We draw a strange Christmas tree in Photoshop

This lesson is written for drawing on the tablet! If you draw with the mouse, then you will not be able to customize the brush as an example!

Hello! This is my first attempt to do something like a full-fledged lesson, not just with a large number of intermediate stages, but with all sorts of useful things, settings for brushes and palettes.

Immediately make a reservation: I am not teaching anyone to draw correctly, because I have not yet learned how to do this myself) I can only show how I do it. It will be great if you manage to do better, easier, faster, more rational and better.

The lesson is designed for those who are just starting to draw, but already know the basic tools of Photoshop. If the FSH tools are for you a dark forest, I recommend poking it in advance into all the interesting things and reading something that will be a review and training. And it will be a shame in the middle to face an impracticable or completely incomprehensible stage.

Here is a sample window that you need to be able to call. To call, press the button “Turn on / off the brush panel“(Toogle the Brush panel) with this icon.

Well, it is emphasized where to change opacity (opacity) brush. This we will repeatedly need in the process of drawing.

And this is a small reminder, if someone suddenly forgets where to turn off the layer visibility, choose the layer blending mode, exactly where to find the button for creating the layer mask.

So, we start (wow, scary how!)

Our task is to draw a Christmas tree for the New Year (or the New Year’s Eve finale). I don’t want to draw an ordinary green beauty, so our Christmas tree will be original and even slightly surreal.

I create a new file with such parameters. Width (width) 768 pixels, Height (height) 1024 pixels, background (background) white.

Create a new layer (Layer – New – Layer / Layer – New – Layer or Shift + Ctrl + N, or click on the icon from the example above). Name layer Sketch Draft. Very roughly with a simple black brush I paint the outline of a future tree.

At this stage, it is important for me to understand in which part of the sheet the tree will stand, in what position, how much space it will occupy on the sheet, what its basic proportions and what constituent parts it will have. Here you can see very roughly that this is the skeleton of a fish, that it has fins, plates, a skeleton, a skull and fins. As well as you can see how much space remains to the edges of the sheet. It seems that we have not significantly moved anywhere – neither up, nor down, nor to the sides.

If you have any obvious distortions and curvatures, at this stage you can completely painlessly perform any perversions with transformation or draw directly on top until you see the embryo of a future masterpiece in this chaos of lines.

Cut down opacity (opacity) layer to 20-30%. So that the lines could be seen, but they did not interfere with us further. Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) above the layer with the draft sketch. I call his sketch fair. I take a hard black brush 1-3 pixels, opacity (opacity) 100%. On a new layer I sort of arrange the scribbles from the draft. The terry should disappear, the lines should be thin, clean, clear and unambiguous. At least for me) I add details.
It looks something like this (the draft layer shines through below).

Turn off the visibility of the layer with the draft sketch (click on the eye). You can delete it or leave it for history by dragging under the background layer. He is no longer needed. I still have a clean online painting.

This is how the layers panel looks like.

Now it seems to me that the head is too big and our Christmas tree will not look harmonious. Standing on a layer with a finishing sketch, I take the tool Lasso (Lasso Tool) and circled the skull. It turns out such a “round dance of the goosebumps”.

I apply Editing – Transformation (Edit / Transform). Reduce the width and height to 90%. I agree to the transformation. If the head detaches from the neck while doing this, then, without removing the selection, use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move it to the right place. Selection can be removed by pressing Ctrl + D

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) above all layers. I call it Palette. I am going to the Color Picker. I choose for work 4 colors from dark to light, I put their prints on the Palette layer. Probably, someday I will learn how to choose future colors right away, but for now I’m ready for the fact that the palette will have to be expanded and some colors will be replaced by others in the process.

By the way, to see what colors I took for myself, you can do the following. Poke Pipette (Eyedropper) on any area of ​​your document. Click the left mouse button. Without releasing the clamped button, move the Pipette to my palette (yes, right on the web page). Release the button on the mouse. Great, huh?

