My first challenge was that I didn't actually have a photo with the pose I wanted, so I had to make one. I used these two for the body and head. Another one for the arms, and a fourth one for the hand(s). The arms were from a photo without the silver bodypaint, so I had to add it in later.
This is not the final version of the hands, but I just wanted to show that even though I used the same hand and flipped it, I actually did change the fingers a bit to make them look like two different hands. I also changed the shadows and details even more later on.
And then the hair. Oh boy. I've never tried making hair in Photoshop like this before, so I thought I should give it a go. From left to right you can see the different iterations of the hair I made. I had no idea how to do this so I started with just a single line as the first strand of hair.
Then I duplicated it a few times, rotated it a bit and moved a few of them around. I also changed the color from white to different shades of grey to make them more varied.
Next, I used the zig-zag filter in an attempt to add more natural looking curves. Then I did the same with another strand of hair, but I never used the same settings twice. And I never had two hairs in the same position. This was important to make them all unique. I know it might sound like it takes a shitload of time, but remember: after you've duplicated it a few times you suddenly got 8 strands of hair. Merge the layers, duplicate again, rotate/scale it slightly and then you have 16. Then 32, 64 and so on. Do it a few more times and you got all the parts you need for a digital wig. Now all you have to do is assemble the pieces.
Used a bunch of photos of different autumn colored leaves for the tornado which I added motion blur to later, followed by warping the shapes to change the perspective and direction a bit. The photo at the far left was used to add a bit of texture to the ground.
This is the tornado. I just drew it with my fog/smoke brush, added a few particles and used motion blur on it. I know it doesn't look like much, but it was just supposed to be sort of an "outline" for the actual tornado when I blended it in. And then I started adding debris and leaves.
Here you can flip throught the different versions. Well, not all of them, but you can probably notice most of the bigger changes from beginning to end. I've left out all the tinkering with hair, lightning, adding dust, debris and particles, and how I tweaked the colors and contrast.
In the end I had a file size exceeding 2GB and Photoshop wouldn't allow me to save it without merging or deleting a few layers. I might have gone a bit too far with layers and the actual size of the image. Instead of shrinking the model in the first place I just expanded the canvas size. A lot.
Well, that's about it. Drop a comment below or send me a message if you want to see more stuff like this.