Painting Process: Steampunk Painting 002

Another in my tutorial/work-in-progress series, showing the basic breakdown of one of my robot paintings. As always, this was painted in Photoshop, 12"x18", 300dpi, in RGB. Which is a little odd, as I do all of my comic book colouring work in CMYK, but I chose RGB as these are derived from my photographic work, and those by default are all in RGB.

Here's the breakdown of the picture from a photo of Emily. The chair she was perched on in the original photo was very unusual, so I decided to incorporate aspects of it into the design of the building ledge she would be on. My initial idea was a series of Victorian structures on circular settings, but that evolved as I went along.

Working out the robot pattern on Emily. Unless you are very close-up, the clockwork patterns you would normally associate with Steampunk (to separate it from Cyberpunk or more futuristic designs) will look similar, so I decided to just base the mechanical design on things I had already been doing in my other work, only adding a bit more complexity to the legs and additional details everywhere. 'Future' designs trend toward the simpler, so for this look a more intricate layout seemed appropriate.

The new background design. It clearly did evolve from my original sketch, but this incorporates a curving river in the middle-ground, with the rest of the city fading behind that. Plus I get to paint Zeppelins, now.

Dropping in the colour layers for the mechanical parts. As with all the other paintings, the colours chosen at this stage have no bearing on what colours the various elements will actually be painted.

Colour layers for the platform dropped in.

Background layer colours created. I went with very simple shapes here, leaving all the detail in the background for the actual painting process.

Sky and deep background painted. All this work is hand-painted with a variety of brushes that I have made myself, mostly from very organic sources.

Remaining background buildings painted. Going for a very ethereal quality here.

Zeppelins painted. It is all looking very Jules Verne-y here.

Platform painted. The lighting in the original photo dictated the lighting in this part of the painting, perhaps coming from a nearby Zeppelin just off-camera.

Emily painted. The robotic work I tend to paint entirely in shades of grey, adjusting the colour after so that I can better play with cool backgrounds/warm foregrounds (or the reverse, from time to time).

Colour changed on Emily, warming her up considerably, going with that strong bronze look commonly associated with Steampunk and Victorian-era machinery. Additional lighting effects and polishing done as well.

Prints of this piece can be purchased at this link.

A collection of my cyberpunk and robot photography and illustration work.
Robots and cyborgs, some sexy, some deadly, all presented as photographed and illustrated by Ian Sokoliwski. Mind-bending cityscapes, ruined wastelands, even some hints of Victorian-era Steampunk homes all provide the settings for these female androids and bionic women.
A showcase of cyberpunk and science fiction robot artwork of photographer and illustrator Ian Sokoliwski.
100 pages, magazine format, available as a printed copy for $19.99 and as a digital download for $1.99.