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Rainy Downtown workshop

Discover how to make a fantasy city scene using Photoshop and traditional media, with João Ruas.

I enjoy living in the city. All the faces, the movement and the man-made details are truly fantastic, far more so than our ancestors hundreds of years ago would have expected it to be. Just imagine how shocking a glimpse of a modern city would be for a Victorian
or a medieval-era person…
A city is a live structure going through constant changes every day, every minute, every second… and we are the cause of it, each and every one of us working as a small cog in this huge machine. Sometimes in our mission to keep the machine going, we become blind to all the beautiful structures around us. I want to explore this ignored beauty with the image that will be created for this workshop. I will be using buildings, traffic signs, power cables, vehicles and human characters as a frame for an apparently unnoticed monument of a young woman.
To create the picture I am going to start it traditionally, sketching and cleaning the lines with graphite pencils, and afterwards applying a watercolour wash on it. Then I’m going to do most of the painting work using Photoshop, while trying to avoid that ‘clean’ digital feel that seems to be the curse of nine out of ten digital painters. In order to achieve that, I will use textured brushes and scanned watercolour washes among other things.
This is not a ‘definitive’ process that you should follow, but I hope it will give you some useful tips.

From issue 15.

Click here to download the full workshop for free (PDF)
Click here to download the support files (28.66Mb)
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