BLUE SABER - Saber Series pt 1
"Blue Saber" 2018
Part 1 - Blue Saber
I wanted to practice lighting effects, thin digital inking, and texture rendering from a flat hue (as opposed to my usual method of overlaying a color layer over monochrome), so to accomplish this, I created the Saber Series: illustrations of Star Wars-inspired black warriors of various moral alignments and armed with unique lightsabers. 
To begin the series, I created 12 sketches (6 male & 6 female) and assigned good and evil alignments. I choose this pose for the good female character. Without actually using a visual reference, I designed her outfit based upon Rey's from The Force Awakens.
In Corel Painter, the contour lines were drawn with the Sharp Colored Pencil tool and then set to Multiply blending mode, and a layer of color was set underneath. Starting with the skin (the most underlying layer of any character), I used the Detail Airbrush and Just Add Water tools. As I worked, I experimented with different airbrush tools and really loved the results I got with the Digital Soft Velocity Airbrush. It works really well with smoothing skin in conjunction with the Grainy Water blender.
Her arms, hands, and eyes are rendered and the remaining colors are chosen.
The hair was made by filling the shapes with jet black, adding degrees of dark grey for shine, and several rapid streaks of lighter gray for texture. Her hair ornaments are colored in and shaded, and then work begins on the clothing: a skintight, shiny bodysuit accented with a beige tunic. I imagine the bodysuit having the reflective properties of slightly-oiled polyester with the gray area on the leg being more metallic. (It was also during this step that, while I'm creating with color as opposed to my usual style of monochrome first, I still need to use a grey background to coordinate luminosity throughout the process.)
Using subtle, repetitive swipes of the Digital Soft Velocity Airbrush tool, I shaded in the tunic and waistband.
The gloves, boots, and shield were rendered using the Detailed Airbrush and Just Add Water tools.
With the lightsaber hilt, face tattoo, and jewelry colored and other minor corrections made, I used a layer mask to remove excess. From here, the file was transferred to Photoshop. A quick black and grey gradient was added for background to be detailed later. The Burn and Dodge tools enhance the contrast and saturation of certain areas of the character.
A separate layer is created for the light blade, which is pure #FFFFFF white with a subtle white Outer Glow effect, and then flattened to add a blue Outer Glow effect. A layer with the Linear Light blending option is drawn with the same blue for reflecting off of the character (with the same technique used later for the light on the wall). Additional details and grunge and smoke effects are added to the back and foreground to add depth to the scene. For the shadow, the character was copied with its layers flattened and rendered completely black with a Levels adjustment, and then scaled with its opacity changed. Finally, the character is turned into a Smart Object with a Gaussian Blur filter applied. To limit its effect, I painted particular areas with a mask. 

Some minor graphic design is added to create the final poster, available in the Life Forever Shop
© DeForrest / Life Forever
BLUE SABER - Saber Series pt 1
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BLUE SABER - Saber Series pt 1

A series of Star Wars-inspired black characters. Part 1 features the Blue Saber warrior.
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Published:

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