Turn on the background layer with a white fill. If it is locked with a lock, then unblock it with two mouse clicks. Choosing a tool Gradient (Gradient). On the top panel set Radial (Radial Gradient).

We will have a simple gradient of two colors – from the lightest color in the palette to the neighboring one. However, running a little ahead, I’ll say that in the end I still want to do more contrast, so you can immediately do it from the brightest to the slightly clarified darkest (take the darkest pipette and slightly move the slider below / above (as you like) by color palette). Gradient stretch from approximately imaginary navel of fish to the edge of the sheet. Wow, how much text came out!

The order of the layers is now

I add to the Palette (turn to the Palette layer and make an imprint) one more color – lighter than the brightest. I put this color on the background imprint of a large soft brush with a little transparency.

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). I take the darkest color in the palette. With the Shift pressed, I draw straight, thick lines with a brush of 13-15 pixels. Alarmists and paranoids of the type of me can create a new layer, daring to draw on the same further. I take the lightest color, reduce the size of the brush by 2-2.5 times, hold Shift again and draw the same straight lines along the center of the dark ones. I get a nice frame. If you don’t like my frame, you can come up with any other to your taste.

Standing on a layer with a frame using Magic wand (Magic Wand Tool) select areas between the frame and the edge of the sheet. Without removing the selection, create a new layer under the layer with the frame. Fill (Paint Bucket tool / Paint Bucket) 633b43 color selection from the palette.

Now my layers palette looks like this (the layer with the background did not get into the screen, I confess, the joint).

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). Above the frame, but below the sketch. I choose a simple round rigid brush and adjust it in the same way as on the screenshot. With this brush I draw a shadow under the fins of the Christmas tree and several lines on the conditional “ground”. This somehow separates the surface plane from the surrounding space and the tree will no longer hang in the air.

Now on the same layer I change the brush setting – I turn off the dynamics of the form, turn on Transmission (Other dynamics/ Other Dynamics). I draw the contours of several pebbles. Below, where the shadow is, the line is richer and thicker, at the top it is thinner (thinner than mine).

I draw the lightest color of the palette with the same brush to the top of the stones, lightly touching the tablet with the stylus. Just put lightly reflexes in the shadow zone of stones. And from above I add glare by a normal hand movement.

Paranoidly creating a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). I choose brush (Brush) Oil from the standard Photoshop kit. Color take light from the palette. Brush set up as in the screenshot. I spend a few strips on the ground. And a couple of strokes on the stones.

Add a new color to the palette.

With the help of new flowers I draw blades of grass. In the first movement I draw the grass itself in red. In the second run I make several strokes dark on these blades of grass. In the third run I add light areas on the cambers.

Now I will paint the bones. To do this, I reduce the opacity (opacity) of the layer with the finishing sketch to 20-25%. Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) under the sketch layer. Pull on the palette a new color – cream e1ccbb.

I adjust the brush by turning it on again. form dynamics (Shape dynamics). I begin to paint over the skeleton, standing on the appropriate layer. Do not confuse layers, do not start painting a layer with a sketch!

After I painted all the parts of the skeleton, the picture looks like this. As you have noticed, I still have several zones that are not shaded – eyes, membranes. I want to paint them already on a new layer with a darker color, so that the transition of forms in the final is better seen.

So, I take a darker color ae7b72. I begin to paint the remaining areas on the layer below the skeleton layer.

Since the darker color doesn’t stand out so well on our background, I use layer style (Layer Style) Overlay color (Color Overlay). Do not confuse with painting red! I can clear the layer style at any time to see if it works well. I like to apply red, but if it cuts your eyes, then choose any contrasting color for your taste.

Here for this I impose color. See how many flaws got out?

Corrected everything. See what happens until the Layer Style is turned off.

And now I right-click on the layer with dark areas and select the line Clear layer style (Clear Layer Style). Red disappeared and brown appeared, with which I painted everything.

Starting to create volume. Above the skeleton layer I create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). I call him Shadows. I click on it with the right mouse button and select the line Create clipping mask (Create Clipping Mask). Pay attention to the layers palette – the layer icon shifted to the right and an arrow appeared. This means that no matter how much I draw on such a layer, it will be clear only what does not go beyond the bounds of the previous one.

