In this tutorial, I’ll show you the whole process of creating fan art using the example of Hermione Granger. First we will prepare a black and white drawing, and then fill it with bright colors.
Hermione is my favorite character in the Harry Potter book series. I decided to draw it in an animated style, based on the image created in the films. At the same time, I will try to reflect Hermione’s clever and quick-witted character in facial features and posture.
We now turn to the process of drawing!
1. Draw a black and white head
Let’s create a new document. I prefer to work with size A3 so that you can print the work. You will find this format in the window for creating a new document in the section Print (Print). In older versions of Photoshop you need a drop-down menu. Preset (Set) choose International Paper (International paper format), then a list with the required format will appear just below.
I like to experiment with different brushes that other artists share or that I find on Envato Elements and GraphicRiver, but most of the time I use standard round Photoshop brushes — hard and soft.
By the way, if you’ve already upgraded to Photoshop CC 2018, you’ve probably discovered a new set of Kyle Webster brushes that are widely used by professional artists. To get them, activate the tool Brush Tool (B) (Brush) and open the brush shape selection panel. Next, click on the button in the form of a gear and select Get More Brushes (Get more brushes). Here you can download Photoshop CC 2017 brushes by clicking on the button. Legacy Brushes (Compatible brushes). All brushes will be added as separate items at the bottom of the list.
If you accidentally delete a brush, you can always restore the set using the menu item Restore Default Brushes (Restore brushes).
Let’s fill the background layer with 50% gray. Next we will work using only shades of gray. This will allow us to focus on the form and lighting, without being distracted by the selection and combination of colors.
Having finished with black and white variants, we will move on to the next stage and start applying colors. In this case, we will already have all the light and shade areas traced and we will just have to choose the color palette. It seems to me that such a work process is more convenient and consistent, and also helps to understand the many aspects of drawing concerning the form and materials. Let’s get started!
Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N), take Brush Tool (B) (Brush), choose a hard brush from the standard set of Photoshop and create a rough sketch of the character. At this stage, I am not distracted by the details and I try to concentrate on the general outlines. Now our task is to create a balanced composition and dynamic posture, while the lines should be smooth and the proportions correct.
On the layers panel, select the layer with a draft and switch its blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication), also reduce Opacity (Opacity) up to 30%.
Let’s create another new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N), then take Lasso Tool (L) (Lasso) and select the head with the ear and neck.
Choose a light gray color and using Paint Bucket Tool (G) (Fill) fill the selection with this color.
Now remove the selection (Ctrl + D) and use the texture brush to adjust the shape of the head. For this, I used the Ultimate Charcoal Pencil brush from the set Dry Media Brushes (Dry brushes).
Do not forget that at any moment we can again select the shape of the head by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking on the layer thumbnail on the layers panel.
Tip: I think you noticed that some brushes cannot be used as an eraser in Photoshop CC 2018 (E). However, the brush tool (B) can also be turned into an eraser, if on the top panel Mode (Mode) switch to Clear (Clear). In this way, you can draw and delete with the same tool simply by switching between modes. Normal (Normal) and Clear (Clear).
Let’s make the head a little darker than the background. To do this, select the layer with the head and go Image – Adjustments – brightness/ Contrast (Image – Correction – Brightness / Contrast). Install Brightness (Brightness) at -48.
Next, for the layer with the head, block the transparent pixels by clicking on the button at the top of the layers panel Lock transparent pixels (Maintain transparency of layers). Due to this, we will draw only on the area filled with color, without touching the transparent pixels beyond the borders of the head.
We take a soft round brush (B) and in dark gray color we begin to apply shadows along the contour of the jaw. Then go to the right side of the head, so that it looks bigger.
On the layers panel, turn on / off the visibility of the draft layer to remember where the main elements of the face are located. Add a soft rich shadow around the eyes.
We darken the ear with the same soft brush and add details on the inside. Reduce the diameter of the brush (key [) and draw thin eyelids around the eyes. Thus, we can add clear lines, while maintaining the softness of the shadows.
Now draw a mouth. To begin with a very small soft brush of dark gray color, we apply the basic shape of the mouth. You can also use a hard brush, but make sure that the edges of the strokes are not too jagged and rough.
Next, increase the size of the soft brush, choose a lighter shade of gray and draw the upper lip.
Add volume to the lips with barely noticeable highlights and shadows to emphasize the contrast of the darkest details.
Create a new layer and go to the nose. Apply the basic form with a small soft brush of dark gray color. We draw the nostrils and draw the arcuate lower contour of the nose.
Increase the diameter of the brush, choose a lighter shade of gray and add a light shadow along the contour of the nose.
