Globally, Chinese noodles are known around the world as a tasty dish that can be quickly and easily prepared, while it is not the most expensive dish.
In this lesson you will learn how to draw a cup of Chinese noodles, turning everyday food into a surrealistic picture. In this tutorial, I used Photoshop CS6, as well as a tablet to create textures like watercolor, including the technique of drawing. So let’s get started!
To complete the lesson you will need:
- A cup of noodles with chopsticks
- Menu for inspiration
- Noodle cup sketch
Download the source materials for the lesson
Discussing the idea of the dish
I adore Korean television shows. And after watching the popular cooking show Cooking Together, I write down a large list of recipes that I would like to cook. Then, for the first time, I saw people who cooked a noodle dish, not like a traditional dish, where noodles are simply cooked in a saucepan.
The basis of this noodle dish includes noodles, seasonings and delicious broth. The dish came from Japan, which may consist of various ingredients, some of which you will learn today. So, while considering the dish idea, I studied all the information about Chinese noodles, visiting a dozen food blogs, and also visiting the Pinterest cooking site for inspiration.
Add a surreal touch
When I read about this dish, many ideas and sketches were born in my head. The information I gathered helped me to combine all the necessary details and unique components to create our picture. First, I will create sketches, and then proceed to the design of your recipe.
Go back to the recipe
Today’s recipe is similar to miso noodle soup, seasoned with boiled eggs, green onions, narutomaki, made from salmon fillet and twisted into a spiral.
When creating an illustration of a dish, it is very important to know the ingredients of this dish, to know not only the history of the dish, but also the aesthetic qualities.
I created several sketches in Photoshop. My main task was to ensure that the ingredients and carp were clearly visible to the observer.
Creating eight sketches, only two sketches caught my attention.
At first, I thought it would be interesting to depict the dish at an angle, but later I ran into the problems of creating a picture while creating the composition. After the first attempt to draw a dish that did not look good, I decided to return to my sketches and stop on the right sketch as the basis for my work.
2. Outline drawing: a cup and chopsticks
So, create a new document in Photoshop. Set the following settings:
Image Size (Image Size) 3000 x 2400 px
Resolution (Resolution) 300 dpi
To avoid problems with perspective, just circle the cup and chopsticks using the original image of the noodle cup.
Rotate the original image of the noodle cup with the tool Free Transformation (Free Transform Tool (Ctrl + T) to get an interesting top view. Using the tool Ellipse (Ellipse Tool (U), draw two circles, these will be the edges of our cup, and also the center of this cup. Set the fill color to white, and the thickness Strokes (Stroke) 3pt, stroke color is black.
Next, with the tool Pen (Pen Tool (P), draw sticks. But before you start, select the tool Brush (Brush Tool (B), set the brush size to 3 px, degree Stiffness (Hardness) 100%. Next, using the Pen tool, circle one wand, and then right-click on the created contour and in the window that appears, select the option Outline the contour (Stroke Path).
Next, duplicate the layer with the drawn stick. Being on a duplicate layer with a painted stick, go Editing – Transformation – Flip Horizontal (Edit> Transform> Flip Horizontal). Position the sticks as shown in the screenshot below.
3. Outline Drawing: Drawing the Ingredients
It’s time to draw the ingredients. Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool (B). Set the following settings for the brush:
Brush color black
Brush diameter 6 px
Rigidity brushes(Hardness) 100%
In the brush settings Broadcast (Transfer), in option Opacity swings (Opacity Jitter Control) set Pen pressure (Pen Pressure).
So, draw each element of the ingredient, pay special attention to their location in the cup.
In the screenshot below you can see the completed outline drawing. Adjust the opacity of the cup and chopstick to match the color of the painted ingredients. Once you are satisfied with the result, merge all the layers together.
4. Paint the base with a gray tint.
Gray shading is a favorite technique among most masters of digital art, which helps to quickly expose stage lighting. Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N) below the sketch layer. Next, using a stiff round brush, paint over with a gray tint as the basis for our object.
Click the top icon to the left Preserve pixel transparency (Lock Transparent Pixels). (Note translator: author fixes layer with gray shade). Preserving transparency will allow you to paint over the image areas without worrying about going beyond the edges of the gray base. Duplicate the gray tinted layer, then change the blending mode for this duplicate layer to Multiplication (Multiply). Next, set the default foreground and background color to black and white and start reducing the excess gray fill on the duplicate layer.
5. Ambient Occlusion: Cup
Ambient occlusion – a shading model used in three-dimensional graphics. When we draw a picture, this shading model helps to adjust the lighting by creating shadows on bends, cracks, in the areas between the details. To start using this technique, select the tool Oval area (Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) and then draw a circle. Next, right-click on the created circle and in the window that appears, select the option Transform selected area (Transform Selection) to adjust the circle so that the circle fits perfectly into the center of the cup.
