advanced photoshop

How I Made: Hypnosis

Posted in:
General, by Rebecca Greig

Discover how Marcelo Garcia created this hypnotic caricature with Photoshop

How I Made: Hypnosis

After having had experience working for several Brazilian magazines in the past, 2D artist, animator, and freelancer at Animam Studio Marcelo Garcia was the perfect artist to work on a new teen magazine cover for Mundu Estranho.

The subject, however, was a challenging one. Garcia’s vibrant freelance work – no doubt in part inspired by the Disney animations he grew up on – usually involved developing projects for advertising. This needed to be something eye-catchingly different, and feature his own artistic take on hypnosis. “I used my Photoshop CS4 and a Bamboo tablet,” Garcia reveals to us, “and tried to merge a realistic finish together with more stylised forms. Overall, this work brought me many good times. It was so much fun to create!”

The first step after studying the client’s briefing was to develop a quick scene sketch using a simple, hard brush.How I Made: Hypnosis

Character design: “I created a quick, simple sketch for my character with well-defined lines, so that the work wouldn’t lose its initial expression. I also always used references to decide which style I could use to better fit to the project’s target.”

Masks and shapes: “Next, I filled in the main colours using a Path tool to define masks and shapes. With the sketch layer set to low opacity, I filled colours in blocks using different layers, so that it was easier to paint parts like the inside of the eyes and iris without losing the edges around them.”


How I Made: Hypnosis

Blocking colours: “I then blocked the colours using a 0% Hardness brush to define blushed skin areas, translucent ears and nose areas, and their shadows. It was useful to look at some references to familiarise myself with human skin particularities for this.”



Adjustments: “With the lighting defined, I then started inserting a new layer of details like the skin reflection, teeth and beard. Then, I made some adjustments and continued adding details one layer above the rest, covering the initial sketch lines, overshadowing the corners, and creating the nostrils. I also used a custom brush (with Flow at 30%) to make it easier to create hair and add some details to the eyebrows.”

How I Made: Hypnosis

Detailing: “With the blocked colours and the illustration already well defined, now it was time to increase the attention to small final details. It was important to set some brushes that would be able to simulate skin textures, spots, pores and add highlights.”




Hair and eyebrows: “In my workflow, one of the last stages in illustrating is detailing hair and eyelashes. Starting with the same custom brush mentioned earlier, I started painting the hair shadows and highlights. Next, I created a 100% Hardness simple brush to add some hair individually, giving it all an organic look. With the same brush I created eyelashes and made the finishing touches to the eyebrows.”






How I Made: Hypnosis


Background contrast and colour adjustments: “In this case, I specifically chose to add a photo to the background. I went to Image>Adjustments>Curves, and then changed the levels of the contrast and colours to reach the final result that I was aiming for.”

Adding the pendulum: “Finally, I added the pendulum illustration, paying special attention to the material reflection that was needed. I then also duplicated the layer and used the Radial Blur filter separated from the pendulum and from the row to create the sensation of movement.”






How I Made: Hypnosis


Developing the background

Garcia tells us why he decided to add on a space environment-style background to the piece

“I added some details to the shirt collar in a quick way at first, just to give an idea of the structure of it. Then, I decided to make some changes, adding the blue colour for the second light source that comes from the space environment I planned to use as a background. Because the character was being hypnotised, I thought it was a good idea to make it look like he was truly travelling to infinity and beyond.”