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calthyechild's avatar

After the Storm

This... took... hours. I don't know how many. The original, which I essentially used as a canvas, took a few, and this took more. When I started this, I made a hard decision and just took the original large version of the wallpaper this is based on and merged it, so I wouldn't be distracted with working with its very messy layers... so technically it became my canvas. This is the original. [link]

I wanted to make something I could print as a print.

So... it started with me doodling mountains to try improve the background. Then I made it larger and made clouds. And doodled a tree. And basically just kept adding stuff on and working it to be bigger and more... more... (facedesk) I do not believe I have ever spent this much time on a picture in my LIFE. THE TREE. ARGH. THE TREE. TOOK. SO. LOOONG. Okay, the mountains and clouds did too but they were a lot more fun... anyway, I'm done. I can't work on this anymore. I've spent hours on it and I can't keep looking at it or I'll break it. It looks fine as it is. Mm.

I'm pretty happy with it even though I did it when I should've been drawing other things.

So yeah, this is Falahil from Between Places, my fantasy webcomic, except with wings.

This picture is jammed with symbolism and story. The poppies were sheer inspiration. I'm very happy with how they came out, seeing as I've never drawn poppies before.

Wacom tablet, Photoshop CS2, some 8 hours. No fancy brushes or textures were abused this time, just a nice circle brush on a fairly hard setting for most of it, to try keep it as close to traditional media as possible.
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© 2009 - 2021 calthyechild
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Golgonooza's avatar
a picture for dreaming over. Love it!
vertimyst's avatar
I just want to say, I can imagine how hard that tree was to draw, but it shows you put a lot into it - it's easily my favorite part. :P +fav ;)
colbyfromage's avatar
Beautiful atmosphere :)
Morayah's avatar
D: i LOVE how you painted the trees. I'm doing a piece with some creepy type trees in it... do you have any tips?

the clouds are pretty badass too. :3 I'm really liking this :D
calthyechild's avatar
Oh, goodness, the tree. o_o That tree probably took as long to paint as the girl did. (I know, I'm supposed to be being encouraging here, aren't I?) And of course I can't find the tutorial I learned to do trees from... I'll see if I can describe the process myself.

Basically, the deal with tree branches is to approach them as if they have knees. Trees have knees. Whenever a branch comes out they'll be knobbly. Imagining that you're working digitally, you want to draw a rough tree with a solid brush... probably with size pressure sensitivity instead of opacity, and sort of build the general shape of the tree... the trunk, and spread the branches up and out, depending on what kind of tree you're drawing. I usually try to do a couple large branches and then some smaller ones branching off... no real pattern, I just mostly wing it.

Anyway, every branch and turn is like drawing a knee. Knobs. Trees are bumpy. There shouldn't be straight lines.

Once I was happy with the shape of the tree and tidied up the base unshaded sillhouette of it, I made a new layer overtop of that as a clipping mask (so that it wouldn't go away from the basic brown doodle). I did the shadows of the branches first, because that was based on the light direction and switched back to a bigger fuzzy brush to sort of get a general feel of the bright and dark places on the tree. Once I'd mapped out where the light was going to fall on the tree, I made a new layer over that (not on a clipping mask) and switched back to a hard (opacity sensitive instead of size sensitive) brush that was about the general size of the style of bark I wanted... and drew a ton of lines. Every line individually. It took FOREVER, but I couldn't find a bark brush that looked decent and didn't know how to approach making one that would do what I wanted. So really, the only suggestion I have would be if you're working digitally, set the brush to opacity pressure, and if you're using Photoshop, remember that [ and ] change the size of the brush and you can pick up colors with alt, and it might save some time to draw birch bark instead of creepy tree bark because birch bark just involves doing a few lines around and the odd larger black mark, whereas creepy tree bark involves drawing about a million lines.

I took a look at your gallery and since it seems you do draw digitally and with a similar style to me, here's my suggestion.

Approach bark like you would hair, if it was really short, straight hair. It's a whole bunch of lines that shade a tube. Just remember that trees are not straight, and they are bumpy, rough, and knobbly.

That's basically how I approached it... and that's not even touching on leaves! Hope that helps!

And thanks! I really appreciate the kind words. :D
Morayah's avatar
Oh wao! that was exactly what i needed! thank you so much for taking the time to write all this! this will really help me :3 :hug:
VanessaBettencourt's avatar
Gorgeous tree, congratulations
calthyechild's avatar
Thank you very much!
LAS-T's avatar
beautiful colours and atmosphere ^_^
calthyechild's avatar
Thanks! I'm glad people like this one because it took so long.
DeadWizard's avatar
Instant love fav obsess stare etc etc. So awesome. :omg:
calthyechild's avatar
Haha! Thanks! Your comment made my day. ^_^
DeadWizard's avatar
Yaaay, glad to hear it! :D
Kaboodleschmitt's avatar
This... Looks awesome. I don't how much. The original, which you essentially used as a canvas, was awesome, and this one's more awesome.

Loving that tree, the sky, and those flowers, especially ^_^
calthyechild's avatar
The flowers were sheer inspiration. Mmyep. Totally. I agree, it's more awesome than the original! Glad you like it. XD
mare-of-night's avatar
Lothlori-Diggums's avatar
I like the lighting, and the clouds. Mine end up looking like something from Van Gogh's depository of funky shaped objects.
calthyechild's avatar
Haha. Clouds are weird to paint. If you're working digitally in Photoshop, a cloud brush is pretty easy to make, though...

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