In this tutorial, I will show you how you can create a pin-up illustration of a luxurious Wonder Woman using Photoshop and a Wacom tablet. Here you will find one of my drawing techniques with Photoshop and a tablet with step-by-step instructions, as well as layer settings and illustrations for each step. Enjoy!
Wonder Woman – quite famous character in the world of comics. She is an Amazon princess named Diana, in honor of the Greek goddess Artemis. Wonder Woman is one of the most recognizable characters in the pantheon (sorry for the pun) of the DC Comic Universe. For the first time, Wonder Woman appears in the early 1940s, and has since become the darling of millions of comic book fans, TV shows (Linda Carter, hasn’t said anything?) And cartoons. I created this illustration as a tribute to this character. I decided to draw her in a pin-up pose, since I am also a big fan of this genre, and I was greatly inspired by the opportunity to portray the Wonder Woman in a way that is rarely done.
Step 1. Sketch
In this step, your knowledge of the anatomy and shape of the human body comes into play. It is especially difficult to realistically depict the female body, so for this sketch I found a couple of photos of models as a source. There is nothing wrong with using sources, especially when it comes to illustrations (where this is the absolute norm). Putting the pictures aside, I started drawing a pose from scratch, not forgetting the proportions and anatomy (on my sketch you can see a hint at the structure of the skeleton and muscles). In fact, a good way to learn how to draw a female body is to draw it from life, as often as possible. Understand how each part of the body relates to the other, and what its proportions are in relation to hands, body, head, legs, etc. If you practice enough, over time you will be very good at it.
I created a new document. I left the background layer white. Then I added a new empty layer on top of the background and renamed it to “sketch“ (sketch). On this layer I created a sketch with a thin brush with low opacity. To create it, I used Photoshop 7 and a Wacom Intuos tablet. My favorite tablet is the Wacom Intuos 3 6×8.
- Hint: In the process of drawing, periodically expand your drawing horizontally, it will help you to see problem areas and errors in proportions. Click Edit> Transform> FlipHorizontal (Edit> Transform> Flip Horizontally).
Step 2. Linear Drawing
The goal of this step is to create a nice linear pattern. You should not move to the next step until you reach this goal. In the future, it will help you save time and relieve an extra headache. I found several images of the Wonder Woman costume on the Internet, but I changed it a bit according to my vision; in other words, I made our heroine more sexy and … um … so to speak, “well-built”
I added a new blank layer on top of the layer. “sketch“ (sketch) and called it “lineart“ (linear drawing). Opacity The (opacity) layer with the draft I set to 15%, which made it barely noticeable. Then I painted the final version of the linear pattern on the corresponding layer with a small brush. As soon as the line drawing was completed, I turned off the visibility of the draft layer.
- Hint: At this stage it will be useful to bring the picture closer by at least 200%.
Step 3. Fill
Technique pouring borrowed me from the comic industry. In this technique, each area is filled with the main color (leather, clothing, hair, etc.), which will serve as a base for further coloring stages. Filling is especially important when coloring comics, and I like to use this technique in my illustrations. Later you will see how the presence of the fill allows you to control every part of the pattern. Fill allows you to adjust parts of a picture selectively, without affecting the illustration as a whole.
I created a new layer under the layer “lineart“ (line drawing) and named it “skin“ (leather). I completely selected the area with the figure and filled it with the main skin color. Above this layer, I created another blank layer and named it “metal“ (metal); on it I highlighted the areas of the pattern with the metal accessories of Wonder Woman and filled it with a yellowish-gold color. This will allow me to draw only inside metal parts. I placed this layer above the skin layer (to do this, hold down Alt and click on the line between the layers). I did the same with the layer “clothes“ (clothes). Take a look at the screenshot of the layers panel to see how the layers are arranged at this stage.
- Hint: Instead of using the selection tool to highlight areas of the fill, you can use the tool Pen (Pen) (press “P” on the keyboard). Recently, I use this method more and more often. It is a little slower, but in the end you will get perfect forms that exactly follow the contours of the linear pattern.
Step 4. Contrast matching (light and shadow)
Here the fun begins, and all the advantages of this technique are revealed! In Photoshop 7 (or 6?), Adjustment layers and fill layers appear. To add shadows, I will do another trick from my arsenal. It is very versatile, as it allows you to add, edit, align and color on the current layer as much as you want. The areas where the opacity of the layer is visible obscure everything that is on the layers below (in this case, leather, clothing, and metallic elements). This technique will be much easier to understand if you look at the screenshot of the panel with layers. It is at this stage that the magnificent body of my Wonder Woman becomes more three-dimensional.
I created a new fill layer (named “dark“ (dark)) above the layers with primary colors, but under a layer with a linear pattern. I also put it inside the main color layer. “skin“ (skin) so that the contents of this layer can be seen only inside the area with the main color on the layer below it. The blend mode of the “dark” layer I set to Multiply (Multiplication). Using a smooth brush with medium opacity, I painted the shadows. I also constantly switched between brush and tool Smudge (Finger) until it reaches the desired result.
- Hint: When you paint on a fill layer or adjustment layer, you are actually working on a layer mask. With black and white you can define the opacity of the layer. White pixels are visible, black ones are transparent. When you paint on this layer with a brush, you can use the “X” key on the keyboard to switch between black and white so you can add or reduce opacity where necessary. Also, use the tool more often. Smudge (Finger) (R) to mix your brush strokes. This is a technique that I apply to the background in traditional oil painting.
Step 5. Finishing the contrast mapping.
Now all we care about is volume and form. My sexy Wonder Woman needed areas darker to further emphasize her forms;)
I created another fill layer (and called it “darker“ (darker)) above the layer “dark“ (dark) I also placed this layer inside the layer with the main color. “skin“ (leather). Again, the blending mode of the “darker” layer is changed to Multiply (Multiplication). Here I added shadows where it was needed. The fact that I use another layer for darker areas gives me additional control. At this stage, I also added 2 adjustment layers to enhance the contrast and saturation of the illustration. I first created a new adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) above the layers with shadows and changed the profile of the curves so that more red tones appear in the light region, and more blue tones in the light region. This simple step usually helps to achieve a natural skin tone. I also added an adjustment layer. ColorBalance (Color balance) and made a few changes. Finally, I added highlights on the left side of the figure, due to ambient light. To do this, I created a new blank layer under the layer with a linear pattern and painted a light blue halo around the edge of the shape using a smooth brush.
- Hint: Adding blue light will greatly help us enhance the three-dimensional shape.
Step 6. Details
In the last step, we add the details and make the latest adjustments. Here I finished working on her face, metal parts and a whip.
To begin with, I selected all the layers (starting with the skin layer and ending with the layer with a linear pattern) and merged them into one layer. I duplicated this layer, then enlarged the drawing to work on the details with a medium opacity brush and smooth edges that are pressure sensitive. In the process of drawing, I repeat, I switched to the tool Smudge ( Finger) to mix brush strokes. In order to strengthen areas of light, I used the tool Dodge (Brightener) by adding highlights in small areas where they are needed. However, be careful and do not get carried away with this tool.
- Hint: Sometimes it is useful to keep copies of early copies of the layer you are working with, in case you feel that something has gone wrong, and it makes sense to return to the previous step.
Pin-up Wonder Woman: Final Image