In this article I will breakdown an illustration I made. It shows a abstract lava lamp throwing lava in the air. The idea of this illustration came when I explored the unique work of Rik Oostenbroek. It’s very special and I needed two years to understand how he make his art, because at some point I had no idea of creating realistic shadows and highlights in Photoshop.
The whole illustration is made in Photoshop. The lava lamp is modeled and rendered in Cinema 4D, but it only got the cool look through my photoshop retouch skills. With every following lava bubble it got easier creating shadows and highlights. This illustration helped me with understanding shapes and forms and how shadows and highlights can transform them in something dynamic.
I used a soft standard brush for shading the lava bubbles and a hard standard brush for the white highlights. I wish I had a speedpainting of the process but my computer died while doing this illustration in Photoshop. It was hard enough to make the breakdown animation gif haha.