Workshop: Tomorrow Never Happened

As a pure blood digital arts lover I’m being inspired everyday and by almost everything and digital art is on top of everything. One of my personal passions in art is surrealism so I was going to create grotesque artwork with some fantasy attributes. I’m also fan of Zdzislaw Beksinski, which inspires me like no one else and I was trying to achieve similar mysterious mood and experiment with imagination.

So I wrote a short story that’s behind this artwork, something I want to tell but more than that it’s something I want you, as a viewer, can discover.

He was walking forty three days, searching for something who nobody has found, a new chapter in his life; time, future, maybe… He knew it, he felt it, he sniffed it… He knew it’s somewhere here, in a place when nothing happens twice… A place where Tomorrow Never Happened…

With this workshop I’m going to write a bit of “idea evolution” in digital art. I had general idea for this artwork but many parts of it, like eyes and organic brain-thing came to me rather spontaneously.

I was using photo manipulation and matte painting techniques. With this artwork I want to build surreal world and give viewers a chance to dive into every part of this detailed image.  Read on to find out more.


1. The first thing I was working on was overall composition and grotesque, sinister scene with really giant skull as a main theme. At this point I’ve set up empty studio background with ground texture, added some light to eye sockets and cut out big hole on the left side of skull. I have also added tattoos all over the skull.


2. From the early beginning I was going to emphasize three dimensional feel of the artwork by more space inside of the skull and adding perspective later on. And I got that idea of filling skull with some octopus tentacles. Image was still slightly too dark.


3. At this point I’ve focused on skull texture by adding more details, cracks and grain; lightened up areas around eye sockets and “mouth”; formed main hole shape and worked on tentacle texture inside. They are made of few images combined into one huge texture, wrapping whole skull surface inside.


4. Experimenting with some opposite theme – beauty flower inside skull. But I felt like it was ‘melting’ with tentacles, they both were too organic. I moved it elsewhere later on and focused on background: added perspective into scenario and worked on ground/earth/outland texture. Also want to indicate giant size of the skull by adding small wolf, birds around nose and dry tree. I like how wolf is howling up to the skull. Note all tentacles are covered by mucus.


5. Huge, shiny crystal inside of the skull is reflecting tentacles and ground. It’s shattered, mysterious and has sharp edges which looks like gathering some energy. That’s it! I’ve been also trying out simple desert background, but decided it’s less interesting.


6. This final stage is all about color correction, lightning and polishing details: warmed color tone, adjusted contrast and saturation inside skull, added bloody details into eye sockets, painted cracks on forehead and lightened up edges all over the place, blurried edges among some other minor tweaks. At the very final stage I’ve been working on the ground again. Added few more stages in the horizon, faded all textures, introduced subtle light and skull shadow in the bottom part of the image.