Quick note from Colleen: Guy created this as a coloring tutorial/exercise for our Design Team, but he was kind enough to offer to share it with ALL of our CMS friends as well. The following tutorial is all his words, his art work. Thanks Guy!!
The basic summary I would give is – I use a lot of layers even if I don’t necessarily use a lot of colors. As always, try to keep in mind where the light is coming from. I wasn’t too scrupulous with that this time around. The light source is from above and should be mostly warm colors, as it’s coming from the hot sun, but it’s also coming through layers of water. Normally that would wash out every color and all you’d have is blue, but this is our fantasy world, so I only tinted everything blueish to get that cool feeling. By contrast, whereas the warm sun is the above light source, the reflected light from the ocean floor gives the underside of things a cooler tone. I should have emphasized this more, but as I was worried about the octopus popping out as much as possible, I left most of the blues out of the octopus.
Distance also increases the amount of blue in an object, so those closest to the viewer should be the brightest and most colorful. Another reason why I kept the blues out of my focal point. Distance dims. That’s why majestic mountains are purple. It’s a good thought to keep when trying to create some depth.
Here is the Venilia line art if you’d like to try it yourself: