Rise of Cobra: The Baroness

I haven’t made any original art for Oweb2, so it was about due. Nor have I have seen G.I.Joe: Rise of Cobra, so I can’t attest to its quality. Something I do know is that the Baroness is fly. A suiting subject I must say, so today we’re going to walk through the creative process.


I scanned the lineart at 300 dpi and black and white. This will allow a ridiculous amount of detail and the ability to print large if you are so inclined. It is, of course, reduced here for web purposes.

Right click the Layers panel and Duplicate. Set the blending mode to Multipy, also in the Layers panel. This will allow you to color beneath the inks after you create a new layer. I blocked out the shapes and filled it with flat color. Sometimes the Polygoal Lasso Tool helped in blocking out smaller shapes such as the areas around the Baroness’ glasses.

Here’s the flat color for the leather, skin, lips and eyes. We’re not going to paint on this layer anymore because it also serves as a great selection tool. you can Magic Wand into the flat color, go into a new layer above it and paint without it bleeding out the lines.

Here’s what she looks like with the inks layer visibility turned back on. The eyeball in the Layers window.

Here I took a brush and painted some lighter blue colors into the middle areas of the shapes to start creating a bit of volume. I didn’t get too precise with it because the drawing’s pretty ink heavy. But some general fades should work.

And on a new layer above that I used an even brighter blue and smaller brush size and started painting in a little definition.

Go back and forth with the ink layer hidden and revealed to see how the colors relate to the inks above them.

Here’s a cool comic book style color technique you can use with the Eliptical Marquee and the Lasso Tool. This is going to be a subtractive method of coloring to create an effect. I made this oval shape with the Eliptical Marquee Tool, held Shift and drew the second shape with the Lasso Tool. Making sure I was on the layer with the light value shades, I pressed Delete.

Now instead of a soft gradient, this creates a cool shine effect on the Baroness’ bosom.

Go back to the bottom flat color layer and Magic Wand the skin area. These 2 colors, went a long way creating a sense of volume when painting her skin. Make sure you select the new layers you created to paint in. I tend to not mix the lighter shades with the darker shade layers. I did however go dark first, then continued to work my way up to the lighter values.

I made a completely new layer above the rest that I gave solely for the purpose of coloring her lenses. I simply filled with a black blue color and set the opacity of the layer to about 30-50%. I also drew these shapes with the Lasso Tool to brush in some light white to simulate the reflective quality of the lens.

Now I’m giong to show an additive method I used to create shines. I didn’t trust my hand to draw the long curve I wanted with the regular Lasso, nor the rigid, geometric nature of the Polygonal Lasso. So in this case I used the Pen Tool with mulitple clicks for many anchor points to draw a long curved cut on the top of her thigh.

If you goto the layers window and choose the Paths tab, at the bottom you can see a Load Path as Selection button at the bottom. Click that and your pen path will turn into a selection. At this point I just drew more cuts to paint the shine on her leg.

I Magic Wand selected the large leather shape in the initial flats layer, made a new layer for some “fire light” and proceeded to paint some reflective. I assumed some explosion happened near by or something equivalently awesome so I could paint some dramatic orange along the left side of the selection.

I used the subtractive method again by selecting shapes that will be deleted.

The result.

And then back to the additive method of painting in bright yellows to create hotspots with multiple brush strokes at a lower Opacity and Flow.

I spent so much time adding shines that I almost forgot to add contrasting values. Here are my selection cuts for the shadow shapes on the Baroness’ face. Similiar ones were added throughout her figure.

After all the coloring, the layers should start creating shapes of their own without any help from the line art.

But here’s what it looks like with combined forces.

At this point the lineart is still at a monster resolution, so I magic wanded the white area on the line art to select all the white pixels. If the Magic Wand setting has the Contiguous option checked off, the wand will select every white pixel on the layer. So when you Ctrl+Shfit+I to invert the selection you can even paint lineart whatever color you want.

I chose to tweak the color on her skin, lips and eyes.

Finally, I’m gonna wrap up with the steps for how I put the background togther. I was generally happy with the figurework, so I flattened the whole image, selected the white and deleted. On a layer beneath the figure, I used a simple foreground to background gradient with red and black chosen.

Then used this awesome texture from this resource I often use.

Here’s what it looks like when the blending mode of the texture layer is turned to Linear Dodge.

The wicked Cobra insignia. I have a buddy that actually had this tatooed on his arm.

Here’s what it looks like after a blending mode Overlay and a red glow!

A simple colored drop shadow.

Ready to whip up on some Joes!

The Baroness

Click for High Rez!

By Mark Rivera

Mark is an animator and ad designer for WebProNews. He has a passion for illustration and 3D art.

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