Chesed's Order - Illustration 1

The social side of things over here has been slipping recently, I know....but it's because I've been working hard on an exciting project I'd love to introduce you to! 

Chesed's Order is a short story by a friend of mine J. Aaron Culpepper, we're teaming up on this project to make one great book. It's due to come out this Christmas from Ambassador International. The book is a fictional account of The Advent from the eyes of the angels in heaven, the heralds of this great gift to man. 

So I get the chance to illustrate heaven, which is pretty exciting, but of course mostly subject to my imagination. I do believe heaven is a real place and because God made it, it will be beautiful. I don't know what type of architecture it will have, what kind of flora and fauna either, but I do know beautiful things that He has made here on earth, through the work of His own hands and through that of man as well. And so this book will contain many things that I personally find beautiful, I hope you don't mind.

Here's a look at my process for the first illustration.

The book is planned to be a horizontal 8.5" x 11", so I'm looking at a 22" spread. I drew it full scale, minus the text to the right, scanned it in parts, and pieced it together in photoshop.

Here's my first layer of flat colors, this gives me a base for each part of the painting, allowing me to build secondary colors, shadows, highlights and textures on top of them when they are selected.

Secondary layer of flat colors as well as some texture in the sky.

Here are a couple layers of shadow, one normal and one multiply.

Here's a layer of blue shadow, set on overlay.

Highlights on overlay.

Color Balance layer, making the highlights more red and yellow, and the shadows more cyan.

Finally finishing off with a warming red photo filter set at 49% density to unify all the colors.

Will heaven have hobbit-like holes? Maybe, maybe something better, I just think they're too beautiful of an idea to keep out.

For more thoughts and great insights of what God says in the Bible about heaven I'd strongly recommend you reading Heaven by Randy Alcorn.