Character Design

Create A Gasmask Angel in Illustrator CS5


Today's tutorial I'm going to talk you through creating a Gasmask Angel, as well as building upon a perspective stock image with your own sketch, and going through to vectoring it. You'll learn techniques in perspective line art, and how to use gradients to distort and enhance your beautiful lines.


I have an ongoing conceptual series I've been working on in my vector work. It initially started as an exercise to push myself into using stock images in a different way. It's easy to create a portrait from a reference when you have elements in front of you ready to plot the shapes and colors. However, when you have a whole concept to build on from very little, it presents you with a channel to learn from.

Today's tutorial I'm going to talk you through creating a Gasmask Angel as well as building upon a perspective stock image with your own sketch and going through to vectoring it.

I'll use stock that was purposely made for this tutorial by the talented stock artist TasaStock from the Perspective 3 stock pack.

Gasmask Angel History

A Gasmask Angel is the name of the characters in the series of what's going to happen towards the end of the world, thanks to the abuse we've put our planet through. Most things in these pieces have a point behind it and a little back story, for instance the gasmasks are there because the air is unbreathable, however the wings are purely there for cosmetics.

The first piece in the Gasmask Angel series was more or less a play around with stock, which helped kick off the series. Based on this piece, I continued a theme of naming them "X Tomorrow," "X" being replaced with the concept itself. With "No School Tomorrow" it was mainly about there no longer being schools to go back to. Although there was no other set theme, it did introduce elements to do with a post-apocalyptic earth with the mushroom cloud. This piece was a challenge to me because I wanted to add elements to a stock image that weren't there. However, the stock image still had a gasmask on it.

"Hope Tomorrow" combined three stock images: the butterfly, the wings and the guy with a gasmask. My challenge for this piece was to create a watercolor background that would make people doubt it was all vector.

The story behind it was that in order to keep the human race nostalgic of the past, birds and butterflies were suspended from the air to give the impression that we were still living in the past and everything wasn't all that bad. However one butterfly has survived and managed to escape from its string. Coupled with the gradual change in background color, it was to signify that there was a positive future and thus there was "Hope Tomorrow."

My challenge for "Heaven Tomorrow" was to dive into full body shading and creating detailed wings from scratch. Although there isn't a solid concept behind this piece, it did focus on life beyond the grave, that even in death your gasmask would be present. It's worth noting that the gasmask was also present on the stock image, a hurdle I still had not overcome.

The series took a bit of a sinister turn as I wanted to focus more on the children in a post-apocalyptic world. Would their parents be out fighting wars? Would the life expectancy be so short you wouldn't have "time" to look after your offspring? This is where "No Parents Tomorrow" came in. It also gave a hint that the wings could actually be of some use rather than cosmetic value in the series. Although there is the sense of danger in the background, the girl has the ability to fly away. Also worth noting is that I thought in the future in order to help comfort children, their toys would also have a gasmask to show its a "natural" thing to have.

This was the first piece I was able to create my own gasmask and something I aimed to make sure I created my own from now on.

The latest in the series I wanted to put the characters in an everyday situation. This was a family photograph in "No Family Tomorrow." I wanted it to be a more heartfelt piece by presenting the viewer with a situation that they can relate to. Imagine giving birth to your child and as soon as they are born, they are given a gasmask? You'd have that brief moment to see their face before it would be hidden forever. I wanted to also show future disability in this piece, with the father showing he's a casualty of war, having his wings clipped.

The challenge for me in this piece was to create a situation for people to relate to, so the concept had more of a punch.

Gasmask Angel Preparation

It's always good to challenge yourself and it's something that this series does for me. With my previous challenges in mind, I want to step my game up with the next in this series. In this piece, I want to tackle creating a sketch using stock; however it will be under a high perspective. This will not only be a challenge for the clothing, but also for the wings.

If you look at the styles of gasmasks I've draw without reference in the past, I want to deviate away from the two goggle look and try a different style in this piece.

