RED LIGHTNING - Saber Series pt 4
"Red Lightning" 2018
Part 4 - Red Lightning
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 and outfit for the evil male character.
In Corel Painter, the contour lines were drawn with the Sharp Colored Pencil tool and then set to Multiply blending mode, and a layer for color was set underneath.
Starting with the skin (the most underlying layer of any character), I used the Detail Airbrush, Just Add Water, and Digital Soft Velocity Airbrush. They work really well with smoothing skin in conjunction with the Grainy Water blender. The muscles were defined by airbrushing sections of lighter color with richer saturation, then streaking even lighter strokes for muscle fibers, and finally lightly blurring and blending those same areas where necessary. The eyes were rendered with various shades of orange and yellow, and the beard with dark and desaturated blue.
The metallic textures were created with multiple strokes of varying saturations and shades and/or rapid strokes of blender tools. The pants were rendered with the Digital Soft Velocity Airbrush and Just Add Water tools. Once the color layer is completed and minor corrections made, I used a layer mask to remove excess. From here, the file was transferred to Photoshop. 
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, flattened to add a red Outer Glow effect. A layer with the Linear Light blending option is drawn with the same red for reflecting off of the character. The background was rendered with a variety of gradient layers and light strokes of smoke. Electric bolts were drawn with an opacity and size-varying brush according to pressure sensitivity, and the bulb on the saber's hilt was sandwiched between glowing layers. Finally, the character is turned into a Smart Object with a Gaussian Blur filter applied. To limit its strength, 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
RED LIGHTNING - Saber Series pt 4
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RED LIGHTNING - Saber Series pt 4

A series of Star Wars-inspired black characters. Part 4 features the Red Lightning villain.
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