If you want to create a pixel city, the park will be a necessary addition to the urban landscape. All the objects that we will draw in this lesson, in fact, will be useful for other scenes, for example, with gardens or terraces.
I recommend that you familiarize yourself with the introductory lesson from the pixel series, as well as the lesson on drawing a tree.
1. Determine the size and design of the park.
Usually, I start work with sizing based on the height of the character. But in a large park area, we do not need to have an auxiliary character.
But still, we will leave it to the territory did not look deserted.
Draw a large rectangle. This may be a square, which, by the way, is ideal for creating an urban central square. It seems to me that the rectangular shape will be more interesting, in addition, it will go to the town hall from the previous lesson, which may be useful in the future.
Round the corners of the rectangle. The base for the park is ready.
Before you start creating an author’s work, take some time to study references, make yourself a special board with pictures, text fragments and other materials for inspiration, sketch a few sketches and try to combine all this. Of course, in this lesson we will draw according to the design I have developed, which I hope you will like. It will be a fairly standard, classic park: old lampposts, a covered gazebo, a fountain, etc.
Let’s start with the basic elements. Through the center of the park will pass the alley. There are many ways to determine the center. I will teach you one of them: on the new layer, draw two parallel lines that will be the basis for the alley, select the lines with the key combination Ctrl + A and cut them into the clipboard Ctrl + X, then select the inside of the rectangle with the tool Magic Wand Tool (W) (Magic Wand) (parameter Contiguous (Adjacent pixels) is active) and paste the Ctrl + V region copied to the clipboard; Photoshop automatically inserts two lines exactly at the center of the selection.
A straight alley through the whole park looks pretty boring. In photos with parks, you can see a lot of curved and tangled tracks, but I would not want to use a lot of curves, as this will add a lot of jagged lines in the figure. Instead, we complicate the design a bit with additional turns.
From the corner to the central alley we draw a horizontal line. The center circle will help us determine the exact width of the side alley. The rule for the circle is as follows: its width is twice the height, and the upper and lower borders must correspond to the borders of the alley.
We do all the work on a new layer. The upper boundary of the circle determines at which level the upper boundary of the horizontal lane will be located.
Below in the picture is a finished horizontal alley without extra lines and a circle.
Let’s copy the horizontal alley, reflect it horizontally Edit – Transform – Rotate 180 (Editing – Transformation – Rotate 180) and move to the opposite corner.
Now add another alley that crosses the park vertically. Again, use the auxiliary circle to correctly determine the width.
The basis for the vertical alley.
Remove the extra lines and wrap the top of the alley to the right.
Note that the corners are slightly rounded.
We reflect part of the alley and transfer it to the opposite side. We fill the territory of the park in green; we don’t touch the paths yet.
Let’s create a basis for an arbor. Let’s start by drawing an octagon. We use the tool Polygon Tool (U) (Polygon) to create an octagonal shape.
Then compress the octagon by 50% vertically to fit the isometric view, and with the Shift key held down, reduce it to the desired size.
We need several octagons of different sizes to create steps for the gazebo. Therefore, we duplicate the original octagon and reduce the copy by 10%, then duplicate this copy and again reduce it by 10%.
We also separately save another copy of the second polygon, later we will use it to create the roof. We make another copy of the original figure and move it to the opposite corner of the park from the gazebo, in this place we will place the fountain.
All figures are filled with different colors to make it easier for us to distinguish them.
The three upper octagons will be the steps and the floor of the gazebo, so we need to add volume to them. Copy the octagon and move the copy 2 pixels higher. I also inverted the colors of the copies so that the figures do not merge with each other.
Here is the octagons, one above the other.
Place the roof, select the height so that the character can stand freely in the gazebo.
As you can see, we could not avoid jagged lines on the roof, but that’s okay. We draw two lines along the upper diagonal roof lines and connect them; this will be the tip of the roof of the arbor.
From the tip of the roof should go lines that connect to the inner corners of the octagon. To draw these lines, take Pencil Tool (B) (Pencil), click on the tip of the roof, hold down the Shift and click in the corner. Two points will automatically be connected by a line.