The concept I've decided on is creating a Gasmask Angel in a High School setting, a bit of a nod to the first in the series, which wasn't actually created in vector, but was a vexel piece. So on that note, the Gasmask Angel will be a cheerleader as I feel it's a positive role, invites the viewer to see how the gasmask could be restrictive for sports, and also to help introduce a school colors theme into the clothing and gasmask.

I also want to bring back a previous technique, which is combining the watercolor texturing for the background with a more graphic line art style. I'm a fan of the contrast these two styles give to the piece.

Step 1

I begin by opening the stock image in Photoshop. I want to draw beyond the stock image, so I will need to extend the canvas beyond the elbow on the left. Go to Image > Canvas Resize and increase the width by 120% to the left as shown below.

Step 2

Create a new layer and fill this with white. Then decrease the Opacity to 50%. This is so I can use the reference image as a guide in the sketching, yet still be able to see my own lines very clearly.

Before the sketching begins on the "Background" layer, add the elbow so you can see the entire stock image.

Step 3

Create a new layer, which will be one of the layers I'll use to put the sketch on. Rename this layer, "Skeleton." Set the layer Opacity to 20%. I'm going to use the Brush Tool (B), with a fine brush (Hard Round 9 pixel) and black for the color.

The first element of the sketch I'm going to work on is the gasmask and hair. I find it easiest to set out the skeleton of the gasmask, the length of the mask, where the eye part will be, the straps and lastly the air filter at the bottom.

Create a new layer and rename it "Sketch." From the skeleton I can sketch the gasmask using circles, which of course will be more refined when drawn in vector.

Step 4

I have to consider the restrictions the gasmask would have on the hair style, but I also want to give the hairstyle a very typical high school cheerleader look. I've decided to go for the clique pig tails, which will also give a nod to the first in the Gasmask Angel series.

First on the "Skeleton" layer, sketch the shape of the head and the direction of the pig tails. Also consider if you wish to have any bangs/fringe overlapping the gasmask.

Create a new layer and sketch the hair in more detail on this layer.

Using the Eraser Tool (E), erase the elements of the sketch from underneath. Hide the white layer, "Skeleton" and "Background" layer, and then go to Layer > Merge Visible to merge the top two layers together.

Step 5

I'm going to use the "Skeleton" layer again to sketch out the basic shapes of the cheerleader's sweater. I'm also going to sketch the skeleton of a "V" shape for the school they are representing... for the sake of Easter eggs, the "V" is for Vector.

Then I'll draw the more "refined" sketch on the "Sketch" layer. If you note the trim around the edges of the sweater, then around the neck it would appear thicker than the trim around the sleeves, which in turn would appear thicker than the trim around the bottom of the sweater.

Step 6

Repeating the process of drawing the skirt first on the "Skeleton" layer, I'm drawing the skirt before the pom-poms, as I don't want them to obstruct or distort how I'll draw the skirt.

I've removed the trim off the sweater at the bottom, as I feel it will be hidden from the angle we're viewing it at.

Step 7

Repeat the process for the legs and trainers.

Step 8

For the pom-poms I Create a new layer and then drew them in with a blue color so I can tell them apart from the rest of the sketch. Then add another new layer to draw the outline of them with the arms.

Now use the Eraser Tool (E) to remove the overlapping lines from the "Sketch" layer. As before, merge the sketching layers.

Step 9

Create a new layer and then draw lines to where the shoulders, hips and spine are. Continue to draw lines connecting the shoulder lines and the hips, from this you will see how steep the perspective is. I'm going to use these lines to create a rough guide for where the wings are going to be.

Then draw in a rough idea of the wings and hide the guidelines previously drawn.

Step 10

Save the sketch without the "Skeleton" and "Background" layer at about an 800 pixel width. Repeat with just the stock reference image.

Now open Illustrator and File > Place both images on top of each other. While I'll be using the sketch as a guide, I want to refer back to the original stock image for help with lighting. With both the images placed on the canvas and selected, use the Free Transform Tool (E) to resize it to the art board. Change the Opacity of the Sketch to 30%.

