Remember to choose colours that reflect the environment, such as blues and greys for cold environments, yellow hues for hot, dry places and greens for forests or fields. Add depth and visual interest with varied colours and think about where the light source is coming from.
Is the sun high in the sky or casting long shadows? Or maybe it’s night-time, with fiery glows coming from campfires illuminating patches of dark around them. The possibilities are almost endless.
Step 3: Clipping masks.
The Clipping Masks feature in Adobe Photoshop allows you to paint into the shape of a layer while in a separate one, so you can keep working on different layers without affecting your work. This is a helpful feature if you want to experiment with colour and texture in the background or foreground, without affecting your blocked out landscape.
Create a new layer above the layer you want to paint into, right click the new layer and select ‘Create Clipping Mask’. You can work on adding colour, texture and depth to a specific area, as well as moving, stretching and adjusting it. Alternatively, delete it completely and trying again if you’re not happy! It’s easy to play around with different things.
Step 4: Add texture and rendering.
Now it’s time to build on your environmental concept art, fleshing out the visual interest and really bringing the image to life. Add texture to give the world you’ve created serious depth - whether that’s ripples on water, rough tree bark or undulating sand dunes.
Define shapes and add light and shadow to the foreground for added realism and to elevate your 2D image into a 3D world. Think about the topography of the land, the scale of objects like trees, rocks and bushes and how your characters might move through the space.