Battle of the Elements

Recently I’ve been watching some inspiring YouTube videos produced by Feng Zhu Design (School, in Singapore). There’s a few videos about his method of setting up MMORPG environs and (digitally) painting fantasy characters. The bit that inspired me (more than his excessive use of the Chalk Brush in PS (I normally use the Soft Round Airbrush)) was the speed at which he would work. All things considered, he works on very large files, but that reduces down a fair bit once he starts detailing – similar to my own method, but I usually spend a lot of time over detailing sections.

He also makes the comment to keep the overall image at percentile stages of completion, in order to facilitate the design schedule. This way each image can be sent on to the production team to “finish” instead of getting int he trap of finishing your own work.

Here’s something I threw together in under 3 hours. It’s rough but finished enough to convey the intent of the battle.


The rough sketch just in brush work – no line. Here I also adjusted the Saturation/Lightness of parts for perspective and depth.


Semi detailing each section to get a better feel for the characters. At this point I have no idea what they are supposed to look like. Here’s my fat druid.


There wasn’t really a progress screen capture of the Mage cause i went into a detailing-zone mindset. Having said this, the reduced image here is still rough. He’s a manipulator of Frost and Fire.


Here’s a more refined image of the Phoenix Fireball and the Druid with his Elemental Monster in the background. The ground was originally meant to be more solid, but I seem to have found them in a body of water as I was painting.



And the final image in all it’s glory. Even with the original adjustment of Hue/Saturation, I had to push it back a bit more to establish depth. I didn’t want it to take 3 hours, but it did due to fiddling with details. I’m finding the longer I work on the Cintiq these days, the more my neck/back aches due to the poor posturing.


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