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Learn step by step how this painting was created. I suggest that after following this tutorial, you find out what works best for you. In this tutorial I will be using Adobe Photoshop and Wacom Tablet to create the finished result. I will also be using techniques and methods that I feel most comfortable with when coloring.
Preview of Final Results
This painting was made entirely in Photoshop CS2
Download the PSD
Painting "Aldwin Boy the Climber" Photoshop Tutorial
Step 1 Sketching
I decide to paint a little boy who likes to be up in the sky . I started with some quick sketches about the main idea. And here is the sketch about my main environment for the character.
Step 2 Setting the Canvas
Let's start with opening a new document of around 700 pixels by 1006 pixels with a resolution of 72px/inch. Create a new layer and draw a sketch like I did. Resolution must be 72 for now. Later you need to make it bigger to add painting details. But not now.
Step 3: Choosing a Brush
For my painting I am going to use only standard brushes. 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.
Step 4: Pen Pressure
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.
Step 5: Color Palette
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. I want my painting is look like some real dream in a dark night with some strange clouds. I choose a very dark blue and dark brown mixed with some brown and some blue and purple. Background will be a cold night blue color.
Step: 6 Layers
Ok. Here are layers. I named my first layer name as "sketch" And now here as you see I have 8 layers. You must do the same on your own project too. And the first layer is for my sketch work. On the next steps I'm going to create some more layers. The reason for painting on such new layers because of you need to make corrections later in the painting. It is much easier to fix errors if the main elements of your painting are separate entities.
Step 7: Working On The Background Color
At this point, we can start coloring the sketch work. Select the Gradient Tool (G) and select the background layer.
Firstly you have to choose the same color I showed you on the below picture. Make the numbers same as on the picture.
Here is my second color for the background.
Now is the time to determine the look of the background that you are going for. Grab the Gradient Tool (G) and fill the background with it.
Before continue the painting process let me show you my layer order again. I just changed the order of the layers. After you changed layers order, change the blending mode to Multiply and always keep it as the top layer so that you can see it as you're painting.. At this point, we can start coloring the sketch work and you can define the main shapes .
And you can lock the sketch layer if you want because you don't want to mess it with some colors by accident. At this point, we can start coloring the sketch work and you can define the main shapes . Don't focus in any one area, just start throwing down some shading to bring the volumes out. Then using the Brush tool (B), begin painting character and boxes 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.
And at this step I would like to change the size of my file because I'll begin to add more details so I'll need a bigger file size. I do wish my file is to be more bigger size because at this stage I do think I can't make so much detailed painting. So I open Image/Image Size. And make the settings as you see 1500x2156
And here I make some color painting with my character. And look at his clothing details. These details are just the main details so you don't try to paint everything
I'm adding some more colors and also I'm making some changes about sketch layer's opacity. Here take a look at character painting. His eyes and his hairs began to look clear at this step.
Now here is a screenshot for the details. I'm adding some more details for his hair and his eyes.
Now take a look at all details which I just make. I began to paint the the first box layer. I continue to add more details. Pay attention to my layer order. I selected the "box1" layer and after that I began to add some light and dark colors of the box.
At this stage I decided to add some details for the clouds. I selected the "cloud color" layer and after that I began to add some light colors outline of the clouds. And here as you see I painted some rough shapes for the cloud and yet I'm not sure these are the main cloud shapes. Yet I'm not focusing in on any one area, I just start throwing down some shading to bring the volumes out.
Once I'm satisfied with detailing clouds I'll now begin to small details on the box , adding more yellow and green colors. By the way don't forget at this step you don't have to over detail everything. At this point I kept working on main details and lights, until I got a nice and contrast. Sometimes I have to change some colors. I am pretty much finished painting the boxes.
I closed the "sketch" layer for you to see more clearly the details of the clouds..
Now pay attention at the details which I just make with the color dodge option. I opened the "sky" layer for you to see more clearly the details of the clouds..
And I do add some strokes with the Smudge tool (R) too. I use this because I want to add soft areas on the clouds .
When I do want to add some more light on the sun I am going to use color dodge tool. When you are using this option you must be very careful not to press hard on the pen of your table. With your pen tool you must very lightly touch on the tree branches. Don't use hard strokes. I add some strokes with the Color Dodge.
I'll now begin to detail the character, adding more yellow and green colors. I kept working on main details and lights, until I got a nice and contrast. Sometimes I have to change some colors. I am pretty much finished with painting his clothing and hair..
At this point I realized that one of the box color is not looking very good so I thought it was time to make some changes about it's color. I try some different outlook for it.. I also would like to add some more details at the bottom of the image.
Now at this step I would like to add a little small details on my clouds. So I open a new layer and choose a different Brush Tool and add some brush strokes as you see.
Now we can start out hair detailing of our character. I also used Color Dodge tool for the bright areas. This is how it looks once all the adjustments are done with the Color Dodge and Burn tool.
At this point I realized that my first character clothing is looking very simple and not so good, so I thought it was time to add some changes about details .First I have opened a new layer as "detail" and I continue to adding more details for his shoes.
Here pay attention about the changes. I have changed the box color.
And here's the final image, I hope you found this Tutorial interesting. Thank you for reading.