Originally I planned on making up the Pleiades for another piece I’m working on where it was to be used as the backdrop on the surface of a moon, but this image came out so good I decided to add a gas giant and submit it as is. I call this “The Daughters of Atlas” in reference to Greek Mythology where the Pleiades were the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas and Pleione a sea nymph.
I did this entirely in Photoshop. I decided right from the start to make the cluster as close to the real thing as I could. I began by accurately mapping the stars onto a canvas, basically dotting where every star needed to be. The nebula was then painted in by hand using my own set of PS nebula brushes based mostly on cloud textures. The gas giant was created from a modified Jupiter texture and the rings are a combination of both Saturn and Uranus ring systems. Trust me when I say putting the stars in at the proper locations and the correct brightness was a time consuming nightmare, but the results speak for themselves. I decided to offer the nebula by itself as a stock image if anyone would like to use it. The slightly larger image can be found here: fav.me/d6gyo4o
As always, comments are most welcome.