Painting Process: Robot Mermaid

Here's another in my painting process blog posts where I discuss my process in doing one of my paintings. As with all of them, this is done in Photoshop, RGB, 12"x18", and 300dpi.

I started with a photograph of Emily, someone I've done a lot of work with. She is fantastic to work with, and is a great photographer in her own right! I had been thinking about doing a robot mermaid (a concept I've worked with a couple of times before), but something a bit more futuristic (at least setting-wise) than the previous versions.

Sketching out the setting. Roughly, I had the idea of this being a water-filled space station that she was in.

Laying down the flat colour layers. As with all of these, the colours used here won't necessarily reflect the colours in the final painting, but just indicate the various metal layers to be painted.

Flat colour layers for the background dropped in.

Spacecraft interior painted. Normally, I start with painting the deep background (which would be the space setting), but I wanted to start with the station itself this time, developing which of the background panels were windows and which were lights.

Space scene painted.

Lighting panels painted. Also, I've added in reflections on the windows to show the internal, off-panel lighting inside the station itself. That light source is based on the light source used in the original photograph, so that the station lighting matches the lighting on Emily (once she is painted).

Basic metal painting done. As stated, this was all based on the lighting in the original photograph, and I like how that becomes more obvious when you look a the shadow she casts on the window behind her.

Metal polishing and additional lighting effects added, including the purple lighting from outside of the ship being reflected in the interior of that circle she is sitting in.

Final effects and air bubbles added in. The bubbles are a combination of copying and shrinking the entire image and hand-painted lighting on top of that, to show the lighting changing depending on the location of individual bubbles.

And that's pretty much it. The piece can be seen (and prints of it purchased) at my RedBubble page.