Behind the Scenes at The View From Here

Fossfor takes us behind the scenes to show us how the artwork was constructed for our review of WE by John Dickinson ...

I had the basic idea for the composition in my head and then made some thumbnails in Photoshop to see what it could look like and chose the image on the left as it has better balance.

then I drew a large detailed sketch on paper with a blue col erase pencil and scanned it. It also got flipped along the way. I put the line art on the top layer set to Multiply, this allows you to preserve your line art and paint on a white layer underneath.

I often start off painting with the gradient tool set to Radial and use it to paint. This is a really fast way to get some colour down. For this piece I made selections of the cosmonaut, mountains, planet and sky and then made alphas or masks of each one on other layers for easier selecting and painting later on

Then I lay down the basics with a large round brush set at 75% opacity, when I'm more or less sure of my values I take the brush opacity down to 50% . I used to paint a lot with watercolors and use the same sort of technique here. I gradually use a smaller and smaller brush to do details

As a rule I'm not keen on using special brushes, here I just used a stippled brush shape for the stars and the airbrush for some texture on the planet. I also used various layers set to Screen and Overlay modes to get the halo around the planet.

For the visor on the helmet I made an alpha layer to use as a texture with the 'Lighting effects' filter to make the relection look more spherical as it was too flat. Then I flattened all the layers and noodled around a bit to get a more unified look.

To explore Fossfor's laboratory further click here


Michael J. Kannengieser said...

Thanks for a look into your creative process. I love artwork, and I appreciate the amount of hard work needed to produce a particular piece. Also fascinating is where an artist finds inspiration. Once again, thanks for sharing, and for your wonderful art!

Fossfor said...

thank you!
The book was very well written and evoked a lot of images for me so I enjoyed painting this piece.

Jane Turley said...

A wonderful illustration Fossfor - having read the book I think it captures the feel of the book very well indeed. Fab.

kathleenmaher said...

Thanks for laying out how it's done. I put up photoshop images that are hit and miss, because fiction on blogs looks too daunting without them. Usually, my attempts embarrass me but there's color and shape, something to fool the resistant reader.
I'm not an artist and don't imagine I can become one. But from this I can see how much talent and vision goes into the TVFH's artwork, which I've always admired. Possibly, I now admire it even more--hard to say--because I was already at maximum, fossfor.