We draw a possum in Photoshop

In this Photoshop tutorial, we will draw a possum (one of the opossum brothers) from the animated film Ice Age. In the first part of the lesson, we will focus on creating fur for our eccentric beast, and in the second part of the lesson, we will create a dark atmosphere around the possum.

I have to add that this lesson is much easier to do with a graphic tablet. However, the lesson can be done with the mouse.

Final result

Before I started this project, I decided to sketch a sketch of several options for possums for this lesson. I studied the various poses and expressions of possums and decided to stop at the seventh version. If you can’t draw, you can simply draw around the outline of the possum by positioning the layer with the thumbnail below your working layer. I enjoyed having animated possum while drawing.

Step 1

Create a new document with dimensions of 850 x 650 px, resolution approximately 200px, the background content is transparent. Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool (P). Draw the outline of the face of our hero (but not the whole head). Before you start creating the outline, make sure that in the tool settings Pen (Pen Tool) was selected. Contours (paths).

Step 2

Fill the drawn shape with the color tone # a49e6e. Name this layer, if you like, “Muzzle”. Choose any tool Allotment (Marquee Tool (M), and then press the (delete) key to delete the outline.

Step 3

Create a new layer. Using tool Pen (Pen Tool), draw the contour of the possum’s body. Please note that we will not draw the entire body.

Step 4

Turn off the visibility of the “Muzzle” layer. Turn off layer visibility when working with the underlying layer. Fill the body with the color shade # 7b5832. This layer will serve as the basis for the creation of fur.

Step 5

Next, go Filter -Noise – Add noise(Filter> Noise> Add Noise). Increase the amount of noise to about 30%. Also select the option Uniform (Uniform), and also put a tick in the box Monochrome (monochromatic).

Step 6

Choose a tool Finger (Smudge Tool (R). Set the brush size between 27px and 39 px depending on the size of the stage you are working with when zooming in. Also set the value Intensity(strength) 45%.

Tool brush Finger (Smudge brush) should be a splatter brush. In the bookmark Brushes (Brushes) in the layers palette, turn off the option Smoothing (Smoothing).


Apply the tool Finger (Smudge tool), starting from the head, in small strokes.

When creating furs, try drawing furs not only in one direction. Our abilities of the hairdresser, of course, cannot stand on the same level with the professional hairdressers Vidal Sassoon, however, whatever happens to our animal, we try. When you complete, go Filter – Sharpness – Sharpness (Filter> Sharpen> Sharpen to sharpen). See the result in the screenshot below:

Step 8

Choose a tool Dimmer (Burn Tool (O), in the settings, specify the Spray brush. Set Range (Range) on Mid tones (Midtones), and the value Exposure (Exposure) at 10%.

Using tool Dimmer (Burn Tool), darken the edges of the head and the individual levels of the body.

Step 9

Choose a tool Clarifier (Dodge Tool (O). Set the settings shown in the screenshot below:

Lighten some parts of the body, most of them between darkened areas. It will be like a decorative frame.

The visual effect as a result makes the fur lush and shiny.

Step 10

Choose round soft brush, brush size 5 px, brush color # 36282e, brush opacity 40%, Pressure (Flow) 50%.

In the settings of the brush tab Brushes (Brushes), select the option Form Dynamics (Shape Dynamics). Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below:

Step 11

Apply the brush on top of the fur according to the direction of the fur lint.

On light areas, change the brush color to # 72582e. Perhaps the changes will be minor. But the details play a role.

Step 12

Create a new layer. Using tool Pen (Pen Tool), draw the outline of both possum hands. Fill selected areas with the color shade # 563f27.

This fill is darker than the fur itself, but we, of course, will still make a correction during the whole lesson.

Step 13

Next, go Filter – Noise – Add noise(Filter> Noise> Add Noise). Install amount (Amount) noise 25%, as well as put a tick in the box Monochrome (Monochromatic). Using tool Dimmer (Burn Tool), also darken the edges of the hands.

