Create a mix illustration in Photoshop

For many artists, creating illustrations begins with a pencil and a sheet of paper. In this tutorial, Andreas Preis will show you how to create a beautiful mix illustration. To begin with, he will create an illustration as an outline on paper, and then add color and effects in Photoshop.

Final image:

Before you begin, watch the video on how the sketch was created:


Lesson resources:

Step 1

It all starts with a white sheet of paper. You can draw an illustration that the author used, or you can use your own.

Step 2

First of all, create a sketch illustration with a pencil.

Step 3

Now draw the contours:

Step 4

This is the final step: starting to draw with ink. If there are many details in the illustration, the drawing may take some time.

Step 5

After several hours of drawing, the illustration looks like this:

Step 6

Scan the sketch in grayscale, set the resolution between 600-800 pixels. However, note that the larger the file, the slower the computer will work. After scanning, open the illustration in Photoshop.

Step 7

It is necessary to enhance the contrast of the image with the command Curves (Image – Correction – Curves) (Curves) (Ctrl + M). You need to add the image as much white and black shades as possible:

Step 8

Now we need to correct some inaccuracies in the illustration (for example, remove extra lines). Invert the image (Ctrl + I) – then it will be easier to see the inaccuracies that need to be corrected.

Using tools Clarifier and Dimmer (Burn / Dodge Tool) (O). Remove any inaccuracies, and then invert the image again.

Step 9

Now you need to separate the image from the white background. To do this, select the image (Ctrl + A) and copy (Ctrl + C), then add mask . Click on the mask while holding the ALT key. Now, you can paste the illustration onto the mask (Ctrl + V).

Step 10

Invert the layer mask (Ctrl + I).

Go from mask to layer by clicking on its thumbnail, and fill the canvas with black.

Apply the mask: first press the Ctrl + G keys and then Ctrl + E (this method will allow you to first place the layer with the image in the group, and then merge the group).

Step 13

If necessary, you can adjust the proportions in the image. To do this, use Plastic filter (Filter – Plastic) (Filter> Liquify). Here you can change some lines and curves.

Step 14

Now add a white background layer.

Step 15

Select image with tool Magic wand (Wand Tool) (W) and invert the selection (Ctrl + Shift + I). Squeeze the selection by 5 pixels (Selection – Modification – Compress) (Selection> Modify> Contract). Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) under the layer with an illustration and fill it with a dark color – it will be the hair color.

Step 16

Above the hair layer create a new layer – it will be a layer for the face. To paint the face, use the white color and the Brush tool. (Brush Tool) (B).

Step 17

For each individual part that you are going to paint, create a separate layer. Now, under the face layer, create a new layer for the scarf.

Step 18

In the final, create a new layer called “Pearls” and draw pearls in your hair.

Step 19

Now you need to block the opacity for each layer that is colored. This will help not to go beyond the edges of each of the layers when you darken them.

Step 20

Now you need to paint the hair in different shades. This can be done with the Brush tool (Brush Tool) (AT).

Step 21

To create light and shadow we will use different brushes. Load a dark spot image from the lesson’s resources — we’ll make a brush out of it.

Step 22

At this stage, you need to again enhance the contrast of the image. To do this, create a brush and images of a dark spot (Editing – Define a brush / Edit> Define Brush Preset).

In the window that opens, set the name of the brush:

Step 23

Open the palette Brushes (F5) and select the brush you just created:

Click the tab Form Dynamics (Shape Dynamics) and experiment with the settings for the Size Jitter and Angle Jitter settings.

Step 24

Using this brush, start adding light and shadow to each layer. Start with hair.

Step 25

You can use additional colors, such as those used by me when coloring the scarf.

Step 26

Paint pearls with different shades of yellow and brown:

Step 27

Working with the face is the hardest part. You need to understand where to add shadows and light areas. Focus on the screenshot:

Step 28

Create a new layer with the name “Makeup”, draw makeup on it and change the blending mode to Multiplication (Multiply).

Step 29

We proceed to create the background. To create it, you can use paints of any type: acrylic, aerosols, and brushes. Do not be afraid to experiment.

Step 30

The background can be any, including color and scratches.

Step 31

For this particular part, you will need colored spots, drops, etc.

These are photos of two parts of the background (for example):

Step 32

Scan the created background (make sure that the paint on it is dry). It is advisable to use a fairly large resolution (about 900 pixels).

Step 33

Transfer the scanned background to the main image. You can remove the white background layer, and place all layers related to the illustration into a separate group. To change the background color, add to it adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation).

Step 34

You can use any color you like as a background. I chose a turquoise hue.

Step 35

Add a second background and rotate it (Ctrl + T).

Step 36

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) under the second layer with the background, fill it with black color and merge this layer with the background with the layer filled with black color (Ctrl + E).

Step 37

Add a mask to the merged layer and load the selection (Ctrl + A). Hold the ALT key and click on the mask thumbnail. Press Ctrl + V to paste all. Color background now works as a mask.

Step 38

Switch from the mask to the layer, and now switch to the mask again, only by not pressing the Alt key. Thus, you can see what is happening on the canvas, but you can also continue to work on the mask. Now apply the command Curves (Curves) (Ctrl + M).

Step 39

Bright areas on the second background will now become visible:

Step 40

Create a new layer above all the layers and add a shadow on it on the shoulders.

Step 41

Now add more color spots. This will give the illustration a sense of the “street art” style. Draw each drop on a separate layer.

Step 42

Reduce the opacity of each layer with a drop of approximately 33%.

Step 43

Select the layers with the drops while pressing the Shift key and place them in the group (Ctrl + G). Add a mask to the group with drops and use different brushes on it to remove some parts of the drops to give them a more interesting look.

Step 44

Now I’m going to use the texture of old paper – you can find it on the Internet, or you can scan it.

Step 45

Transfer the image of the old paper into our document and place it over all the layers and groups. Add to it adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Layer – Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation) (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Hue / Saturation) and reduce the brightness of the texture.

Step 46

To blend the texture of the old paper with the background that was painted, change the blending mode of the old paper texture to Multiplication (Multiply). Add a mask to the texture layer of the old paper and delete the texture of the old paper in some places of the image (for example, from the face).

Step 47

Now you can use the same trick used to create colored drops. Add a mask to the Woman group (it contains all the layers related to the illustration). Now erase some small details from the image with different brushes to give texture.

Step 48

Go to the layer with the texture of old paper, select all (Ctrl + A) and copy the selection (Ctrl + C). Go to the layer with the illustration outline and add a mask. Click on this mask while holding down the ALT key and paste a texture onto it (Ctrl + V).

Step 49

Now you need to lighten the mask. To do this, use the Curves command (Ctrl + M).

Step 50

Our task is not to completely remove the parts of the picture, we just need to give some texture.

Here is what the illustration should look like:

Step 51

We now turn to the creation of a vignette. Create a new layer on top of all layers and fill it with a color close to the background color:

Step 52

Add a mask to this layer and fill it with black. Soft brush (Brush Tool) underline the corners.

Switch from mask to layer. This is what the illustration will look like.

Step 53

Change the layer blending mode from vignette to Multiplication (Multiply).

Step 54

At this stage, you can leave the image as it is, but you can continue. Create a new layer above all layers and fill it with white. Now add the Inner Shadow style to this layer:

Change the blending mode of this layer to Multiplication (Multiply).

Final image:

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