This year, the Chinese New Year fell on February 8! Traditionally, the festival is held in honor of the gods and ancestors. Chinese New Year is celebrated in many countries, such as China, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, as well as in many other countries!
Traditions may vary, but basically all families get together for an evening family dinner. Also, before the holiday, cleaning is carried out so that luck comes to the house. The celebration of the New Year is accompanied by the sounds of firecrackers, on this day they also give money in red envelopes.
2016 marks the year of the Monkey. The monkey is the ninth of twelve different animals that represent the Chinese zodiac. A certain meaning is attributed to each animal of the zodiac. For example, Monkey has curiosity, mischief and intelligence.
You can visit the Envato online store for inspiration when creating your work on the theme of the Chinese New Year.
The final result:
1. Create a drawing base
Create a new document, and then create a new layer to draw a sketch. Start creating a sketch with a rough image of the head and hands, for this draw a large circle and two small circles around the edges. Next, draw a rectangular shape for the manuscript that our monkey will hold.
The kind of monkey we use as the source image is called the rhesus monkey, a common monkey species in China. This type of macaque has distinctive features such as large eyes, sharp ears, as well as the hands of a person.
Draw a monkey using the original image. Start with eyebrows, and then draw eyes below the eyebrows, a few triangular lines for the nose, and also a smile for the mouth. Even if the monkey cannot smile in the original image, we can draw a happy monkey for our caricature. Next, draw five fingers for each hand holding the manuscript.
Rhesus macaques have a dome-shaped head, so you can add this feature in your sketch. In addition, they have big cheekbones and small chins. Using all of these features helps us bring all the elements of the outline together. Do not forget to paint the pupils for the eyes.
The ears of these monkeys are unique, because have pointed tips, like an elf. Add fur texture to the neck.
To add expressiveness, you can draw another line below the original mouth line to create an open mouth, thus creating a happy monkey face. This concludes the creation of the outline of the outline.
2. Strengthening the traits through a caricature
Decrease Opacity (Opacity) layer with the basis of the sketch to 50% or lower, so that the lines were subtle, but you could still see the lines of the sketch, so the sketch will not distract your attention when you draw a cartoon over it.
Create a new layer to draw a caricature.
Caricature is a tool for enhancing or exaggerating characteristic features. It has many forms from something realistic to cartoon and sometimes to complete abstraction. In this case, we are going to create a “cartoon realism”, so it was very important to start from a basic outline.
For this type of monkey, rhesus monkeys, special features are big eyes and expressive eyebrows. To create a sense of exaggeration of a trait or to make it more expressive, you need to reduce something and make it stand out less. Make the nose and ears smaller in order to stand out eyes.
In addition, to create an agitated state, you can expand the mouth. Draw the fur along the contour of the head, muzzle and neck. Next, add details to your hands, such as nails and wrinkles to the finger joints.
To identify possible errors, we can flip the canvas horizontally, for this we go Editing – Transformation – Flip Horizontal (Edit – Transform – Flip Horizontal). You will immediately see the difference and will be able to correct your mistakes.
Do not forget to reflect the image horizontally. Next, add parts like teeth. If you see that it is necessary to correct any element of the drawing, then you can correct the drawing even when it is reflected horizontally. I advise you to flip the picture horizontally throughout the process of identifying any errors.
Go again Editing – Transformation – Flip Horizontal (Edit – Transform – Flip Horizontal). Next, reduce Opacity (Opacity) layer up to 50% or lower. Next, create a new layer for the contour stroke.
Draw a caricature over a detailed drawing. Pay special attention to your eyes and mouth, because The observer pays attention to these characteristic features first of all. Carefully paint the lines, try to use smooth movements, reminiscent of the movement of sweeping with a brush. Team Editing – Cancel (Edit – Undo) is your best friend, so do not forget to use this command as needed at this stage.
Draw a straight horizontal line at the bottom of the rectangle, and add two cylindrical elements on the sides to create the feeling that the manuscript is unfolded!
Turn off the visibility of the layer with a detailed draft, then we will continue to work with the layer with the contour stroke to proceed to the next stage – painting!
3. Choose a color palette
Red is an important shade in Chinese culture. It means good luck and happiness, so the red color is very often distributed in posters and paintings dedicated to the Chinese New Year.
Choose a tool Fill (Paint Bucket Tool) to fill with a rich red mid tone.
Colors opposite each other are called Additional colors. If you want to use a three-color palette of colors, then you can create Triadic scheme. This means three colors that are located at the same distance from each other on the color wheel. These colors are usually well combined next to each other.
Since the red color is more pronounced in our scene, then we will also add light blue and yellow shades to complement the triadic color scheme.
4. Base Colors
Create a new layer, place this layer below the layer with the contour stroke. Let’s start with the first part of the triadic scheme, using the tool Gradient (Gradient Tool), fill our manuscript with light yellow color.
Next, select the more saturated yellow color of the mid-tones to fill in the side elements of the manuscript. Golden yellow and red are often used in Chinese art.
Next, with the tool Gradient (Gradient Tool), fill our monkey with a light blue color. Even if the rhesus monkey has a brown color, the blue color contrasts well with the red tint and makes the whole image more interesting. Call it an artistic decision!