Create a New Layer and double-click the layer to rename it "BG," then click on OK. Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to add a white filled shape across the canvas, then set the Opacity to 50% and lock the layer folder. Finally Create a New Layer and rename it "Line Art."

Step 11

I'll be using a Stroke Weight of 1pt for the basic line art from this point onwards, unless otherwise stated. I would suggest turning Smart Guides on (Command + U), as this will make it easier to make sure the lines are intercepted accurately.

In the "Line Art" folder, use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw a circle over the bottom of the air filter. Then Copy (Command + C) and Paste in Front (Command + F), and move the duplicated circle to the base of the air filter.

Using the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the bottom point of the duplicated circle, and then delete it to create an arc.

Now use the Pen Tool (P) to draw from each of the end points so they connect to the bottom circle on either side.

Step 12

Again with the Ellipse Tool (L), create a circle over one of the eyes for the visor. Using the Direct Selection Tool (A) modify the curve on one of the corners to make it more square.

Duplicate this shape and then flip it by going to Object > Transform > Reflect > Vertical. Use the Pathfinder options to select both shapes and Unite them to create one shape. I want to now remove the point from the top of the shape and modify the curve at the bottom to make it look like it is going over the bridge of the nose.

Now modify the connecting points along the top of the visor so it gives the appearance it is curved over the forehead, as shown below.

Step 13

Increase the Stroke Weight for the visor shape to 10pt and then go to Object > Expand to create a solid shape.

Now set the stroke to black and the fill to null. Using the Lasso Tool (Q) select the bottom five points of the shape.

As I want to give a slight impression of perspective, I want the lower part of the mask to be slimmer than the top. So using the Free Transform Tool (E), reposition these five points. It only needs to be a subtle change.

Step 14

Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw around the whole mask and square the top of the mask slightly by selecting the top point and pushing out the handle bar.

With the Pen Tool (P), add points where the mask overlaps onto the air filter, and then select the bottom point of the mask and delete it.

Step 15

I'm going to use the Ellipse Tool (L) again to create the shape for the pig tails, although I'm only drawing half of the head as this will be duplicated later on. Draw a circle and then rotate it with the Free Transform Tool (E). Pull out one of the points to create an egg shape.

Draw another circle and then Unite them. Smooth the connecting points at the top to make a curve on the pigtail.

Now use the Pen Tool (P) to create the lower part of the pig tail, and then Unite them.

Step 16

Draw three lines: the top of the head, fold in the pig tail, and side of the head.

Group these lines with the pig tail shape (Command + G) and then duplicate them. Select one group and then flip it by going to Object > Transform > Reflect > Vertical. Then move the duplicated flipped group into place.

As I found the top of the head too steep, I've selected both groups and then used the Free Transform Tool (E) to decrease the height slightly.

Step 17

As I've done previously with the visor, I'm going to create thick lines for the straps of the gas mask. These will have a Stroke Weight of 8pt and have Round Caps. I duplicated one of the side straps and flipped it to create the same sort of curve.

Expand the lines, change the fill to null, and stroke to black. I've decreased the curve at the top of the strap in the hair parting to make it more flat. I've also modified the shapes of the side straps to make them look like they are curved around the head.

Now, as I did with the mask circle in Step 14, I modify the hair lines from the pig tail group by adding points and deleting the line that overlaps onto the strap.

Step 18

This similar method can be used for other parts of the illustration. For instance for the trim around the neck of the sweater. I've added a thicker Stroke Weight for this element of 12pt and again with Round Caps.

After Expanding the line, I've trimmed the portion which overlapped onto the gasmask and then decreased the curve on the right.

Then as before with the visor, I selected the bottom point of the trim and decreased its width to give a subtle impression of perspective using the Lasso Tool (Q) and the Free Transform Tool (E).

Step 19

The rest of the lines for the torso can be drawn directly from the sketch done, but I have used the original reference image as a guide to draw in the arms and fingers as accurately as possible.

