I was commissioned to do a couple splash screens for a mobile game, so I decided to do a case study on the project. You can read the step by step process below.

 

Preliminary Sketches

 

This first stage of the process is used to establish the composition and the placement of items and characters. It’s quick and dirty but very effective.

I start with marking the horizon line with a guide, and from that point on everything is just free flow and eyeballing with the purpose of finding a composition that works while following the client’s description and specifications.

splash screen illustration mobile game


splash screen illustration mobile game

Drawing

 

Once the client approved the general composition, the real fun starts. Everything in the image has to be drawn and defined enough so we can move ahead to the painting process. The duration of this process is relative to the revisions requested and the number of characters and objects in the image. You can see below how the scene slowly evolved.

 

splash screen illustration mobile game

 

 

 


splash screen illustration mobile game

 

Painting

 

When the client confirms that the drawing is good, I move on to painting the image. I always want to double check if the drawing is really what the client wants because making compositional changes for the painting is wasted time that could be used smarter.

I start the painting process usually with paths and selections — I fill and lock every object on a separate layer. I don’t pay too much attention to color at this point because all I really want is to put my characters and items on different layers. This is not as much painting as organizing and archiving. This would be the part when in traditional media you prepare your brushes and start mixing your colors.

Once I have everything in order I start my painting process. I start with big brushes, bold strokes, usually starting with the sky and clouds and I am gradually transitioning to smaller and smaller brushes to define form. I paint shadow first, light next and highlights last.

The last two things I do is I create a white or black filled saturation layer over the image to check for values, and add the final details and for the image.

splash screen illustration mobile game


splash screen illustration mobile game

 

Final

splash screen illustration mobile game