I figured out a Series of Illustrations, all about 'Abraxas', inspired by Fantasy Card Games. Somehow these are my Spell-Cards. This Illustration is the first one. Seeing not the one spelling but the one influenced by the Spell. While Magic protects her the enemy Spell already is burning the Leaves. This Illustration has been inspired by the gorgeous Artworks of Linda Bergkvist.
Song for this 'Subway To Sally - Hexe'.
Nice to know:
Abraxas means Spell, spoken magic Words. Though it derives from a certain Expression, some old Mythology. As far as I know, it once was spelled 'Abrasax'. A Spell summoning a Being called 'Abrasax'.
After picking many References I created some rough Drawings, which I used to illustrate this within Photoshop. My usual Technic is similar to Airbrush. Masking the single Elements (so I don't need to take that much Care of the Borders later on). Custom Texture Brushes increase the Credibility. The original Size would fit on a Poster.
Love the intensity of this image and the almost exotic alien nature of the character portreyed here. There is a real sense of movement of energy and of power as mentioned in your description. The character appears to know exactly what she is doing in the face of such danger. The colours and tones are beautiful in this image as are the textures. You have a great attention to detail and tell an interesting story. Well done
No prob. I am working with CS5 (US version is the cheapest of all). Though this illustration has been made with CS3. Any version will do which got the liquify-filter, I think (for this filter makes it easy to fix your initial sketches before spending time elaborating the details). Depends what style you are trying to achieve.
If you want to create a painting like look you should think about Corel Painter as well; in this case perhaps Gimp will do. If you are a student or teacher, you also should think about the Student Version of the Adobe products.
I just recommend to not use CS4, it's not that better compared to CS3 and CS5 is far better than CS4 in some manners. But the latest improvements where basically made in 3D and some stuff which isn't required for 'Photoshopping' itself. Knowledge about custom brushes and basic colourtunings, working with masks and so on will do for most illustrations.
If you got some other questions, feel free to ask!