Step 20

For the pom-poms I've created a brush to draw the individual strands. First, draw a 1pt straight line with Round Caps.

Expand the line, then set the fill to white and the stroke to black at a 0.25pt Stroke Weight.

Drag and drop the shape into the Brush palette, select "New Art Brush," and use the settings below for the new brush.

Step 21

Using the Paintbrush Tool (B), begin drawing strands for the pom-poms at a Stroke Weight of 4pt using the new brush just created. By drawing initial strands as shown below, you can estimate how "bushy" you want the final look to be. Also work on the strands in the back of the pom-pom first. Ensure you bring the strands to the same point and go beyond the hands to make sure no stray tips are shown.

Create both pom-poms and Group them (Command + G).

Step 22

Hide the pom-poms group for now and begin adding the rest of the details for the legs and skirt.

Step 23

With a black stroke color and white fill, add the fringe/bangs for the hair, which slices over the strap and mask.

Step 24

Add lines on the sweater trim and creases, also on the fringe/bangs for extra detailing.

Step 25

Now that I've drawn the pom-poms, I want to put them into Clipping Masks (Command + 7) so the stray tips are hidden. Draw a shape beyond where the hands are, it works best to hide the pom-poms first to be able to accurately see the lines from the hands.

Use this shape and select the pom-poms group to create a Clipping Mask (Command + 7).

Step 26

Draw 8pt lines over the hands with Round Caps for the pom-pom straps.

Expand the shapes and give it a black stroke and white fill color.

Step 27

Now that the majority of the cheerleader's line art has been put in place, apart from the wings of course, I'm going to modify the Stroke Weight of the lines to help emphasize perspective. If you consider the line work on the head and mask will be closer to the view, than say her footwear, this should be heavier.

So I begin changing the Stroke Weight for the hair, rim of the mask, and sweater to 3pt.

Step 28

The lines for the detailing on the mask, straps, bangs/fringe, sweater trim, arms and skirt have had their Stroke Weight changed to 2pt.

Step 29

The lines for the detailing on the footwear and socks have been altered to 0.5pt.

Step 30

There are several lines which are open ended (not intercepting with another line). For these I want to give them a pointed tip rather than them being left with a square edge. Simply select the lines which are open ended on one end only (shown in pink below) and then select "Width Profile 4" from the Profile options in the Stroke palette.

Step 31

For the lines which are not connected to any line at the ends, apply the "Width Profile 1" from the Profile options in the Stroke palette, as shown below.

Step 32

To give further emphasis on the depth of perspective on the line art, I've decided to alter the Stroke Weight of the pig tail shape and top of the hair to 4pt, as this will be closer to the viewer.

Step 33

There are some open ended lines which have not had a Width Profile applied to them. The main reason would be that the tip of the line is so small in comparison to how long the line is, that it would look out of place. For example the line along the shoulder coming along the sleeve.

To modify this element, I recommend using the Width Tool (Shift + W). Hover over the very tip of the line where the point is and decrease it. This will create a "Width Profile 4" effect along the whole line. As I don't want this to happen, I will need to increase the width of the line a lot closer to the tip. So where the line meets the line for the trim of the sweater on the sleeve, I've increased the width there.

The problem which arises from this, however, is that any connecting line to this will seem out of place. So using the Width Tool (Shift + W) I've altered the width of the connecting line appropriately so it looks smoother.

I've applied this technique throughout the rest of the stray lines in the illustration.

Step 34

Using the same techniques with the Profile options in the Stroke palette, I've added additional lines of detailing throughout the illustration. When adding further lines, take into consideration the perspective. So the lines on the nose moulding for the gasmask will be thicker than say the stitching or fingernail lines.

Step 35

For the detailing lines on the "V" and neck line, I've applied a dashed line to them. To play on the perspective I've made the dashed line on the neck 5pt, the top half of the "V" 3pt and the lower half 2pt.

