http://www.markearlam.com/p/techniques.htmlFor my next turorial I want to show you how I make up backgrounds without using references. I still use references for the details of the painting after this step but you still need a starting point so lets get to it.
I am not going to show you how to create a certain background from start to finish because that would be a waste of time. I find a tutorial that does that shows you how to make that exact painting and nothing else.
This is more of a re-usable guide on how to create something from nothing and then it is up to you where you take it from there.
Create a new layer just for painting a background (do not use the background layer). Now fill that in with a grey like this one. Go to Menu->Filters->Render-> Lighting Effects and do something like I have done in this picture. This is creating a light source which can go anywhere really but keep in mind how you figure is lit. You can usually get away with this mind because the person is outside and there is general light from all over the place.
The reason why black and white is important is because to create depth you need the right "value". The simple the rule is the darker the grey the closer it is to the camera view point.
So if you want a mountain far away choose something very slightly darker than the place you are putting it.
Here are the values in action so you can see now that I have many values where it seems some parts of the painting are closer than others. It is simply because the darker shades seem closer to us and the light ones further back.
It is practically impossible to do this kind of work if it is in colour already.
This is just a quick rough of how to turn your background into colour but of course this is just a start and will need other colours adding to it (use your brush mode in "color") to add other colours without painting over your work.
CTRL-SHIFT-U to bring up the panel to the left and choose what colour suits - it does not have to be green.
When you paint your landscape roughly with the greys you will find it gets a little washed out just. A simple way to fix this is Menu-> Image-> Adjustments-> Brightness & Contrast and you will see the panel to the left. Whack the contrast up and you will see your landscape look a lot more interesting.
And there you have it a simple landscape created in less then 10 minutes and ready to turn into something awesome. From this point on you will need to add details such as trees etc but this stage is the most important because it will define your painting as a whole.
Here is an example of using the exact same technique but taken further and refined:
Check out my other tutorials for more help.