In this tutorial, you will learn how to create one funny line art that can be taken as the basis for a cute new year illustration.
A brief description of the work that was inspired by a wonderful winter:
“Create a culturally neutral winter scene that shows how warm and cold light sources play in the snow. Draw three animals with white fur to show how differently the light is reflected from it. ”
Note: In the archive you will find images that were used as references.
1. We create sketches of composition
Any illustration should begin with a certain planning, and usually this implies the elaboration of what should be in general in your work.
In this case, we need to:
- Animals: white hare, deer and polar owl;
- Two separate light sources: warm and cold.
With my co-author, who will further refine the illustration, we planned a forest scene where three animals decorate the old pine tree with cones and acorns.
Reasons to create sketches include the following:
- Ensure that your thoughts and those of your client or co-author regarding work are generally the same.
- Quickly resolve the issue with the composition.
- Solve the issue of light sources.
- The stage at which your client or co-author begins to take part in creating the illustration and expressing his ideas.
- Make sure that all the elements together create a good composition.
- To generate ideas, points of view, prospects.
- Understand how best to arrange your composition: vertically or horizontally.
In general, without unnecessary problems, I want to show you my process of creating sketches!
Below I have created several rectangles for sketches to quickly sketch some ideas.
Since cold and warm lighting is vital for this illustration, I’ll start by drawing a sky, a cold light source, and a warm one.
Then, using simple shapes, such as a triangle for a tree, a circle for an owl and a hare, and a wand for a deer, I roughly throw in some ideas. At this stage, it is quite possible to simply cross out ideas that are not good enough and move on to the next.
At this stage, I delete all the empty rectangles and sketches that did not come out very well.
Here I got in touch with my co-author and we chose the songs that each of us likes the most. We liked the same sketches, but I also liked the one that is circled in orange.
After some discussions, we finally choose our sketch, and, since we want to create a culturally neutral stage, we change the warm light source from the garland to the lamp that the hare will hold.
2. Creating a document
For this illustration, we will customize the document for printing. We need size A3, so in the dialog box New Document (New) (File> New) (File> New) (Ctrl / Cmd + N), we install
- Width (Width) on 297 millimeters (or 3508 pixels)
- Height (Height) on 420 millimeters (or 4961 pixels)
- Resolution (Permission to 300 dpi (standard unit is pixels per inch)
Color mode (Color Mode) set to CMYK, as we will print this document. However, if your illustration is not printable, install Color mode on Rgb.
Then I copy the third sketch with Rectangular marquee tool (Tool Rectangular Area) (M) and press Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-C to Copy merged (Copy merged) (this will copy all layers) and Ctrl / Cmd-V, to Paste (Paste) them into my document for printing. Then I customize the sketch to the size of the document by clicking Ctrl / Cmd-T. Notice that the sketch is of worse quality than for normal operation, but this is only a sketch, and it will not be visible in the end.
With the sketch layer selected, click Ctrl / Cmd-T to start the mode Tranform (Transform) and adjust the size of the outline to the size of the document, and then click Enter.
On the panel layers Reduce the layer’s opacity to about 25% so that the sketch is barely noticeable, but you can still figure out what is happening on it. Imagine that you are using tracing paper in this step. Then click Ctrl / Cmd-R to turn on Rulers, use Move Tool (Move tool) (V), to pull the guide from the top ruler to your horizon line. In fact, this is a matter of choice, so if you want, you can draw a horizon line on a new layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N), holding Shift using brushes, to create a perfect straight line.
3. Customize our brush
For the line drawing for this illustration, I will use standard Photoshop brushes with my own settings, which you can see below:
Click F5, to open the dialog box brushes.
- Hardness (Stiffness) at 100%
- Spacing (Intervals) at 1%
Shape dynamics (Dynamics of the form):
- Size jitter (size variation) 0% s Control (Management) installed on Pen pressure (Pen pressure)
- Minimum Diameter (Minimum diameter) 70%
- Angle jitter (Angle oscillation) 0%; Control (Control) – Off (Off)
- Roundness jitter (Form oscillation) 0%; Control (Control) – Off (Off)
- Opacity jitter (Fluctuation opacity) 0%; with Control (Management) installed on Pen pressure (Pen pressure); Minimum (Minimum) 0%
- Flow jitter (Variations in the amount of paint) 0%; with Control (Management) installed on Pen pressure (Pen pressure); Minimum (Minimum) 0%
Then save your brush by clicking the icon Create New Bush (Create a new brush) in the lower right corner of the dialog box brushes.
4. Outline of trees
So, we have two images of pine. For this illustration, we do not need realistic details, but we want to convey the similarity with the pine in general, and therefore we need to know what we are drawing.
In our first example, the branches look resilient and quite similar to each other, and the silhouette of a tree is a triangle. The branches are directed to the top, the foliage is thick.
