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Cover Me Whimsical

"cover me whimsical" color composition fantasy art
“Cover Me” fantasy art by Rene Arreola

Photoshop is my go-to for creating full-color fantasy art on my iMac.

“Cover Me.” A young lady sitting in a forest with a magical and whimsical-looking cloth draped over her head.

It starts on her head, flows over her shoulders, and naturally onto the ground. But, there is something else! It also forms a magical pathway behind her. The pathways disappear into a dense forest behind her.

She appears to notice none of it. Instead, her attention is focused on a magical pool of water on the ground before her. Her hand reaches into the pool. And the pool gives a hint of something magical and whimsical: the cosmos.

"Cover Me" fantasy artwork sketch

Below is a time-lapse video of the sketch as I am working in Photoshop.

UPDATE 8-24-2022: Added the value map to the drawing. This will guide me once I begin working in color.

"cover me whimsical" grayscale fantasy art
“Cover Me Whimsical”, values mapped out. By Rene Arreola.

Color Composition

UPDATE 9-15-2022: The next stage in the exploration and development of the painting. Creating a color composition, feeling dark and cool, with some warm elements. The spontaniety with which I seem to be working is really keeping me on my toes of what may come next with this painting. It’s an approach in my digital painting process I haven’t worked in for quite some time.

"cover me whimsical" color composition fantasy art

Face Block-in

UPDATE 12-9-2022: This digital painting started out in Photoshop. However, due to time constraints and travel, I’ve continued to work on this piece using Procreate on my iPad Pro. Below is an update on the girl’s face. We’ll call this phase of the painting a block-in for her face.

cover me fantasy art painting progress
Blocking in the girl’s face.


Enter: Butterflies

UPDATE 12-15-2022: Continuing to work in Procreate, I’ve made the decision to divert a major part of the original layout of this painting. The background woods and trees are now gone. These things happen when you let a painting sit for a month or two. In this case, I felt the original layout was stiff.

Adding the bubbles and the butterflies is adding a new element, but it also makes it feel much more lively and interactive with the girl.

cover me butterflies fantasy art painting progress
Adding a new element to the painting: butterflies. Artwork by Rene Arreola.


Final artwork for “Cover Me.”

The full title for this piece is “Raziah, Cover Me.” Raziah, the woman in the painting below, is a Metaterran from my Realm Ethereal universe. Just as easily as I removed the forest during the painting process, I brought it back in.

This goes to show that sometimes I circle back to my original ideas. Sometimes it takes working through the process to see how valuable the initial concept is. In this case, the trees in the background fill the top of the painting and provide the necessary contrast to make the foreground elements pop out more.

"Raziah, Cover Me" fantasy artwork by Rene Arreola
“Raziah, Cover Me” fantasy artwork by Rene Arreola.


Raziah, Cover Me

From a distance, Raziah was drawn to the bubbles appearing suddenly in the darkening woods. Then, as she approached a stray bubble, she noticed something within it: a red butterfly.

Raziah found more red butterflies of varying sizes covered within bubbles. She stumbled upon an Infinity Well. These wells are often tiny portals connected directly to the Realm Ethereal.

The butterflies are ethereal, and Raziah is drawn to them instantly. She sits down beside the well. The butterflies begin to sparkle as she places her hand near the well. Something new is taking shape here and forming right before our very eyes.


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