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Step 22

Highlight the water with a brush set to 5% opacity, using color #8EDFD8. Try to concentrate on the center of the stream.

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Step 23

Gaussian blur the “water” layer, this will soften the water and blend the dark and light just a little.

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Step 24

Next, switch back to the “stream” layer and Gaussian blur it as well. This is going to get rid of the harsh bank without making it appear fuzzy.

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Step 25

Time to lighten the lights. Go back to the “water” layer, and use the dodge tool (highlights mode, 30% exposure, soft round brush) to lighten the middle of the stream.

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Step 26

The last step before the stream is finished is to darken the darks with the burn tool. Set the tool to midtones mode, and 16% exposure, and darken the shadows cast by the stream’s banks.

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Step 27

Now make a new layer titled “grass”. This is going to be the layer that changes the green mass into what looks like grass.

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Step 28

Rendering realistic grass is very easy if you use the right brush and the right settings. Find the grass brush (basic brushes, about two thirds of the way down the brush list) that is leaning to the right and copy the settings below.

Under “other dynamics” turn both the opacity jitter and flow jitter off.

To create realistic looking grass, use a very light hand when you are around the base of the trees, and a very heavy hand as you move towards the front of the picture. I also switched between a size 200 pixel brush and a 140 pixel brush.

The two light colors are:

#3B7B00

#346900

The two dark colors are:

#254800

#2D5900

*Make sure you can see some of the base color through the grass, or else it will look fake!

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Step 29

Now erase the grass that appears to be growing out of the water and bank.

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Step 30

Copy the entire “grass” layer and paste it onto a new layer. Use Ctrl+t to allow stretching of the picture, and completely stretch the picture down to a thin strip, and then past the middle and to the other side to flip the image.

Adjust the grass to fit right, and erase the stray grass (that is coving part of the trees and bushes, or is now growing out of the bank.

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Step 31

Copy the front section of the “grass” layer and repeat step 30 for this as well on the right side of the brook.

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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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