Painting Process: Retro Alien Cyborg and Planet

Here's another in my series of painting process blog posts, where I discuss the basic breakdown of how I do one of my robot paintings. As with all of the paintings in this series, this one was painted in Photoshop at 12"x18", 300dpi, in RGB. I use an Acer laptop with a Bamboo tablet.

Starting with the retro-future theme I've been doing with the lovely Monique, I worked out this illustration from our first photo shoot together, playing with both the 50's-style raygun and the dome over her head, also from the same era. I had done a similarly-themed piece with Jamie quite a while ago, providing a dome life support system for the human head on a cyborg body, but I was going with a slightly different feel here.

Who doesn't love the idea of ringed planets? Also, with the dome life support system and the old raygun, I knew I had to go with a rocket design in the background from the same era.

Flat colour layers laid down on Monique. As with all of these, the colours on these layers don't reflect the final colour scheme, but are just used to differentiate the various painting layers. And I definitely planned on her face not having human skin tones.

Rocket painting layers dropped in.

Remaining background painting layers dropped in.

Sky and ground painted in. At this point, I new I wanted very cool colours on Monique's face, so every other colour in the piece had to serve to highlight that. Thus, the very warm tones in space.

Rocket painted. This may be my single favourite painting job ever, on that rocket back there.

Planet painted.

Atmospheric effects added to put more depth into the piece and make it look less like Monique is a hundred feet tall.

Hair painted. I have a thing for purple hair.

Skin tones painted. Very cool/neutral thus far on her skin. I also warmed up the ground a little bit to help spotlight the face even more.

Interior of the dome painted, capturing the way the curved glass would distort the planet visible through it.

Armour/cybernetics painted. Even though the robotics are warmer than the ground, they still serve to highlight her face colours.

Jetpack and raygun painted.

Final atmospheric effects added in as well as overall polishing and touch-ups.

You can view the final piece at this link, and can purchase prints and other products with this image there.