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Create a Vivid Themed Illustration Using Simple Hand-Drawn Elements - Part II

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Drawn elements are certainly something that can enhance an illustration. Even if you're not very good at drawing, you can still create a quality piece. All you need is a good idea and some Photoshop skills. And if you don't believe me, you will definitely change your mind after reading this Part II of his two part tutorial series. So let's take a look inside!

Final Image Preview

Take a look at the image we'll be creating. 

Part II Tutorial Details

  • Program: Photoshop CS3
  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Estimated Completion Time: 4-5 hours

Introduction and Preparation

It's a themed illustration about "No Beauty," this hides an idea that no beauty lasts forever. Suddenly all that's great and beautiful falls apart. All the happiness is gone with the colorful pieces. The final outcome has its own mood, even thou it's colorful, it's still kinda frightening.

And as I said this is kinda simple but you may be wondering why this tutorial is labeled as advanced level. Well everything is fine as long as you have some base to work on. Here we have absolutely nothing, we will create this piece from scratch. So what's hard, is all the illustration depth, shading and colorization. Beside that, there are some things you just need to feel.

Ok, now let's take a look what we're going to use here:

Step 1

Just to remind you of what we created in the Tutorial Part I, the first image below shows our final outcome. Remember that you need to work now below all adjustment layers (which affect the whole illustration) and also below the overall room shading that we added.

OK, so pay attention to the second image below. I drew something like that in the first tutorial part, this is the sketch of how I pictured the splashes. And I decided not to cover the whole face with splashes.

Step 2

I found three nice splashes (1,2,3) from istockphoto, which you can view in the first image below.

There are few ways to do the extraction, and because the background is white it's quite an easy task. You can do this using Color Range, however we don't need the full splashes here, and a more accurate job need the Pen Tool. Look at the third splash below and the green rectangle. It's a good part to fit our face.

Let's zoom into this part and use the Pen Tool to cut it out. Using this technique is reasonably fast (and the color range technique sometimes leaves a little bit of the background color, which we don't want). So check the last image below (the black one) and you can see it's very precise. I compared the background with a black color and yes, it's full red, no white edges.

Step 3

Now as I said we just need a little bit of this splash, so make it fit into the face and use a soft eraser or a layer mask to get rid of the square edge of the splash (first image below). Then apply Image > Adjustments > Selective Color and brighten all the tones in this dark red splash. To do this we need to use Reds, Yellows, Neutrals, and Blacks (second image below). Now this looks over saturated, so let's take the saturation down (third image below). Then it's good to give a little more brightness (forth image).

Step 4

I'll show you now what to do in points:

  1. This is the result we reached so far.

  2. Create a new layer above the splash, with Blending Mode set to Color. Grab a soft brush and paint with a brownish color to make the shade more suitable to skin shadows.

  3. Compare image 1 to 3, and see how the shade changed its color. It's starting to look like it's really a skin splash!

  4. Merge all the layers connected with the splash into one. And use the Burn Tool (range: Midtones) to make the splash darker, like the bottom face color.

Step 5

Now duplicate the face layer and place it above the splash. Flip it horizontally to make the dark skin cover our splash (first image below). Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All (second image below). Then use a soft, white brush and paint on the layer mask while having the "splash" selection activated (third image below).

This may look a little confusing. Let's review what this does? Well, basically we're revealing the skin from the copied face. And we're doing this on the splash to make it look more skin textured. It's a tiny difference, but believe me, if you zoom in, you will see the difference. The splash will look like real skin.

Step 6

OK, let's bring up another splash. Again use the Pen Tool to make a precise cut out. Now turn it in the right direction (first image below). Then use a hard eraser (or layer mask with a hard, black brush) to make a perfect match to the skin (second image below). Then soft-erase the squared top part of the splash.

Step 7

As when we were applying the previous splash, use Image > Adjustments > Selective Color and adjust the same colors. Play around with the values starting from Reds, Yellow, Neutrals, and Blacks. Try to make the splash color brighter (first image below). Then turn down the saturation (third image below) and finally give a touch of brightness (forth image below).

