We draw a colorful illustration in Photoshop

Hello! My name is Hatice Bayramoglu, I’m a 3D artist and illustrator from Turkey. In this lesson, I will show you how to draw and color the hero – an illustration for a children’s book. In the course of the lesson, I will explain my choice of certain tools and my thoughts about the illustration. My lesson shows how I create an illustration from the initial sketch to the full figure. I believe that after reading this lesson you will find something useful for yourself. I’ll use Photoshop and a Wacom tablet to create the artwork.

This image will be completely created in Photoshop CS2.

Step 1: Sketch
Start by creating a new document in Photoshop. Its size should be about 800×778 pixels. I started by creating a quick sketch that reflects my main idea. Here is a sketch of the main environment around the main character.

So, as you can see, this sketch shows the main character – a little girl standing next to an apple tree with an apple in her hands. She smiles because she is happy, and perhaps a little sad.

Step 2: Set up brushes in Photoshop
Here is one single brush that I use to paint my heroine. For drawing I will use standard brushes.

Before you start painting, you need to set up a brush. Start by choosing a tool. Brush (Brush), then use a standard brush, which is shown below.


(click on image to enlarge)

Step 3: Color Palette
You must decide on the colors you will use before you start painting. Here are my colors used in the work:

Step 4: Layers (Layers)
Create New layer (New Layer) and name it Sketch (Sketch). You can create this sketch in Photoshop or on paper. After you create a sketch layer, change it Blend mode (Blending mode) on Multiplication (Multiply) and always hold it on top of all layers to see what you paint over.
Now look at my layers palette. Here are separate layers for each sketch object. Coloring every detail on a new layer makes it easy to make adjustments in the process of drawing. It is much easier to correct mistakes if the main elements of your illustration are located on separate layers. This step is really very important!

Step 5: Work on the background color
Here let me show you how I color the background. Choosing a tool Fill (Paint Bucket) (G). After you fill the background, it should look like this. Make sure the layers are arranged as shown in the image below.

Step 6: Coloring the main shapes
Before proceeding with the coloring, let me again show the order of the layers. I changed it because the sketch layer should be above all layers, and also set to Multiplication (Multiply). At this stage, we can start coloring the outline and can identify the main shapes. Using the tool Brush (Brush) (B), start coloring the main character and the tree on separate layers. Make sure that Rigidity (Hardness) brush set at 100%. A brush with soft edges can lead to a slightly blurry result.

And in this step, I would like to change the size of my file, because I want to add more subtle details. Therefore, I open Picture (Image) – Image size (Image Size) and increase the file size to 1500×1495.

Step 7: Adding Details
Now I can start adding details. In this step, I started by coloring the face of the main character. Make sure you work on the proper layer before coloring.

And here I created a copy of the tree layer and added some details to it. I also hid the first layer with the tree.

And here is a screenshot for details. I began to add more details to my design, such as grass and little flowers. At this stage, I created a layer named Flowers.

I add more colors and subtle detailed lines on the tree.

Now look at the details that I just created. I continue to add details and, if necessary, create new layers.

Step 8: Particular attention to the main character
Now, as I am pleased with the detailing of the scenery and the wood, I will add details to the girl’s clothes. At this stage, I noticed that my heroine looks very simple and not very attractive, so I thought that I should take time to make some changes. I tried to give a slightly different look to the heroine and continued to add more details. Notice again the order of the layers. As you can see, in this step I have got some more new layers. All layers have their own names.

Now I begin to add small details to the heroine, adding more yellow and green colors. By the way, do not forget that in this step you should not detail everything. At this stage I work on the main details and the light until I get a nice contrast. Sometimes I change some colors. I’ve almost finished coloring her clothes and body. Also a little slid in one direction with a draft so that you can see what the heroine looks like without a foundation with a draft.

Step 9: Adding Glare and Contrast
I used the tool Clarifier (Dodge) (O) to lighten the plots. This is how the work looks after making all the adjustments made by the tools. Clarifier (Dodge) (O) and Dimmer (Burn). I continue to add more details on the tree, using brushes of various sizes and colors. As soon as enough detail was added, I began to smooth them using a soft-edged brush. I also use tools Clarifier (Dodge) (O) and Dimmer (Burn) to shade branches.

And also I want to show you how I added these dark areas on the layer with wood. For this effect, I used the tool Dimmer (Burn). I always do that to add dark areas to my illustrations.

Also add a few strokes tool Finger (Smudge). I use it because I want to add soft, blurry areas to the clouds and the background. At this stage, I noticed that my clouds are not too detailed. So I created a new layer to draw parts to the cloud using two tools: Finger (Smudge) and Brush (Brush).

Step 10: Add More Details
At this stage, I noticed that I need to add more flowers to my picture. Therefore, I create a new layer and, as you see, I draw several pretty and simple flowers. Continuing to add more details. I add a few strokes tool Clarifier (Dodge) (O), I do this because I want to add some light-lit areas of grass.

Now, after finishing the grass and the background, I can start adding more details on the girl’s hair and on her face. I choose the brush mode Lightening Basics (Color Dodge) and add a few touches to her face.

Now pay attention to the details that I added, using only the brush in the mode Lightening Basics (Color Dodge).

Step 11: Color Correction
The work on the drawing is almost finished with the exception of color correction. To start Drain (Merge) all layers. Now in Picture (Image) – Corrections (Adjustments) – Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) change a little color. I want to give the illustration a more sunny effect.

Set the parameters that I installed. This is what the illustration looks like – more sunny and joyful.

Complete illustration
And here is a complete illustration, I hope you found this lesson interesting. Thanks for reading.

Author: Hatice Bayramoglu

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