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advanced photoshop
Oct
11

Paint a comicbook character part 2

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Anna-lisa Saywell

Use Photoshop’s brush styles and other tools to create high-impact comicbook imagery

Paint a comicbook character part 2
See Part 1 here.

Step 10 – Apply to the face

Paint a comicbook character part 2

First, select the flat colours of the face. Use the Splatter brush with preset options mentioned before to render contour. Another brush that works well for rendering faces is an oval-shaped brush. To create this, go to the brush preset options and select Brush Tip Shape. Now adjust your Roundness values to edit the existing brush shape into an oval. You can adjust the direction of the brush as well as the spacing to create different effects. Any brush can be distorted in this way.

Step 11 – Build up hair and clothing

Paint a comicbook character part 2

Select the hair from your flat colour layer. When rendering the hair use the oval round brush we created in the last step. Pay attention to your light source and the direction that it falls. Splatter and Round Fan Stiff Thin Bristles brushes work really well with hair application. When rendering a shiny outfit you should remember that it has a reflective surface and will pick up any stray light in the environment, often including hot spots.

Step 12 – Focus on the details

Paint a comicbook character part 2

Continue to render the character. Use a small round brush for smaller details and tighten up any loose lines like on her hands or the logos on her arms. Add hot spot highlights and reflections. Use a round, soft-edged brush to lightly smooth out the uniform and face. Try not to overdo the feathering in this brush style as you’ll want to soften the smooth surfaces, not totally blur them. We don’t want to lose your strokes and detail. Try setting the brush Opacity to 40% to soften the effect.

Step 13 – Create the visor

Paint a comicbook character part 2

Now that the initial painting is done we can begin work on the visor that lies over the face. Turn off all of your layers except your character line art. If you haven’t already added a colour flat of the visor, do so by using the Magic Wand selections techniques discussed in Steps 4 and 5. Duplicate your line art and your flat colour once more. This time, don’t merge the line art with the flat colour. You’ll need the line art to do some colour holds later.

Step 14 – Visor tint and shadow

Paint a comicbook character part 2

Now that the visor is flat coloured, make sure that the opacity is locked and use a feathered brush to colour it in. Try using bright and dark amber colours to indicate light. Next, create shadow on the face created by the visor, on a separate layer. Make sure that this shadow layer is under the main visor flat colour. Again, use the Lasso tool. Once the shadow is drawn, set the layer to Multiply.

Step 15 – Add colour holds to the visor

Paint a comicbook character part 2

Set your amber-tinted visor layer to Multiply. Using a feathered brush, lightly paint the eye area white. This will enable the colour of the eyes to show through the tinted visor. Go to your duplicated Visor line layer and paint lines based on the background lighting. Now create another layer under the line art layer, so that you can create the impression of raised glass. Use a small, round brush.

Step 16 – Insert more highlights

Paint a comicbook character part 2

Duplicate your flat colour again. Make sure that the transparency is locked. Place the layer between the detail layer and your amber-tinted visor layer. Fill the new visor with black and paint the details and shines based on the background and previously established lighting. Use an oval-shaped brush and a feathered round brush to paint light shines. When you’re done, set your layer to Screen.

Step 17 – Bring in the special effects

Paint a comicbook character part 2

Create a new layer and set it to Linear Dodge Add. Take a feathered brush and start painting on top of the blue tones in the image’s blue lighting and energy effects (see the example), improving glow effects. On the same layer, colour pick from the background and apply similar glow effects here. Create another layer set to Multiply, adding dark gradients on the left and right side. Apply the Oval brush on a new layer to create a lens flare from her glowing hand. Use an electric-blue, small round brush to add accents to the heroine’s suit.

Step 18 – Use grain

Paint a comicbook character part 2

Create a new layer and fill it with grey, making sure it’s not too dark. Go to the Filter options and select Texture>Grain, setting Intensity to 27 and Contrast to 25. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+U to make the grain into a uniform grey. Now set the layer to Overlay at 47% Opacity. This layer serves two purposes: adding a bit of texture to your piece, but also lightening the whole composition slightly.