Step 14

For hands we use the tool Finger (Smudge), Intensity (Strength) 15%. We do not need hands to be as hairy as the fur itself on the skin. After completing the halfway path, change the mode for the tool. Finger (Smudge) on Replacing dark (Darken). See the result in the screenshot below.

Step 15

Create a new layer on top of the “Muzzle” layer, name this layer “Grim”. We will shade various parts of the possum’s face.

Select brush, brush color # 5c4f3f, Opacity (Opacity) brush 12%.

B. Color brush color # 63441d, Opacity (Opacity) brush 10%.

C. Brush color # e0c98b. Paint over eyebrows, cheeks and nose.

D. Brush color # fdf3d9. Paint over the top of the eyebrows and cheeks.

E. Brush color # f5eeda. Paint over the contour of the face to create light highlights.

Step 16

To hide the paint outside the outline of the face, hold down the (Alt) key + click between the “Makeup” layer and the “Face” layer to create a clipping mask. Choose a tool Blur (Blur Tool (R), brush size 17 px, and the value Intensity (Strength) reduce to 33% for combining.

Step 17

Using tool Pen (Pen Tool), draw eyes. Run the fill. Do not forget to delete the drawn contour.

Note translator: not forget to create new layer for eye. Name this layer “Eyes“. Fill can be done in any color, because further, the author applies layer styles Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay).

Step 18

To the “Eyes” layer, apply the layer styles Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay). Gradient colors: 1. # 949fb1 2 # a29f97 3 #ffffff.

Step 19

Layer Style Settings Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay):

Step 20

Create a new layer, name this layer “Pupils”. Draw two oval-shaped pupils with the tool Ellipse (Ellipse Tool (U). Fill the pupils with black. Using a soft brush, add reflective white highlights to the pupils.

Step 21

In the submenu tool Pen (Pen Tool) select tool Free feather (Freeform Pen Tool). Draw a rather complex nose (difficult for those who have a shaking hand).

But you can accomplish the same task with the tool Pen (Pen Tool) compared to Free feather (Freeform Pen Tool), you can add, delete and adjust the control points on the contour. This provides the most control and, therefore, smoother or rounded curves.
Translator’s Note: Remember to create a new layer for the nose. Name this layer “Nose”.

Step 22

To the nose layer, add layer styles. Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay). Starting from the left Color checkpoints (Color Stops) will be as follows:

1. # 341302
2. # 480c12
3. # b77363
4. # e7909e
5. # ffffff.

Step 23

While still on the “Nose” layer, using a soft black brush with an opacity of 25%, paint the base of the nose and in particular the area of ​​the nostrils. Next, with the tool Blur (Blur tool), Intensity (Strength) 45% blur your nose a little and add noise, the amount of noise is 5%.

Step 24

Select Splatter Brush with Opacity 25%. In the bookmark Brushes (Brushes), apply the following settings:

Step 25

First apply the brush color # 6e635e. Draw lines on the possum’s face, considering that the brush control is set to Transition (fade), the lines will look like a tick, as in the screenshot below.

Step 26

Finally, paint over an appropriately sized brush (depending on the treatment area on the face) over the top half of the face. First, use the Splatter # fcfaf9 brush color.

Change the brush color to # 24140b (dark color). Paint around the eyes, below the nose, along the edge of the chin, and paint over the indistinct contour of the mouth. When you finish, the color shades on the face may look random, so with the help of the tool (Blur Tool), blur all the brush strokes.

Step 27

Create a new layer, name this layer “Ear”. Using tool Pen (Pen Tool) or tool Free feather (Freeform Tool), draw ear.

Step 28

To layer with ear, add layer styles Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay). Color checkpoints (Color Stops) will be as follows:
1. # 41291c
2. # 54301c
3. # 45858
4. # ffffff.

Step 29

Install Gradient angle (Gradient Angle) at 93 degrees.

Final result:

Step 30

Create a new layer on top of the ear. Using a soft round brush, paint over the ear contour. Next, using the low-intensity blur tool, draw a blend.

