How to Create an Effective Illustration in Photoshop

(Intermediate to advanced users)
Want to add a little zing to your illustration? I find what really makes a drawn image dynamic is use of line, texture and light.

In following this tutorial, I can show you how to utilize all three to make your illustration really pop!

I’ll be using one of the latest Langoor backgrounds as an example.

Before You Start
Define a light source. Defining light is useful for drawing the eye in and bringing out your colours and shapes.

Creating a Foundation
1. Have a rough sketch of your image. If you don’t have a graphics tablet handy, you can just scan in a sketch (see sketch.jpeg)

2. First, outline your sketch in a thin black brush. Use of black line defines shapes and makes your colours appear brighter.
(Depending on how complex your image is, I tend to organise outlines on separate layers to my colours.)

Building up Light and Texture
3. Set base colours for the entire canvas using a large textured brush. The colour should be set to the strongest colour of the object.
I prefer any brush from the Dry Media range cause they bring out australia online casinos an awesome hand drawn effect 😉

Tip: Using outside textures can give an illustration a more realistic look.

Remember to keep your layers in organised folders! For this image I created separate folders for tree tops, tree trunks, clearing, and foreground bushes.

4. Add another layer. Use the same textured brush to develop the shadow area. Change the layer blending mode to Soft Light and weaken the opacity to about 20%.
Repeat this step twice. With each repeat, shrink the area the shadow covers and heighten the opacity. This will render our deepest and darkest shadows.

5. Add, yup, another layer, to each folder and call it Highlights. The idea of this layer is to bring out the areas on an object which recieve the utmost amount light. Using a smaller brush, add in areas with white. Change the layer blending mode to Soft Light. (See 5-highlights.jpeg attached)

6. Add any smaller details you wish, touch ups or tweaks.

7. Impress your friends and co-workers.

My final result –
These basic principles can be applied to any illustrative work you do and give your work a little extra push!

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