In this tutorial, I’m going to explain the process of drawing an illustration, which I called The Fairy Tale House. I will delve a little into the details, show my workflow and tools that I prefer to use. When you finish this lesson, you will get an idea of how to work on a drawing, starting with a sketch.
Step 1. First, let’s create a new document (approximately 700 pixels in width and 826 in height, resolution 72 dots per inch) and make a preliminary draft. (Ctrl + N or File> New – File> New). Now the resolution is 72, but after changing the resolution to 300 (without re-sampling the image), you can print it on A3 format in pretty good quality.
Width: 1000 pixels
Height: 592 pixels
Color Mode: RGB Color; 8 bit
Step 2. The hardest thing in drawing the environment or the hero is to decide on the idea. I usually make a few sketches, it’s easier to decide. Here is my main sketch.
Note: Sketch needs to be done on a new layer.
Step 3. When the sketch is ready, I set the overlay layer to the sketch layer. Multiplication (Multiply).
To open the layers palette, if you still do not see it on the screen, press the F7 key at the top of the keyboard. Or you can open the palette through Windows> Layers (Windows> Layers).
Note: About the background color and texture of the author does not indicate.
Step 4. Now press Shift + Ctrl + N (Win) / Shift + Command + N (Mac) to create a new layer. A dialog pops up where you can name the layer and set other options. I called the layer “main color”.
Note: A new layer should be between the draft and the background.
Step 5. On a new layer, create a selection using the tool. Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee Tool) (M). And after selecting the canvas, select the tool Fill (Paint Bucket Tool) (G), fill the new layer with a color. Now I have to remove the selection, for this I go to Select> Unselect all (Select> Deselect) (Ctrl + D).
Step 6. My next step will be the choice of colors for the picture.
Here are my colors for this illustration. As usual, I’m going to create a colorful and vibrant picture. I decided to take some blue and yellow flowers for the background. The remaining colors from my palette are designed directly for the house, the landscape and the girl. Open another file and save your colors, always keep this file open when drawing.
Note: or you can create a new layer and place your palette on it.
Step 7. While working on flowers, I tried to determine the source of light. Where will the light come from? What color will it be? In the end, I decided that the yellow color would be in the background and a little different color in the foreground.
Step 8. I have three layers, one – the main colors, the second – a sketch, the third – the background. I hid the visibility of the layer with the main colors. Now we can see the background layer. I give you a screen, on it you can see all the layers:
Step 9. Now I am going to show you how to merge two layers. First, change the blending mode of the “main colors” layer to Multiplication (Multiply). Then right-click on this layer and select Merge with the bottom (Merge down). You can also go to the Layer> Marge layers menu. But the quickest way is to press Ctrl + E (Win) / Command + E (Mac) on the keyboard. Notice, this is just an example and we, at the moment, do not need to merge a layer with a draft.
Step 10. In the screenshot below, I only see two layers, but this is just the result of the example from the previous step. In fact, you should have not two, but more layers. The point of this step is that I would like to change the file size, because I am starting to add more details, so I need a larger file size.
Go to the menu Image> Image Size (Image> Image size) and set the size settings to 2000×3072 and the resolution is 300.
Step 11. Now we can begin to create new layers for each important object of our picture. Here is a new layer for the house. I also hid the appearance for another layer with “main colors”, this layer was created to show the main idea and work out the main colors.
In the next steps I will create even more layers. The reason for this is that it will be more convenient for us to make a correction later; we will be able to edit the layer without fear of spoiling the whole picture. It is much easier to correct mistakes if the main elements of your work are divided into separate layers. So the step is really important.
Step 12. Select the top window of the house, then just copy and paste (Ctrl + C / Ctrl + V), merge layers with windows (Ctrl + E). Now we have two windows on one layer. I continue to work with the windows.
Note: Apparently after selecting the window, the author used the function Copy to a new layer.
Step 13. When I picked up the colors, I acted something like this. After choosing the best colors, I began to add more details.
Step 14. I created a new layer for the tree and add details, used Color balance (Color balance) (Ctrl + B), played with colors in the shadows, midtones and highlights mode for this layer. I also hid unwanted areas with the Clone Stamp tool (S).
Step 15. Here I again turned on the visibility of the “main colors” layer … Now you see how the house and the tree look like with the background. To give the tree volume, used tools. Lightening (Dodge tool) and Blackout (Burn tool) on a layer with a tree. And also added several shades. Look at the tree, after this step the shadows became clearer.
