A basic sketch is one of the important elements in a digital illustration. In it, you define the overall design of the work. Every artist has his own methods and secrets for creating successful sketches. Some draw from memory, others use photos. In this tutorial, we will show you how to use the grid to easily create sketches, and turn a primitive sketch into a finished illustration.
- Rahll Brush Set
- David Nagel Series 37 Skin Texture Brushes
- Noise Texture by SheridanJ
- Ice texture
- Cracked glass
- Lens Flare by SheridanJ
1. Grid and sketch
To create an illustration, we will use the official promo poster of the film “Man of Steel”. Activate the grid in Photoshop, which will help us to keep the proportions and get a neat sketch for further work. When finished, we begin to add paint.
Create a new layer immediately below the draft and call it “Background Rough”.
Hard round brush with medium opacity (50%) we start to throw a background. At this stage, there is no need to draw out the details; the background should be quite minimalistic so as not to distract attention from the central character.
Create a new layer and call it “Background detail 1”.
Select the texture brush from the ‘Rahll’s Brush pack and add more details to the background, trying to create a snow effect around the character.
Hold Command / Ctrl and select all layers with background. Group them (Command / Ctrl + G) and call the group “Background”.
3. Base colors
Create a new group and call it “Face”. All layers on which we will work with the head, add to this group.
On the new layer we draw a face (# e5c7bc).
Create a new layer above the face and call it “Hair”. Fill hair with dark color. Do not use pure black color (# 000000), it is better to take # 181212.
Create a new group under “Face” and call it “Body”.
On the new “Base” layer, fill the character’s body with a pale blue color: # 142f4d.
Hold down the Command / Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the “Base” layer to load its selection.
For red areas, create separate layers (boots, cape and symbol) (# 852028).
4. Base shadows
We return to the group “Face”. Hold down the Command / Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the “Face” layer to load its selection.
On a new layer with a hard brush we begin to apply medium tones.
Create a new layer for the eyes “Eyes”.
Activate EllipseTool (Ellipse) (U), hold down the Shift key and create a circle. Fill it with color # 47493e.
Duplicate the layer with the eye (Command / Ctrl + J) and move the copy to the other eye (holding the Command / Ctrl key). Then eraser (E) remove excess.
Activate the “base” layer in the “Body” group. Hold down the Command / Ctrl key and click on the layer thumbnail to load its selection.
Create a new layer and dark blue (# 070c12) begin to apply the shadow. Do not use pure black. Focus on shape and volume.
Above the layer of “Cape” create a new and put the shadow on the cloak.
Above the “boots” layer, add a new one and apply shadows on the boots.
Create a new layer above the layer with the hand and draw the shadows.
Add a new layer for the character. Fill the void with a dark color.
On the new layer in blue we draw the edge of the symbol. Then adjust the outline of the logo with eraser (E)
5. Skin texture
Go to the “Face” group and create a new layer for the texture. Select brush 15 from the “David Nagal Skin Texture Brush Pack” to apply the base texture layer.
Choose a softer brush from the “Rahll Brush pack” (Speckled brush) to smooth out the texture a bit. Detail the area around the eyes and ears.
On the eyes we draw pupils, then we add some shadows on the iris and glare.
Via Blur tool (Blur) slightly blur the iris.
Activate the hair layer. Select the Round Blunt Medium Stiff brush from the standard Photoshop CS5 set. We begin to draw dark areas of hair, given the direction of their growth.
Create a new layer and call it “Hair highlights”. No need to carefully detail the hair. With the Texture Brush Texture Brush (size 3-4 px) from the set “Rahll’s Brush Pack” we just add a few highlights (# b9aca1).
Draw the eyelashes on the same layer.
Hair and face look good enough, so we can move on!
7. Detailing the costume
Activate the “cape” layer. Using a hard brush, we finish the cloak: draw shadows, adjust the contour. Add contrast, glare on the bends. I do not advise to use white color. Better get # ffe2e5.
Finished with a raincoat, open our first texture (“NoiseTexture.jpg”).
Drag it to the picture. Make sure the texture layer is above the raincoat layer.
We will not stretch the texture to cover the entire costume with it, as this will make all the noise blur. Instead, we duplicate it (Command / Ctrl + J).
Move the copied layer to the right (with Shift pressed).
Repeat the process until the texture is large enough to cover the entire area of the raincoat.
Merge all layers with texture into one (Command / Ctrl + E), set the blending mode of the new layer to Overlay (Overlap) and reduce the opacity to 25-30%.
Hold Command / Ctrl and click on the thumbnail of the base layer with a raincoat to select it, then use the Shift + Command / Ctrl + I key combination to invert the selection. Click Backspace to remove all unnecessary details.
We return to the costume. We are working on the shadows.
On the new layer “Cuff” draw the base for the cuff sleeves.
Go to the shoes and add details, especially in the area of the fingers (where the sole turns into a sock). Also on a separate layer draw a border.
Detail the symbol, add shadows and highlights, paying particular attention to edges and corners.
Create a new layer “Suit Edges” right above the layers with the costume. Gently draw the edging around the neck.
Toning start with dark shades.
Then add highlights to make it more voluminous.
Go to the hand. Add details and texture.
You will find the second part of the lesson here.
Author: Sheridan Johns