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Journey into dark fantasy painting

JP Targete shows you how to create a dark fantasy painting by taking you step-by-step through his piece The Purifier...

What’s the difference between dark fantasy and regular old fantasy, you might ask. Well, it’s not the obvious, which is, it doesn’t actually have to be a literally dark image or have a muted colour palette. It does, however, require a sense of mystery, obscurity or a threatening mood of pending or present fear visualised in the image. What makes dark fantasy art distinct is that it introduces an element of reality to the viewer’s visual experience that is different than the typical fantasy. It should appeal to them or make them feel uneasy. Let’s face it, many of us like to be scared or surprised and dark fantasy should do this.
So when I was asked to host a workshop, I chose my favourite genre: dark fantasy. I find it interesting and enjoyable to play with, and it keeps me engrossed from start to finish. I enjoy simplicity in concept and idea, but I love all the technical details and processes needed to give life to those ideas too.
In this workshop, I’ll start with a simple idea in thumbnail form and develop it into a drawing that we’ll evolve into a fully detailed, coloured illustration using Photoshop CS2. There is more than one technique and tool in Photoshop to get the results we want.
I’ll go over the techniques and tools I use, as well as discussing the ideas and concepts behind The Purifier. We’ll also look at painting, colour, lighting, surface materials and detailing. This workshop is for artists who have a basic to good understanding of Photoshop.

From issue 19.

Click here to download the full workshop for free (PDF)
Click here to download the support files (29.40Mb)
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