Environment Illustration

The time has come to put all that perspective analysis into practice! To complete lesson #7, Chris gave us a treasure trove of new Photoshop brushes to help us draw immersive environments with correct perspective. A few brushes in the collection acted as vanishing points while others acted as grids, and using them in combination allowed us to build mesh-like skeletons of our settings. Although the assignment only required us to draw a scene using the new brushes, I wanted to do a piece incorporating everything I’ve learned in my class thus far, so I decided to go ahead and take my painting all the way to the finish.

That being said, you’ll have to trust me when I say I did in fact do “step 1.” I spent several hours scribbling thumbnails in my sketchbook, but I was too lazy to scan them. After I’d nailed down a composition, I gathered a whole Pinterest board full of reference images to help with the final drawing. That’s where Chris’s brush collection came in. I inserted my vanishing point and grid brushes over the top of the loose sketch, then used those grids as guides to draw in the bold, black lines.

Clock Tower Sketch

Once I was satisfied with the drawing, I did four color comps of the piece and hounded friends and family for opinions. The votes came back in favor of the first, blue and yellow, composition.

Clock Tower Color CompsThe final painting took about two weeks of off and on work. Because I wanted the audience to feel a sense of vertigo when looking down from the top of the clock tower, I actually added a slight curve to the tower to mimic lens distortion. I also threw in a hint of photo texture to the kite and its ribbons for an extra touch of realism.

Clock Tower

The final painting is 11 x 14″, so feel free to enlarge it to see all the fun details.

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