Tag Archives: Adobe Photoshop

Doctor Who Christmas Carol Fan Art

This is a piece of fan art I made based on last year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, A Christmas Carol. I love this episode! It has quickly become one of my favorite things to watch around the holidays. I recently re-watched it, and I might have to do so again before the season is over. It is brilliant. Thanks Steven Moffat.

You can check out the entire painting process in the vid below. It was done in Photoshop. Actual painting time was around four hours.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRgNHdMWn-I

And for your further enjoyment:


Watch it if you haven’t yet! [iTunes]

Merry Christmas!

Sleepy Hollow Illustration Process

On Halloween, I shared a new illustration that I recently finished featuring Ichabod Crane from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Here’s some of the process work that went into the painting:

The original sketch, drawn on a regular sheet of paper. I used a red pencil to rough it out and then went over it with a regular pencil line.

Before I started painting, I did a few studies to figure out what direction I wanted to go with the color.

The initial color block-in:

Texture, shading, and details:

Final painting, with effects like wind and stars added:

New Video Series Available at Folio Academy

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I’ve created a new video tutorial series called Five Quick Photoshop Tricks for Illustrators and it is now up on the new site Folio Academy.

About Folio Academy

Folioacademycourses

Folio Academy was co-created by fellow children’s illustrator Will Terry. It contains “online art lessons for everyone” and features video tutorials for everything from acrylic painting, pottery, cartooning tips, and digital art.

I LOVE this concept – easily accessible art instruction from working professionals and art professors, and for cheap! Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a college or community class, you can grab one of these series for $20-$30. It’s great if you want to learn new skills or simply brush up and see another artist’s take on a subject.

And one of my favorite potential uses for these videos is for kids. If you know a young child who is interested in art, what better way to fuel to that potential than to learn from today’s pros?

You can check out all the courses here. More will be added as the site grows. I plan on making other videos in the future also. If you have a subject you are particularly interested in, let me know in the comments.

Links:

Folio Academy Home

My Videos

Other Available Courses

Folio Academy Blog

Introduction to Folio Academy by Will Terry

About “Quick Photoshop Tricks”

Courseucover

The video series I created is Five Quick Photoshop Tricks for Illustrators. I chose this subject because while I see a ton of Ps tutorials out there on the web, hardly any of them have any real application to illustrators. They’re either highly specific or simplistic or ridiculous (e.g. How to Create Flaming Text for a Web Icon!).

The five tips I outline in this video series are skills that I use on an almost daily basis as a working illustrator. They can be used for almost any style and involve skills/needs that just about any illustrator can use when they’re working on client work.

The videos include:

1. Preparing Sketches – How to take a scanned sketch and get it ready to color. I outline several ways to do this, including how to clean up the scan, colorize the line, and delete the “whites” from the drawing.

2. Spots and Masks – How to use layer masks and clipping masks to help you make spot illustrations. Easily cut out the shape of an object, or isolate the shape of the image before you start painting so you can easily compose a vignette illustration.

3. Smart Objects – Do you need to compose several illustrations for a book or magazine? I show you how I use smart objects to manage multiple illustrations at once, while also keeping in mind the general layout of the entire spread.

4. Adjusting Color – I’m always changing and experimenting with color while I’m painting in Photoshop. This video outlines several ways that I do that.

5. Texture – Quickly add texture to an illustration, or create a textured “canvas” that you can paint on.

The videos in total are about 70 minutes long. I don’t go in super detail about the inner workings of Photoshop, so I recommend at least a passing knowledge of the software before you begin. However, the tips are pretty simple, but still powerful and versatile.

You can check out more info and sample video here.

The Making of a Comic Page Videos

I broadcasted on Ustream last week. It was tons of fun! It was nice to be back and chatting with friends again. I will be broadcasting again this week – Wednesday June 8 at 12 noon ET and Friday June 10 at 10 AM ET. I’ll be making some more comic pages. Stop by, chat, and ask questions. You can watch at http://danidraws.com/danidrawslive. Hope to see you there!

Here are the full videos from the two broadcasts. The first is sketching and drawing the line art of a comic page, and the second is me coloring it in Photoshop.


http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/15097856


http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/15135036

Photoshop: Textures and Brushes

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I recently dedicated a couple Ustream shows to Photoshop brushes and textures. I love to take questions and chat during my shows, but these two episodes are the only broadcasts where I set out to actually teach specific lessons. So, I am putting them here in a blog post so they are easy to find and access.