Now create the foundation for the fountain. Draw a circle and below the rectangle a little wider than the diameter of the circle.
Place a rectangle in the center of the circle and merge them together (select both layers and press Ctrl + E). The shape of the resulting figure should resemble the planet Saturn with rings.
Copy this shape three times and join the copies in a circle so that the central rectangles form a square.
Fill the internal gaps and turn the figure 45 degrees. This will be the base form of the fountain.
According to the same scheme that we applied to the arbor, we duplicate the figure and each duplicate does less than the previous one. But unlike the arbor, the change in scale slightly distorts the proportions of the figure.
Pay attention to how narrow the angles turn out and how wide the semicircles become disproportionately wide.
Now we fix it. The method is not the most perfect, but fast enough. Double click on the layer to open the window Layer Style (Layer style), add Stroke (Stroke), set a wide stroke size and select Center (Centered).
Add another stroke. Using the menu command Edit – Copy Merged (Edit – Copy merged data) Copy the visible elements to a new layer. Before copying turn off the background layer, we need only the base of the fountain. Apply a stroke to the resulting layer again, this time even wider. And we get:
Angles and circles do not look perfect, but this is just the basis for future work.
Compress the shape in height by 50% and adjust its size along the octagon, which we placed in the park earlier. Place the base of the fountain on top of the octagon.
Remove the octagon.
Have you noticed some symmetry in the design of the park? In this case, it looks good, but not always the design should be symmetrical.
2. Draw the vegetation
Next we will create smaller elements for the park. Some are simple, some are definitely not.
If you have not had a lesson on creating a pixel tree, then now is the right time for that.
Create a tree.
Turn it into a miniature tree.
To do this, draw an oval contour inside a large tree, capturing a portion of the shadow at the edges, so that the tree looks three-dimensional. Then we compress a shadow and a trunk.
Now turn the mini-tree into a bush. This is very easy to do: draw an outline in the shape of an egg, remove the trunk.
And we get three types of trees!
Flowers in the park just will not be superfluous. They are bright and add variety, without requiring much effort to create.
We will not waste time on the stems and leaves. Let’s draw a simple flat flower in an isometric view: four petals and a green outline a bit darker than grass.
The bottom of the stroke should be a little bit darker than the top to create a shadow effect. We make several color variations.
3. Draw lampposts
Now we will draw several lampposts, which we will distribute throughout the park.
The post should be narrow and almost twice the character’s height.
This is optional, but I would like to add a cement circle at the base of the lantern.
Apply glare and shadows on the lantern. I advise you to avoid a smooth gradient transition when shading.
Also on the glass, add the effect of translucency.
4. We draw benches
Where will people sit?
The bench seat should be approximately at the level of the character’s knees.
Add legs and back. Then we apply color and texture.
Let’s make a bench in several angles. Reflect the bench horizontally and get one angle.
Rear view need a little work. Reflect the bench vertically and move the back to the opposite side of the seat. Adjust the stroke.
Reflect the bench with the rear view horizontally.
5. We draw an arbor
Let’s continue with the arbor.
Below is what we have at the moment.
We work on a new layer.
We start with the outer contour.
It will be good if you get more accurate lines.
Below I added highlights on the front corners of the stairs and the roof.
Now we can remove the base, leaving only the outline (translator’s note: the picture below with a transparent background, so the glare on the edges of the roof is not visible).
Add columns that support the roof. Fill them with white and areas that are directly under the roof, fill with light gray.
Steps fill the color of cement or stone, which we painted on a lamppost. Through the use of the same shades, the picture will look more harmonious.
Apply shadows on the steps.
Smooth the corners of the steps. Black contour on the corners does not look very good. I also replaced the color in other places to reduce the contrast a bit.
Fill the roof with color, do not forget that the shades on the edges will vary depending on the lighting.
Fill the white side with a brown color. Try to keep the line contrast low because they are too jagged and this may be too noticeable. Not the best example of pixel lines.
Now draw a texture on the roof. These will be simple lines.
On the new layer in a column draw dashes.
