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Fantasy Aurora Borealis Tutorial by jocarra Fantasy Aurora Borealis Tutorial by jocarra
A tutorial on how I made the aurora borealis wolves in "Spirit of the Hunt." Could probably also be used to make nebula and cloud animals, as well :) Please let me know if you have any questions!

Tutorial links:

Star stock photos:
Star tutorial:
Spirit of the Hunt:
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner May 26, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!  I hope so :)  Best of luck with it!
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:icon1devilishdude:
1DeViLiShDuDe Featured By Owner May 26, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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:iconkhaliaart:
KhaliaArt Featured By Owner May 21, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
this is really helpful , thanks!! Can't wait to see my final result :la:
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner May 21, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Best of luck!  Lemme know how it turns out :)
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:iconthe-diesis:
The-Diesis Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
your tut really helped me make the sky for this -truthdawnsinfire.deviantart.co…
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Awesome, looks good :3
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:iconsarahostervig:
Sarahostervig Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2014
would be more helpful with brushes
i dont have photoshop and tried TRIED with sai and it looks like crap not like a real borealis like your wolves

wish ur wolves were a real borealis without the animal to better do a borealis original
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
The same general principle should apply to doing a non-animal-shaped borealis as well!  But yeah, generally I try to do tutorials for painting things from scratch - if you're using a brush, then it sort of does it for you, and wouldn't need a tutorial ;P
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:iconsarahostervig:
Sarahostervig Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2014
I cant figure out on how to make it a good borialis in sai
the only brush i use is the normal ones

I wanted to make it look smooth like tihs 12.01.24-mjs Ft Northern-lights 23912730 582 388 by Sarahostervig  or the 4th that you had in the tutorial
and none of the ones you made in your tutorial helped with that for me well not makng it look good anywho 


Christmas Globe 1 by Sarahostervig
 see? i havnt colored it fully yet cuss the work on it didn't look fluid enough to egin coloring the rest

tried to have the colors of this Aurora-Borealis-2 by Sarahostervig  
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Looks like you need to do more gentle airbrushing around the "base" - it looks clearly like you drew a line along the bottom, then drew a few lines going up from it.  To make it look less "mechanical" and more glowy, try using an airbrush to expand the area along the bottom and to make the vertical lines look "fluffier".  If you use an airbrush, you should avoid that hard edge you're getting, and it'll look more blended and realistic.  Copy the photographs to try to get that natural, irregular, some-lines-are-fainter-and-others-are-bigger-and-glowier look.
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:iconsarahostervig:
Sarahostervig Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2014
hmm but thats just it i did use an airbrish to make both the stripesand the glow going up from the line
i used an ink pen in the softest it could get for the base of it the most lighest and an airbrush for the other two
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
*nods* It just needs some more blending - perhaps using a smudge tool would help?
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:iconsarahostervig:
Sarahostervig Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014
it doesnt have a smudge tool in paint tool sai
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Ah, I guess it's just up to straight manual painting skills, then!
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(1 Reply)
:iconevanscene:
Evanscene Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thank you so much for providing such an amazing tutorial!
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Cheers, best of luck with it <3
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:iconkellyhyuga:
kellyHyuga Featured By Owner May 4, 2014
just wow
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner May 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
:thanks:
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:iconzombiekinz:
Zombiekinz Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is awesome thank you for this!!!
:happybounce: la in love
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Cheers!
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:iconclumsydemonwithfire:
clumsydemonwithfire Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013   General Artist
This is beautiful!!! Thank you for providing such a wonderful tutorial!!! :D
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you, and best of luck :)
Reply
:iconclumsydemonwithfire:
clumsydemonwithfire Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013   General Artist
You're welcome! :D
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:iconwolvenlights:
Wolvenlights Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013
Oh now I'm challenging myself to a level of expert! lets see what this noobie can do LOL
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Awesome, best of luck!
Reply
:iconwolvenlights:
Wolvenlights Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013
OMG! I think i did pretty good actually ^_^
Check it out and tell me what you think. Thank you for posting this tutorial, it was a HUGE help.
[link]
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Good job :)  The colours turned out nicely, I think.
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:iconwolvenlights:
Wolvenlights Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013
thank you very much! I'm sure with a little more practice I'll have it down
Reply
:iconshinyaquablueribbon:
ShinyAquaBlueRibbon Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Student General Artist
Amazing tutorial!!!! T^T I really want to make a cool aurora now.
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Hehe, best of luck!
Reply
:iconserafina-rose:
serafina-rose Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fantastic - thnx
:iconflyingheartsplz::iconredroseplz::iconflyingheartsplz:
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Cheers :)
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:iconstormhawk-da:
Stormhawk-DA Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Wonderful! Very useful, I hope to try it as soon as possible!
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Cheers, best of luck to you :)
Reply
:iconlarkoftheriver:
LarkoftheRiver Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Used here [link] Thanks!
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Wow, neat! Very sparkly :)
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:iconriivka:
Riivka Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Squeeee this is fantastic. Thank you so much, Jen! :heart: So gorgeous ;A;
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
You're super welcome! You should make a rainbow space Bob 83
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:iconriivka:
Riivka Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I am so going to do this. Right now. Thank you for giving me the best idea ever 8D
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Whatever you end up doing, I think I'll end up imagining a rainbow space Abby-angel playing with him <3
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:iconriivka:
Riivka Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist

[link]

I can make one of him and Abby for real if you'd like! ♥
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Daww! It'd be cool if you did, but obviously no obligation :b Right now, I'm imagining Bob and Abby making golden-derp faces together :3
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:iconriivka:
Riivka Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
No I'd absolutely love to! ♥ Golden derp faces!! ♥ I'd probably have them playing together in the sky. D'awww the thought of it makes me want to cry ;U;
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, I know how that feels :b It has taken much practice to not tear up when I talk about Abby ;_;
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(1 Reply)
:icon42yellowclocks:
42yellowclocks Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
used! [link]
thank you so much
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
That's really neat, thanks for sharing!
Reply
:iconlyrak:
Lyrak Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Any suggestions for making the initial feathery edges? That's the part I always muck up first, so I can never get to the rest because I'm all "rawr!!!" (can't make auroras period, let alone animal shaoes yet rofl)
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:iconjocarra:
jocarra Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
*chuckles* Yeah, it takes time.

What I do for the feathery edge is simply just "sketch" it with an airbrush (a soft-edged brush set to a low flow setting, like 1-20%). No smudging (which looks too obviously like the smudge tool pulled through your nice cloud of colour), and no motion blur filter (which looks too absolutely perfect). Just some sketchy lines that roughly go in the same direction, some are longer than others, some are shorter, some "spikes" are grouped up with a bunch of others, some are relatively on their own.

However! If you're having some trouble getting it started, maybe try running it through a motion blur filter and THEN painting on top of that. The filter will create that sort of liney feathery edge. However, it'll do it on both sides, so I'd gently erase the bottom part of the blurry lines, and manually edit the top. Add some manually painted highlights and erase the lines so they aren't all the same length and value.

I prefer painting them from scratch, though :) Lemme know if you need any more help, or if I was confusing or something :b
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:iconlyrak:
Lyrak Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think I know what you mean... will have to play around and try it. :) Thanks!
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