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Step 9

Erase the tree lines and brown color that lies within the bushes outline. Also make any last changes to the bushes’ outlines, correcting shape and placement as necessary.

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Step 10

Where there are bare ends of the trees, make a puff of leaves similar to what was done with the bushes. Then erase all lines and tree trunk that falls within its border.

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Step 11

Now this is the last step for detailing the lines of the trees. Try to keep it simple by indicating leaves rather than drawing each individual one.

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Step 12

Now to color the leaves of the bushes and trees, make a new layer above the tree background layer but below the layer with the outline.

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Step 13

Now take a size 95 pixel (soft edged brush) set to 25% opacity and highlight the tree leaves and bushes using color #6DBB21. The lightest parts will be on the leaves that were indicated earlier.

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Step 14

The last step for the leaves is to take color #1F3F00 and add shadows to the bottom of the bushes and shadows underneath the leaves.

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Step 15

The last step in finishing the trees is to highlight and add shadows. A good highlight color is #844202, and the shadow I used is #3B1D00. It is a good idea to add a slight highlight to the center of the trunk, and then to make one side of the trunk lighter than the other.

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Step 16

To finish the background itself, add a few transparent tree trunks, and using a very transparent soft edged brush and color #FFBE33, add some light filtering through the trees.

To add shadows beneath the trees use color #004111.

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*All steps use layering a very transparent brush (20-25% opacity)

Step 17

Now, create a new layer and title it “stream”.

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Step 18

To create the base for the stream, create a winding brown (color #361300) area that gets thicker as it approaches the foreground of the picture.

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Step 19

Now using color #008A8C, alternate the side that shows brown. This will make the stream have a bank.

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Step 20

Now, make a new layer and title it water. This is the layer where we will be detailing the stream.

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Step 21

Use the magic wand tool and select the blue area from the layer below. Next, take color #00494A and using a soft-edged 20% opaque brush, add the shadows. This can be done by swiping the brush horizontally across the selected area, concentrating on the areas where the bank is overshadowing the water.

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10 responses to “Create a Children’s Book Illustration Part I: The Background”

  1. Nick Risberg Avatar
    Nick Risberg

    love the step by step tutorials!! I’ll have to get at it this weekend!

  2. DEREK Avatar
    DEREK

    I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS TUTORIAL. IT DIDNT HELP ONE BIT.

  3.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    Confusing what application do U use like paint??

  4. zakir375 Avatar
    zakir375

    It was good tutorial, I am learning magic of Photoshop, thanks.

  5. Nick Legarde Avatar
    Nick Legarde

    Digital imaging is such a grind. But Mr. Grey is an OG.

  6. Nick Legarde Avatar
    Nick Legarde

    Photoshop sux

  7. Sakib Ullah Avatar
    Sakib Ullah

    Nice tutorial

    1. Berned Avatar
      Berned

      Nope.

  8. Lisa Chaikin-Johnston Avatar
    Lisa Chaikin-Johnston

    Nice tutorial! I appreciate the steps and various explanations of brush settings.

    1. Sakib Ullah Avatar
      Sakib Ullah

      No it wasn’t good

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