My Fan Art for Life is Strange (Part 2)

by Sep 26, 2019Fan Art

In my last blog post I shared my first set of fan art for Life is Strange. Since that day I have continued making fan art for the same series. I have learned new techniques in doing coloring and shadowing with my graphic tablet and I have also got to use the latest version of Photoshop and its tools. All this new fan art I’m sharing in this blog post have been challenging learning opportunities to me, and each of them has taken 10 – 30+ hours to create. I wish I could create fan art a bit faster than that, but somehow I have just tried to achieve better and better results with every new piece. I also have this tendency to include something completely new to me in every single piece, be it a posture, background, or a gesture, so that I keep learning. In any case, here’s my next set, I hope you like it!

By the way, in my last post I was wondering if there are even tens of thousands of fan art for Life is Strange. Now I know, and yes there is.

10. Chloe on the Road

Since my last fan art was a wallpaper of Max, I wanted to create a wallpaper of Chloe this time. I wanted the picture to have Chloe together with her car, somewhere. Eventually I got the idea for this setting while driving a car myself: Chloe sitting on the hood of her car while enjoying sunset. Even before starting I knew this piece of fan art would be much more difficult to create than my previous work. I would need to draw Chloe in a rather difficult pose, her car (I don’t even remember the last time I have drawn a car), and also the background with sunset. All in all this picture took me about 30 hours to create.

I started doing this by drawing Chloe and her car. I had to search multiple photos to use as my reference to get Chloe’s pose look natural. For the car I thought that it’s enough to only create its front part so that the background would get more visibility. Originally the coloring for Chloe and her car looked a bit similar as in my last fan art of Max, but then I discovered a new kind of coloring technique. I figured out that I could do coloring that looks like painting if I mix the nearest colors of my choosing and change their opacities. I first tested this with Chloe’s jeans and I was happy by how much better they looked. I used this same technique for the car and it immediately started to look more real. After learning this technique I used it in the rest of this fan art as well as in my future work.

When Chloe and her car were finished, I created the road and the background using the same new coloring techniques. I created the field and the trees by using different default brushes in Photoshop and by using various nature photos as my reference. To finish the picture, I drew a spray can next to Chloe to show a sign of her rebellious nature. As a last touch I also removed almost all of the black lines I did in the beginning and was amazed by how much it changed the end result as well.

In summary, I could say I learned hella lot from creating this wallpaper of Chloe.

11. Max & Chloe Visiting the Three Seals Motel

In the first episode of Life is Strange 2 Sean and Daniel visit this Three Seals Motel, which is located close to Arcadia Bay. This motel made me think whether Max and Chloe had visited this exactly same place. I kept walking around the area in the game and checking the surroundings, imagining Max and Chloe here and there. So I got an idea for this fan art, to make this idea real.

In this piece of fan art I got to draw Max and Chloe hugging in dark and under street lights, which was not an easy pose to draw nor an easy lighting to create. For the pose I used some of my screenshots from the game as reference. Drawing the pose went wrong so many times, but in the end I managed to make it look natural, I think. I wanted to add some emotion in the picture as well and so I decided to draw Max and Chloe crying. This also went wrong many, many times, but I’m happy of the end result. When Max and Chloe were finished, I did the background using the same techniques as in my previous work “Chloe on the Road”. For the background I used screenshots from the game as reference, changing the surroundings a little.

Lighting was especially challenging in this work. Originally the result was too dark, which happened because I didn’t realize my screen’s brightness had been set to maximum while doing this. I realized this only after posting the work in Twitter. I fixed the lighting multiple times after this and posted a new version in the end with better lighting.

Max & Chloe Visiting the Three Seals Motel was received especially well by fans of Life is Strange and to this day it’s my most commented work. I found out some fans started to use the picture as their mobile wallpaper, so I decided to do a separate mobile wallpaper version of it as well. I also added a quote from the game to the mobile wallpaper version. Thanks to Xerathar for the quote idea!

12. Chloe Having a Smoke

Since my last fan art of LiS was also a work of 30-ish hours, I wanted to do something more simple next. For some time I was out of ideas, but when I visited the exhibition of René Magritte in Helsinki, I got an idea.

Magritte (1898–1967) was a Belgian surrealist and one of his early works was this advertising project for Belga cigarettes where a woman was having a smoke with blue, cloudy sky in the background. Inspired by this, I wanted to create a similar-looking fanart of LiS with Chloe. I wanted the picture to have Chloe with a neutral face, watching directly in the eyes of the viewer. In the end I managed to create this in about 10 hours.

There’s close to one hundred years between this painting of Magritte’s and my fan art of Chloe. I think the pictures tell a different story. What do you think?

Original work of René Magritte.

13. The October Country

Time to do some fan art of Kate Marsh! The sweet and innocent character from Life is Strange.

