Wow, I have to say I'm pretty darn proud of this one. This is for Illustration Friday! with the theme of the week, 'Flying.' Of course I immediately thought of Icarus who flew too close to the sun, but it was his quote that really got to me: "All limits are self imposed."
My limits are as far as I make them, so I think I went nuts with this one, working for most of the entire day on this as well as yesterday. As a bonus, here's a few work-in-progress images so you can see my process (at least... the process for this particular illustration).
First I start with solid lines, I just refer to them as 'inks.' The flames are there to give me an idea of what style I may do them in, either stylized in the same fashion as the smoke, or something else.
Next comes the background and I place flats on the front elements. The smoke I tinge with a bit of color to remind myself that Hey, I'm putting fire in there somewhere....And then I accidentally shut that red-tinge layer off. BUT. Now we have more background elements such as clouds, the shadows under them etc. I've also started placing a shadow on the man and his broken wings, with slight color tweaks here and there.
Aaaaand here's the final! Textures are brought in, the flames are painted in, embers are a-flyin' and he's most assuredly falling.