Step 16. Using a small brush, add more details. Before you start painting, you need to customize your brush. Look at the settings of my brush, which I detailed the roof of the house. I also used the tool quite often. Finger (Smudge tool), it gives me more control over the shapes, blending and smoothing of shadows.
Step 17. I use only basic brushes, changing their size and settings … Choose a simple standard brush. In the panel of brushes tick Form dynamics (Shape Dynamics) and set the settings, as you can see in the screenshot below. Then try your brush. If you do not like the result, you can always change the settings. Adjust the settings of the brush so that you feel comfortable working with it.
Step 18. I’m also going to use the tool. Finger (Smudge tool) for specific areas of illustration. This tool, I also changed the settings brush. Hot key to invoke the panel brushes – F5.
Step 19. Now I will focus on drawing other trees, clouds, little mounds. You can see how the image looks at the image at this stage (I also temporarily opened the draft layer), as it becomes more voluminous.
Step 20. I want to show you how I added areas illuminated by the sun in my image. I have not used for this tool Clarifier (Dodge tool), but just added some different colors for this effect.
If this lesson teaches you at least a couple of new things that you didn’t know before reading it, I will feel myself fulfilling that small part of my duty as an artist. You should always remember that you can try different gadgets, tricks, tips and not be afraid of being spontaneous.
Step 21 It’s time to clean our image. Take Eraser (Eraser tool) and erase the colors that hit the background. Use a small soft brush with an opacity of 30 – 40%.
I pass the eraser on too dark shadows.
Start adding new layers for the shadows. Shadows are not always a darkened version of the primary color, they can be other colors.
Step 22 I decided to start drawing small details: flying birds, green grass, adding characteristic colors to the image.
I think that the basic coloring process is ready. Let’s now look at the three images and compare them.
Step 23 I will again change the size of the canvas. If you want to work with a large number of small parts, you will need a large work area – a canvas of 3000 or 2600 pixels.
Step 24 Now I am going to detail the environment. Remember, start detailing on a new layer. Always pay attention to the lighting. Do not forget about the light source and its direction. I added some more flowers and details to the cartoon house. When I want to add more light, I use the tool. Clarifier (Dodge tool). I tried several lighting options and chose the one shown below. Keep track of the details on the wall. I slightly shifted the layer with a draft so that you could see the difference.
Step 25. This image shows how I added details to a tree trunk. What can I say about the size of the brush – if you work with parts, you must change the size of the brush. I add the details to the tree using a small hard brush and a round soft brush for smoothing. I added some more flowers and decided that I wanted the tree to have three branches, but I can change it later, maybe …
Step 26. Now I draw my heroine. Create a color palette for your character. I added a few colors and changed the opacity to the draft layer. Look at the process of drawing a girl. In this step, her figure begins to emerge more clearly.
Step 27. The image is almost done, I think there are still some details left. I begin to detail the ground by adding more green and yellow.
Step 28. I create a duplicate of the drawing and adjust it using Brightness / Contrast (Image> Correction> Brightness / Contrast; Image> Adjustments> Brightness / Contrast) until you reach the desired result. After that I used Hue / Saturation (Image> Correction> Color / Saturation; Image> Adjust> Hue / Saturation) for an easy effect correction.
Note: presumably before creating a duplicate, the author merged all the layers since there are only two layers on its palette, however you can create not a duplicate, but a combined layer Crtl+Shift+Alt+E, so that if necessary you can go back.
Step 29. I wanted the color and light to be warmer. I adjusted the settings like this:
Step 30. I’m going to add some final touches. First I created a copy of the layer with the final image, then applied Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian blur).
I used a radius of 29.8.
Step 32 After a blur according to Gauss, I go to Edit> Loosen Gaussian Blur (Edit> Fade Gaussian blur), there I choose the blend mode Soft light (Soft Light). After all these changes, our image has become too bright, so change the opacity slightly.
Step 33 Change the opacity of the layer to 71%. Now we need to merge the two layers, to do this, press Shift + Ctrl + E (Win) / Shift + Command + E (Mac). This command will make the image on one layer.
Note: the author has only two layers on the palette before merging the layers.
I decided to finish the illustration, otherwise I can continue to work on the image forever. I hope you do not think that reading my lesson is equivalent to carrying it out. And here is the final result – “Imaginary House”. I wish to spend even more time working with him. Hope this lesson will be useful to some of you. Of course, there are many other ways to achieve the same result. And yet, if you have completed this lesson, leave a comment to it.
Author: Hatice Bayramoglu