Extend the line across the entire width of the face.
All lines must follow the angle of the adjacent faces.
Draw lines parallel to the side face and remove unnecessary parts.
Repeat the action for the next facet.
So far, we are working only on one side of the gazebo, then we duplicate the finished lines to the other side.
Add vertical lines from the top of the roof to the corners. Remove extra pixels that overlap the highlights on the roof corners.
Now we reflect the lines horizontally to fill the second half of the roof.
Decrease opacity (Opacity) texture layer up to 10% (try 5% and gradually increase to get the best result). Then we merge all the lines into one layer.
Below, I made a couple of changes. First added a thin trim under the roof.
Then he lowered the roof a little to hide the horrible black lines in the background of the steps.
To dilute the gray, let’s add a couple of benches. We could add four, but I prefer the two option.
Place the benches in the background behind the columns. Or you can simply remove the areas on the benches that overlap the pillars and roof.
The arbor is ready!
6. Draw a fountain
Now go to the creation of the fountain. Perhaps this will be the central and most complex element of the whole work.
On top of the base on a new layer, draw lines to sharpen the curves. We work only on ¼ parts of the picture, then we will reflect it vertically and horizontally and fill in the remaining areas.
I added these lines to keep the same distance between the parallel lines. Also these pixels will be part of the curves.
You can first draw the curves by hand, and then correct the bad pixels.
This is how the curves look after a little editing.
To finish the contour of the fountain, we reflect the finished part vertically and horizontally. You can remove the base of the fountain.
I made the final touches on the curves, then replaced the rest of the parts with the edited version.
Now fill it with color: fill the outer ring around the fountain with the color of cement, and the inner one with light gray.
Create a wall of the fountain.
Copy the inner ring of the fountain and slightly raise it.
This height is perfect. The character will be able to comfortably sit on the ledge of the fountain.
Fill the walls with color and fill the central area with the color of water.
Add shadows and highlights, based on how the light will act on the walls of the fountain.
To emphasize sharp corners, we add highlights to them.
Part of the inner stroke is replaced by a less contrasting color. I think it can be removed altogether, but it creates an interesting effect.
The stroke color is the same as the wall color, only 20% darker.
Smooth out the part of the contour where the walls are in contact with the water surface and the outer ring of the fountain. Also green and gray paint the outline of the outer ring.
Now we need to create a bowl in the center of the pool, from which water flows. Create a base in the form of a circle in the center of the pool. The width of the circle should be twice the height of it.
Circle can be drawn with the tool Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) (Oval selection). Fill the oval selection with the stroke color, then compress it. Select – Modify – Contract (Selection – Modification – Compress) one pixel and fill the selection with gray color.
Turn the circle into a cylinder.
And we make the necessary adjustments in accordance with the finished part of the fountain.
Now on a new layer add a circle above the cylinder. It will be the lowest and largest bowl of the fountain.
Above on the new layer draw another smaller circle.
Draw the third bowl.
The basis for the bowls is ready.
Fill the first bowl with water color, leaving a white outline around the edges.
Repeat the steps for the other two bowls.
Now connect the bowls with the lower cylinder so that they do not look floating in the air.
Some kind of ornate leg would look spectacular, but due to the isometric projection, it would be poorly visible, so a simple circle would be quite enough.
Fill in the color and rule the lower contour.
Draw the leg to connect the first and second bowls.
And connect the second and third.
To add volume, we put a shadow on the inside of the bowl. Since the bowl is not flat, then I think the shadow should be concave.
We put the shadows on the rest of the bowls, even if it is almost invisible.
We are done with bowls.
What to do with water? Let’s add as many as three water effects!
Reflection first. The water in motion resembles the dunes in the desert. We will create a simple texture that looks like a cluster of dunes. Start by creating a distorted chess texture.
Then we give the elements of texture a shape similar to a triangle.
On a separate layer, I filled the entire surface of the water with a bright color to determine the area to which I will apply the texture.
This is what the multiplied texture looks like, which we applied to the pink mask from the previous step. The texture should be on a new layer. The color of the texture is almost the same as water, only slightly lighter.
