Draw a cartoon character in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a funny 3D character in Photoshop using simple techniques and techniques.

Step 1. Create a new 3000 x 2500 pixel document with a resolution of 300 dpi. Take Pen tool (Pen) (p), select mode Shape layer (Layer-figure) and create a basic form of the character. Call this layer “Foundation” and change the color to # 71d0e8.

Step 2. Before continuing, let’s configure the layers panel. Click in the upper right corner of the panel to open the menu. Choose Layers Panel Options (Parameters of the layers panel) and in the appeared window we set the following settings:

Step 3. Create a new layer, hold down the CTRL and click on the thumbnail of the “Base” layer to load its selection. Take soft brush (B) color # 118ab2 and create a shadow on the left side of the character.

Step 4. Create a new layer again, set the foreground color to # 1e8cb4 and start drawing a shadow around the edge of the base.

Step 5. Take soft brush color # 44b3d7 and draw the light on the left edge of the character. In order to quickly select the desired shade, you can use pipette (I).

Step 6. Now we will determine the main details of the character, for this we take a soft brush by color # 064168 and start drawing the outline of the mouth.

Step 7. Take Pen tool (Feather) (P), change the mode to Shape layer (Layer-shape) and create a basic shape of the mouth on the layer “Mouth”. Change the color to black.

Step 8. Having defined the location of the mouth, draw the lips. To do this, use the pen (P) to create the base shape of the upper lip with the color # 00406c on the “Upper lip” layer. Add shadows for more realism.

Step 9. In the same way create the bottom lip color # 4aabce. Add shadows and light to add depth.

Take Pen tool (Feather) (P), change the mode to Path (Contour) and create a crease under the lower lip. We press CTRL + ENTER, To create a selection, take a soft brush with color #17749a and draw along the edge of the selection. Add shadows and light. If done correctly, the result will be as follows.

Step 11. Now we will create the eyes. Draw the basic shape of the eye and fill it with white. Call this layer “Right Eye.” Hold CTRL, click on the layer thumbnail to load its selection, take a soft brush (B) color # 237a9c and draw the shadows around the eye.

Step 12. Create a new document for the iris. Take Ellipse tool (Ellipse) (U) and create a circle. Change its color to # 4dc9df and apply a layer style Inner glow (Internal luminescence) with such parameters. Name the layer with the circle “Iris”.

Step 13. Create another small black circle, place it in the center of the iris and call the layer “Pupil”. Take brush (B), set the foreground color to # 006082, Then open the SS light beams in Photoshop and create the iris texture. Apply filter Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) with a radius of 2.5 pixels to make the texture smoothed. Select the black circle and apply this filter with a radius of 20 pixels to it.

Step 14. Group all layers and import them into the main working document. Change the foreground color to # e6deb5, take a soft brush and paint on the edge of the eye to add a little yellow. Change color to # d8cea6, Open the Veins brush in Photoshop and paint the capillaries inside the eye. We call this layer “Capillaries”.

Step 15. Now add eyelid to the eye. To do this, create a base color # 00b7d6. Duplicate (CTRL + J) the century layer and change the copy color to # 007da1. Add a mask to a copy by clicking the button at the bottom of the layers panel Add layer mask (Add a layer mask), take a large soft black brush with a size of 250 pixels and paint it on the center of the eyelid to free its bright part.

Step 16. Add more shadows inside and outside the eyelid soft brush 100 pixels and color # 0e5a79. Change brush color to # 00425d and draw the outline of the century. Next, we hold down the CTRL and click on the layer thumbnail with the created element to load its selection and create a new layer. Draw light on the top of the created outline with a soft brush of 100 pixels and color # 236e8b.

Step 17. Now add some light to the outline. For this we take Pen tool (Feather) (P) in mode Path (Contour) and create a line, as in the screenshot below. Then we activate the brush (B) and set it up: size 2 pixels, white color and hardness (hardness) 100%. Go back to the pen, right-click on the created contour and select Stroke path (Outline stroke). In the drop-down menu, select Brush (Brush).

Step 18. Repeat steps 16 and 17 to draw the lower eyelid, then merge the layers into a group and call it “Lower Eyelid”. Take Pen tool (Feather) (P) in mode Shape layer (Layer-shape) and create lines with colors # 0b506a and # 15698b.

Step 19. Now add some shadows around the eyes and repeat steps 11-17 to create the left eye. Add shadows to the left eye, group all the layers and call the group “Left eye”.

Step 20 – Create the creases on the cheeks
It’s time to work on the folds, let’s start with the cheeks. Create a shape with color # c2e7f1 and apply the filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) with a radius of 17 pixels.

Step 21 Create a selection fold, take a soft brush of 100 pixels in color # 004576 and draw on the edge of the selected fold. Before removing the selection, save it, create a new strip with the color # add8eb and apply to it Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) with a radius of 15 pixels.

Step 22 Load the selection we saved in the previous step, press CTRL + I to invert it, and add shadows outside the fold with a soft brush with color # 0d5983. Group the layers with fold and call the group “Left fold”. In the same way create the right fold.

Step 23 – Create Body Folds
Now we have to create folds in the bottom of the character. To do this, take a soft brush of 175 pixels in size with hardness (hardness) of 0% and opacity (opacity) of 50%. Choosing a color # 0d6897 and paint with a brush in the place where the fold will be.

