This is another of those illustrations to practice, I wanted to make a forest environment, with nothing else. But, as always, I end up drawing characters and since I do them I want them to tell something.
I have not decided on what story to tell, so I propose two final images and each one imagine what happens here :)
And now the step by step, has not changed much ... I usually follow the same process :)
I wanted to give the image a cinematic format, I put the black bands that appear at the top and bottom ends so the first thing I did was to establish that format. I created a grid to frame the landscape and started to sketch.
I wanted curved trees that framed a path in the middle of the forest, I also wanted the path to have more light than the sides of the forest, to make it look deeper. The objective is to play with the depth, with the lights, the shadows and how the set of everything influences the colors of each layer. I created 4 levels of depth, the bottom, the trees that are closer and two layers of intermediate trees more.
In the sketch you can see the attempt to draw a character: D
I continued filling in the base colors for each stage layer. I also use textured brushes but this time, I also used brushes that make a dot effect that I modified to look like leaves. I also used a brush that makes quite "broken" and slanted strokes and another that creates a pattern of leaves. I don't want to abuse the brushes that create the motive that I want as such because, to practice, I'm interested in finding other resources, even so I think they are very useful, especially when the illustration you are creating is for a job and is "for yesterday" :D
In the image below I have left the first level worked so that you can see the difference with the back layers that still only maintain the base colors.
(The bear has already appeared, there was no going back, character we are going to draw, yes or yes!)
I added the rest of the details to the other levels, I tried not to go through this, I usually get lost in details and here it was important to reduce them the farther the level is, one resource that I used for this was to try not to use the Photoshop zoom, in that way , at a distance I would see the drawing in general and could create the effect of each part with less detail, but still, being effective.
(Look at the bear, the light that crosses the leaves of the trees is already lit. In the end, the bear was another excuse to practice creating an effect of light / shadow / detail with the least possible strokes).
When I had all this, I used a Photoshop resource that I liked a lot, lens blur (can anyone think of another to achieve the same?), I applied a different amount of blur to each level, the bear retains the original focus but I did blur around the forest (with the blur tool) so that the bear was the centerpiece of the environment.
Then I started with the combination of stronger lights and shadows, I wanted a warm light to illuminate the path that crosses this forest so leafy.
Since I already had a character and I took care of it and it was useful, I thought that by itself it did not explain anything, so I thought that I could find something or someone along the way to create a dialogue. I drew another bear that approaches in the opposite direction.
I also had to apply a blur to this bear so that it was in accordance with the layer to which it belongs, I also tried to make the minimum possible strokes.
Finally I painted a few rays of sun with a spray brush that comes by default in Photoshop, I also defocused it with the Blur tool, and created a more atmospheric effect by putting a layer of dots of different intensities of yellow and white with the layer mode " Overlay "(with another specific brush, which facilitated it a lot).
And as a final layer for everything I made a layer of "noise" plus a slight blur to give it a grainy effect.
The dialogue with the other bear maybe was not deep enough, so a hunter appeared:
I leave you some extended details :)
I'm very happy with the "little" work I did in the bear!
And the two final versions.
Which one do you like the most? What does each one tell you? :)