December 11th Update
Cheers world. It's Vidal. I'm here to talk more art.
Recently we finished one of the menu graphics. Here's the final painting.
The prompt for this was "Grobo standing on a building, overlooking Old Town." I knew from this that I wanted a pretty landscape with a silhouetted foreground. Having that basic compositional idea in place, I started off by dropping in some grayscale values to separate the background and middleground. I planned to paint out these two areas first, and paint the silhouette last.
With that in place, I threw in an adjustment layer. The lights became the yellow sky and the darker grays became the orange/reddish buildings. At this point it was important to determine the major light source, so I decided that the light comes from the horizon, through the cloudy smoke of the sky.
One principle that I'm working on improving in my painting is the balance of cool and warm tones. Any good color composition has play between cool and warm colors with a wide range of subtlety. With that in mind, and with a light source determined, I painted in where the light hits the buildings as a yellow orange, going very warm. I also added some grays in the center and bottom of the building. These grays look cool against the rest of the colors.
At this point I've determined my shapes and need to add in some variety and detail. I upped the contrast by layering dark colors in the areas farthest from the light. At this point I noticed the painting was too warm, so I added in some more cool grays. I also started to break up the shapes of the buildings by adding some interesting bits.
Here I continued to add in areas of interest. I detailed one of the buildings with gray glass windows and added some signs or lights to the other buildings. I'm still unhappy with how warm the painting is, so I layered in a bit of warm purple. This helps the transition from the very warm sky and light to the cool grays to be a bit smoother.
I'm about done adding detail to the buildings at this point. I began to shape in the foreground and realized that there was too much contrast between the middle and background (This is what I get for drawing the middle and background without blocking in the silhouette first). In order to mess around with the contrast, I used a combination of full color layers at very low opacity (say, 10%) and Photoshop's contrast slider.
With a good value range in place, I painted in Grobo and the building he's on. I got some help from Naomi, who drew in the outline of the character silhouette. This ensured the silhouette is consistent with the character design. Note how I'm still using cool grays in the shadows and warm orange/yellows in the highlights.
All that remained was to refine Grobo's details. I added in the light from his shoulderplates, a bit of bounce light, and I softened the colors around him to match the atmosphere of the rest of the painting. Here's the final piece again.
And that's that. Hope you found this interesting. Stick around for more information on the game’s progress next month.