Start by sketching some ideas. Make sure you use plenty of references. Search for photographs of animals like owls, eagles, dragons, insects…
We can mix some sketches together to create different ones.
Choose the one you like the best.
Defining the color palette and cleaning up
The next step if to define the color palette.
Now, clean up the rough lines.
Create a New Layer in Multiply mode and increase the opacity slightly to start painting.
Painting the sword
Now apply the flat colors to the sword using your chosen color palette.
Create a new layer and link it to the layer below to paint the texture.
Apply the color variations with the same base color
Gradually apply more texture to your illustration.
Check the details using your references to make sure you get the appearance of the original material, in this case, iron.
Let’s see how it’s coming along. It’s looking good, let’s keep painting.
It’s a good idea to put one layer in Overlay mode to play around with the light and reflections.
Take a look at the effect of the light!
Have fun adding details. But keep the layer in normal mode, just use your brush.
We could add some details like blood or rust.
We’re almost done!
Look for some references of owl eyes and copy the shadows and textures.
Let's create this cool flame effect!
Try different color modes to add cool lightning effects.
And finally, the sword is done! Well done guys!