Next, in a light gray color (almost white) draw the upper part of the nose. First, we draw a clear line, then reduce the opacity of the brush and add a blurred glare, highlighting the roundness of the nose and volume. Increase the contrast of dark and light lines and add a semi-transparent drop shadow under the nose.
Via Lasso Tool (L) (Lasso) select the inner part of the ear and fill it with a dark gray color on the new layer. I think you noticed that for every detail of the character I create a new layer. This helps me to facilitate the process of work, and if necessary at any time you can merge several layers into one key combination Ctrl + E.
Create another new layer on which we will draw the eyes. Via Lasso Tool (L) (Lasso) select the eyeball and the instrument Paint Bucket Tool (G) (Fill) fill it with a light gray color. Without removing the selection, we add shadows along the contour of the eye with a soft brush so that the eyeball looks more rounded.
Remove the selection (Ctrl + D) and draw a lash on a separate layer with a hard brush of dark color on a separate layer.
With the same hard brush of dark gray color we draw the iris of the eye. Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the layer with the eyelashes on the layers panel to load its selection. After that, hold down Shift + Ctrl and click on the thumbnail of the iris layer to add it to the selected area. When finished with the selection, we add halftones with a soft round brush.
Another way to quickly select multiple shapes is with the tool. Magic Wand Tool (W) (Magic Wand). Simply click it on the desired item, then hold down the Shift key and add new areas to the selection.
Use a hard brush to draw eyebrows. Try to draw smooth lines and give your eyebrows an interesting position so that the character’s face expresses emotions. Hermione is a smart, inventive and quick-witted girl, so I tried to reflect these qualities in the facial features.
Switch the brush mode to Clear (Clear) and spend several times on the inner tips of the eyebrows to draw individual hairs.
Select eyebrows with Magic Wand Tool (W) (Magic Wand) or by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking on the layer thumbnail, then using a soft brush of light gray color, draw soft highlights on the inside of the eyebrows.
Let’s add more life to the girl’s eyes. Via Lasso Tool (L) (Lasso) create a couple of blurred shapes with rounded edges on the irises and draw with a soft light-colored brush along the selection. We add small bright highlights to the small white brush.
2. Finish the black and white version of the picture.
Having finished with the face, we can add new details. Above the head, create a new layer and using Lasso Tool (L) (Lasso) draw a bang, which we fill with a dark gray color. Go back to the layer with the head and soft brush, add a light shadow under the bangs.
Create a new layer for the sweater and fill it with a dark gray color.
For convenience, we include the visibility of the layer with a sketch to add shadows along the contour of the sweater and the book that the character is holding in his hands.
Now we will draw a hand on a separate layer. Via Lasso Tool (L) (Lasso) we create a hand selection and fill it with a light gray color. Then either we block the transparent pixels, or we do not remove the selection and begin to add shadows, highlights and detail the fingers, adjusting the diameter of the brush for more elaborate work.
Tip: Try to use references when drawing the body. Even if it is a cartoon character, all stylized features must first be based on real anatomy and then simplified. On the Internet you can find many suitable photos, but the best reference is you! So keep a mirror on hand and periodically check with him.
Next, on a new layer with a lasso draw a cuff on the sleeve. We draw the shadows to make it more voluminous, and on a separate layer (we place it under the sweater layer) we add the inside. We make it darker to emphasize the depth. At the end draw a round button.
Now create a layer for the book and place it between the layers with the hand and the sweater. First, create a basic rectangular shape, then cut out the place where the hand holds the book.
Without removing the selection from the book, we add a mask to the layer by clicking on the button Add layer mask (Add layer mask) at the bottom of the layers panel. Now that the mask is active, we take a lasso and select the outline of the hand, and then use Paint Bucket Tool (G) (Fill) fill the selection with black. The black color on the white mask hides, and the white, on the contrary, restores. With an ordinary brush (B) we can correct the mask by switching between black and white colors.
Switch to the book layer (miniature of the checkerboard texture layer) to continue painting shadows, lights, and adding details using a round brush.
We draw the upper edge of the book, filling it with a light gray color and adding dark and light page lines. Create a new layer and decorate the cover. I decided to write the word “Charms” on it in a handwritten style, using a solid round brush. With the help of shadows between the strokes, we can give the letters a three-dimensional effect.
Using the lasso, we create the basis for the magic wand and fill it with a very dark shade of gray. We draw ornate ornaments and add volume with a soft brush.
I advise you to find a reference with a floating pen and try to draw it in a simplified style. I didn’t draw the pen very carefully, because it is too small and later we will partially impose light effects on it.
Turn on the visibility of the draft layer and draw the skirt. Place the layer with the skirt under the book and sweater. With a hard brush, add folds, then switch to soft and apply light and shade.
