I thought having the clouds drawn in the same style would be a bit much, especially as I'm going for a 'dreamy adventurer' feel. I wanted something light and ethereal that surrounds the figures and brings a sense of atmosphere.
I ended up converting some stock images of clouds to greyscale and increasing the contrast. I then applied them using a Screen blending mode so only their highlights appear.
I also used the clouds to make brushes. I always enjoy this step of the process, giving a little extra life to the vector base using texturing. I've made a lot of custom 'paint splash' brushes and I encourage you to do so too.
I used the clouds and paint splashes subtly across the whole composition. To create the circular elements, I drew some circles and turned them into clipping masks, then painted inside them using the cloud brushes.
Since I'm also a photographer, I always look at a piece as if it were a photo. To heighten the vintage feel here, I decided to add little details that you find in old pictures, like vignetting.
A vignette is a darkening at the edges, which can help to make your viewers focus on the centre. This was painted on, with the layer's blending mode set to Multiply. I also added dust and scratches by applying a texture.
Damien Vignaux, 28, is an art director based in Berlin. Most of his work involves print and motion design for clients such as MTV, Nike, EMI and Universal. He is also a photographer and director, always switching from one project to another, exploring various styles with an edgy and playful aesthetic.
Illustrator CS4 or higher, Photoshop CS4 or higher
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