This piece of fan art was inspired by the book The October Country, written by Ray Bradbury. In the beginning of Life is Strange Max has borrowed this book from Kate and Kate is asking Max to give it back to her. It’s a book containing multiple short stories, which are rather dark and macabre. After playing Life is Strange I decided to borrow this book myself from my local library and see what’s it about. I read the book, liked it very much and I can say that it inspired me to start trying to write a short story of my own. It made me wonder, however, that why Kate wanted to read exactly this book given the way she feels in that particular episode of Life is Strange.

Nevertheless, I started this work by drawing the book and hands holding it first. Then I drew Kate’s face. I used some screenshot references once again to help me in drawing Kate’s face. No way I could draw her hair without any reference! Lastly I did the background using the same techniques as in my previous works: a series of Photoshop brushes blashing here and there, and finally some lighting adjustment and blurring. Oh and for the cover of the book I tried to copy quite much the original cover of the book, although it differs a bit.

14. Max and Chloe at the Beach

Back to Pricefield. The idea for this fan art came originally from Scapio00, who gave me an awesome list of fanart ideas for Life is Strange in a Discord server. The quote for Chloe came from Death58, and I also want to thank blkmary for giving me ideas to improve the background.

The original idea of Scapio was this: Max and Chloe walking side by side holding hands by the beach. I tried to draw this fan art completely following this idea but in the end I decided to draw Max and Chloe standing and facing each other. The pose was not as difficult to draw as some of my previous work, but I sure had difficulties drawing their hands and Chloe’s face. Originally the hands were in different position. For Chloe’s face I didn’t draw any lines except eyes and eyebrows. Otherwise it was just coloring and shadowing. I don’t know if this was the best way to do a face although I’m quite happy of the end result. Coloring the face, however, took plenty of time.

Beach, sea and sky were once again done in a similar way as in my other pieces of fan art. What was tricky though was to make the sea look more real. I did this by photoshopping a reflection of the sky on the water and adding some filter effects on it. When the fanart was finished, I noticed that I had coincidentally used almost the same colorworld as the cover picture of the first issue of Life is Strange comics.

15. Next to You

In the beginning of this post I mentioned Life is Strange having tens of thousands of fan art images. Well, there are plenty of fan fiction as well. I personally have read only one fan fiction of Life is Strange. It was All That Remains by HawtDawgMan, consisting of 67 chapters. I read it right after playing the game and I enjoyed it a lot. Before reading this I had never read any fan fiction for any series, and this surely opened my eyes how dedicated fans can truly continue the series in a way it deserves.

Some time ago I started to read another fan fiction of Life is Strange: Next to You by GipsyLegend. It’s still on-going, currently having 16 chapters. I’m liking it very much by far, and reading it made me want to do my next fan art for one of its scenes that was very beautiful, touching and memorable in my opinion. I’m not telling more about the scene or its setting, I recommend giving it a read yourself.

In this work I drew Max with longer hair and a bit different look, and Chloe in her original look. During the work I downloaded the newest version of Photoshop CC, which gave me some new and awesome brushes and tools to try and use. I found one mixing brush especially useful in doing skin coloring and clothing. It makes it so much easier! You can see the result in Chloe’s skin, face, and beanie for example. I think this painting-like coloring of mine got a bit more realistic touch in this work.

The most challenging thing in creating this work was the lighting. I adjusted it again and again, re-creating shadows concurrently. I focused on it so much that in the end I noticed that I could have drawn Max’s hand behind Chloe’s back as well. But it was too late to add that when I was already finishing the work. Thus I decided to view the work in a way that Max’s hand is holding Chloe’s head from the side that is not visible in the picture.

For the background I photoshopped this photo of San Francisco in Pixabay by Foundry.

16. Crosses

It was Max’s birthday on 21st September. I got a feeling that I wanted to create a fan art similar to some of my early fan art of Life is Strange. Hence I got an idea of drawing Max playing a guitar, wearing a beanie like in those Badass Max at Junkyard -photoshoppings of mine. In the end I drew Max playing guitar and singing the song Crosses from the game with Arcadia Bay in the background (thanks to Cringelord for the background idea!). Again I got some new and nice effects from the new tools of Photoshop CC 2019, like the sunlight and light snow in the air. 

I did this fan art pretty much the same way as Chloe on the Road, and I think this gives the viewer similar vibes. Max’s pose was the most difficult thing to draw. For the guitar I used the magic of Photoshop a bit, I honestly couldn’t draw a guitar like that from scratch. The same goes with Max’s finger positions. For them I used the screenshot of Max playing guitar in the game as my reference. The background was once again easy and fast to do using some set of brushes. For the trees and bushes I, however, had to download some new ones to use. I hope you like the end result! 

That’s about it by far! All of the pictures above can be viewed in my DeviantArt-page separately.

If you liked this new set of fan art for Life is Strange, please drop a comment or like in one of my social media channels. Again, if you’d like to see more similar work from me, I’d like to hear from you. I’m always up for some good chatting!

Also: If you have some kind of a LiS account in social media that focuses on sharing fan art related to Life is Strange, you have my permission to share my work providing that you credit me (claycr4ne) in the descriptions.

Thanks and have a good one!