Step 36

Using the brush created for the pom-poms, I've drawn in laces for the shoes. The Stroke Weight for these are 1pt. You can see from the image below the contrast in thickness of these compared to the tips of the pom-poms.

Group the strokes for the laces (Command + G) and make sure the group is below the group for the pom-poms, as they overlap the shoes.

Step 37

As I tend to work through a piece, I notice places that may require further detailing or modification. This is usually towards the end of the line art stage. Often when you see the whole piece together there maybe elements you feel could require alteration. In this case, I've decided to add additional lines of detailing in the clothing, modifying the seam of the sweater, and added a parting in the bangs/fringe.

Also to emphasis depth further, I've reduced the Stroke Weight on the lines for the skirt.

In addition, I've added detail lines around the visor and filter on the gasmask. This will help make the gasmask less flat.

Step 38

I'm going to begin coloring the line art using Live Paint. However due to the mix in appearance settings for the lines at present, I'm going to have to organize and modify those to make them compatible with Live Paint.

Create a New Layer and rename it "Line Art 2." Select all of the line art elements (Command + A) and Group them (Command + G). Duplicate this group and drag and drop it into the "Line Art 2" layer folder. You don't have to do this step, however I would recommend duplicating line art when playing around with Live Paint or other drastic tools. This is more of a personal fail safe. At the end of creating an illustration you could always delete the line art duplicates to reduce file size.

Drill down into the group and take out the elements that have been created either by a brush or have both a stroke and fill color. These would be the bangs/fringe, pom-poms, handles for the pom-poms and the laces. Then drag and drop these on top of the group, as shown below. Lock and hide them until required later on.

Live Paint only works on closed paths, so when you hide the pom-poms you will notice that the skirt hasn't been closed off. So I'm just going to close these paths. It doesn't matter that the lines look ugly as these will be hidden.

Step 39

Select the group, and then Object > Expand > Expand Appearance twice until all of the shapes have a black fill color and have no stroke. Then using Pathfinder, Unite them to get rid of any overlapping shapes. Then make the group a Compound Path (Command + 8).

Step 40

Most of the time, I will tend to stick to the default "Basic CMYK" palette for coloring in my line art. However I want to use more desaturated colors. You can gain inspiration for color schemes by browsing the Swatch palettes available by going into the Swatch panel drill down menu, then going to Open Swatch Library and selecting a new collection of colors from the many in the list.

Use the Live Paint Bucket (K) to color in the line art with the key below.

Step 41

Once you've colored in-between the line art, select the Live Paint Group, which will now have been created from the line art group. Expand it and then Ungroup (Shift + Command + G) until the objects are all ungrouped and visible.

Select one of the black objects and go to Select > Same > Fill Color, then Group them (Command + G). Group the remaining objects, which will be the color fills from using Live Paint (Command + G). Make sure that the black line art group is on top of the group with the colors inside.

Step 42

Create a New Layer and rename it "Lines." I've moved the line art group and the line/fill objects into this layer folder to make it easier to work on the colors.

Duplicate the group with the colors and make them a Compound Path (Command + 8). Create a brown, inverted, transparent radial gradient (C=55, M=60, Y=65, K=40) and use it to fill the Compound Path. Use the Gradient Tool (G) to reposition and resize it towards the bottom of the object so it gives the impression there is a light source towards the top of the illustration. Set the Blending Mode to Multiply.

Step 43

Lock the line art group and the Compound Path, then duplicate the color group and lock the original. I'm going to begin applying the brown gradient to elements of the colored work to help add additional shading.

First, use the Direct Selection Tool (V) to select the top portion of the sweater and apply an inverted radial gradient. Adjust the gradient so the color fades around the shoulders. Set the Blending Mode to Multiply.

Select the lower part of the sweater, apply the inverted radial gradient, and position it so the fade is only the chest. This will give an impression of shadow cast from the breasts. Set this also to Blending Mode Multiply.

