Here's some annotated steps for the mermaid fairy picture! I also included some 100% size crops to show how most of the stuff is really just a couple of brushstrokes =0
To the moral police: Yeah I know there's some boobs but I upload this to help beginners, most of which are minors, so if you flag this you basically say prudity is more important than helping out kids.
Should've uploaded this sooner, had it on my blog and thought I shouldn't spam dA so much, but since some people seem to have their heads up their butt all the way up to the thorax, here goes another step by step!
And even though some people (?) seem to think the maximum somebody can do from imagination is stick figures, there was no refs, textures or 3D involved in this. If there was, it wouldn't look so flat, ffs, if someone thinks that even MY stuff is impossible, what would they think about people who are actually GOOD at painting? :I
Please forgive me for sounding a bit bitter here, it's just that I don't understand how some always open their mouth so much wider than their knowledge supports.
More shit (and studies! No reference for this one doesn't mean I don't study!) on my blog! [link]
Pretty selfexplaining I think! Steps 1 and 3 are just visualization, not part of the actual process, meaning, I did the linedrawing from scratch, not over the thumb, and started the painting from the blank canvas again (except for the lines) after doing the color thumb to get an idea of how I wanted the values and lighting to be and all that. This painting went really smoothly because I had a clear idea of it in my head beforehand. I used a ton of layers to keep all the elements separate, over a 100 in total I think, which is only really a good idea if you have the stuff planned out D: In other cases I'd just go and mess around with a painting on a single layer and kind of see what emerges, but this time I tried a different approach. Polygon lasso and locking transparency keeps the edges straight and clean, and after the block-in it's all just rendering stuff out, going over the whole painting to make stuff fit together, and then putting effect stuff on top. Since I knew from the beginning that I wanted glowy lighting like this, I could just go and render everything out without the smoke being there and then just put it in in the end.
The details are like it says 100% zoom, I worked really small this time because of all the layers, the whole image is only like 4k tall.