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Learn to paint mecha girls

By Clonerh Kimura
Web: Open Site
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Date Added: 2nd January 2015
Software used:
Photoshop

Detailing the arms

The mechanical arms were another difficult part. First of all, because it was the only thing that breaks the ilustration, since it doesn't seem to be part of the character itself and I had to do everything possible to make the character look comfortable wearing them. The other problem was making those arms look functional and with a real purpose, but that last part wasn't very important as long as they looked good.

I started by making a clean base without textures, only light and shadow. With the base ready, I added the backlight and some aging marks and scratches to make them look like they've been worn. These are only details to make them look visually better, but they also help to add a background story to our character.

2013_tid_fig09.jpg
Adding some lighting and aging marks to the arms create a background story

Extra details

I was then very close to the final result of the character which was almost totally done. This image shows close ups to some extra details that I added. Some of those are personal references but others are references to Japanese anime – I'm sure that some of you will recognize some of them. I also added more detail to her face just to make the character exactly like I wanted it.

2013_tid_fig10a.jpg
Some of the extra details added to the character in the final stages

Altering the background

The only thing that I didn't like was the background, despite not wanting anything complicated. The truth is that at this point it looked terrible. So I decided to make the background again, adding some lighting effects which I will quickly try to explain.

First I started with a dark background and added white lines over it – these were basically the spotlight with a Hard brush. Over those lines I added the halo of light with a blue and Smooth brush in Screen mode. To those ugly lines I added a Motion Blur to make them lose definition, and then added a Gaussian blur. Finally, I pasted a texture of dirty glass in black-and-white over a layer in Color Dodge mode, which gave the effect of a dirty lens.

"With experience and practice I managed to simplify a lot of processes to get a good result in a short amount of time”

2013_tid_fig11a.jpg
Refining the background more by adding dynamic lighting effects


2013_tid_fig11b.jpg
Refining the background more by adding dynamic lighting effects

Final touches

The piece was then done, so it wasn't necessary to add anything else to our character or the background. I just added some final touches. I added a bit of blur in some areas and modified the levels and contrast a little, because the picture looked a bit opaque.

I'm not sure how many hours I had invested on this illustration but they were surely less than you'd imagine – with experience and practice I managed to simplify a lot of processes to get a good result in a short amount of time. With all of that said and done though, I'm still looking to improve my skills and trying to learn something new every day.

2013_tid_fig12.jpg
The final image...



 
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