I was recently inspired by the concept art for Deus Ex Human Revolution, so I decided to try and apply some of those concepts to a new drawing. I'll put up the progress drawings here to sort of explain the process.
I started with a rough idea of what I wanted. I planned on doing a research station. I'd previously done a research kiosk prop, and I wanted to create an environment to showcase that. I figured the space should be set up overlooking a testing area. I wanted the time period to be slightly but not ridiculously futuristic. (yes holograms, but also yes to paper, pens and books)
After getting the basics shapes in I started messing around with the lighting to make sure the piece was clear and understandable.
More lighting, contrast adjusting. Working with the value and really messing with the composition of drawings in the early stages has become increasingly important to me. Even though it's easy to get excited and want to rush forward, I am trying to really get the most out of the value and lighting, I think those things make or break a nice piece. Especially when your reference is the art for DX:HR, that style really seems to be all about contrast, lighting and color.
More details, continuing to push the lighting and contrast. Toned down to greyscale in prep for coloring.
I kind of had a color scheme like this in mind from the beginning, hence the green tone on the early drawings. I played with a lot of color combinations, but in the end I came back to this one. Sometimes it's hard to tell if you're coming back to the original color because it's best or just because your eyes are used to it, but I think the green works well for the laboratory feel.
Some final lighting tweaks. These were made mostly in deference to the DX:HR art references. I usually don't like to muddy up the atmosphere of my drawings, but I think I tend to draw everything too clean and the purpose of trying out new styles is to see how a thing works right? In the end I liked the lighting changes, it makes things softer and more atmospheric.