Next, we need to paint over the outer contour of the circle, for this we need to invert the active selection. Right-click on the selected area and in the window that appears, select the option Inversion selected area (Inverse). Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool (B), brush color is black, Rigidity (Hardness) 0%, brush opacity 20%. Using a large soft brush, start painting the shadows on the cup, brushing along the edge of the selected circle. Active selection will not allow the brush to go beyond the contour of the selected area and blend with the center of the cup, therefore, apply long and smooth brush strokes to create shading.
Remove unnecessary shading areas that could block the ingredients.
Reverse the selection to add shadows to the broth. Once again, right-click on the selected area and in the window that appears, select the option Invert selected area (Inverse). Just as in the previous step, add shadows along the edge of the active selection using long and smooth brush strokes. Choose which of the ingredients should look like it is immersed in broth, and then use an eraser to hide the parts of the food immersed in the broth. The finished noodle cup should look like the screenshot below.
6. Ambient Occlusion: Sticks
Let’s continue shading sticks. Using tool Pen (Pen Tool (P), create a contour around one of the sticks. Right-click on the created contour and in the window that appears, select the option To form a selected area (Make a Selection). Begin to paint the shadows, so that the central part remains light.
Duplicate the shading layer. Next we go Editing – Transformation – Flip Horizontal (Edit> Transform> Flip Horizontal), so you will have a second shading that fits perfectly with the other stick. Rotate the shading with the tool Free Transformation (Free Transform Tool (Ctrl + T).
7. Ambient Occlusion: Ingredients
Not yet started to get tired?
Now it’s time to move on to food! Just like in the previous steps, we will create a selection for each ingredient to add shadows. The only difference is that this time, I will use the tool Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to create a selection. First, I will create a shading within the outline of the chicken eggs.
Next, go to other ingredients, including narutomaki, onions, and the remaining sections of the broth.
I also shaded abstract elements such as flowers, petals of lilies, including fish.
8. Ambient Occlusion: Noodles
You may have noticed that I have not yet covered my noodles. In this step we will darken the noodles, only this time we will carry out the shading by hand. Using a brush, lightly shade the edges of the noodles to achieve a realistic look.
Keep shading noodles until you completely shade them.
9. Final shading details
Shading using the Ambient Occlusion technique is a rather time-consuming process, but I ask you to perform the shading process as much as possible before we proceed to add color shades. Alternately turn on / off the visibility of the original layer with the outline pattern to see how far you are in shading. As soon as you can see the image of a cup of noodles without a contour image, then know that you have completed the shading process.
Do not forget to create shadows under the chopsticks! Using tool Lasso (Lasso Tool (L), create a selection around the sticks, and then fill the selection with black color.
Next, go Editing – Free Transformation – Warp (Edit – Free Transform – Warp (Ctrl + T) to deform the shadow so that the shadow sags along the entire cup. Reduce the opacity of the shadow layer to 20% and then go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur), set a blur radius of 17 px.
The final step in the shading process is to add a background. Choose a tool Gradient (Gradient Tool (G), set the gradient from the foreground color to the opaque hue. The gradient opacity is 20%. Drag the gradient in the direction where the shadow will fall.
Remember, we created the foundation at the beginning of the lesson? Duplicate the base layer and then go Image – Correction – Hue / Saturation (Image> Adjustments> Hue / Saturation). Set the value Brightness (Lightness) -100, placing the shadow, taking into account the lighting. Next, reduce the opacity of the shadow layer to 55%, and then gently rub the edges of the shadow with an eraser to give the shadow a more natural look.
Reduce the opacity of the original layer with a contour pattern to 30% in order to prepare for adding color shades. The final result after adding gray shades will look like in the screenshot below:
10. Add color: ingredients
So let’s add color to our painted picture! Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N). Using a 100% hard brush, add color shades to the ingredients.
Change the blending mode for this layer to Linear dimmer (Linear Burn). You can paint the elements of the composition on one layer or on separate layers.
11. Add color: noodle cup and background
Next, we will add color to the cup, as well as to the background, repeating the previous steps. I chose to use neutral shades of orange instead of bright colors, but in this step you can experiment with color shades and choose any shade to your taste.
To create the best color contrast for the cup, remove the color of the cup from any part of the composition so that the ingredients do not overlap with the color of the cup.
Once you have added color, then change the blending mode for this layer to Linear dimmer (Linear Burn).
12. Add color: Broth
We need to pay special attention to adding color to the broth because of the complexity of the texture and color of the broth compared to other elements of the picture. Using tool Oval area (Elliptical Marquee Tool (M)), create a circular selection for the broth, then fill the selection with a rich yellowish-brown tint.
