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This picture represent a fantasy warrior character portrait that I painted as a personal artwork. For this tutorial, I will be using Photoshop with a Wacom tablet to create the finished result. I will also be using techniques and methods that I feel most comfortable with when coloring. I suggest that after following this tutorial, you find out what works best for you.
Painting a Fantasy Warrior in Photoshop
Step 1 - Sketching
I often draw a lot of sketch, on computer or maybe sometimes on paper. I decide to paint a portrait of a fantasy warrior . Here is the simple sketch work I did with Photoshop. For the initial sketch work, Photoshop File size is 600x600. Resolution can be 72 for now.
Step 2 - Color Palette
The second thing here you to choose color scheme. I want to do something really colorful and cold colors for the character portrait . I decided for background a dark blue color . Other colors are for the character face and his clothing. Open an another file and save your colors. And always keep open that new file when you are painting.
Step 3 - Choosing a Brush
For my character I use only standard brushes with some different pen pressure settings. Chose a simple standard brush
After that from brush panel choose "Other Dynamics" and make the setting as seen on the below picture.
Now try your brush. You can change the setting as you see on this picture.
Step 4 - Coloring
And now we are going to begin adding colors and some details. Now change the file size as 2000x2000 . Resolution must be 300. Now I start coloring and give the basic tone coloring to the sketch. Please select the Gradient Tool and do as you see an the picture.
Now I'll show you how to open a layer and how to name the new layer. First of all please select the "create a new layer" icon.
So we have opened a new layer with the name "Layer 6" But now we must change the name of the layer.
Please click twice on the layer and write here face_color. This layer is be going to be for the face painting.
And now here as you see I have 5 layers. You do the same on your project. And now the first layer group is for my signature. You can add a sign your image You have a question in mind - Why so much layer for such simple artwork ? Because if I am not satisfied with the color and want to change I can make some changes via help of those layers. This Step is very important.
TIP: I also always try not to zoom in until the end of the painting. I always paint at 25% or 35% at these first Steps. Generally if you zoom in and paint something very closely and then when you zoom out it will look weird.
Step 4 - Adding Details
Now that I have decided upon the colors, now I can start to add details. In this Step I started with coloring hair of my character. First select the hair color layer and began begin adding the hair colors.
Now second Step select the face color layer and began begin adding the face colors.
By the way I forget to say you must always put the sky layer at the bottom of the panel. And you must not add any other colors on this layer for example if you want to add any detail on the face you must select the "face color" after that you must begin to coloring the layer. And you must always keep open take the layer panel and so that you can see what you are doing. And you can open an another layer if you want to add some other extra details for your image.
TIP: Ah by the way I forget to mention about. You must remember to save your files two or three times! in this way if your file deleted you will have a backup. Saving your files like this really takes up a lot of memory, but really believe me it is worth it. I remember the time when I was painting one of my character, a very high detailed character I delete the file mistakenly and after that I never never forget to save my projects two times (ah and I never forget that project ).
The light is from the right side. I'll now begin to detail the character. You don't have too over detail everything for now. I just add some basic detail for my character at this Step. Here as you see I have opened another layers but I haven't name them yet. Those layers are for the iron chain. You can name your own as "iron chain."
And also I begin do add some strokes with the smudge tool.
And also I do add some strokes with the Dodge tool too. I use this because I want to add some slight light areas on the cloth.
And here with that tool see what can you do. You must do some try for to understand the tip.
Step 5 - Adding More Lights
Now that the general details are almost fixed. I'll began a very detailed painting process and I'll use same brush but I'll change some settings when I was using the brush. When I do want to add some more light on the painting I am going to chose color dodge from here.
And when I do want to add some more darkness on the painting I chose multiply from here.
And here as you see I have changed the iron chain because I don't like the first one so I added some more detailed chain on the character.
Step 6 - Final Adjustment
I am adding some more color into the shadow side of the face. I try to get some more light on his cheek and on his cloth and adding some more light blue color on the background. I use Photoshop's color balance tool to change colors a little bit.
And here's the final image, I hope you found this Tutorial interesting. Thank you for reading.