You can change the blending mode of the texture layer to Overlay (Overlap) or whatever and reduce opacity (Opacity). Then, if you want, merge the layers together.
From each bowl the water flows down, it comes into contact with the surface of the water at the place where we draw a circle.
Red color for clarity draw droplets. Closer to the cup, they are close to each other, but, falling down, the distance between them increases (by 1 pixel).
I used two droplet versions, one shifted 1 pixel higher than the other.
Paint over drops with water color. We distribute them in a circle, alternating between different versions and keeping a distance of 1 pixel between them.
Turning off the visibility of drops. Now we will add small splashes on the surface of the water that occur when the falling water comes into contact with the water in the fountain.
From the points we form a ring.
We mix both effects (falling water and splashes) and we get a rather interesting result.
We draw falling drops for the remaining bowls.
And add the splashes (I also slightly reduced the opacity of the splashes on the upper cups).
Now we have a beautiful park fountain!
7. Place the created objects
We got enough free space to have an infinite number of accommodation options. Try different options. I like it when objects are not very well arranged, in moderation. But you can use a different approach and place as many items as you want.
We already know exactly where the gazebo and fountain will be located. We place them in their places.
Remove the basics of the fountain and gazebos.
Next, add the lights. Three pieces on one side will be enough. I like the distance between them and how they are arranged in the corners.
Three points on the opposite side of the park are the locations of other lanterns. You can not draw new points, but take ready-made lights on the other side of the park, copy them, rotate 180 degrees and move to the other side of the lawn. They will be located upside down, but that’s okay, they are only needed as signposts.
We place the remaining lights in the marked places.
Add benches around the fountain.
The middle trees are located opposite the fountain along the edge of the park: four trees, evenly distributed, will be enough.
One tree slightly overlaps the fountain, so I moved the fountain a little further from the trees. I also moved the arbor so that it was located symmetrically relative to the fountain, and freed up enough space for a new row of trees.
Switch to big trees!
As I said above, I like to have enough free space between the objects. But we still have some elements with which we fill in empty areas, except for two small open areas next to large trees.
Add flowers. I distributed them around the perimeter of the alley, connecting them to lampposts. Just do not place them strictly in line, it will look boring.
What about the bushes? Let’s find a suitable place for them. Around the arbor is clearly something missing. Shrubs help us fix it.
Done, we placed all the objects!
8. Add texture
We still have some work to do.
Fill the alley with color.
Draw the texture of the cobblestone alley.
We start with vertical lines with a distance of 4-5 pixels between them. Then add horizontal joints between the lines to form a stone shape. It may take some effort to create a larger texture, but there will be less extra seams on it.
Multiply a piece of the texture to see how well the copies will connect with each other.
Fill the stones with the color of the alley, and paint the contour with a darker shade. Less contrasting colors will look better, the difference in brightness should be only a few percent.
We will make some stones darker, some – lighter. In order to beautifully distribute light and dark stones, it is easier to paint them in contrasting colors, and then replace them with the desired shades.
On the new layer we fill the alley with the created texture. If the vertical lines on the texture do not fit well with the vertical lines of the park, then slightly shift the texture.
Via Magic wand tool (W) (Magic Wand) select the original alley, invert the selection and press Delete on the layer with the cobble texture to remove the excess.
For grass, we draw a simple texture consisting of points.
Remove the excess, as we did with the cobblestone texture.
… delete the excess.
And, finally, smooth out the remaining contours. In places where the grass is in contact with the alley, fill the contour with the middle between the alleys and the grass with a color, but with a darker shade. We do the same on the outer edges of the grass and the alley.
Now our park is ready for placement on any urban landscape, for example, on footpaths.
Congratulations! The park is a success! Residents of the city are very satisfied.
I added a couple of new details: a character, a couple of pigeons and a glare along the contour of the grass so that it looks above the surface of the alley.
Without a doubt, the park will be an essential element in urban design. Created objects (lanterns, benches and trees) can successfully migrate to other works. So I hope this lesson has been helpful to you.