I based on the classic Monkey Island 2 game intro.
Guybrush Threepwood falling and holding on to the Big Whoop Treasure.
Click to enlarge any image!
I decided to add Murray the demonic skull to the front of the big whoop chest just to make it a bit more interesting.
Looks a bit like a book cover which is what I was going for.
Shot I started off with this shot from Monkey Island 2:
I started doing some thumbnails of the pose, trying to figure out what I wanted.
I was looking for a pose that felt mid-motion and at an odd angle so I could have some perspective distortion going on.
I choose a thumbnail and scaled it up about 300%.
Bigger than a thumbnail so I can get anatomy working properly but not so big that I need to get details right.
Next step – cleaning up the line art. I’ve been toying with dropping this step because committing to the line art tends to push my pictures in a certain direction and style.
During the line art process I also looked at the overall composition, I wanted some nice spiral in the picture. I had a feeling the arm and chest position was close but off a little. But I already had in mind that I’d try and be flexible with this later in the process – I wanted to crack on. If this was a paid job or if there was an actual background in this picture I would have fixed the issue at this point. The background is going to be basically black so I new I could fix it later.
The main reason for creating this picture was that I wanted to approach it a little different from what I usually do.
Normally I would block out the colours and then add lighting.
This time I wanted to get the black and white version of the picture 90% done first. Focusing on just the value and lighting definitely made this picture work easier and faster than my normal approach.
Next I blocked out the colours. I set most of the layers to overlay or colour – this got me relatively close to where I needed to be. To be honest, when I looked at tutorials, other people seemed to get a much -closer to final- look. So maybe I’m doing something wrong here.
At this point I basically merged the character down and started painting over the top of everything. I didn’t try to accommodate or use the black and white layer by changing layer states of anything. Just straight up painted.
I tend to use a basic Photoshop round hard brush and I change the transparency of the brush between 60-80%.
In this last step I fixed the composition; you can see below that the Golden spirals line up much better and the two heads are now on two-thirds lines.
Adjusting the chest and the arm as well as moving the character to the right to fit in a nicer spiral. A found some pictures on-line of dust moats and added these behind and in front of the character to add a bit of interest and detail in the cave and a bit of depth.
I took the logo from the web and added the 2 from another Monkey Island logo.
Finally, a little bit of colour adjustment, and I also took all the character layers + chest, merged them down and blurred the image. I took that layer and had it as a soft glow overlay.