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A Complex God Complex


Creating planets is interesting work… I thought I’d show you guys some of the process work that has gone into the creation of my recent space series. These images are part of a broader plan to (hopefully) explore & combine my love of science & cosmology with design & illustration. The pieces, so far, are all created digitally with custom brushes & a huge amount of masking — layering them in a similar way to working on actual paper (ie. few-to-no layers Photoshop).

If you’re interested, pick up prints or iPhone cases here: Jupiter at Society 6!


I start with the planet’s shape & general position, working along the main band of Jupiter with it’s Great Red Spot — detail levels increase as mask-layers are consecutively applied. Throughout the process it’s both additive & subtractive.


The Great Red Eye gets some detail thrown in, keeping the contrast higher with slightly cleaner shapes. In the second section I attempted to use a grey bar to darken the entire band, but this was a little early to jump to that stage… finally, I moved on to a separate layer where the bottom of the planet’s atmosphere (or Jupiter’s Uranus, if you will…) started to take shape.


Coming back to the drawing after a few days, I found the angle slightly boring so decided to knock it ‘upside the head’ & give it a jaunty tilt. This, as is visible, caused some sizeable gaps to appear — which just means a little more cloud-play… back in with larger strokes & splats I went!


These last two came after a fairly extensive period of a few hours adding in complicated, small structures into the entire planet, culminating in the detail seen in the final. In the end, the Jovian monstrosity needed a few minions to keep company, & so were born 3 moons.


Lastly, the upper edges & some interior darkening were added to create a little more form & mood.


Buy prints or iPhone cases here: Jupiter at Society 6!


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