Painting Process: Robot and Motorcycle on Alien World

Here's another in my process posts, where I discuss how some of my paintings are put together. As with all of these, these are painted in Photoshop, 12"x18", in RGB, at 300dpi.

It's funny how often things that start off with one particular idea end up going in a completely different direction. The photograph of Emily that had started this idea off had initially been taken with the idea of doing a robot version of a Bond girl or something similar. Looking at her pose, however, the idea of her standing on a glass surface overlooking a giant futuristic city just kept coming to me, so I ended up sketching out that idea. With her looking over her shoulder, clearly there needed to be some sort of subject of her interest back there, thus the spaceship idea came to be.

That initial sketch led up to here where I designed the robot pattern on Emily.

As much as I liked the city and the spaceship, there seemed to be one more element missing, something that got filled with another crazy motorcycle design. This gives me something else to play with reflecting into the glass surface Emily is standing on, although that surface had to be widened to allow for the motorcycle as well.

Flat colour layers created on Emily. As with all of these designs, the colours used here don't reflect what the final painting scheme will end up being, but just serve to visually separate the various colour layers for painting.

Flat colour layers for the motorcycle created.

Flat colour layers on the spaceship and glass walkway laid down.

Final flat colour layers for the city, background planet, and space behind that laid down.

First pass at painting the starry sky. While any atmosphere on the planet, and the amount of light pollution present in a city like this (as well as reflected light pollution from the planet dominating the sky) would negate the viewer from really being able to see that much of the sky, I feel artistic license allows me to create that star pattern. Besides, it looks like the city is on an alien world, and may not have much of an atmosphere to begin with. Certainly Emily isn't needing to breathe.

Planet painted. All of the planetary and starfield backgrounds are hand-painted with a variety of custom brushes I have made over the years, using a variety of organic and inorganic sources.

Cityscape painted, as well as adding in some low-lying fog effects. So, clearly this planet does have an atmosphere of some sort, but perhaps not terribly dense.

Motorcycle and walkway painted. More of a mirrored surface rather than transparent glass for the walkway, to further facilitate the reflections from Emily and the motorcycle.

Basic painting on the spaceship.

The spaceship was seeming just a little too close to the motorcycle and Emily, as though it was a small drone rather than a huge craft. So, playing with some additional dust and fog effects, I've made it recede further into the background.

Basic metal painting on Emily completed. With the planet and deep background in such a warm colour scheme, she clearly needed to be using a much cooler set of colours.

To really bring her even further forward, the internal lighting on Emily is all done in blues, really pulling her away from the warm city and planet.

Final metal polishing and effects added to the piece.

Prints of the final version of this can be purchased at my RedBubble gallery.