In my years of working in the industry, I learned to work in different ways what ever is more efficient for the given time period. Here's one systematic approach that I use which I find very useful when given a very limited amount of time - the LASSO approach. But before I get into the step by step, I always preach to student to identify first what are the Needs and Wants. For this exercise, the needs would be: 1. restaurant/bar for inhabitants of an extremely dry location of molten rock where no plants grow except thorn thistles. 2. Bugs, rodents, squirrels and shelled creatures only for animals.
Now that the "needs" have been identified, I did a quick sketch using pencil on brown paper.
I applied values using mainly the lasso tool with just stock soft and hard brushes in PS.
The idea I have is to use only the limited resources for materials and food. Just the right amount of architectural details for table and chairs tell the audience that inhabitants are bit civilized. Stripes on the wall give some history and story to the location. Inhabitants could have used available materials like sulfur as paint. This idea makes the environment more inviting.
I "colorized" the values in PS. Composition seemed crammed so I extended the layout to give more "breathing" space. Important to keep the original values uncompromised.
I started painting and blending in some spots and highlights. I also detailed the extended area on the right. Readability of shapes and silhouette of every detail and making them work in the context of the overall composition is very important! Never loose control of your shapes, values and color.
If the area is so enclosed, smoke coming from cooking and candles will stay inside and create a very nice, thick atmosphere to play round with. I enjoy adding that lower layer of smoke to give an opportunity to play with a glow that is off the ground reflected from the bright candle on the table. Fun.
To get an in-depth study of this design approach and visual development essentials in actual production, check out my 8-wk Environment Sketching for Production online class at CG Masters Academy.
©Armand Serrano 2014.