Working for L’Univers de Jeff I often have to make up visuals to illustrate fantasy locations so the artwork fits into the theme and makes people believe it’s real. This piece of digital art was to illustrate a river estuary for the web page of their medieval theme (also work of mine). This place is meant to be in the north of the continent, wet and cold, resembling the west coast of Ireland. The story tells of two towers called the “twins” which were built by the king either side of the river to defend it and a nearby fishing village from incoming attacks. Since this image was going to be displayed in a small format, image quality wasn’t extremely important.
Here’s how I went about making it.
First off, I found a basic image of some water running into what appears to be a sea. The rocky cliffs on either side were specially important. The king would have built the tours at a height to see ships coming from afar.
Then I found a castle which matched the stone colour from the cliffs and which I could work into the surrounding grass.
Another castle for the opposite side, also resembling the stone found in the rocky cliff-face. This one would be placed further back, behind the hill to give depth to the photo.
I painted them in using masks, blending the grass on the right-hand castle into the grass on the cliffs. I reshaped the cliffs on this side to fit the castle using the mask from the castle image. I also kept the path running up to the castle doors for realism.
In with some colour balancing and contrast adjustments to make it look cold and wet. Matching up the stone colours was again also important to me.
This looks ok, but doesn’t seem real enough. So that it would really fit into the story 100%, I needed to depict the nearby fishing village.
This rowing boat was perfect to illustrate a fisherman from this medieval coastal land.
I painted it in with masks just like the castles and balanced the colours.