Castle cave

photoshop, procreate - 16" x 9" - 2019

They say there's a mountain that is held up by the castles in its side, the man-maid structures supporting the nature born giant. Many have traveled to find the castle cave, but the mountain has managed to keep its secrets, sheltering the many fantasticalities that are sure to be lying in wait within the earth's warm embrace.


With this piece, I wanted to tell a story that had a sense of magic in it. I wanted to create a place that had a touch of human contact, but was being reclaimed by nature. I initially thought of doing this with a city scene, but I felt that the magical feeling I was going for would feel more industrial, so I went with castle towers, which have long since been a symbol of fairy tales. 

Below you can find my creative process and how I worked to illustrate this story.

creative process: Step 1

sketchbook work

My sketchbook is the place where my ideas are basically spread out, trimmed, and put together into a cohesive piece. I'll usually have several thumbnails, maybe with some side notes, references/inspirations, and possible color palette ideas.

creative process: Step 2

procreate sketch

This is where I figure out the final composition and the colors I want to use. At this point, I have chosen a sketch that I want to develop further, so I work with the composition and the different elements I want to include in the digital landscape. This composition ended up developing from the final sketch I worked with. The background is more open and it's less of a view of going into a cave and more of a view looking out of a cave.
Below is a timelapse of the work I did in Procreate.

creative process: Step 3

photoshop rendering

In photoshop, I started from the solid colors and then worked towards shading and creating more depth. I loved the glowy-purple elements that I had in the procreate sketch, so I wanted to bring some of that into the final piece. I also wanted to bring more of the golden-yellow color out to contrast with the purple hues.