3d Base

The 3D base my friend provided for the project. There were a couple of different rendered layouts, but I liked the depth and lighting in this one.

Color Blocking

Starting to block out alllll the different layers and planes with the polygonal lasso tool.

Rough Colors

Figuring out the general color scheme and lighting. The colors needed to match another background in the library.


Color flats and starting to paint. I really liked the reflection from the render, so I applied a bit of that back into the painting.


The original render was a bit dark, so I reworked the lighting to brighten the area. I used gradients and layer blend modes to get the super bright window light effect. This piece sat untouched for a month in this state. oop.


Picked up the background again in April and finished up the rest of the room. Lots of blocking out shapes and surfaces with the polygonal lasso tool and making use of gradients and blend layers. I painted some of the larger surfaces to break up the regularity of the gradients. I really really didn't want paint the bookshelves by hand, so I edited the 3D render and slapped on some faint color for the books. :P I did a similar technique for the stair steps.

Detail Sketch

The main room was done! I still wanted to add more furniture and items to make it feel more like a library. I brought a flattened version of the file into Fire Alpaca so I could sketch with FA's perspective tools. Then I brought the sketch back into my photoshop file.

Final Piece

I used a combination of freehand painting and the lasso tool + gradient technique to finish the rest of the furniture. The books on the wall shelves are edited stock photos though. :P Finally, I did some adjustment layers for lighting and color.