How to create a digital painting with expert brush effects, part 2
Tips & Tutorials, by Anna-lisa Saywell
Continued…Michael Anthony Gonzales explains how to produce an eye-catching digital painting using Photoshop brushes, blend modes and more
Follow part 1 of this tutorial.
Step 9 – Paint the character
Set the outline layer to Multiply and use Hue/Saturation’s Colorize. Adjust it so that the outline will have colour, then click the Lock the Transparent Pixels icon of the fill layer. Block in the colours, preferably using mid-tones, then add in the other colours and values. Once roughly painted, merge the outline with that layer and start blending.
Step 10 – Choose colours carefully
Choosing colours can be really tough. For this tutorial, to keep it simple, just keep a mindset that the lit areas are warm because of the heat from the sun. The planes that directly face that are a lot brighter. Use the Color Dodge brush mode for that, though be careful not to overdo it. For the darer parts we can assume that they receive reflected light from the sky from the opposite side of the sun. Use a blue-violet as it serves as a good contrast to the warm background.
Step 11 – Create cyber wings
Use the Pen or Lasso tool to form the shape and the Paint Bucket tool to fill it out with colour. You only need to make half of the image and duplicate the layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J). Transform>Flip Horizontal the duplicate half of the wing to complete, and then merge the two layers (Cmd/Ctrl+E). Make duplicates of the wing layer then Transform>Distort it to proper form relative to the character. After positioning the wings, merge and set to Multiply.
Step 12 – Place further details
Use the Ellipse tool to make the shape of the orbs, brush it with a hard brush, then use a soft brush to blend. Use smaller brushes to add the details. To create the shiny numbers and text, you need to use the Type tool, type, rasterise the text, Distort or Warp, then set to Color Dodge or Overlay. To add an further glow to it you may consider applying a layer style. Double-click on the layer and the Layer Style window will appear, so choose Outer Glow then press OK.
Step 13 – Final effects
There are lots of ways to make effects with the layer Blend Modes, such as Screen for the glow. To make the shiny lines and really vivid glows you can create a new layer, fill it with black and set to Color Dodge. Make a selection and paint it over with a soft brush using different colours to yield that ray-like effect. Add a Soft Light for subtle atmospheric effects. Feel free to experiment by scrolling down the Blend Modes, as the results can sometimes surprise you.