Brush set up as in the screenshot.

I run over several strokes on those parts of the skeleton that are deeper than the rest – the base of the skull, the spine, the beginning and the end of the ribs. The same procedure with the creation of a new layer of shadow spend for dark areas of the skeleton. I obscure the eye, fins near the bones.

By this I try to form the total volume of the figure, without being distracted by particulars. Next, set up the brush as in the screenshot. A brush can be taken any – texture, figured, normal. It’s a matter of taste. Let’s start to sculpt the shape of each piece of the skeleton. Create a new layer, above the Shadow layer. Make it Clipping mask (Create Clipping Mask).

And we begin to deepen, detail the picture, putting a shadow on each element and each bone. Do not forget about their shape – the shadow can not be the same depth (saturation) on the surface. It will be stronger in depth and weaker when approaching us.

Paranoids of the type of me create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N), bold draw on the previous one. I take the usual round brush and set it up as on the screen. I remember that in nature there are no contours and strokes. What we perceive as a contour is a change of form, a play of light and shadow. Our task is to make such transitions so that when the layer with the contour is turned off, it would still be clear where one part ends and another begins. No soft brushes at this stage!

I hide the layer with the contour. Watch what happened.

I take a very light color f8e7da. I create new layers (Shift + Ctrl + N) above the skeleton and dark areas. I call them Light.

I apply glare, enhancing the contrast in areas of abrupt transition of form (eye failure, for example) and highlight those areas that I want to bring closer to the viewer (middle of the ribs, the spine, the lower fins).

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) Thread. I adjust the brush as in the screenshot. Then go to the tool Pen (Pen Tool) and in the contour mode I draw this way. To do this, put the key points of the pen (Pen Tool), and then the tool Angle (Convert Point) in the same group I make smooth bends.

I click on the picture with the right mouse button. I choose Perform a stroke contour (Stroke path). I put a tick on Simulate pressure (/ Simulate Pressure). I get just such a squiggle. Now she does not twist the skeleton, because the whole is above (closer) him.

I create Layer mask (Layer> Add Layer Mask> Reveal All) to the Thread layer. Hard black brush, standing on the mask layer, paint over the parts that should be behind the skeleton. It works as a return eraser. Those. erases what is djlzhno, but cancels the erase, if you draw a white one over the black brush. Black – washes, white – shows back.

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N), above the layer with the Thread. Do it clipping mask (Create Clipping Mask). I smear the lightest color with a stiff tassel in several places so that the garland becomes a voluminous cord.

On the new layer on top of the thread-cord I put several prints with a simple round stiff brush of different sizes and different colors. I apply layer style (Layer Style) to these bulbs with the following settings:

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) above the light bulbs. Blend mode select Screen (Lightening / Screen). I choose color b60929 on the palette. The light bulbs shine, and so there must be traces of this light on the skeleton. We draw them, estimating where the light of real bulbs would reach.

The “Christmas tree” itself is ready and looks like this. You can add to it any jewelry to your taste. A bit empty, is not it? We have winter after all …

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). I take the tool Brush (Brush) and tune like this:

I draw a falling snowball (or ashes – as it is more pleasant for someone to think).

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). Pour tool Fill(Paint Bucket) in white. Apply filter Filter – Rendering – Clouds (Filter – Render – Clouds). It turns out like this, but get scared early.

Blend mode of this layer put Soft light (Soft light), opacity (opacity) remove up to 50%. It turned out quite a mysterious mist.

At this work can be considered complete. I created a new adjustment layer (Adjustment Layer) Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) and added a bit of contrast. But if you do not want, then do it not necessarily.

And I got such a Christmas tree at the end. Happy New Year!

The tree was created for the competition in a limited time. The lesson on it was written significantly later. During this time I again wanted to change everything. Now, exclusively for ourselves, we look like this with a Christmas tree.

How would you finish it?

Lesson author: -Ci-

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