I thought I might share with you the process of making the latest illustration in hope that you might have different suggestions of how to approach such complex pieces. So, I'll walk you through the steps, in case you care to read:
1. This is one of five thumbnails picked which, strangely, was by far the worst in the bunch.
2. I decided to wash this whole scene with bright sunlight, having some retro-futurism in mind. So far, I am using the standard hard round brush in order to get the composition and design as quick as possible.
3. Picking bright colours will hep sell the idea of a sunny day even better. This time, I grab a textured round brush and paint straight on top of b&w by picking the local value and moving slider to a desired hue/saturation. I know I could have colorised the whole thing but it takes too much time messing around layers, etc. Design wise, I try to make the rider look a bit like an ancient samurai.
4. Boom! The mech takes too much attention and I need to put the character in focus. Ouch! But I've got to do it, so I'm redesigning the mech, while keeping his head as it is, only smaller. Here I used a square brush which has a little bit of texture, it's a great designing tool.
5. Reinforcing the brightness through design elements on the Rider and starting to indicate the background.
6. This is the most time-consuming part of the process: taking care of the mech. I took me a whole day just to design and render his left leg and chest!
7. Dropping in some photo textures and tightening details. I practically never use photo textures but I think that in this case, they really improved my piece. I used some on mech's biceps and hips, and in the background. And while I'm writing this, I feel guilty as if I cheated. Maybe I did a little;)
8. E voila! No, no... There was no such moment. It took me another couple of days to get here. The thing that took most of that time was spent in reiterating Rider's costume. At the end, I pushed more bright values and saturation and called it done.
Please feel free to throw eggs on me if you think I might be doing something wrong in any shape or form. I am quite happy about the fact that I actually spent so much time on a piece without losing focus.