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In our previous chapters we created the character design of an orc and a sleigh as a prop. This time we want to do some adjustments to the orc so he looks more fitting for our Christmas topic, and then add a color pass to both of our concepts. In order to make our presentation a bit more interesting we will add an occlusion shadow pass and a few textures.
Our final Christmas illustration
Refining the concept of our character
Before we do anything else, we go back and take a look at our character. He looks good and his clothes fit our winter theme but it’s not yet Christmassy. We remove the spikes, and replace them with some holly. See how I’ve also added some balls for Christmas where you’d normally find some skulls. Then I create distinct groups of values by doing a quick value pass.
Before I add values, I spend a minute to add a few Christmas-related details.
Creating our composition
Usually when I work on a project I create a template for my concepts in order to be consistent in the presentation of my work. This will include not only the work, but also any descriptive notes and the title of my project. This time, it is easier because I am only doing this for myself and for you.
Arrange your drawings neatly on your canvas.
When adding colors I try to stick to the values I chose in the previous steps. In order to achieve a beautiful result, I limit my color palette. I use red as my most dominant, vibrant color. Green is a bit less saturated. This ways the two very opposite colors don‘t compete for attention. All other colors fall between my three chosen colors.
A limited color palette will deliver an elegant result.
Once I‘m happy with the colors I use a couple of textures in order to get a bit more of an organic feel to my illustration. You will find these textures in the accompanied PSD. If you want to use your own texture in Photoshop, use the auto contrast function to get a medium gray as the average color. That‘s useful because now you can turn the texture to about 7% opacity and overlay and have the most impact without changing the overall brightness and contrast of your illustration. I also added a stroke-effect and a shadow to make the concept look like a sticker.
Adding textures gives the illustration an organic feel.
Occlusion and final adjustments
As I kept working on my illustration I noticed that the background color having a strange and hazy quality. I then changed it for a slightly warmer tone. Once I had finished everything else, I took the time to add one final occlusion. I used the hard round paintbrush and painted in small strokes in order to create the perfect texture to blend with the texture added in the previous stage.
Have a wonderful Christmas, everyone!
You can do a full rendering, but sometimes an occlusion pass will be enough to sell your concept.