Step 31

In the bookmark Brush (Brushes) in the settings set the control mode Transition (fade), the degree of transition 25%. Brush color #eadccd. Draw long strokes of wool, and then gently apply separate strokes over the painted wool, the color of the brush is grayish (# a09485).

Step 32

Using tool Finger (Smudge Tool), set the brush size to 7 px, and the value Intensity (Strength) 70%, smear light strokes to combine with all fur.

Step 33

Create a new layer. On the new layer, we will draw dark strands of wool on the possum’s head. Brush color # 291f14.

Step 34

Next, we will create shadows on the possum’s body, since we create possum in a poorly lit atmosphere with incident light. Choose soft round brush, brush color # 271d12, brush opacity 75%. Draw the shadows as shown in the screenshot below. Also let the individual strands of white wool shine through. (Translator’s Note: apply shadows, white strands brush with very low opacity)

Step 35

Using the same brush, just lower the opacity of the brush to create shading on the face. Also circle the outline of the mouth so that it becomes a little more expressive, this time set the brush color to # 4a3e37.

Using a different color brush # 331f15, paint over the edge of the chin. Blur strokes with the tool Blur (Blur tool) with Intensity (strength) 15%.
Merge all layers with fur into one layer (Ctrl + E).

Step 36

We need a grunge texture to create the background. You can download the texture here.

Step 37

Move the texture to our working paper, scale to the texture according to the size of the working document. Our possum is like a furry animal in the abstract world of its own pity.

Step 38

To create a guide light for the background, let’s go Filter – Rendering – Effects Lighting(Filter> Render> Lighting Effects), set the type to Source Sveta (Light type) Spotlight(Spotlight).

So we added the atmosphere to our image.

Step 39

Using tool Free feather (Freeform Pen Tool), draw a tail to the possum. Using additional points, adjust the tail until you get the desired shape of the tail. I managed to draw a tail after several attempts.

Step 40

To layer with a tail, add layer styles Inner shadow (Inner Shadow). Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below:

Step 41

Additionally darken the lower part of the tail.

Step 42

Combine the layer with the tail and the combined layer with fur, and you automatically get a layer with a shadow. Duplicate the merged layer. To duplicate a layer, apply styles. Color overlay (Color Overlay), fill color is black. Next, lower the opacity of the shadow layer to 65%, and then use the tool Move (Move Tool (M)), move the shadow, as shown in the screenshot below, placing it behind the possum.

Step 43

Choose one of the tools Allotment (Marquee Tool). Draw a path for the rays of light, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 44

Apply a gradient to the layer with the rays of light. Gradient color checkpoints (Gradient Color Stops) will be the following:
1. # bab1ab
2. # dad9d7
3. # ecebe3
4. # cfeae4
5. # ecebe3
6. # aaa19c
7. # ffffff.

The degree of opacity for color control points:

Step 45

Choose a tool Gradient (Gradient Tool (G). Drag the gradient down within the outline of the selection.

Step 46

So, we have created rays of light, but they look a little hard. To soften the edges, go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur), set a blur radius of 7.1 px.

We have got softer rays of light.

Step 47

Create a new layer. In this step, we will add a glow to the possum face. Choose a soft round brush in white. Paint the edge of the face to the right, starting from the nose and up to the eyebrows.

We have a “heavenly” blissful look.

Step 48

Create a new adjustment layer. Levels (Levels) on top of all layers. Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below:

Applying levels to an image is intended to add shadows to a picture.

I also applied a soft round brush on the edges of the head to create a glow. So, we have completed the lesson! Like any work of art, for an artist his work will never seem complete. You can draw a halo over the possum’s head to make the opossum look holy, add candles or even clouds of smoke to enhance the effect. These examples with the additional elements that I just mentioned are well applicable given the dark atmosphere of the image itself.

Final result

Author: David Ella Ella

Translator: Sadigaliyev Marat

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