Step 44

Select one of the skin tone filled objects and then go to Select > Same > Fill Color and apply radial gradients to the skin areas. Position and shape the sources to give the impression of shadow. These also will need to be set to Blending Mode Multiply.

Step 45

Imagine the light is coming from just above the top to the back. Using this you will need to place additional shading using the Pen Tool (P) to the character. Use the brown, which was used for the gradient (C=55, M=60, Y=65, K=40), and set to Blending Mode Multiply and Opacity 40%. Now make them a Compound Path (Command + 8). The screen shot below is on a different Blending Mode to show you where I have placed the shapes. Also, it is helpful to unhide the bangs/fringe so you get an impression as to where to put the shadow for that, which is over the visor.

Step 46

Add shapes to give highlight to the character, including detailing on the visor to make it look more reflective. I've used a fill color of a light brown (C=25, M=25, Y=40, K=0). After I made a Compound Path (Command + 8), I changed the Blending Mode to Overlay and Opacity to 40%.

I've applied the highlighting above the waist, as I want the lower portions of the body to look deeper in shadow and almost fade into the surface.

Step 47

Unlock the bang/fringe object and change the fill color to C=30, M=40, Y=66, K=31. I'm going to add highlights and a little detail to the hair, which will need to be created in the "Lines" layer folder above the bangs/fringe object. I draw curved lines with "Width Profile 1" applied to the stroke and with a Stroke Weight of 4pt. Expand the lines and then use Pathfinder to Unite them.

Once done, fill with the light brown shade and set to Blending Mode Overlap and 40% Opacity.

Step 48

Unhide the pom-poms and their handles as well as the laces and then Expand them until the strokes become solid shapes. This shouldn't affect the Clipping Mask.

Step 49

Use the Direct Selection Tool (V) to select some of the front stands of the pom-poms, as well as the pom-pom handles and laces, then fill them with the light blue. Now select the rest of the strands and apply a darker blue to this to give the impression of shadow.

As you can see, not all the area is covered in strands. A quick way to get around this, rather than adding additional strands, is to cover the back area with an even darker color to add further depth. Remember to drag and drop this shape behind the pom-poms group.

Step 50

Duplicate the pom-poms group and shape behind it, and then use Pathfinder to Unite them to create two shapes as shown.

These should be on top of your detailed pom-poms group. Apply a brown transparent inverted radial gradient to the pom-poms and set it to Blending Mode Multiply. Duplicate the handles on the pom-poms and apply the same inverted gradient set to Multiply.

Step 51

I'm going to start adding the wings. When I do wings which are much more detailed, I would use a brush to illustrate each feature... however since this is somewhere in between, I want to do a more simplified version of the feather brush.

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), pull out one of the points as shown below with a stroke color of black and fill color of white.

Now draw a line down the center of the feather and apply the "Width Profile 1" Profile to it.

Draw some long thin triangles cutting into the feather at varied thickness and depth to the spine of the feather.

Using Pathfinder, Minus Front; remove these shapes from the distorted ellipse. Group these two elements together (Command + G).

Step 52

Drag and drop the feather group into the Brush palette, select "New Art Brush," and use the settings below. I've selected to reduce the width of the brush to 30%. However depending on how large you create the feather, you may have to modify the width and/or stroke weights accordingly.

Step 53

Before I begin adding the feathers, I like to draw a sketch of how I'd like the wings to sit. From this angle, you'd see the top of the wings, so I want this to be reflected in the wing design.

Step 54

Create a New Layer and rename it "Wings." Draw the feathers in sections and Group them afterwards (Command + G). I find it best to use the Paintbrush Tool (B) for this, as the feathers will appear more organic looking. I've colored the feathers so you can see the sections.

Step 55

Although I've kept the Stroke Weights the same for each of the groups, I still want to give the perception of distance. I find the best way to do this is to soften the line color of the wings, but using different shades of gray. In this case, I've used C=0, M=0, Y=0, K=70, then K=50 and reduced it by 20 for each step.

