Monday, August 1, 2011

Forest 01

Taking a break from the step-by-step today to post a forest study I've been working on.

Anyone that takes a look through my portfolio can tell I prefer to be designing environments.  But truth be told, foliage is something that's always given me some trouble, especially when it's something like an interior forest scene.  Which is why I wanted to do this (and hopefully some more) as practice.

To me, texture is key for getting a forest to look right, but compositionally it's a lot different than say, a mountain scene, too.  You don't get the same negative space to play with, because there are trees everywhere.  Color also presents some interesting challenges because there's so much green, making it more difficult for individual elements to pop.

For this I used a lot of hard-edged, opaque brushes and made quite a few new leaf brushes.  Usually it takes a few tries to get a brush I'm happy with, and it takes much longer to build a collection of them.  All the more reason to do some more of these!


  1. I need to try some of these myself. Awesome stuff Sam. I'm really enjoying your blog so far :) nice work!

  2. Are your leaf brushes in the shape of actual leaves, or are they more like dots and splatters that make the pattern of leaf clumps? I've been fiddling with leaf brushes myself and realistic leaf shapes don't work well for me. They look like I took a stencil and bashed it all over the picture.

  3. Thanks, Mike. Good to hear. Hope to see you at IlluXCon again this year!

    Right Kessie, my 'leaf' brushes are not shaped like actual leaves. That can sometimes work very close in the foreground, but I run into the same problem you mentioned otherwise. Just remember, to the eye leaves are simply a jumble of light and dark shapes (like everything else), and not so much a specific silhouette.

  4. Damn, dude, this is killer. Foliage is always a difficult thing to capture properly, I think you nailed it. How do you approach making a "leaf" brush anyway? I know how to make custom brushes, but was just curious how you went about making one specifically for these jumbled foliage brushes that you've seemed to make so well.

  5. I like this one so much. I want to live here. Except it looks like the kind of place where I might get eaten. So... maybe not. But still.