In our second example, the tree is covered in snow. The branches appear to be more massive, horizontal, and in some cases they are bent under the weight of snow. In our illustration, we will create a beautiful pine tree that will combine elements of both images with fluffy branches covered with snow.
Here we will create a reference to the first image. On New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N), roughly sketch a large tree using large strokes in order to simplify the shape of the branches. We want to get a stylized tree, so try to generalize the forms.
Create new layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) and sketch a tree in the background. Since this is the initial stage, it is quite possible to copy and paste elements for speed. However, I would not advise doing this in the final version of our line art illustration.
Second tree reduce (Ctrl / Cmd-T) up to about 2/3 of the height of the first tree.
5. Create a bar illustration of a tree
On New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N), still using the hard brush you created, reduce its size by pressing the square bracket [ on keyboard. To increase the size, click ]. Imagine that we are replacing a thick pencil with a sharply sharpened pencil.
Create a simplified outline of the needles with small, rounded W and U shapes; from my own experience I’ll say that they work out better if you draw them quickly. Add points and circles to create the illusion of detail.
In the process of drawing a line drawing, I turn on, then turn off the layer with a draft to see what happens to the form. For us it is important that the form remains clear, and all areas are loaded evenly.
6. Create a sketch of snow, as well as a line illustration.
Next, we need to sketch the snow in the same way as the branches earlier, just make it more rounded. Snow should be on top of the branches.
Next, create new layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) and start line art. Forms should be lumpy, and so that they are in the same style with the tree, continue to use W-and U-shaped forms when creating snow.
7. Line drawing of trees on the background.
Create a line drawing of trees on the background in the same way as you drew the main tree. Please note that you do not need to make them as detailed as they are not the main elements of the image. Allocate time, and draw small trees, and not just copy, as we did in the draft version.
I noticed that I forgot to add a trunk to the main tree, so I fixed that. In our source pictures, the trunks were thin enough, but I wanted the tree to look important for the animals, and so the trunk was painted thick, as if hinting that the tree was old.
Here is the drawing of our tree, and we can go to the stars of our drawing – animals!
8. Create a sketch deer
Although the image is actually not a deer, but a reindeer, I really liked the pose, and by adding a bit of creativity, I can do something from this.
The horns in this picture are gorgeous, and the muzzle is exactly what I need to create a convincing deer.
We begin by creating a sketch from simple shapes to draw our deer. Using the triangle for the head, the circles for the chest and the croup of the deer, we can sketch anatomical areas. It will also help with proportion, and understanding how the silhouette will look.
On New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) choose a different color and start throwing horns. Start with what is closer to the observer, use long, sweeping lines in order to simplify the shape. If you have problems with such complex forms, create new layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) above the source image and draw simple shapes. When you figure this out, try recreating the forms in your illustration. Of course, it will be easier to copy and paste the outlined contour, however, if you draw them from scratch, it will help develop your artistic abilities.
Sketch a second horn. I drew the horn as well as the first one, so that the shapes would be exactly the same.
Next, click Ctrl / Cmd-T to transform green horn and click Image> Image Rotation> Flip horizontal (Image> Image Rotation> Flip Horizontally). Place the outline of the horns on the head of a deer using Move Tool (Move tool) (V), use the tools Eraser (Eraser) (E) to clean up some areas and Brush (Brush) (B), to draw them again. We need a certain symmetry, but it is not necessary to be ideal horns – it is necessary to find a balance.
Sketch a deer’s head, creating a large circle for the main part of the skull, another for the nose, one for the jaw, and a circle in the corner of the mouth for the cheek muscles. Add leaf to ear. Anatomical accuracy is not so important for us, but we want the one who sees our illustration to understand that this is a deer, and not, for example, an elk.
Sketch over the fat parts of a large deer. Brush (Brush) (B) where there should be more fat, muscle or coat, such as the neck, the front of the torso, and the croup. Remember, this is an animal that lives in a very cold environment, so it should have a lot of wool and fat. We want to give ourselves as much information as possible, before we begin to create a line drawing, so that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
As soon as we have a satisfactory silhouette, it’s time to create a line drawing.
9. Create a line drawing of a deer
Create new layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) and use tough Brush (Brush) (B), to start drawing. Keep the brush size similar to the one we used when drawing a tree, or a little smaller. There is hardly a continuous line. The elements in the foreground will have a slightly larger thickness, which implies the presence of depth, but this is not always necessary, and depends on how the line illustration is used at the drawing stage in color.
At this step, I was unhappy with the accuracy of the anatomy of the legs, so that New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N), under our pure copy, I painted the shapes of the legs using straight lines, triangles for hooves and circles for joints.
Again on the layer with the line pattern, I continue to work on the legs and horns. I prefer to leave the eye for last, as this is usually the focal point of the illustration. I want to make sure that the rest of the illustration goes well!