Step 8

  1. Use the Burn Tool to match the colors of the bottom face skin and our splash.

  2. As previously, duplicate the "face" layer and place it to cover the splash with skin.

  3. Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All (this fully masks the duplicated "face" layer).

  4. Add the skinny touch painting on the layer mask with a soft, white brush.

  5. Make some final touch-ups. I used the Patch Tool to get rid of unwanted light and burned some parts more with the Burn Tool.

Step 9

OK, when it comes to adding lighter splashes, the job is much easier.

  1. Make a good match with the skin shape.

  2. Use Selective Color the same way as previously to get the over saturated look (and it's great with selective color, as it also makes the shade softer).

  3. Next use Hue/Saturation and turn the Saturation halfway down (don't overdo) to match the splash color with skin color.

  4. If it still isn't enough, go (as previously) to Brightness/Contrast and enhance the Brightness, while lowering the Contrast just a touch, and we should be fine.

Note: The lights may sometimes come a bit sharp and bright, so you can always get rid of them using the Patch Tool or just by erasing some parts of the splash.

Step 10

As you see now, the shadow below the face will be a little bit different because we changed the shape. Find the same color as you used previously, while painting the shadow. Grab a very soft brush and add more shadow where objects are getting closer to the ground (as you see in the fist and second images below).

Step 11

Now to add more skin-splash touches, we need to use another image of paint. It's a good to have it in the same color, then the adjustment values will not change much. So bring up this Splatter image to Photoshop and start extracting using the Pen Tool.

As you see in the first image below, you do not have to cut out the whole piece, just the bottom part. And also the extraction needs to give you a nice rounded stain without dark shadows.

Everything is shown in the images below. You just need to repeat what you did previously with the splashes, but yeh, with each new splash you must search new adjustment values (as they are not the same). So the values will be quite similar, but not exactly the same.

Step 12

Grab the Brush Tool with soft settings (Flow at 2% and Hardness set to 0%). Create a new layer below these skin parts, and use a dark color (that fits to the surface) to add a tiny shadow. I used the color: #2f1d0e.

Then look at second image below and create two new layers above the skin parts. We will make a small touch up to one of them. As shown in the image - change these layer Blending Options: one to Overlay and the second to Multiply. Then using the same soft brush, change your color as shown in the second image below and paint in the indicated spots to make this skin look more realistic.

Step 13

It's the right time to add some hand-drawn pieces. My drawing skills are pretty lame and I'm aware of that, but since I have some basics I was able to create several very simple elements that look good enough for this purpose. And with good Photoshop skills you can turn your simple drawings into something really cool.

So take a piece of paper, a pencil and use your imagination to create some nice shapes (or you can use mine as well). Now shoot a photo of each one (it's good to have natural daylight while taking a picture). Then open each one and if they are too dark, use Layer > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and then Layer > Adjustments > Levels to get a nice contrast between the edges and the background. Next use the Pen Tool to extract. While extracting, work on a big canvas (don't resize the photos).

Step 14

As you see my drawn element is quite big and that's a good thing. Now you can use Command + T and click Warp in the top menu bar. Work on bending this shape to get various results. Obviously the warping will get our element a little blurry, but after we resize it down it will not be noticeable (second image below).

Next I wanted to add some depth to this piece by making it less plane. To do this you need the Burn Tool and Dodge Tool. In the third image below, the green arrows indicate the lower spots (that need to get painted using the Burn Tool set to Midtones) and the red arrows indicate the upper spots (that need to get painted with the Dodge Tool set to Highlights).

And after adding depth, you may color this element using Hue/Saturation.

Step 15

In the first image below I used the same element as previously and I bent it using the Warp Tool to get many different shapes. I also made them in different colors and turned each shape to different sizes (for depth). They were placed before and after the face.

Now comes the time to add some shading to make these elements fit. You need to remember a few things:

  • When you're manually adding shadows, use the softest brush (set to 0% Hardness with even 1-2% Flow! Only Opacity stays always at 100%).

