Learn how to paint a detailed 2D illustration in Photoshop. This tutorial will show you techniques such as how to create a concept sketch, paint a background, refinement of the painting, etc.


Preview of Final Results

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Paint “Mark the Cute Orange” Photoshop Tutorial


Tools used

  • Photoshop CS2
  • Wacom Graphire 4 4×5 USB (Blue)

Step 1

Now maybe it may sound funny at first but I only used a few standard brushes, the hard edge not for any particular reason nor do I not use other brushes. The only adjustments I make to these settings are to the opacity and flow and in my own case I change the, flow, opacity and size jitters respectively to ‘pen pressure’. Because I’m using a Wacom tablet.

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Step 2

Ok. Here we go. The very first step is to create a base sketches for the main idea. I started with some quick sketches about the character. First I drew some sketches in Photoshop using a small, pressure-sensitive paintbrush.I’m sure the one who know not drawings can manage draw some little quick sketches like this. I start out with thumbnail sketches to get inspirations. I did make quick pencil gesture drawings to explore diverse attitudes and proportions. What is the story all about? Figure out the story first before you do the sketching. It could save you a lot time. Once you figure out what story is and you know about colors then let’s start the main sketches and painting process. However, my tutorial will not teach you how to draw cartoon characters. About the sketch, it doesn’t necessarily have to be clean. Let’s not to try to make it super detailed because the lines will be covered up.

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Step 3

I use Adobe Photoshop CS3 and a Wacom tablet for all my digital. This is important. Create a story about each character. Hmmmm now let’s think about this character. My orange character has a name of course and his name is Mark J He is a sweet orange toon character and he is looking to this orange water glass in wonder. Trying to get figure out what happened to his friend :D Get the idea about this sketch work? See this is what I am trying to explain to you when I draw him. So here we go. it is always very important to have a background story on all your characters.

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Step 4

Finding sources of inspiration for your drawings isn’t hard, you might have a favorite childhood character, an over stimulated imagination. Let’s start with opening a new document of around 800 pixels by 532 pixels with a resolution of 72px/inch. Now on the first Photoshop file, select your sketch layer and drag the layer to this new file (800×532). Your layer should look like this now and you name it as ” Mark sketch” and save your work with the name of “Coloring orange” Ah by the way, resolution must be 72 for now. Later you need to make it bigger to add painting details. But not now. When you drew this picture you don’t need to have a very strong hardware.

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Step 6

As you are going to see on these steps, coloring and creating the atmosphere is fairly simple with the right tools like Photoshop and other Adobe products. For my character I am going to use only standard brushes with some different pen pressure settings. Let me show how I arrange my brush. First select the Brush Tool and then Right Click on the canvas. Setting up the appropriate brush is certainly important. These settings are under you “Basic Brushes” Under your brushes window, make sure your settings match the ones that I have displayed in the image to the right. Under “Other Dynamics” make sure Opacity Jitter and Flow Jitter are turned on. This is the brush I use for most of my soft shading. it’s nice and pressure sensitive. I spent some time on the colors things like the main colors and background color. I add a new layer in Photoshop underneath the drawing and begin coloring background layer.