Select a less saturated green color with medium tones and with the tool Gradient (Gradient Tool), fill the eyes. While you are working with green color, you can choose a lighter shade for the sclera or the eyeballs (“proteins”). The use of color shades from the same color family will improve the image with the help of color harmony.
Using tool Pipette (Eyedropper), take a sample of a light yellow color from the manuscript, and then use the tool Gradient (Gradient Tool), fill the teeth. Choose a light shade of pink to fill the tongue and gums. Next, use a less saturated pink medium tone to fill in the rest of the mouth.
Using the same less saturated pink color of medium tones that you used to fill the internal cavity of the mouth, paint the skin on the face, ears, and hands. Using tool Pipette (Eyedropper), highlight a pink shade pattern from the tongue to paint the fingernails. Using the same color shades for the whole scene will create color harmony and integrity of the whole picture.
Select a layer with Contour stroke (Linework), and then click the icon Preserve pixel transparency (Lock Transparency), which is located at the top of the layers panel (the icon looks like a chessboard). This will allow us to change the color of the contour stroke without additional line drawing.
Zoom in at this stage so that you can better see where the contour lines pass. Using tool Pipette (Eyedropper), highlight color swatches that should be slightly darker than the base colors to color the contour lines.
On a layer with a contour stroke, paint the contour lines of the wool with a darker blue tint, the contour lines of the skin with a darker pink tint, and the eyes with a darker green tint. Paint over all contour lines in our image with a monkey and a manuscript.
Create a new layer on top of the base color layer to create shading. Right-click on the created layer and select the option in the menu that appears. Create clipping mask (Create Clipping Mask). Next, change the blending mode for this layer to Multiplication (Multiply).
At this stage, you can choose a blue shade of medium tones for shading around the eyes, ears, on the sides of the face, neck and hands. You can also increase the size of the brush to add shadows to the middle and bottom of the manuscript. Since the layer is transformed into a clipping mask, then the blue tint will not go beyond the lower layer. This technique is useful for creating light and shadow.
Create a new layer below the previous layer with overlay mode. Multiplication (Multiply). Place this layer between the layer with overlay mode. Multiplication (Multiply) and a layer with basic color shades to create light highlights. The new layer should be automatically converted to a clipping mask, however, if this does not happen, then right-click on the created layer and select the option in the menu that appears. Create clipping mask (Create Clipping Mask). Next, change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (Screen). We use this layer to create light highlights.
Using tool Pipette (Eyedropper), select the yellow tint pattern from the manuscript image. Now add light highlights to the upper part of the monkey head, ears, nose, mouth, chin, neck and fingers.
Select a fur brush to add fur to the face and body of the monkey. Add fur texture. Being on layers with light and shadows, do not forget to switch the brush color from a blue hue when working on a layer with shadows to yellow when working on a layer with light highlights.
On a shaded layer, add shadows around the eyes, nose, and fingers.
Next, select the layers with a contour stroke, a layer with basic color shades, a layer with shading and a layer with light highlights to merge them into one layer, for this we go Layer – Merge With Previous (Layer – Merge Down) (Ctrl + E).
Now select the tool Finger (Smudge Brush) to soften the texture of the fur along the edges with fur.
6. Add a manuscript
Download Paper Texture. Open it in Photoshop, and then move this paper texture to our working paper. Scale the texture to fit the size of the manuscript.
Change the blending mode for the paper texture layer to Multiplication (Multiply).
Remove the paper textures from your face, hands, and fingers, leaving the texture only on top of the manuscript image.
7. Add a wish
Using tool Text ( Text Tool), write a New Year greeting “Happy Chinese New Year 2016“. Considering the design of the manuscript, I decided to use a font that would give the text a handwritten look. The font color should be dark brown, so it will match the color of the manuscript.
Using tools Moves (Move Tool) and Transformations (Transform), stretch the text across the entire width of the manuscript.
8. Add a background
On stock resources you can pick up an image with a Chinese theme. The photo I used shows the Chinese lanterns that are traditional for the celebration of the Chinese New Year.
So let’s go File – Put embedded (File – Place Embedded) and in the appeared window select a photo with Chinese themes. Place this photo on top of the red fill layer. Next, with the tool Move (Move Tool), position the image so that it emphasizes the entire image in the best possible way. The upper left and right corner of our scene were empty, so I filled these sections with a flashlight to make the picture more visually interesting.
Change the blending mode for the photo layer with the Chinese lanterns to Lightening (Screen). In this mode, the red tones of the background will be visible through the photo with flashlights. He will also lighten the photo, making it less distracting.
Next, on the layer with Chinese lanterns, apply a filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), for this we go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur). Install Radius (Radius) blur approximately 13-15 px. This blur will give the image a soft look and will not distract from the caricature of the monkey.
9. Final details
Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Add details to the eyebrows, teeth, eyes, to soften the contour stroke, as well as to make the image more attractive. Keep adding details until the caricature reaches the level where you decide it’s time to complete the work. Turning off and turning on the detail layer will help you see the progress of the correction.
Happy New Year on the Chinese calendar!
I hope you enjoyed the lesson, and you created your monkey to celebrate the Chinese New Year!
The final result: