lassical character illustrations and portraits
have been around in many forms since we
first began to try and convey the world
around us, from real to imaginary. During the
Renaissance (14th-17th Century), the human form in
paintings moved from static and flat to alive and
deep, truly capturing the likeness, motion and
emotion of the people depicted, as well as showing
off the most gorgeously painted drapes or elaborate
garments you can imagine. Today, paintings such as
these are mostly seen in the game and graphic novel
environment, or as book illustrations. This tutorial will
show you how to create a realistically rendered
Start with a sketch
To star, open a new file and add
canvas. Call It 'sketch'
rha way you won' get confused
when more layers are -dded Now pick r e default harel
round Palmbr sh, se the Size and Opacity to Pen Pressure,
and start sk tchlng. G tting the proportions of your sketch
important, so use references jf you feel It'll help you.
Clean up colours
Sric Ing with the round brush, set
Opacity and Flow manually to around
70-80%, while keeping the Opacity
Ji ter sWltclted on. We wan to smooth
out and clean up the edges and
these settings will help. At
this point, you can already reduce the
Opadry of your 'ske ch' layer. Seltl g it
character portrait in Photoshop, using simple tools
and almost solely depending on painting rather than
filters and plug-ins.
Here you will learn step-py-step how to take an
idea from sketch to colour, render a convincing
character, fabric and brocade, and add those little
details that are often overlooked but will really make
any portrait come alive.
Ultimately, this tutorial is about creating a strong
character portrait that not only speaks to us, but also
entices us to read a story into it. To get the best
results, it's advisable for you to have a graphics tablet,
as it gives you much more control than a mouse.
Add a new layer beneath the 'sketch' layer. This
will be our main layer for the character Keep the hard
round Paintbrush, but you may find it easier to switch
off the Size Jitter and manually adjust the size as
needed. We'll be blocking in colours now, and it doesn't
be very precise or clean; we just want
feel for the overall colour scheme, light and shadows.
brushes used for this painting. the brocade
pattern files and the Fibonacci Spiral can be
found on the CD. Hopefully these will help
you get started and inspire you to create
The sketch at full resolution, the custom
your own illustrations.