Step 56

Back to using the brown transparent gradients, I've applied a linear gradient underneath the top of the wings to make it stand out more. This is then set to Blending Mode Multiply.

Now I have added a radial gradient behind the whole character and under the top of the wings, as the body would cast a slight shadow on the wings. Again this is set to Multiply.

Step 57

As the body would cast another shadow slightly over the top of the wings, I've added another brown transparent radial gradient to the top of the wings, set to Blending Mode Multiply.

Step 58

Create a New Layer above the "BG" layer and rename it "BG1." To give a subtle impression of a shadow to the base of the character, I'm going to add a blend.

Usually I'd apply a transparent radial gradient, however as the angle is somewhat diagonal, the shadow cast would be like a pinched circle. So I've used the Ellipse Tool (L) with our brown color used for all the shadows previously and then pulled one of the points out.

Now I've created a small ellipse on top of this.

Reduce the Opacity of the larger shape to 0%, then select both shapes and create a Blend (Alt + Command + B). Go into the Object > Blend > Blend Options, and change it to Specific Distance and the value 1. This will create an altered transparent gradient effect. Select the whole Blend and change the Opacity to 50% and the Blending Mode to Multiply.

Step 59

Going back into the "Wings" layer folder, Expand the wings to objects.

Now select one of the white shapes and go to Select > Same > Fill Color and recolor it with the off white color used for the sweater.

Step 60

There may be some gaps in between the feathers, so I've added a darker blue in the background of the wings.

Step 61

Go into the "BG" layer folder and change the Opacity to 100%. Using the Mesh Tool (U), I have added a blue point in the middle of the shape. Then I have dragged it down to create the below effect.

Step 62

With the previous Gasmask Angel pieces, I've added a rough texture in some elements of the illustration by using Charcoal AI default brushes. I want to add this element into this new piece as a bit of an on going theme. I'm rather fond of mixing the more organic textures from the charcoal and chalk brushes with line art.

You can access these brushes by going into the Brush palette drill down menu and selecting Open Brush Library > Artistic > Artistic_ChalkCharcoalPencil and select the top brush.

Use the brown shade color set to Blending Mode Color Burn and 20% Opacity. Draw circular strokes with the Paintbrush Tool (B), around the shadow and more dense within the shadow/blend to increase the contrast.

Group these strokes when done (Command + G).

Step 63

Back to using the brown transparent radial gradient, I have added circles in the "BG" layer using the Ellipse Tool (L) on Blending Mode Color Burn, with 50% Opacity. This will add a more uneven coloring to the background color and will make it look a little more "scruffy." Once these are created, Group them (Command + G).

Step 64

Inside the "Wings" layer folder, I add some circles with the brown transparent radial gradient fill to dull the white in the tips of the wings. These should be set to Blending Mode Exclusion and 35% Opacity. Group them once done (Command + G).

Step 65

Create a New Layer and rename it "Foreground." Using the same method as Step 64, I have added additional circles on top of the lower portion of the body to fade out the harsh lines and colors. These are set to Blending Mode Exclusion and 20% Opacity.

Step 66

Go into the "BG" layer folder and use the Line Segment Tool (\) to draw a horizontal line near our characters feet. Use a light blue color and apply the Charcoal brush previously used with a 0.5pt Stroke Weight.

Draw another line, but starting where the other line ended. Then draw another one more centralized on the line. Set the Blending Mode of these lines to Color Dodge and Opacity to 40%. These will represent a line on a playing field to help the setting look like maybe a sports field.


With using techniques of altering the Stroke Weight, color and gradients, you can give the impression of depth in perspective illustrations.

It's worth creating your own series of illustrations that link to each other. Even if other people don't get it, you get excited to create the next piece in the series. You connect with your art on a very personal level and may discover things you never thought you were able to do. Challenge yourself with each new illustration and force yourself to overcome things you might not necessarily have done otherwise, you'll be surprised!

Finally, if you're wondering what the title for this piece will be in the series... I think "No Cheers Tomorrow" fits well.

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