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How to Create a Simple Geometric Vector Deadpool in Adobe Photoshop

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:MediumLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Famous Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool, had to wait quite a while for his own movie, but his time has come. So, obviously, it's also time for a tutorial with Deadpool as the star! 

If you want to express your joy in a creative way, follow me—you don't need to be a Photoshop expert to do this, and you don't need a tablet either. By the way, you'll learn the basics of Shapes and the Pen Tool, which isn't as scary as they say. I promise. Are you ready?

1. Prepare the Sketch

It's very hard to create an illustration without any guide lines. Let's prepare a simple sketch that will be a skeleton for the rest of the picture. Feel free to do it traditionally, with a pencil. You can also use my sketch, if you don't like drawing.

Step 1

Start by drawing the core of the pose: a "torso" with legs.

draw vector deadpool photoshop basic skeleton

Step 2

Let's rotate the torso to the right by bending the torso line.

draw vector deadpool photoshop perspective

Step 3

Add the collarbones and the arms.

draw vector deadpool photoshop arms

Step 4

We now have enough guide lines to add more parts of the body. If's too confusing for you, try this beginner-friendly tutorial How to Draw a Stick Figure: a Complex Guide.

draw vector deadpool photoshop simple silhouette

Step 5

Add the hands, heels, and lines for the big and the little toe.

draw vector deadpool photoshop hands feet

Step 6

When you're ready, scan or take a picture of your drawing. If your digitizer makes the sketch look bad, try my Quick Tip: Clean Up Your Traditional Drawings in Photoshop.

2. Prepare the File

Before we start creating, we need to create a proper workspace.

Step 1

Open Photoshop and go to Create > New (or use the shortcut Control-N) to create a new file. Use the dimensions 1000 x 1650 px. The size is not really that important, since we'll be working in vector, so it's more about the comfort of the work.

draw vector deadpool photoshop dimensions file size

Step 2

Drag your sketch into the file. It will create a new layer automatically.

draw vector deadpool photoshop paste sketch

Step 3

Go to Edit > Free Transform (Control-T) to resize the sketch to your needs. Hold Shift and drag any of the corners to change the size proportionally. This tool also lets you rotate the shape, which we'll use later.

draw vector deadpool photoshop change size proportionally

Step 4

Double click the name of the layer to change it. Name it lines.

draw vector deadpool photoshop layer name

Step 5

Click the number next to Opacity to lower it. Type 20 to change Opacity to 20%.

draw vector deadpool photoshop opcaity change

Step 6

Now, lock the layer to keep it from editing.

draw vector deadpool photoshop lock layer

This is how it should look now:

draw vector deadpool photoshop line art

3. Create the Color Scheme

In this section we're going to prepare the colors. It will also be an introduction to vector shapes.

Step 1

Find the Rectangle Tool (U), click it and hold until the list shows up. Then select the Ellipse Tool.

draw vector deadpool photoshop ellipse tool

Step 2

Make sure the tool is set to Shape, not Path or Pixels.

draw vector deadpool photoshop vector shape

Step 3

You can now draw the shape. You don't need to create a new layer for it—it will create itself. Click somewhere and drag to create an oval. Also:

  • Hold Shift if you want to make it a circle.
  • Hold Alt if you want to start with the cursor as the center.

You can also hold both to combine the effect. Just remember to press the keys after you click.

draw vector deadpool photoshop draw circle

Step 4

Double click the thumbnail of the shape to edit its colors.

draw vector deadpool photoshop shape colors edit

Pick a nice red shade for the main color of our character.

draw vector deadpool photoshop red color

Step 5

Press Alt and drag the shape to duplicate it. We'll create another sample for the black parts of the costume.

draw vector deadpool photoshop duplicate shape

Step 6

Use the Free Transform Tool (Control-T) to make the shape smaller, proportionally to its contribution in the colors.

draw vector deadpool photoshop resize shape

Change its color to very dark blue. It's dark enough to be seen as black, but not enough to blend into a black background.

draw vector deadpool photoshop dark blue

Step 7

Use the same method to create samples for the leather parts...

draw vector deadpool photoshop leather color

... and the metal parts.

draw vector deadpool photoshop metal color

This is how the color scheme may look:

draw vector deadpool photoshop color scheme

Step 8

Let's organize the layers. Create a New Group...

draw vector deadpool photoshop new group

... select all the shapes by holding Shift and clicking them...

draw vector deadpool photoshop select layers

... and then drag them into the group.

draw vector deadpool photoshop group layers

Close the group by clicking the arrow, and name it colors.

draw vector deadpool photoshop close group

4. Build the Body Using Vector Paths

Sounds scary, huh? It's actually a very simple technique, much easier than drawing with a mouse. And it even makes digital painting without a tablet possible, which I proved in my tutorial How to Create Your First Digital Painting Without a Tablet in Adobe Photoshop.

