A Guide to Painting “The Clever Cat”

A Guide to Painting “The Clever Cat”
Learn how to create this stunning painting by Hatice Bayramoglu. This tutorial will guide you through the painting techniques and process the author used. You’ll learn how the author paints, manages layers, and make changes as she paints.

Preview of Final Results

Painting “The Clever Cat” Photoshop Tutorial

For this tutorial I will be using Adobe Photoshop and Wacom Tablet to create the painting. I will also be using techniques and methods that I feel most comfortable with when coloring. I suggest that after following this tutorial that you find out what works best for you. In this tutorial, I will describe to you the process of how this image was created. I will go into detail about the brushes I use and so forth so you can have as a clear understanding of my process. This painting was made entirely in Photoshop CS2

Step 1

Start by creating a new document in Photoshop. It should be about 2000x1000 pixels.

Step 2

Create a new layer called “sketch”. This layer is used to hold the sketch for a painting and is only temporary to help with the painting. A sketch is the starting point for many types of paintings. You can create this sketch in Photoshop or on paper. Most people find it easier and faster to create the sketch on paper then scan it into Photoshop. After you created the sketch layer, change the blending mode to Multiply and always keep it as the top layer so that you can see it as you’re painting.

Step 3

Before you start on the painting, decide on the colors you’ll use. Here are the colors used for this artwork. You can use the same colors and load them into the Swatches palette in Photoshop. If you don’t like the color scheme, you can always make some fixes to change it later.

Step 4

Before you begin painting, you’ll need to set your brush settings. Start by selecting the Brush tool then using a standard brush such as the one shown below.
In the Brushes palette (Window > Brushes), you’ll find many settings that you can adjust for your brush. I’ll show you the settings I used for this painting. In the Other Dynamics settings, I set the control to Pen Pressure. This is important if you are using a pen tablet for your painting. A pen tablet, such as the Wacom pen tablet, is essential for painting in Photoshop. It lets you paint using a pen instead of a mouse and adjust the strength and angle of your stroke. Set your brush settings to the one shown in the image below and try painting to see what it is like.
Here is what the brush looks like with the settings shown in the above image. I want my brush to be smooth and soft with pen pressure sensitivity. It’s important to choose the right brush settings in the beginning as it can significantly affect the quality of your painting.

Step 5

Now we’ll begin painting the image. For the background, start by using the Gradient tool (G). I used a gradient from blue to teal to for the background. Make sure that your layer setup is the same as shown in the image below. Then using the Brush tool (B), begin painting the cat and the branch on their own separate layers. Make sure that your brush has a hardness of 100%. A brush with a soft edge can produce blurry results.

Step 6

Now we have 5 layers. Layers help make it easier to make adjustments and changes. This step is very important. Working carefully like this gives you tremendous control. I have a different layer for the cat and an another layer for the tree color and as you see on the picture all my layers have a sensible name.

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