Digital painting is an incredible way of creating awesome arts. In this tutorial you will learn how to create a hulk digital painting by following these simple steps. Here, I will share some fundamental techniques used while creating this painting.
Preview of Final Results
Before starting, we will first understand some basics important for digital painting.
Lights plays a crucial role in digital painting that affects several other factors like shadows, shading, environment, etc. It is important to decide your light source in the scene before going too far with painting to avoid the re-work on lighting and spending several hours fixing them.
Proper shadows is a very important factor that gives an object realism. It gives depth to the scene and give it natural look. Poor shadows can make whole scene fake looking and objects hanging in the space without shadows. Always double-check the shadows, focus on details how shadows forms in different light source.
Smooth blending of colors is very important to get the desired result. Without proper blending your scene may look unfinished and crowded with brush strokes. There are several methods of blending the colors. You can blend your colors with blending tools or you can use a soft brush & color picker to blend your colors.
Now we are aware about the painting basics that are crucial for a good digital painting. Let’s start by creating a new document of size 3000 X 4000 pixels dimension. It’s better to start with a large document because you won’t like to recreate the whole art again when you want to print it in bigger size.
In this tutorial we are going to use brush tool extensively and a tablet to use the brush tool at its full potential. Select a hard round brush by pressing “B”, now press F5 to access brush panel. Set the ‘Flow Jitter’ to pen pressure and check ‘smoothing’ on.
Set your brush size to 4 pixels and start sketching rough outline of the character. This is a rough sketch hence you need not to spend too much time to make your stroke perfect. Just rough stroke would work.
Change the brush size to 3 pixels and add some more details in the character to get all features you want. Add more wrinkles to face to get perfect expression. Duplicate sketch layer two-three times to make your light strokes in the sketch visible. Now we are ready to add colors to it.
Step 6 Choosing a color palate
Choosing a color palate is an important step that help choosing right color for your artwork. Hence, decide your colors early would be helpful. Set some neutral color like #46563c as background and choose a soft round brush. Now start adding colors with large soft round brush. Try different colors for lights, shadows, hair areas then pick colors from color picker tool to create your colors palate. Don’t worry about roughness or imperfection because we are not coloring our character right now, but deciding right colors palate to start with. Here, I created my color palate in the same way.
Here I created my color palate in the same way.
Step 7 Blocking the color
Now we have our color palate and we can start adding colors to our character. Delete the layer in which you added colors to make your color palate. Select a default chalk brush of size 44 pixels, set its color to #506320 and add this color to character as base color. Change the brush color to #01080b and define the hair area. Change the size of brush where needed to speed your coloring process.
Change the brush color to #314305 and start adding shadows. Reduce the size of brush to create shadows in face, eyes, neck, etc.
Create a new layer and add some dark shadows to the character for this set your brush color to #001500 and paint some shadows around eyes, chin area, ears, neck. Avoid using pure black or white or pure green color for better results.
Set your brush color to #768a4e and add some lights to your character. Change your brush size where needed that would speed your process. Create several layers while coloring that would give you a control on your process and you can go back at any time if something goes wrong.
Step 11 Blending colors
Next step is blending of colors, but before we start we need to tweak our brush a little to get desired results. Open brush panel by pressing key ‘F5’ and set “Opacity Jitter” to “Pen Pressure” by its drop-down menu.
Do not change “Flow Jitter” which is turned off because both options are different and used for different purpose. Opacity Jitter allows you to control your stroke opacity on your pen pressure so that you can blend your colors perfectly, but if you use ‘Flow Jitter’ then you won’t get sufficient control on opacity and hence may not get perfect blending. Here you can see the difference between strokes made by using “Opacity Jitter” & “Flow Jitter”.
So now you have your brush with “Opacity Jitter” set to “Pen Pressure” and we are ready to go. Keep your brush selected, re-sample color by pressing ALT key to quickly get color picker tool and start mixing colors because you have turned “Opacity Jitter” to “pen pressure” your brush stroke would have less opacity when you press lighter and higher opacity when you put more pressure pen. This means your brush stroke will have transparency and your brush color will mix with background color and you will get a new color whenever you make a new stroke on any color. Pick the new color you got from your stroke and then make another stroke then again pick new color. Continue with blending by re-sampling colors.
Repeat step 12 and blending lights in the character. Change your brush size to get perfect blending in narrow areas like ears, eyes, etc.
Blend shadows by repeating step 12. This will give volume to your character. Change your brush sizes whenever necessary to get perfectly blended character.
You left some dark shadows in the character that would also need to be blended. Reduce the size of your brush and blend the dark shadows near eyes, chin, neck and ears. Don’t forget to do all this work in a new layer so that you can go back if something goes wrong.
Step 16 Adding Light Source
We have completed our basic blending of character and to now we will add light to the character. Before starting painting lights to the character, we will add light source to the scene. A light source will give you an idea about which direction your light is going to fall on the character and how it will affect your scene.
Step 17 Shadows
Based on light your shadows will fall in opposite direction of light source. In our scene shadow will fall on left side of character. Proper shadows gives the character a natural look. If you add shadows to everywhere, then your scene may not look natural.
Select a round brush with size 50 pixels and hardness 75%. Press F5 to access brush panel, set “Opacity Jitter” to “Pen Pressure”. Change the brush color to #041b00 and paint shadows below neck area.
Paint some more shadows on face too to make it realistic. Reduce your brush size to 30 pixels and add shadows to the left ear, cheek, etc. Change the brush size when necessary to get desired shadows.
Change your brush size to 50 pixels color to #030602 and add some dark shadows to the character.
We have added sufficient shadows to the character, but you will notice that the brush strokes visible in character. To fix that we will smooth the blending we did in previous steps. Select a soft round brush of size 50 pixels and opacity to 70%. Open brush panel by pressing “F5” and set “Opacity Jitter” & “Flow Jitter” to “Pen Pressure”. Turn “Smoothing” ON and set “Spacing” to 11%. Save this brush with name “Smooth blending brush”.