Step 1

Pick the Pen Tool (P) and make sure it's set to Shape (as we did before with the Ellipse Tool). Then simply click where you want the path to begin.

draw vector deadpool photoshop how to start path

Step 2

Click another place to create a line.

draw vector deadpool photoshop how to create line pen tool

Keep selecting the points to create the shape of the torso.

draw vector deadpool photoshop pen tool drawing
draw vector deadpool photoshop pen tool drawing 2
draw vector deadpool photoshop pen tool drawing 3

Step 3

Finally, click the first point to close the path.

draw vector deadpool photoshop pen tool drawing finish

After the shape is created, you can still edit the points by using the Direct Selection Tool (A).

draw vector deadpool photoshop direct selection tool edit points

Step 4

Let's keep drawing the body! Draw the legs, starting with two simple, narrow sticks.

draw vector deadpool photoshop simple legs

Now, add the muscles to them. It doesn't need to be anything complicated—just put a point outside of the sticks to create a "bump", and inside if you want to create a cavity.

draw vector deadpool photoshop leg muscles

Draw the feet simply by connecting the toes...

draw vector deadpool photoshop feet

... and add the visible heel.

draw vector deadpool photoshop heels

Step 5

Use the same technique to create the arms. Start with the sticks:

draw vector deadpool photoshop simple arms

Then add the "bumps".

draw vector deadpool photoshop arm muscles

Create simple, blocky fists:

draw vector deadpool photoshop fists

Connect the arms with the fists by adding the forearms.

draw vector deadpool photoshop forearms

Step 6

Let's add the head. It can be created with a rotated oval:

draw vector deadpool photoshop simple head

Add the neck by using the Rectangle Tool (U). If you feel confident, you can also try to add the jaws with the Pen Tool.

draw vector deadpool photoshop neck

Step 7

Finally, add the hips with a small bump in the place of the visible buttock.

draw vector deadpool photoshop hips

5. Add the Colors

Time to make use of that color scheme we prepared so long ago!

Step 1

Select the uppermost layer, hold Shift and click the one on the bottom to select them all. Then right click and select Merge Shapes. Name this new layer base.

draw vector deadpool photoshop merge shapes

This base will let us limit the shapes we will draw from now on. Just remember to clip every new layer by holding Alt and clicking the line between two layers.

You can hide the sketch layer by clicking the eye icon next to it.

draw vector deadpool photoshop clipping mask

Step 2

Use the Eyedropper Tool (I) to pick the black shade from the scheme. Draw a long, tunic-like shirt. Because it's clipped, you can do it with a few straight lines.

draw vector deadpool photoshop clipped coloring

Add a red rectangle in the middle to turn that tunic into a vest.

draw vector deadpool photoshop cut shapes

Use a rounded rectangle (you'll find it under the Rectangle Tool) to create a very big "cleavage".

draw vector deadpool photoshop rounded rectangle

Step 3

Add two black stripes in the breast area.

draw vector deadpool photoshop breat area

Step 4

Add two rectangles over them.

draw vector deadpool photoshop shoulders

Step 5

Add two rectangles on the arms to create pauldrons.

draw vector deadpool photoshop pauldrons

Step 6

Draw a rounded rectangle on the left shoulder—the torso strap will be pinned here.

draw vector deadpool photoshop torso strap holder

Step 7

Add all the straps using rectangles.

draw vector deadpool photoshop straps

Step 8

Add the gloves and shoes simply by closing the shapes.

draw vector deadpool photoshop gloves shoes

To make the shoes complete, add red stripes to them.

draw vector deadpool photoshop shoes complete

Step 9

Let's draw the head. First, add an ellipse to start the strap on the neck...

draw vector deadpool photoshop head ellipse

... and another ellipse to close it.

draw vector deadpool photoshop head ellipse cover

Add one more ellipse to create the face.

draw vector deadpool photoshop ellipse face

Step 10

The eye "patches" can be created with a simple shape like this:

draw vector deadpool photoshop eye patches

Then you can duplicate it (Control-J) and go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.

draw vector deadpool photoshop duplicate

Make the eyes from white ellipses.

draw vector deadpool photoshop eyes

Step 11

Finally, add the brown belt on the waist.

draw vector deadpool photoshop belt

6. Add the Details

Time to add some elements that aren't part of the body, and thus shouldn't be clipped to the base. From now on, don't clip the layers.

Step 1

Let's create the characteristic buckle. Start with a red circle in the middle of the belt.

draw vector deadpool photoshop belt buckle red

Add a smaller black circle inside.

draw vector deadpool photoshop belt buckle black

Cross them with a red stripe. If you make the biggest circle a Clipping Mask, you won't need to care about its length.

draw vector deadpool photoshop middle stripe

Add two metal clasps.

draw vector deadpool photoshop metal clasps

Step 2

Deadpool loves his pouches! Add a lot of them to the belt and one to the thigh strap.

draw vector deadpool photoshop pouches

Step 3

The remaining straps on the legs keep the holsters close. Create them out of two black rectangles.

draw vector deadpool photoshop holsters

Step 4

Let's put the guns into Deadpool's hands to justify this pompous pose.

draw vector deadpool photoshop guns

Step 5

Finally, let's add the katana swords on the back.

draw vector deadpool photoshop katana swords

That's All!

Now you have your own vector Deadpool! You can make this illustration as huge as a poster or as small as a postage stamp without losing any quality. To prove this, I made the source file very small. Download it and see what happens when you make it bigger in Image > Image Size!

If you like this style, check Superhero In Action. Silhouette Different Poses that this tutorial was inspired by. If you want something more complex, check also:

If this tutorial has got you interested in vectors, maybe it's a good opportunity to start your adventure with Illustrator? Make sure to check out The Fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator course!

draw vector deadpool photoshop full costume silhouette
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