With the help of a lasso create a silhouette of the legs. Without removing the selection, add a shadow with a soft brush, then with a tight paint we draw a shoe.
When finished with the leg, duplicate it (Ctrl + J) and press Ctrl + T to activate the free transformation mode. We rotate the copy and transfer it to the upper part in accordance with the draft.
On the new layer, which we place below all the other details of the character, draw hair.
Go to the layer with bangs, hold down the Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of this layer to load its selection. Above we create a new layer and, without removing the selection, with a stiff brush add light and dark hairs on the bangs.
Also, I additionally ran a texture brush over the bangs to add more details. To do this, I used a Graphite Control brush from the Kyle’s Drawing Box set.
Do the same with the rest of the hair: add texture and draw individual hairs.
The last thing we add is a contour lighting that will make the character more voluminous and separate it from the background.
To begin, select several layers of the same type (for example, all layers with hair or all layers related to the head: nose, mouth, etc.) and group them (Ctrl + G) them.
Next, select a group with hair, hold down the Alt key and at the bottom of the layers panel, press the button Create New Layer (Create a new layer). As a result, a dialog box appears. Check that opposite the parameter Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask (Use the previous layer to create a clipping mask) there was a check mark. Enter any name and click OK. Now we have a layer attached to a group with hair – a clipping mask. Clipping masks work only within the element to which they are attached. This is about the same as blocking transparent pixels, but is valid for the whole group, not just a single layer.
Soft white brush gently apply contour lighting on the right side of the hair.
Add a clipping mask to each group with elements on which we plan to add a contour light. For convenience, I have outlined the position of the light source with a small sun.
Apply a shadow under the character with a soft brush so that it does not float in the air.
Now at the very top of the layers panel add an adjustment layer. At the bottom of the layers panel, press the button Create new fill or adjustment layer (Create a new fill or adjustment layer) and select Brightness/ Contrast (Brightness / Contrast). Increase the brightness and contrast of the image so that the result looks more attractive.
3. Fill the picture with flowers
Now that the black and white version of the drawing is ready, we can fill it with flowers! Let’s start with the background. Open the panel Color (Color) and choose purple for the foreground and peach pink for the back.
Take the tool Gradient Tool (G) (Gradient) and draw a vertical line to fill the background with a linear gradient. All gradient parameters can be specified on the top panel.
Above the groups with gray elements of the picture we create a new layer and switch its blending mode to Color (Chromaticity).
Find the layer with the head and hold down the Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail to select it. Hold Shift + Ctrl and click on the thumbnails of the layers with arms and legs to add them to the selection.
On the layer created above, fill the selected areas with a pinkish-orange color.
Let’s do the same with eyes, hair, a book, clothes, and other items. Hold Ctrl and click on the group of layers to select it, then on the new layer in the blending mode Color (Chroma) fill the selection with color.
You can not create separate layers for each part, but use only one.
Via Gradient Tool (G) (Gradient) I filled the book with pretty purple-pink flowers.
Now create a new layer in blend mode. Overlay (Overlap), on which we will increase the brightness in color, thereby making the illustration more vivid.
Tip: if we look at the color palette of a human face, we notice that it is divided into color zones: yellow on the forehead, red on the cheeks, nose and ears, blue on the lower jaw and a little around the eyes.
Select the head and use a soft brush to apply these color patches. Notice how vibrant and bright the illustration has become after switching to the blending mode Overlay (Overlap).
Go to the hair. Create a new layer in blend mode. Overlay (Overlap) and add a reddish brown tint.
Now let’s work with the book cover. I want to add some gilding. We take the Dry Brush brush from the standard M Brushes set (Brushes M) and draw dark orange and bright yellow colors over the selected area, trying to create an embossing effect.
Duplicate (Ctrl + J) the layer with the inscription and shift the lower copy just below and to the right. Fill it with dark purple to create a shadow effect.
Light yellow color using a hard brush to paint highlights on the contour of the letters.
To make the character look more interesting, let’s draw freckles. To do this, take the Spatter Bot Tilt brush from the Kyle’s Special Effects Brushes kit and reduce its opacity so that the result is translucent.
Now add a glow on the pen! To do this, create a new layer in the blend mode. Screen (Lightening).
Use a soft brush to draw a white glow with circular motions. You can also add sparks around the pen or other interesting effects.
Next, above all the previous layers, add adjustment layers to adjust the brightness and contrast to make the picture more harmonious and preserve the original color palette.
For this we can use, for example, a correction layer. Selective Color (Selective color correction). Experiment with dark colors on the menu. Colors (Colors) and add blue tones in the shaded areas.
Our magic illustration with Hermione is ready!
I hope you liked the lesson, and you learned a couple of interesting techniques that will be useful in future projects.