In this tutorial you will learn how to draw a Christmas card. First, I will show you how to draw the main character of our postcard, as well as how to draw the text. Then, I will show you how to fill the drawn objects with color shades, including lighting and final details. So let’s get started!
1. Create a New Document
Create a new document (Ctrl + N). On the menu Set (Preset) set International Paper Size (International paper), as well as set the dimensions, which are shown in the screenshot below.
2. Draw a Girl
Let’s draw a girl. Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). For sketches, I prefer to use a brush of medium hardness of small diameter with the settings Pen pressure (Pen Pressure) and mode Transition (Transfer). At this stage, I use free strokes, creating the basic parts of the doll’s body.
This doll is like a “Chibi” doll, so the doll has exaggerated proportions: the body is about the same size as the head, half of the head is the forehead.
The proportions that I used for the face, including the “alien eyes”, can be seen in the screenshot below. The eyes and nose are lined up between the ears, the corners of the eyes, where the tear vessel is located, are in one straight line, as are the corners of the mouth, the eyes end at the upper part of the ears.
On the same layer, start to draw the form.
Reduce the opacity of the layer, then create a new layer to draw a girl on it, starting from the previous draft, while adding details. I drew only one eye, further, I duplicated it (select the tool Lasso (Lasso Tool (L), then copy / paste the selection to a new layer. Right-click to Flip horizontally (Flip Horizontal), merge both layers (Ctrl-E).
3. Draw Letters
Using tool Horizontal text (Horizontal Type Tool (T), write each letter separately. I used the Arial Black font. In this case, the pair of letters “RR” will be lowercase, so it will be easier to draw them. Using the transformation (Ctrl-T), select the size of the other letters
With the help of the transformation (Ctrl-T), rotate each letter, building all the text in the form of an arch. Select all layers with letters for alignment and scaling.
1. Merge all layers with letters, first selecting them, and then pressing the keys (Ctrl-E).
2. Create a new layer, draw the letters again, considering that each painted part will be a wooden plank.
3. Delete the letters in Arial; correct new letters if necessary.
4. Reduce the opacity of the text, create a new layer, draw an outline for the wooden slats (planks).
5. Draw wood texture.
6. Finally, add volume to each letter.
Add a mound of snow on the letters.
Using tool Horizontal text (Horizontal Type Tool (T), write the word “XMAS”. You can use any font to create rounded letters at your discretion, I used the font “Chalkboard.” Using the transformation (Ctrl-T), apply the scaling.
Tool Horizontal text (The Horizontal Type Tool (T) should be active, right-click on any letter of the word and in the window that appears, select the option Warp text (Create Warped Text), apply the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.
Reduce the layer opacity to 0, then double-click on the text layer to display the settings window. Layer styles (Layer Style). Select an option Stroke (Stroke), apply the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.
Hold down (Ctrl) + click on the text layer to load the active selection. Using a round hard brush, disabling the option in the settings Pen pressure (pen pressure), draw stripes on a new layer. Reduce the opacity of the layer. Create another new layer to draw mistletoe leaves.
To create a snowflake:
1. Draw a line with two circles at the ends.
2. Duplicate the layer with the line, expand the line.
3. Duplicate both layers, merge together, expand as shown in the screenshot below.
4. With a tool Eraser (Eraser Tool (E), hide the circles.
5. Draw small icons in the form of a “V”, merge the layers.
6. Arrange the snowflakes over the entire picture, varying the size of the snowflakes.
4. Add color shades
Now we will add color shades. First, apply each color shade on a separate layer below the Line layer. At this stage, you need to save all the layers in folders in order to maintain order in the layers palette. (Translator’s Note: 1. Layer with the text in the ‘text’ folder, layers with the girl in the Girl ’folder, etc. 2. Layer Line is a layer with a contour of the image of the girl). Since we draw a Christmas card, it will be better to use shades of red and green as the dominant color.
Since we add colors, then we can change colors accordingly. To do this, go to the layer with the color fill, and then press the keys (Ctrl-U) to activate the settings panel Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Play with level settings Color tone (Hue), Saturation (Saturation) and Brightness (lightness) to pick the color you want.
Sometimes it happens that small gaps are not painted over. Just pick a tool. Pipette (Eyedropper Tool (I), take a color swatch and fill the voids.
