The Process: The Making of “Broken Mist”

It is interesting how inspiration can come from various points of interest.  A quote, a picture, textures, maybe even a book.  Sometimes it even comes from things you dislike.  When it comes down to it, every form of creativity has it’s roots.  When the desire to get about into writing clawed at my mother like an overly eager hungry  kitten, she looked for that seedling to take shape.  One of her “seedlings” was a photo from a calendar that depicted various haunting areas.  The photo that stirred the pot was a standalone old church hidden in clouds of mist and forest.  The penned result was “Spirit of the Rebellion“.

Unusual it is not for books nowadays to have their own trailers and more often than not, stock photos are the prime resource.  Due to lack of funds and my penchant for art, I delved in with a gung ho attitude.  The first thing that I needed was a direction.  By tweaking the blurb and a bit of creativity she came with a few strung sentences to use as my guide.  Using key words and appropriate visual links the first picture was a no-brainer, “Blood is spilled in a small country church…”

Church-ScematicMy first attempt at an old church looked akin to finger painting.  I laughed hysterically before throwing myself back into my chair, giving it a few twirls before attempt number two.  After perusing several sources for old 1800’s built churches, the next step was a schematic.  A basic floor plan and a view of my church from several angles was needed for step number two….which I knew would probably drive me crazy.

I had two choices for step number two.  Learn a 3d program like Blender, or use illustrator.  I didn’t have time to learn a new program (with the release date on my heels), so Illustrator it was….I decided on 2-point perspective with a low horizon line and several hours later I did this:


That was merely the start.  I was smart  enough to to separate the lines into various layers and colors.  After the perspective was complete the next step was blocking in the shape.

After a template of my church was complete I then exported it to Photoshop.  Carefully I colored each slat of wood, every row of the roof tiles, and  every window.

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Once the church itself was complete, I tackled the background. The sky was a basic gradient (smooth transition from one color to the next). Clouds were made from a a basic filter that I had to tweak to get the right look and color. The mist was created with similar steps. I blurred the front trees to give a depth of focus. Since the trailer was made, this picture has been tweaked quite a bit.  Hopefully I won’t feel the need to keep “fixing” it 🙂

Broken Mist - Photoshop Pixel Manipulation - 300ppi
Broken Mist – Photoshop Pixel Manipulation – 300ppi

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