Change the blending mode for the broth coloring layer to Linear dimmer (Linear Burn), then, proceed to remove individual sections of the broth. Pay particular attention to the ingredients that are immersed in the broth, unlike those that float on the surface of the broth.
Gradually change the opacity of the instrument. Eraser (Eraser Tool (E) to gently hide the color of the broth that overlaps the noodles, as well as create a smooth transition. This requires patience, which is necessary during drawing.
13. Add texture to broth
Broth will not look appetizing, if we do not add a shallow texture! To imitate fatty and rich broth, we use the texture of watercolor. A lesson on creating watercolor brushes you can see here.
Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N) on top of the broth layer, right-click on the created layer and in the window that appears, select the option Create clipping mask (Create Clipping Mask). Using a gray brush, add texture to the broth. Next, with the tool Eraser (Eraser Tool (E), hide the excess texture. Once you are done, change the blending mode for this layer to Separation (Divide).
14. Adding Lighting Effects with Blend Modes
The beauty of working in the painstaking application of gray shades is that as soon as we put the original shades, further, we do not need further painstaking application of color shades. Nevertheless, it is always interesting to experiment and see what additional features can be applied, in particular, this applies to blending modes.
In this case, I created a new layer, and then filled it with a bright light blue color. With the help of the Eraser, I processed the central part, where the cup stands, further, I changed the blending mode for this layer to Separation (Divide), and reduced the layer opacity to 70%. At the same time, not only the background will become expressive, but also the sticks will look more expressive due to the effect on their color.
15. Apply Adjustment Layers
Adjustment layers play an important role as regards the overall color palette of your picture. First, we will add an adjustment layer. Color Balance(Color Balance). Let’s go Layer – New corrective layer – Color Balance(Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Color Balance). Change values only for Tone Balance (Tone) Sveta (Highlights), set the values Blue (Blue) and Blue (Cyan) colors as shown in the screenshot below. I want this adjustment layer to affect only the light reflections of the cup, so go to the layer mask of this adjustment layer and use a black brush to hide the correction in the background.
Next, I added an adjustment layer. Selective color correction (Selective color). I corrected reds, blues, yellows, greens, and whites to soften the rich orange tones.
The last adjustment layer is Color Balance (Color Balance), change the value Blue (Blue) only for Medium tones (Midtones) ..
16. Additional correction
At this stage of the lesson, I have already painted everything, choosing the color scheme for the ingredients and the cup, so I can concentrate on correcting the details. For this, I used a hard round brush to cover up the contours of the contour pattern.
Outline drawings make the drawn pictures flat, so I daubed the outline of my outline in order to add more realism to my picture. Try to vary the opacity of the brush in the range of 50-100%, in order to achieve the best effect in this step.
17. Additional Color Correction
At the moment, the edges of the wands that are held with their hands look too muted for such a vibrant color palette. To change the color, create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N) and using a blue brush, paint over the edges of the sticks, as shown in the screenshot below. Next, change the blending mode for this layer to Chromaticity (Color).
Next, I created another new layer, which was filled with a light green color, and then, I changed the blending mode for this layer to Separation (Divide). Now, all the colors began to interact together!
Since I’m still working on blending modes, I decided to add a texture to the background to give it a more versatile look. Create a new layer on top of the layer with the background. Next, using the Watercolor brush we used earlier, paint over the dark gray brush on the new layer to add texture. Next, change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay).
18. Add light highlights
Although we have already done enough work on shading, as well as on color shades, we still need to work on light highlights! With the help of a hard round brush, start adding light highlights to each component of our food – yes, in the literal sense of the word. In these cases, I usually select the color shade with the tool. Pipette (Eyedropper Tool (E), and then in Color picker (Color Picker), I choose a lighter shade, which I use when creating light highlights.
Continue adding light highlights until you are satisfied with the result. Sometimes it will be enough to add just white highlights. Do not forget to zoom in and zoom out to understand what the observer sees when he sees the picture, i.e. add light highlights according to this.
19. Final details: Add gloss to broth
I look forward to this final step! Not because this is the final step of this lesson, but because our picture will be complete after adding gloss to our broth. Using a stiff round brush, start applying white wavy lines to create a glossy finish where the ingredients touch the surface of the broth.
Put strokes that will accurately reproduce the natural direction of the noodles, and also add blotches scattered throughout the cup to create a more realistic effect. It is very easy! As always, use Eraser (Eraser Tool (E) to soften any edges.
We have completed the lesson! Enjoy your meal!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson, and today you have learned something new about delicious food. Traveling to the amazing world of digital art may seem long and tedious, but I assure you that learning techniques and techniques will save you time and energy in the long run. Now, you can treat yourself to a delicious cup of noodles! Om-Nom-nom!
Download the source materials for the lesson
Author: Melody Nieves