I've never really bothered to document my process for any of my images. People have asked me before to put together a tutorial or record myself painting, but honestly, I really wouldn't even know where to begin in describing my process. What I usually start off with ends up changing into something drastically different by the time I'm done with the image. So for the next few days, I'll post up some WIP shots of an image I started tonight. I'll try to add some notes to it, but.. well, we'll see how that goes.
In regards to the image, I basically wanted to do a bunch of different things. I've spent a lot of my time recently working on fantasy stuff, so I wanted to try doing some sci-fi stuff again. The keywords that were floating in my head were "space, astronaut, and arena". I want to make more of a concept image instead of an illustration, so I want to minimize vagueness and not have any unimportant elements obstructing the view of important elements. After I finish this piece, I might do some quick sketches of some parts of the environment and characters/creatures.
So here's what I have so far after about 1.5 hours of doodling around and messing around in Sketchup to find a cool composition.
I actually usually start in colors, but i wanted to try doing greyscale this time. The advantage to starting off in greyscale is that 1. you can read your composition a lot more clearly and 2. you're only thinking about values and design and not so much about colors. I know things are a bit loose right now, but I'll definetely be tightening this up a lot more tomorrow. I'm really anxious to do a side-piece that'll show the design of the astronaut!