  • Shadows in reality always look a little bit different than in an illustration, but we should simulate the shadow to make it unnoticeable.

  • When I add shadows I always sample colors from the surface (and turn them a bit darker than the sampled color, and that makes the shadow fit nicely even if it isn't quite real). The reason to do this is because every object's shadow has a touch of color from the ground that it occupies (for some good pointers on making shadows you can read the Super Malleable Lines tutorial, see step 5).

Step 16

OK, we can start adding some more drawn elements. So in the first image below, the orange arrows indicate spots that I actually wanted to burn with the Burn Tool (set to Midtones), and the green ones indicate spots that needed some more light (use the Dodge Tool set to Highlights). As you can see, the proper use of simple tools can make your elements really shape up.

So in the images below you basically need to cut out the top part of this element and replace it with the same copied one (but with a different angle). Meanwhile add a Hue/Saturation adjustment to this element and colorize it to taste. If you just slowly study the images below you'll notice that I made several rotations with the same elements, I duplicated them and did some cutouts (to make them fit better).

Step 17

OK, now again repeat the previous step by adding another element. Then using the same tools (Burn/Dodge) make the element shape up (second image below). Next in the third image below (when colorizing) you can use a few layer adjustments to make it look better. In this case I went for Hue/Saturation and Curves to give a nice yellowish green tone.

Step 18

Continue adding various shaped elements. Treat them the same way as previously. Add various tones, rotate them and place them in different spots. Don't forget to use Command + T then check the Warp Tool in the top menu bar, this really helps make the same shapes look way different.

Note: Remember, when you Warp a raster element, like our hand-drawn shapes you need to do it on a big size piece and then resize the element down. It will help you achieve the high quality all the way to the end. Otherwise it will just get blurry and not quite suitable.

Step 19

Now to make sure everything has its own place in this illustration you need to take care for shadows. Each element placed in this room space needs some shading attention (unless it's very tiny or too small). So if you have no light specified light source, add shadows somewhere below the object.

To do the shading part you need a very soft brush with a dark color, as mentioned before. The best way is to sample the color from the floor and make it way darker. Then start adding soft shadows under the elements. Remember if objects are closer to the ground - the shadows begins to get harder and more visible. Also don't paint with the brush (holding left-click), make just single separated clicks. This will help you get a soft and barely visible shadow.

Step 20

I believe here is a nice relaxing moment of the tutorial. Now using the paint strokes brushes (1 and 2) create some cool shaped pieces. Do this with colors sampled from the illustration. It's always a good way to help yourself with an Eyedropper, this helps you fluently move in the right color tones. And yeh, if you have a good eye - you can pick some colors by your own taste, it's good to experiment!

Note: Remember that not every paint stroke needs to look the same when it was saved as a brush. You can help yourself with a soft eraser to make the shape look good to you.

Step 21

You should find a window shape in the stroke brushes. Use a dark brown color and place the brush. If you want to place it on the wall, then you'll need to contort it into perspective using Command + T > Distort (first image below). Then, with Pen Tool, create a Shape Layer below this brush and fill it with white (the reason why it's not fully white is because in Tutorial Part I we added some overall shading to the whole illustration, and it seems like the brushing is covering some part of the window) - second image below.

Now look at the third image below, turn the "shape" layer into a selection and paint on a new layer using a dull blue color (#689aac). Then, using the Pen Tool, create two parallel lines. Stroke both paths with simulate pressure, and give them blue and white colors (forth image below). Merge them and make around 20 duplicates, then spread them inside the window to give it a nice texture.

And finally you can cover the window with some more brushes as previously (fifth image below).

Step 22

Again using paint stroke brushes, paint the ceiling to fill the illustration even more. I need to use these brushes with barely visible gray/white tones to fit the surface. OK, so grab the Brush Tool, choose the desired paint stroke brush shape, set your flow to around 10%, and add some various brushes on anew layer.