Step 24 Take Pen tool (Feather) (P) in mode Path (Contour) and create the outline of the main fold. Save this path and click CTRL + ENTER, to convert it to selection. Take a soft brush with a size of 200 pixels and color0e547b, Invert the selection and start drawing shadows on the crease. If necessary, change the opacity of the brush.

Step 25. Add shadows at the bottom of the character with a soft brush and color # 0a6791. Change the brush color to # 0f5b83 and add more shadows.

Step 26. Take Pen tool (Pen) (P) and draw a contour to highlight the fold. Next, take a soft brush color # 004e7a and add shadows. Create a selection with the pen (P) to add shadows, change the foreground color to # 007299, invert the selection and draw the shadows outside. In the same way, we add more shadows inside the selection to give the crease more realism.

Step 27 – Create Small Folds
To create small folds, take pen (P) in mode Shape layer (Layer-shape) and create a shape, then hold down the CTRL and click on the thumbnail of the layer to load its selection. We take a soft brush of 200 pixels and color # 0198bd and begin to draw shadows in small folds.

Step 28. Repeat step 27 and create more small folds. Group the layers with folds and add a mask to the group to hide the extra areas.

Step 29 – Add Glare
Now we will add highlights to make our character look more realistic. Take Pen tool (Feather) (P) and create a shape for the main large fold, change its color to # ceecf1 and apply the filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) with a radius of 15 pixels.

Step 30. Create another shape with color # ceecf1 and apply Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) with a radius of 25 pixels. Next, create a new narrow strip with the same color and apply a blur with a radius of 18 pixels.

Step 31 Repeat steps 29 and 30 to add more highlights. Add highlights to other folds depending on the location of the light source.

Step 32 – Add Glare On The Head
To add glare on the head, take Pen tool (Feather) (P) and create a shape with the color # ceecf1, then apply Gaussian blur (Blur according to Gauss) with a radius of 40 pixels. Next, create another narrow band around the eyes with the same color and apply Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) with a radius of 25 pixels. If done correctly, the character should look like this.

Step 33 Create a new shape in the middle of the head in color # ceecf1 and apply Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) with a radius of 46 pixels. The result should be like this.

Step 34 Repeat steps 29 and 30 to add highlights to the character’s body and make it more realistic.

Step 35 – Create a Hand
Create the base of the hand with Pen tool (Pen) (P), do not forget to switch to mode Shape layer (Layer-shape). Change color to # 00a4cb, we take a soft brush of 200 pixels in size and draw shadows on a hand.

Step 36 Now we will detail the hand. Let’s start with the index finger, create a fold color # 006384 and apply Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) with a radius of 3.5 pixels.

Step 37. Repeat step 36 and create more folds on both fingers. To add light, create an oval with the color # cfebf1 and apply Gaussian blur (Blur according to Gauss) with a radius of 7.5 pixels.

Step 38 Create more highlights on your finger, repeating step 37, then add light to the arm.

Step 39. Now with the help Pen tool (Feather) (P) we create the base of the thumb, change its color to # 029fc4, then take a soft brush with color # 017798 and add shadows. Repeat step 37 and add highlights.

Step 40. Next we have to create a nail on the thumb. Create a foundation and apply a layer style. Gradient overlay (Gradient overlay) with flowers # 42a51e and # 3dd567. Add a layer style Stroke (Stroke) color # 008bab and 2 pixels wide.

Step 41 Nail looks great, now add a layer style Outer glow (External glow). Create a new selection, fill it with the color # d3fdcd and apply the filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) with a radius of 4 pixels. If done correctly, the nail should look like this.

Step 42 Create a little finger, repeating steps 39-41, add light and shadow in the required places. Group all layers with a hand and call the group “Right Hand”. Then we duplicate the group, reflect it with Edit – Transform – Flip Horizontal (Editing – Transformation – Flip horizontally) and attach to the left side of the character. Call it “Left Hand.”

Step 43 – Color Correction
It’s time to adjust the colors a bit. Group all the layers and call the group “Monster”. Duplicate it and merge the copy into one layer (CTRL + E). Duplicate the layer (CTRL + J) and set the copy blend mode to Soft light (Soft light) and reduce the opacity (opacity) to 70%.

Step 44. Duplicate the Monster layer, go to Filter – Filter Gallery (Filter – Filter Gallery) and apply the filter Plastic wrap (One piece packaging). Name this layer “Filter”.

Step 45. Select the “Filter” layer and change its blending mode to Overlay (Overlap) and reduce the opacity (opacity) to 60%. This will give an interesting effect to the character and make it more realistic.

Step 46 We have come to the end of the lesson. Now we need to change the color of the eyes. To do this, add an adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and change the parameter Hue (Color tone) at -98. Call this layer “Eye Color”.

Step 47. Add vector mask to the “Eye Color” adjustment layer, select the mask and fill it with black to completely hide its effect. Take soft brush white and sketched iris.

Step 48 We have to add a few final touches. First, add a reflection on the eyes. To do this, create a white oval on the iris of the eye, then add a vector mask to the layer and hide the lower part of the white oval with a soft brush of 50 pixels in size.

Step 49 After applying the filter Plastic wrap (Color wrapping) you may have noticed that there was an extra glare around the edges of the character, which we must remove to give it a realistic look.

Step 50. Remove all the extra parts of the character: on the hands, fingers, edges of the body.

Step 51 This is the last step of the lesson. Experiment with brushes to create the right background. Congratulations! We are done. That’s all friends. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Here is the final result.


(click on image to enlarge)

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