I thought it would be interesting to show some of the steps I go through to create an image.
I start with thumbnails and when I have one that I like, I move to a sketch. I often find that I can imagine a lot about how it will turn out just looking at my sketches, but your imagination can sometimes exaggerate the awesomeness of an idea or composition, so it is good to make sure the values are working pretty well before moving on. That is what I did below.
After working that out, I had to plan how to make that blob look more like a space ship, and then how I would light it convincingly. I don’t own any giant space ships, so I built one using sketchup:
* I then proceeded to build a really quick sculpey maquette of my scene to help with the lighting. I also lit the sketchup model from the same angle for reference.
With these, I did a final drawing and mounted a copy to a panel. Then, it was just paint by numbers based on a tiny color study, which is somewhere in the studio. After I had finished a rough version in oil, I let it dry, scanned it and did the finishing touches digitally. I had planned from the beginning to work this way, because I like the texture of real paint, and the flexibility of digital. The image at the top is the finished version.