Now that our majestic deer is ready, it’s time to move on to our bird friend, the polar owl!
10. Create a sketch of an owl.
My co-author and I decided that it would be nice if our owl held a string of acorns and tried to wrap it around the tree. I found this dynamic pose on Photodune and decided that an excellent ref would come out of this picture.
As before, any complex form is divided into several simple ones. Wings can be difficult, so I give an example of how I would work on forms.
Then I lowered the opacity of the photo with an owl and drew a simple body shape. Draw circles for the head and the back of the owl, and join them together with rounded lines that form a bean-like shape.
On New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) draw circles for the legs. Here I added circles for the joints.
Create new layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) and add simple ovals for the main part of the paw and small ovals for the fingers.
On New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) Generally draw a tail using ovals for the main feathers in it. We are not trying to detail the image – this is an exercise in order to see what elements our owl consists of.
On new layer(Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) draw two large circles for each wing so that the owl looks like a butterfly. This is for the part of the wing with bones and internal feathers, known as second-order flight feathers.
Carefully work the wings by drawing first-order flight feathers (outer feathers) using ovals.
Use the outline to draw a cross on the face, just to show where the eyes and beak should be, and also to indicate the direction in which the bird’s head is turned.
Here we have the basic forms of an owl, with its image turned off. Turn layer visibility on and off to see how the shapes look together. Next we will apply this knowledge when creating the outline of our cartoon owl!
Start by creating New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N), any color draw the shape of the body, resembling a bean. I made it a little more complete than an owl in the source image for a cute cartoon effect.
On New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N), under the body and using a different color, in large strokes, scribble the tail. I made the tail feathers short enough and slightly wider than in the source image for a nice effect.
On a new layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N), under the body and in another color, draw a few sweeping lines for the first and second flight feathers. We combine the main butterfly shape of the wing into one holistic form, since the inner part of the wing is not really visible.
On New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N), above the body, I took a turquoise color and drew a triangle with rounded corners for the inside of the front wing.
The following is a difficult part with first-order flight feathers. On a new layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) I take a purple color and draw several lines with light, sweeping movements to convey the feeling of a wing.
I’m not quite happy with the location of the feathers I’ve just drawn, but this is easy to fix. Click Ctrl / Cmd-T to enable mode transformation to rotate and scale the wing. Click Enter, when you are happy with its location.
It is worth making a few more recent adjustments to the outline of the owl. Take advantage of Lasso (Lasso) (L) and transform the far wing using Ctrl / Cmd-T to enable mode transformation.
To make sure that we have enough information to create a pattern, sketch the wing feathers with a thinner brush.
On New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N), above this, draw a cross to show the bend of the muzzle, the location of the eyes and the beak. Then scribble a few small wide circles at the bottom of the owl as legs. We will leave them small, since the owl’s paws will be pressed to the body, for it will hold the thread of acorns.
11. Create a line drawing of an owl.
In this case, I, in fact, did not throw an owl face, and just going to draw it immediately, using the image of this beautiful creature as a source. The features we want to convey are big eyes, a beak, a flat muzzle, and dark points from the plumage.
On New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N), draw a body, which, in general, is nothing but a huge bean-shaped figure with two protruding beans at the bottom as paws. It can be quite difficult to draw the bird’s paws – they look as if they have no femoral part, as it is hidden inside the body. Add some more small feathers on the paws and draw beanlike claws. Birds are so cool to draw! Work through the feathers in the tail and add the main feathers somewhere in the middle.
Next, use the image of the source of the polar owl and draw large cartoon eyes and a smiling beak in place of a curved cross.
Turn off the visibility of the draft layer by clicking on the eye opposite the corresponding layer on the panel layers, to see what our line drawing looks like. And it looks awesome, so we move on to the last star of the illustration – the hare!
12. Create a sketch hare
And here is the image that we will use.
On a new layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) Sketch the hare from behind using circles, as before, and long brushstrokes for the ears. I have a little easier to work with the hare and wiped with Eraser (Eraser) (E) tail place and the edge of the body. Here we have one paw pointing to a tree, as if showing the owl where to hang acorns, and the second rests on its thigh.
13. Create a hare line drawing
Lower the opacity of the hare layer and on New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) draw a line illustration. In the future, keep the same brush size.
Turn off the visibility of the draft layer and check if the drawing is good. Sometimes, when you look at him, you may see problems, and here, for example, I am not satisfied with the position of his left paw.
Taking Lasso Tool (Lasso Tool)(L), I outline his paw to highlight it. Then i click Ctrl / Cmd-T and turn his hand so that only the elbow can be seen.
Click Enter, when you are happy with the position and Ctrl / Cmd-D, to deselect.
