i've been getting a lot of questions about process lately, so i thought i'd throw this up to show the twists and turn i typically go through.
this is pretty old, from a dungeon crawler challenge i did about 2 yrs ago! it's got a lot of problems with it narrative-wise and structure-wise, but they were obvious in hind sight so it was a huge learning experience.
the concept was this warrior lost in the depths of a cold, wet, claustrophobic dungeon. i wanted to stay fairly close to monochromatic to emphasis the singular light source.
1- i did a number of thumbnail compositions and this is the one i liked most
2- filled it with some basic values and color to see if it would work, thought it did...
3- drew out a detailed pass to give myself an idea of where this was going
4- referring to the values of step 2, tried to workout basic lighting and planar surfaces
5- getting into the detail rendering i realized my composition had a lot of abstracted graphic shapes that didn't describe the spatial relationships at all. so i redesigned the whole corridor thing into an corner archway
6- balancing, trying to get a dynamic range of lights and darks, trying to put contrast in the right places