To add color to the contour lines, create a new layer as a clipping mask to the Line layer, to convert the layer to a clipping mask, hold the (Alt) key + click the honey with two layers. Start drawing over contour lines. Use shades of dark tones. This is the right time to make a small correction circuit. Go to the Line layer, hide those parts of the contour that you don’t like, redraw them. In this case, I fixed my nose and mouth.
Create a new layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Multiplication (Multiply), place this layer between the Line layer and the color fill layer. Choose a color tone that is slightly darker in color than a face fill, and then draw shadows. Use a soft round low opacity brush to soften.
Keep creating shadows, always consider the direction of light, i.e. if the light comes from above, the shadows will be located below.
Create a new layer on top of the Line layer, paint the details on the face, for example, a rainbow pupil on the eyes, lower eyelid or mouth. Paint light highlights to add volume, and also use a small-diameter brush to paint hair with thin orange-brown lines.
Add details: to boots, light highlights to the red berries of mistletoe, streaks on the leaves, details to the jacket and pom-poms, wherever you like, the more, the better. Draw a thin white line on top of each section of the image.
Create a new layer on top of all layers, change the blending mode for this layer to Multiplication (Multiply). Next, using a light gray brush, draw the shadows, as shown in the screenshot below, and then lightly walk there. Eraser (Eraser Tool) for a little softening.
For a blush on the cheeks and on the nose, use a soft brush without pressing the pen, the shade of the brush is orange-red. To do this, create a new layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Multiplication (Multiply), slightly soften the blush with the eraser. Add small light highlights on each cheek and on the nose.
5. Decorate the text
The technique is the same as when coloring the girl:
1. On the new layer below the Line layer, paint the front part of the letters with a brown tint, creating a wood texture, as well as a darker shade of brown, paint the side portions. Do not forget to draw mistletoe leaves.
2. Paint the contours of the lines on the new layer as a clipping mask. The tops of the letters will be lighter.
3. Using a light brown tint, paint the light highlights on the wood texture relief.
4. Add brightness to the top of the letters.
5. Add details to the wood texture.
Increase the visibility of the layer with the word “XMAS” to 100%, then press the keys (Ctrl-U) to activate color correction. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), in the settings window, change the color to light blue.
Right-click the Fx icon on the “XMAS” layer, and in the menu that appears, select the option Form a layer (Create Layer). This action will separate the text from the layer styles into separate layers. Convert the layer with a stroke to a clipping mask, and then paint it as shown in the screenshot below.
Create Inner shadow (Inner Shadow) to fill the words, as shown in the screenshot below. Next, create a new layer as a clipping mask and using a hard brush, draw red stripes on the word.
Finally, add subtle light highlights to the text, and draw shadows on the snow using a light blue tint.
Merge all layers with snowflakes (save one layer with the largest snowflake separately), double-click on the merged layer and in the appeared window of style settings of the layer, select the option Gradient Overlay (Gradient Overlay), set the color of the gradient from blue to light blue, as shown in the screenshot below.
We return to the layer with the outline of the girl, remove the shadow on the ground, if you have it drawn.
Create a new layer at the bottom of the layers palette. Apply the tool. Linear Gradient (Linear Gradient), gradient color from blue to transparent. Via Transformations (Transform (Ctrl-T), adjust the gradient vertically.
Paint the snow in white and paint the round snowflakes as white dots using a round hard brush. Vary the size and opacity of the brush.
Create a new layer, on the new layer apply a small Radial Gradient (Radial Gradient), color gradient from white to transparent. Draw a gradient behind the text. Via Transformations (Transform (Ctrl-T), stretch the gradient to the sides. Change the color of the gradient to light turquoise using layer styles Layer Styles — Color Overlay (Layer Style> Color Overlay).
Turn off the visibility of the layers with the girl and the text. Create a new layer. Select a medium hard brush; in the brush settings, set the control to the pen pressure, including the mode Transition (transfer), draw the trees with free strokes. Duplicate the layer and then Flip Horizontal (Flip Horizontal). Combine both layers, add details to the Christmas tree. Draw the trunk at the Christmas tree, as well as the branches, using a dark green color.
