A while back I created a few movie posters as assignments for The Blind Elephant Collective and today I want to share with you the creation process for the Back To The Future poster.

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First I start with a sketch so I can have an idea of all the elements I want to use, as well as to explore the composition.

In this case I wanted Marty McFly to be the centre of attention, as well as having the hoverboard as a main element. Behind him there’s the envious Biff Tannen, and in the background Lorraine and George are together just outside the clock tower (DeLorean flying just above), so basically covering what I think are the most significant elements of the movie without giving too much away.

I also did some research to make sure the character’s clothes and other elements are recognized.back_to_the_future_00

Then I scan my image and bring it into Photoshop and adapt it to the size needed (The portrait nature of the poster required a composition adjustment in this case). I then use my sketch as a reference for digital painting in different layers (multiple mode) so I can see what I’ve drawn but I have enough flexibility to work in other layers.

What I do then is choose the colour palette that I’ll be working with and once the colours are chosen I have a very specific process: 1) Block colouring the main parts 2) Create shadows and highlights for those parts 3) Add details to those parts (all done in different layers)

There’s a lot of trial and error, especially to create contrasts.
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I work on each element separately (characters, trees, clock tower, title, etc.) so I can make adjustments as I go. For example, the DeLorean found a better spot above the title.

The last things I worked on were the title, which I decided last minute to make my own font, and the ground. I wanted the background to have enough contrast without blending too much into the artwork, so after playing a little with the colours I had initially picked, I chose to use grey, as an extra colour.

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And ta-da!

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If you liked this post or if you have any questions, please leave a comment below!

Thank you!