Texture overlay in Photoshop

In this tutorial, Dominique Byron will explain how to apply a texture to a drawing to make it look voluminous with dark and light sections.

Laying textures on a digital drawing makes the job more interesting. Thanks to the texture, you can add depth to an image that looks completely flat, as well as add organicity.

The author will teach you how to apply texture and add shadows for specific areas of your work, without compromising the colors and shapes of your drawing. Since this technique is to overlay a texture on top of your image, this means that it can be applied to all types of images, be it a vector illustration or a photo.

Final result:

Step 1

We will take as a basis the previously created image of the lobster from the base parts, the background image and other elements necessary to create your composition. All this can be created in Photoshop using drawing tools and fill tools.

Lobster was divided into sections by combining layers that were responsible for specific parts / segments of lobster. This will allow you to work with the whole section, not a group of layers. It also allows you to quickly find and eliminate a possible error in further work with the texture. You can create the same lobster on your own or collect some other shape.

Step 2

Find the texture of old paper on the Internet or scan it and paste it into our document. I decided to use thick-grain paper to keep the lobster from being spotty. Also, the texture should have a high resolution to cover the main part of the lobster.

Step 3

Place the texture layer on top of the rest and discolor it (Ctrl + Shift + U). Change Blend mode on Multiplication (Multiply) so that the image under the texture can be seen.

You may have to add brightness to the image under the texture, because because of the texture, colors will fade.

Step 4

Go to correction Levels (Ctrl + L). Make the shadows darker with the black and gray sliders. And with the white slider and the overlay mode Multiplication, you can control the visibility of the pixels of the lobster itself. Check the reference image of the lobster to know exactly which areas should be light and which should be dark.

Step 5

Fill each lobster section with paper texture. Create as many copies as you need. For texture layers, create clipping mask (Ctrl + Alt + G) so that the texture does not extend beyond the lobster.

Step 6

Now, when the texture is applied, you can do the darkening areas. Choose a tool Dimmer (Burn Tool) (O), lower the stiffness to 0%, set the Range (Range) to Light (Higlights), and the Exposure (Exposure) – 7%.

Imagine the light source is right in front of the lobster. Therefore, shadows need only be created where one part of the lobster overlaps another.

Step 7

Use the selection tool to darken connections. The selected area will limit the effect of using the tool so that you do not “crawl” onto the top element.

As soon as you finish working on the shadows, engage in the lightening of areas that are not in the shadow, for example, the eye. Use the tool Clarifier(Dodge Tool) (O) or Brush (Brush Tool) (B) with soft white edges.

Step 8

At the end, you can add some more textures. One on the background and one on the body of the lobster to simulate the shell. Sometimes it takes up to five textures to get the desired result, but two are enough here. At the end you can round the corners of the canvas, but this is not necessary.

Final result:

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