YouTube Timelapse to See Process
Start with a Sketch!
Before the sketch I highly recommend getting references and get an idea for your painting. Figure out what you want before you start.
I set canvas size double the size of HD - 3840 x 2160
I also start with grey background, which helps to see values better.
I start with very basic color that will help establish base for it.
I chose warmer colors for food and cooler for seaweed.
Coloring - Adding Shadows and Highlights
I usually first go with very big air brush first. Turn layer into overlay and paint in clipping mask. Do not hesitate to turn saturation to around 80%. Choose warm colors for highlights and cool for shadows.
Do not overdue it! Keep it small opacity.
Adding Texture and More Tones
Make a new layer. Set it to Overlay. Paint with black and white to add texture and details.
If the result is too strong then reduce the opacity of the layer.
After adding basic lighting you and shape you can start adding details. It is important to not overdue it and keep it big for stylized artwork.
Now I actually paint with a brush and color. Before I was only using overlay mode. Now I am getting a watercolor brush with strong opacity and adding details. Do not destroy the volume you created before.
Now we need to fix contrast and increase color pop. Change background to white and see what you ended up with. Your colors will feel different once you change switch the background.
Firstly, I did color balance layer.
Red for shadows.
Magenta for mid tones.
Yellow for highlights
Add glow to your image! Select the outside of the image. Fill with white. Add blur with filters so it replicates inner glow filter. It will make it much more dreamy looking.
I will also add noise. Create 50% gray layer. Filter > Render > Noise. Turn down the scale pretty small. Set the layer to Overlay. Keep the opacity down.
I also added small purple highlight on the right side of objects to make it pop.
Let me know what you think and if you have any questions.