Create a cartoon illustration in Photoshop

From a simple sketch to a colorful composition, you will learn how to create an illustration of ‘Sleeping Moon’. The graphics tablet is not needed in this lesson, although it can be used to make the individual details of the picture smoother.

Before starting the lesson, I drew a few sketches of the moon, and then chose the best option that I liked. When creating my sketch, I studied real images of the Moon, as well as drawings of the Moon by other artists. This sketch embodies my idea of ​​how the moon should look. You can draw your own sketch of the moon or use my design pattern.

The final result:

Step 1

Open Photoshop. Create a new document, the dimensions can be, as I have 900 x 800 px, resolution 72 dpi. The sketch must be placed in the center of the working canvas.

Step 2

Create 3 groups in the layers palette. Name the first group Background Sky (Sky background), second group Moon (Moon) and the third group Sleep hat (Sleeping Cap). This will help you organize your work while creating the illustration.

Step 3

If you are familiar with the operation of the tool Pen (Pen Tool), then this part of the lesson, as well as other steps will seem to you a cakewalk. Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool (P)), set the fill color to yellow (# ffff00). Click on the upper outer edge of the Moon image, as shown in the screenshot below, so we will add a reference point.

As you add the anchor point, a new layer will automatically appear. Now, before continuing, we need to reduce opacity (Opacity) layer up to 40%. Reducing the opacity will help us see the thumbnail that is below during the outline of the image. Also double click on the layer name to rename it, name the layer Moon (Moon).

Step 4

What we will do now is select the upper left part of the image of the Moon, for this we will create a curve. Click / drag an anchor point to create a curve. Now hold down the ‘Alt’ key and click / hold to convert the tool Pen (Pen Tool) in the tool Angle (Convert Point Tool). Pull the left knot of the tangent line, transforming it into an anchor point. This needs to be done every time you create a new pivot point.

Step 5

Continue to trace the outline along the edge of the image of the moon.

Step 6

Now it’s time to breathe life into our crescent, and add light and light with Overlay options (Blending Options). Double click on the layer Moon (Moon) or right-click on a layer and select the option in the menu that appears. Options overlay (Blending Options). Choose a layer style Stamping (Bevel and Emboss). Set the following settings for this layer style, which are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 7

Add a layer style Stroke (Stroke). Set the following settings for this layer style, which are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 8

Add a layer style Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay). Set the following settings for this layer style, which are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 9

Finally, add a layer style. External glow (Outer Glow).

Step 10

So, we created the basis for our Moon and rendered, further, we will work on the eye and mouth.

Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool (P)), add a reference point in the eye area. Put another anchor point, then pull the anchor point slightly to create a curve. Now connect to the initial reference point. Name this layer Eye (eye).

Next, we draw a smile. Add the anchor point at the right edge of the mouth closer to the lips. Create a contour line of the mouth, as shown in the screenshot below.

When done, name this layer Smile (smile).

Step 11

Next, we will add some volume in the cheek area due to shading with a brush. First create a new layer, name this layer Cheek (cheek). Choose a tool Oval area (Elliptical Marquee Tool (M)). Draw an ellipse as in the screenshot below.

Step 12

Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool (B)). Set the foreground color to a dark yellow shade (# aba000).

Step 13

Now let’s move on to the third group Sleep hat (Sleeping Cap). We will create a cap on the sketch of the moon.

Using the tool Pen (Pen Tool (P)), draw a cap, as shown in the screenshot below. Set the fill color (# ff0000).

Step 14

Next, we apply the layer styles to the sleep cap, and add light and shade.

Step 15

And now we will draw a thread and a bell for our cap. Choose a tool Line (Line Tool (U)), set the line color to red (# ff0000), thickness Strokes (Stroke) 1 pt. Holding the ‘shift’ key, pull the line from the cap tip down.

Step 16

Now select the tool Ellipse (ellipse Tool (U). Hold down the ‘shift’ key and draw a small ellipse on the tip of the drawn thread.

Step 17

Next, we apply the layer styles to the layer with the red bell.

Step 18

It’s time to work on the background. Go to the second group Background Sky (Sky Background). Choose a tool Rectangle (Rectangle Tool (U)). Click in the upper left corner, hold down the left mouse button, drag the tool to the lower right corner. Or in the control panel tool Rectangle (Rectangle Tool), set the following parameters: width (width) 800 px, height (height) 800 px, and then center the background. Once you have created a rectangle, name the new layer with the rectangle. Sky (Sky). Now right-click on the rectangle layer to apply Overlay options (Blending Mode) and in the window that appears select the layer style Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay). Set the following settings for this layer style, which are shown in the screenshot below. The colors of the gradient are from left to right (# 009cff # 00106f # 080025).

Step 19

Continuing on, let’s add a few stars to our background. This part of the lesson is the easiest, because we simply add small white dots to the top of the sky image. Create a new layer on top of the layer. Sky (Sky), name the new layer Stars (Stars). Now select the tool Brush (Brush Tool (B)). Make sure the foreground color is set to white (#ffffff). During the whole process of creating stars, vary the size of the brush from 1 pt to 4 pt, this will add a bit of variety to our stars.

Step 20

Next, we will create clouds in addition to our sky and asterisks. Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool (P)) and then follow the instructions in the screenshot below. Do not forget to click, hold the mouse button, and then pull the knot of the tangent line, transforming it into a reference point after creating the curve.

Step 21

You can create as many clouds as you like with this technique. The sky is within the limits of the image.

Now we will create a cloud, which is located to the left of the Moon and farther than all the clouds in the background.

Step 22

Next, we add layer styles to the cloud layer. Go to the overlay settings window for the cloud, which is located at the top right. Set the following settings, which are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 23

The result should be as in the screenshot below. Apply the same layer style settings to the rest of the clouds in your image.

Step 24

For the largest cloud, which is located on the left, I slightly changed the settings of the blending parameters to give the cloud a beautiful shading effect with the background. To achieve this, apply the settings and layer styles that are listed below.

Step 25

Now it’s time to add texture to our entire picture. Make sure that the eyes of all 3 groups are visible. Create a new layer on top of all 3 groups, name this layer. Texture (Texture). Next, select the tool Fill (Paint Bucket Tool (M)), make sure the foreground color is set to black. Click in the center of the canvas to fill the host with black.

Step 26

Next, go again Filter – Noise – Median (Filters – Noise – Median).

Now double click on the layer Texture (Texture) to apply a layer style. Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay), change the color of the gradient to an orange tint (# ff7c00).

So, we completed the lesson in which you learned how to create a colorful illustration of “Sleeping Moon” using a simple sketch of the moon. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and use this technique in your other projects.

The final result:

PSD lesson

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