Learn how to create a delightful portrait from sketch to Photoshop. This tutorial will teach you how to color, shade, and create a gorgeous beach scene.
Preview of Final Results
Beach Girl Drawing Photoshop Tutorial
The tutorial will teach you how to transform a pencil-drawing into a full-color piece of fantasy artwork entirely through the use of Photoshop.
For this project, you’ll need:
- A pencil sketch
- A scanner
- A Wacom tablet
- Some artistic understanding
- And a lot of patience
Part 1 – Prep
Firstly, let’s scan a pencil hand sketch and open it in Photoshop. No part of this pencil sketch will be in the final image. Rather it is entirely for reference purposes and we will be tracing and coloring over it.
Next let’s duplicate the sketch so it is on a new layer and its layer visibility can be turned off if we need to take a good, clear look at how the drawing we will be doing on top of it is progressing. It helps to fill the background layer with a solid color because it makes the image on top of it more visible. Here I filled the background in with a random pale blue color (#AACEFF if you were wondering) because the background of the final image will be predominantly blue.
Part 2 – Subject
Now it’s time to start putting the subject—the girl—together. Let’s start with the clothes. First, we’ll create a new layer to put the clothes on so that it won’t be disturbed when we start working on other parts of the girl. If you notice in the finished image, her clothes come in two different colors. Her top and the top part of her skirt are dark purple, whereas the rest of her skirt is pale lavender. We’ll be putting the two different colors of clothing on two different layers, I’ll call it “top and waist” and “skirt.”
Time to actually start the coloring process. First, we’ll take the pen tool (P) and draw a path along the outline of our subject’s top and the top part of her skirt. Zoom in (Z) and be sure to pay attention to details like the folds of her clothing. For parts of the clothing that will be covered by, say, her hair, we don’t have to pay much attention to the line since it won’t show in the final image anyways.
Once we’re do ne the outline, right click and select Fill Path… and set the Feather Radius to 0.5 to fill in her top and the top of her skirt with a medium to dark purple color.
Then repeat for the length of her skirt but fill with a very pale lavender. Now our image should something like this.
Before we go another further with coloring the rest of our subject, let’s work on and finish her face. The face and facial expression of any human subject will make or break the emotion of the entire finished piece, so this part is especially important. Zoom in very close and trace the outline of her mouth with the pen tool. Fill. Then pull out the tablet, select a soft, thin brush (B) and a soft black color for outlining the eyes. The tablet is pressure sensitive and will be able to most accurately bring out the emotions in the eyes.
As you can see, right now the face looks flat and lifeless, therefore, our next step is to shade in features of her mouth and add light to her eyes. Pick a light source—that is, the direction the light is coming from—so you know where to draw the highlights and where to draw the shadows. For this particular image, the light is coming from the top left corner, so there will be more light on the left side of her body and less on the right.
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