Duplicate the layer with the Christmas tree, reduce them, placing it in the background. Using a soft brush, soften the bottom of the trees.
Using a white brush, draw snow under the Christmas trees and the girl. Also, using a blue tint, draw shadows on the ground under the image of a girl. Soften the stained areas with Eraser (Eraser Tool (E).
Reduce the opacity of the Christmas tree layer to 64%, and then change the blending mode for these layers to Hard light (Hard Light).
7. Frame and texture
Move all layers to one folder. Duplicate the group layer, rasterize the group, turn off the visibility of the original group layer. Using tool Rectangle (Rectangle Tool (U), create a rectangle smaller than the working document, convert the card with a postcard into a blending mask to a layer with a rectangle so that the card fits the size of the rectangle. If you need to center the image and the rectangle, then select both layers , as well as the layer with the back layer, by clicking on them, and in the window that appears, select the option Horizontal alignment (Align Horizontal) and Alignment centers vertically (Vertical Center).
Using tool Fill (Paint Bucket Tool (G), fill the background with a brown color. Add layer styles Inner shadow (Inner shadow) to the rectangle, as shown in the screenshot below.
Choose a tool Rectangle (Rectangle Tool (U), draw a strip. Click on the layer mask, select the tool Pen (Pen Tool (P), set the option Subtract the figure area (Subtract from the shape area (-) and create small irregularities and dents on the inner surface.
1. Choose a darker shade of brown. Paint the inner surface of the wooden frame.
2. Draw wood texture.
3. Duplicate the wood layer, change the color to a light brown shade and move it 2 pixels down, change the blending mode for this duplicate layer to Overlap (Overlay).
4. Create a new layer. Apply Linear Gradient (linear gradient) type of gradient brown on top and bottom with a smooth transition to the transparent center, blending mode for a layer with a gradient Multiplication (Multiply).
Merge all layers, duplicate and Flip horizontally (Flip Horizontal). Place a duplicate wooden plank on the opposite side, paint the wood texture, slightly modifying the details so that the planks do not look the same. Do the same by adding the top and bottom bar.
Let’s go back to the snowflake that we previously saved separately. Change the color of the snowflake to white (if the color is black, just press the keys (Ctrl-I) and then add layer styles External glow (Outer Glow) and Shadow (Drop Shadow). Arrange several snowflakes across the frame, varying their size.
Create a new layer between the layer with the frame and the snowflakes, set a hard brush of small diameter without pressing the pen. Draw a wire.
1. On a new layer, draw a bulb holder.
2. On another layer, draw the light bulb itself. Reduce the opacity of the layer with the light bulb to 0%.
3. Add layer styles to lightbulb layer. Inner shadow (Inner Shadow), Internal glow (Inner Glow) and External glow (Outer Glow), apply the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.
4. Draw a light flare (filament).
Combine all the layers with a light bulb, duplicate, change the color of the light bulb using color correction Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation (Ctrl-U), change the direction of the light bulb. Arrange duplicate layers with light bulbs along the entire length of the wire.
Go to the layer with the drawn wire, apply the layer styles Stamping (Bevel and Emboss), apply the settings shown in the screenshot below.
Duplicate the wire layer and the light bulb layers. Combine duplicate layers, reduce the brightness of the combined layer to almost black with color correction Hue / Saturation – Brightness (Hue / Saturation> Lightness) and then move this merged layer a few pixels down. Next, reduce the opacity of the layer, and also lightly rub the areas of the wire that are located inside the frame within the picture.
Create a new adjustment layer. Levels (Levels) on top of all layers. Increase the levels of white and black, as shown in the screenshot below.
Place the texture between the layer with the girl and the frame. Activate color correction Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), set the value Saturation (Saturation) to 0. Change the blending mode for this texture layer to Multiplication (Multiply) and then lower the layer opacity to about 44%. Activate Levels (Levels (Ctrl-L), first press the button AUTO (AUTO) and then set the levels as shown in the screenshot below.
Since the girl doesn’t look very happy for Christmas, I decided to change my mouth, make it slightly open, and also strengthened a smile, also added eyebrows and added light reflections to the pupils.
And we have completed the lesson! Now you can print your own Christmas card or at least use it in your work projects. Hope you enjoyed the tutorial. I congratulate you on New Year’s holidays!