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Tutorial 1: Coloring & Layering Effects within Photoshop

To begin, I used a Wacom drawing tablet and Photoshop to do this lesson. My main tools used are the Airbrush with Pressure set at (62), Eraser (100), Smudge Pressure(30), and sometimes Blur Tool at (50). These are my default settings I go by, you sometimes need to chage them depending on what you are working on. I suggest using what you find most comfortable. I constantly switch between different brush sizes depending on what is being worked on, like I do in traditional medias also. For the initial sketch depending on the Canvas size, in this case its 730 X 1000 DPI 300 which is small for most pieces I do, but the initial plan was it would only be used for web purposes and not print so it will work. Back to the brushes! Like drawing, its best to work from a sketch, so I went in with a soft round 5 pixel brush and started to do a quick sketch of my face. I did this on its own layer with the first layer being completelly black. On another tutorial Ill try explaining the processes more in depth. In a nutshell, after the initial sketch, I used bigger brushes to block in color, highlights where the light hits, and shadow which I let the black background layer do its job. From that, I was able to create the initial drawing you see. About 1 hour went into that.

This is the Inital sketch that took 1 hour to complete. For this piece I really tried
concentrating on a blue hue color effect with deep blue lighting.

As you can see here, it looks like utter crap with a white background below, I
just wanted to show that you are able to create nice things with minimal work.

Here I created another layer set at NORMAL over the sketch layer. I have 3 now.
(Black layer at the bottom, sketch set at normal in the middle, and this new layer ontop)
This layer I use to enhance the piece without going over my itial lines. Basically
a cleanup! Its also a place to start really throwing in your detail and smoothing things out.

Heres what the 3 Layers look like together. Starting to come together now!

On the Inital piece, I wanted to really make the metal look archaic, something
not of this world. So I came up with an idea to create some type of tribal design covering
the whole face. To do this I started to draw designs without lifting my brush
until it filled up a pretty good area. I then highlighted it all and shrank it really small
so it looked very detailed. I then strategically copy and pasted the tribal design
over the face until it was covered the way I wanted. I erased the parts where the design
was hanging off the skin and then I was ready to move onto the next stage. Now
I had tons of really bright white lines covering my face, so I converted that layer to an
Overalay Layer which blended the lines perfectly with my face. I wanted though to
add some depth to the lines, so I went into that layers styling menu by double clicking it
and added a drop shadow, Bevel & Emboss, and Stroke. The example above is what
the final settings looked like with a little tweeking.

This is what the final layering looked like. At this stage I Flattened the image.

Once its been flattened I did a couple tweeks with the dodge tool
and added more contrast. So it fit my website better, I
created another overlay layer ontop with a greenish brown color, and then
flattened it again. The final result is what you see above.

I hope this tutorial was helpfull and I hope I was able to give a little
insite on the possibilities of digital coloring.


Tutorial 1: Coloring & Layering Effects