To the Sky - Walkthrough

One of my last big pieces from 2017! :D Hope ya'll had a great year, or at least, things are okay <3 I wanted to talk a bit more about this piece in detail, since I didn't really do so during the stream (well, I did a little) or the subsequent time lapse video (at bottom).

So let's break this baby down!

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I start off with a thumbnail to map out my idea. Don't worry about details, if things are messy, that's okay. The important thing is that you understand it.

For thumbnails, you'll want these rather small. I'd advise doing a few and play around with your options. Even if you like the first one, you never know if you might come up with something better. ;)

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I lay down the flat colors/gradients. I used a few references to get an idea of what things would look like at night. (ie the sky and mountains) Best not to guess if you're wanting things to look as accurate as possible :)

 My reference from  Pixabay . I use it as a guide for my own drawing. Since this is my first time digitally painting a galaxy, a reference makes a huge difference!

My reference from Pixabay. I use it as a guide for my own drawing. Since this is my first time digitally painting a galaxy, a reference makes a huge difference!

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Now I start filling in the sky, doing my best to work back to front. (As in, what is behind all the details I see in the reference? Build from the ground up.) I'm being messy with the colors since I'll blur it later. I mostly just want to make sure everything is in the right place.

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I blur out the background (Gaussian Blur tool) so everything is smooth. I just needed a back drop to lay the details on top of. Basically covering the "white" of the canvas.

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Bit of a jump here, feel free to watch the video below to get more of an idea of what I'm doing. Basically I'm just doing my best to follow the reference, placing color best I can in the right spots, trying to add in some texture with a cloudy/messy brush. Since I'm working digitally, I can take advantages of layers, and add things behind what I've done if necessary.

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Continuing on with the details. Adding more clouds, blending, etc. A lot of the styles and methods were either made up on the spot, or just reworking my usual methods to try and make this work. Again, this is a first for me, so it's a lot of trial and error.

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This is where things start to get more fun! Adding in more contrast with lighter lights and darker darks. A quick way to do this would be using overlay/soft light layers. Be sure to check your values often by changing your artwork into greyscale!

 Bit of a jump here, but I already have a tutorial on how to do stars  here ! It's the same exact method, minus the final blur/glow step.&nbsp;Only difference is I duplicated and shrank some down to add more variety and fill in more space. I also used a layer mask to vary up the brightness and to help add a bit of depth. (Not all stars shine as brightly as another. Having variety makes it more realistic!)

Bit of a jump here, but I already have a tutorial on how to do stars here! It's the same exact method, minus the final blur/glow step. Only difference is I duplicated and shrank some down to add more variety and fill in more space. I also used a layer mask to vary up the brightness and to help add a bit of depth. (Not all stars shine as brightly as another. Having variety makes it more realistic!)

 Last step! I played with the values, increased my contrast, added in some smaller clouds for that little extra bit of punch, and used some overlay layers to really kick up the colors!

Last step! I played with the values, increased my contrast, added in some smaller clouds for that little extra bit of punch, and used some overlay layers to really kick up the colors!

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Watch the creation from start to finish in this time lapse video!

And that's it for this fellah! Hopefully you found some of these tips helpful.

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