Step 23

When I was creating this piece I found nice handmade brushes that will be really useful here (1 and 2). Append them to Photoshop brushes and using different colors and sizes, spread them all over the illustration. This should look like a chaotic throw.

Step 24

When you're done with the handmade brushes go back again to our paint stroke brushes, use white for the color and apply one big brush on a new layer (first image below). Then call the selection of this brush by Command-clicking on the layer thumbnail, and go to Select > Modify > Contract, use the value of 2 (second image below). Next, bend it with Command + T and select Warp in the top menu (third image below). Now resize it down (use Command + T) and place it in the space.

You can repeat this step many times with different colors. It's good to add these effects as they give an impression of drawn elements.

Step 25

As this illustration is named "No Beauty" you can think of some elements connected with the beauty. I found two free pictures of blush, that are a little bit out of focus. But anyway, we will resize this blush down, so the blur won't be seen.

OK, grab the Pen Tool and cut out several crushed parts of this blush, paste it on some white documents and touch them up a little. Use the Burn Tool (Midtones) and burn them as show in the second image below. Then simply make them fit our illustration.

Note: if you decided to put some parts of the blush near the ground, then you need to treat the floor with some shadow!

Step 26

To make this illustration even more wrecked, I'll show you how to create a leaking hole in the wall. There are six screenshots below, so I will describe them in order:

  1. Grab the Pen Tool (set it in the options to Shape Layer) and draw a nice curvy hole shape on the wall, and make it black. Name this layer "Hole."

  2. Turn off the "Hole" layer, go to the Layers Palette, Command-click on this layer's thumbnail (the selection should appear). Now hit Command + Shift + C (Copy Merged) and then Command + V (Paste). Now name this layer "Wall Part." Move the copied "Wall Part" in front of the hole (you can also bend it using the Warp Tool). And make the "Hole" layer visible.

  3. Duplicate the "Wall Part" layer three to four times, move those duplicates below the original layer and use the keyboard arrows to change their spots to top left (one after another) to create a fake 3d effect. Merge these duplicates and use the Burn Tool (set to Midtones) to give it more depth.

  4. Now do same thing to the "Hole" layer. But this time make only one duplicate (colorize it to brown for example to see the difference) and move this copy to top left using the keyboard arrows. This should look now exactly like the forth image below.

  5. Then bring up the selection of the "Hole" layer (Command-click on the layer's thumbnail), next hold Command + Alt and click on the "Hole copy" layer (to remove the selection of this copied layer). You should get a tiny selection in the bottom edge. Create a new layer above the "Hole" layer and fill it with a dark brown color. Use the Burn Tool (set to Midtones) and Dodge Tool (set to Midtones) to make this edge stand out more.

  6. Copy the skin splashes that we made in the beginning (you can also resize down after copying) and place them dripping from our hole. Use the Burn Tool (set to Midtones) to make it fit the splash top parts to the black hole's background. Then add some shadow under these drips (same way as you've created shadow in the previous steps).

Step 27

Take a look at:

  1. First Image Below: As a final touch-up, add a Layer Adjustment of Black and White in the Layers Palette (on the top of all layers), change it's Opacity the way you like (around 30-50%) and set the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

  2. Second Image Below: Hit Command + Shift + A (to select the whole canvas), Command + Shift + C (to Copy the whole canvas), Command + V (Paste on the top of all layers), and then apply Command + Shift + U (to Desaturate).

  3. Third Image Below: Change the Opacity of this layer to 40%, set the Blending Mode to Soft Light, then go to Layer > Adjustment > Shadows/Highlights and enhance the Amount of Highlights. This brings an HDR touch.

  4. Forth Image Below: Finally again hit Command + Shift + A (to Select the whole canvas), Command + Shift + C (to Copy the whole canvas), Command + V (Paste on the top of all layers), change the Blending Mode to Overlay and go to Filter > Other > Highpass, and set the value to 1.

  5. Conclusion

    So here we are folks. I hope you can successfully apply these effects to your own pieces now. May the detail be with you!

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