kingdoms, desert warriors and flying sailing vessel that never was but in our imagination.  
After the first rough pencil sketches I usually work on a color sketch a bit more elaborate. Not this time. I decided to build the 3D elements (Cheetah 3D) and compose them in Vue Studio where I played with settings for the sky to achieve something I liked for the image. So instead of a color sketch in Photoshop the key to build the palette for the rest of the image was the rendered sky in Vue. 
The rendered elements are brought into Photoshop for composition. I used here the rule of thirds (see at the bottom) which is my favourite. I frequently use this one for compositions that include multiple elements, symmetrical compositions for portrait or simpler images and the golden ratio for scenes that include lots of movement. This is not a rule though, things change depending on the image 
I texturized and painted over the sky and the architectural elements to eliminate the flat look of the crude 3D renders.
Then I added a lot of depth of field. In a setting like this one the atmosphere should look dense and hazy with lots of dust and particles. This is something that could have been achieved directly in 3D in Vue Studio manipulating the sky settings but that would make my render times longer and I also prefer to adjust that manually in Photoshop using color gradients and textured brushes that give me more control over the process. 
Sand dunes where achieved using photo references and painting in Photoshop
The same for the columns: part photos and part painting
Rule of thirds:
Thanks for watching!