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How to create a fantasy sword

Sketching

Step 1

Start by sketching some ideas. Make sure you use plenty of references. Search for photographs of animals like owls, eagles, dragons, insects…


Step 2

We can mix some sketches together to create different ones.


Step 3

Choose the one you like the best.


Defining the color palette and cleaning up

Step 1

The next step if to define the color palette.


Step 2

Now, clean up the rough lines.


Step 3

Create a New Layer in Multiply mode and increase the opacity slightly to start painting.


Painting the sword

Step 1

Now apply the flat colors to the sword using your chosen color palette.


Step 2

Create a new layer and link it to the layer below to paint the texture.


Step 3

Apply the color variations with the same base color


Step 4

Gradually apply more texture to your illustration.


Step 5

Check the details using your references to make sure you get the appearance of the original material, in this case, iron.


Step 6

Let’s see how it’s coming along. It’s looking good, let’s keep painting.


Step 7

It’s a good idea to put one layer in Overlay mode to play around with the light and reflections.


Step 8

Take a look at the effect of the light!


Adding detail

Step 1

Have fun adding details. But keep the layer in normal mode, just use your brush.


Step 2

We could add some details like blood or rust.


Step 3

We’re almost done!


Step 4

Look for some references of owl eyes and copy the shadows and textures.

Step 5

Let's create this cool flame effect!


Step 6

Try different color modes to add cool lightning effects.


And finally, the sword is done! Well done guys! 

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Javier Salas
Javier Salas
Javier SalasTeacher

Javier Salas, colombian freelance artist and designer working for the entertainment and videogame industry. Enjoys sharing his knowledge as a teacher in an art academy and creating tutorials for the web. He also a lover of classic art and good movies.

To learn more, visit https://javiersalas_art.artstation.com/

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