Sometimes it’s fun to go a little bit nuts. I see other Space Art that I admire and I’m tempted enough to experiment and make my own version. Creating an image you like is kind of a hit and miss process. What I envisioned in this image wasn’t exactly the end result. I didn’t originally have the reflection, but when I added it, the image truly seemed alien.
This particular image consists of 37 layers, 8 for the stars, 2 for the moon, 11 for the sculpted towers and their reflections, and the balance for the landscape and details such as the atmosphere. Note that each of the towers were created from multiple layers, then pulled into the image, thus making the total layers more like 50. The star field and moon are borrowed from other images.
Because of the complexity of an image like this, it would be far too time consuming and long to create a single tutorial to explain the process. It will be better to take one element at a time. However, there is nothing very difficult to create an image such as this. The most important aspect is to pay attention to the blend and balance of the elements. Creating a distinct shoreline for instance was a key element in giving the image credibility. You can only fool the eye so much until you just don’t buy into what you are seeing.