14. Create a sketch of a lantern.
We wanted to change the light source from the garland to the lantern, so that the illustration was religious-neutral. I found a source on Photodune. For beauty, I decided to draw it with a candle inside.
On New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) Sketch the shape of the lamp. In comparison with the hare, it should be quite large.
Taking a color is darker on New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) draw a lamp shape with a pen. Please note that the pen currently covers the paw – later in the lesson we will fix it.
15. Create a contour drawing of a lantern.
Create new layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) and rotate the canvas to paint on the edges. You can do it manually by clicking Image> Image Rotation (Image> Image Rotation) and select how to rotate, or click R for Rotate view tool (Rotate View tool). A compass should appear on the document, and so you can rotate the document.
The reason why we rotate the canvas is that it is not always so easy to draw a line at a certain angle. If we drew, so to speak, in the traditional format, you would simply have turned the paper or notebook in order to simplify life, and perhaps even without thinking about it.
Continue using a brush of the same size and paint the lamp shape.
Rotate the document to simplify the process of drawing the lamp handle.
16. Editing the hare’s paw and combining it with a lantern.
Click Esc, to return the rotated canvas to its original position. We turned off the sketch layer, so now we have a line drawing of the lamp. As you can see, the lamp covers the body. We want the lamp to be in front of the body, and its paw to hold it.
Create mask on the lamp layer by clicking the rectangular icon with a circle at the bottom of the layers panel. Detach the mask from the picture by clicking on the chain between them.
Then take the black one Brush (Brush) (B), and on the mask, guide her to the places where the lamp covers the body of the hare.
Top-down layer names: hare, lamp, owl, cones on a tree, pine, thread, acorns
We adjusted the lamp, go to the paw. Erase the paw on the layer with the line drawing and redraw it again, this time so that it holds the handle of the lamp.
17. Create a string of acorns
Create new document, by clicking File> New (File> New) or by clicking Ctrl / Cmd-N.
Document settings on the screenshot: width and height – 2000 pixels, resolution – 72 pixels per inch, color CMYK, background is white.
On New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) Sketch the shape of the acorn, including the cap and small stem.
On New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N), using a slightly thinner brush, draw a neat line artwork already. Add a small ring around the acorn. Soon you will understand why! Then click Edit> Define Brush Preset (Edit> Define Brush) and save the brush.
Click F5, to open the palette brushes. Try a new brush without any settings. They overlap each other too much, so in Bush tip shape (Brush print form) Set the Spacing parameter (Spacing) to 132% or until the acorns are evenly distributed.
AT Shape dynamics (Dynamics of the form) set the parameter Minimum Diameter (Minimum diameter) by 91% and Control (Manage) on Pen pressure (Pen pressure).
AT Shape dynamics (Dynamics of the form) set the parameter Angle jitter (Angle oscillation) on five %, so that the brush imprint looks interesting when you make a smear, and not just exactly located acorns.
In the parameter Angle jitter (Jitter angle) change Control (Manage) on Direction (Direction) so that the acorns that form the chain look like a garland. Then save the brush by clicking the small square at the bottom of the brush palette.
On New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) over the owl pattern draw u upside down to create a chain of acorns. You may need several attempts.
And that’s why we added small loops around the stalks of acorns! On New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) draw a thread connecting the acorns, and erase all its parts that overlap the loops.
18. Create a sketch cones
And here is the source image for the cones that animals will use to decorate the tree. We can easily break it into simple shapes, so don’t be alarmed!
On New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N), Using a large brush, sketch an egg-shaped form as the basis for a bump.
Lower the opacity of the egg layer and on New layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) Start drawing bump scales, bottom to top. Do not worry about small details at this stage. Start with horizontal strokes and gradually change their angle until you reach the top of the bump. At the top, draw a vertical stalk. Then create new layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-N) above the current, and create a line drawing of scales around the sketches, extending the lines of some of them to the center, so that they look three-dimensional. Just like with acorns, draw a small loop on top of the bump.
19. Decorating the Tree
Hide the lump layer.
Sketch the eyelet where the bump hangs from the mouth of the deer. Click Ctrl / Cmd-T, to scale the bump and place it correctly.
Draw a loop now on the fair so that it looks good. Then copy the bump by clicking first Ctrl / Cmd-C, and then Ctrl / Cmd-V several times to insert multiple bump images. Distribute them on a tree using Move Tool (Move tool) (V).
Erase the original loops and draw them around the branches to make them look like they are in the snow.
Great job, that’s all!
And so, we got a finished line illustration! Depending on how you want to color it, you can merge all the layers into one (select them all with the key pressed Shift, and then click Ctrl / Cmd-E to combine), or leave them as they are.
As soon as the line drawing is finished, I made sure that all the layers are correctly named before sending the work to my collaborator. In the next lesson, she will guide you through the process of coloring a picture.
I hope you enjoyed creating this winter scene! We are waiting for you again!