Forgive my mumbling and bumbling; I don’t speak as well as I write. But these live shows were great because the viewers asked some really good questions that I wouldn’t have been able to think of on my own. I hope you find them extra informative to the stuff I’ve already posted here on the blog.

If you have a question or suggestion for a future Ustream lesson, go ahead and send me a note. I will post any plans for special broadcasts on the Dani Draws Live page (or you can keep track of me on Twitter). Please stop by next time and have your questions ready!

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Painting a Spot Illustration, Part 2: Using Clipping Masks

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This is the second part in a series of tutorials. You can read part one here.

When creating a spot illustration, I often create the overall vignette shape first, before I add any other colors or details. To do this, I make a clipping mask layer.

Also check out one of my older posts, Using Masks to Create a Spot Illustration, which reviews some similar methods and ideas I will use here.

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How to Make a Textured T-Shirt Graphic

Bat

In my latest experiment, I recently opened up an account on a site called Zazzle, which allows you to order custom products featuring your own artwork. So far, I’ve been having a lot of fun experimenting with creating some simple, graphic characters for some t-shirts. Here is a little behind-the-scenes look into the making of this cute bat character.

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Five Ways to Create Textures Completely in Photoshop

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I like creating new textures, and I’ve written about how to use them in digital paintings before. Most of the time, making textures involves getting out some scrap mat board or bits of paper, and just going to town with some acrylic paint, gesso, and modeling paste.

I think of it as play time, because anything goes. You can spray, drip, or even fingerpaint. You’re not worried about creating anything concrete or beautiful; you’re just setting out to find what kinds of things you can do with your tools and to stretch your limits a bit.

This can be a really useful exercise for traditional painters, because 1) you can use whatever textures and effects you create for future paintings, and 2) you learn a lot about the materials you are working with.

Well, I think digital painters need a little play time too.

So, here are five exercises I’ve come up with to help inspire you to play with your digital paint. And the best part is you don’t have to worry about cleaning up the mess afterwards.

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The Complete Digital Comic, Part 1: Sketching and Pencilling in Photoshop

Pencilling

I recently received a request to write a tutorial about creating comic book art on the computer. Although I don’t work as a comic artist, I’ve always been fascinated by the process. So, this will be part one in a series of tutorials that will outline how I would make a comic digitally.

This was a very fun experiment, and I hope all of you, even you non-comic artists, can learn something new by this series. And by all means, if there are any “real” comic artists out there with any input, please leave a comment on this post.

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Dani’s Videos #11: Digital Ink and Paint

This is a small line and color job done on the computer. I first created my drawing using Adobe Illustrator, then copied it into Photoshop to put some basic paint onto it.

For more information about this process, see my previous posts here:

http://danidraws.com/2006/12/13/video-notes-bake-sale-brush-tool/

http://danidraws.com/2007/01/08/creating-line-drawings-in-adobe-illustrator/

Download the video here: Digital Ink and Paint (Quicktime, 3:45, 12.41 MB)

Not Your Typical Round Brush

Brush Settings

Reader Dan recently emailed me with this:

[I] think it would be a great idea to share some of your discoveries in the realm of brushes. I have been experimenting since I got my Wacom but still would love to hear what you have to say about things like opacity, flow, jitter…

So, in this tutorial, I’m going to give you a tour of the brush palette and some other simple brush settings. Working with just the standard round brush, I’ll show you how a few little tweaks can help get a more natural feel in your digital artwork.

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Scanners, Part 3: Putting the Pieces Together

Scanners, Part 3: Putting the Pieces Together

If you are going through the process of digitizing your traditional paintings, you have undoubtedly noticed that not all of your artwork fits onto the standard 8.5″x11.7″ glass of your flatbed scanner. Have no fear! With a few minor Photoshop tips, stitching together your large paintings doesn’t have to be such a hassle.

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Dani’s Videos #9: Fairy

Working with paths in Photoshop isn’t quite as extensive as Adobe Illustrator, but it is enough to create some pretty fun images. In this video, I experiment with the pen tool in Photoshop, utilizing shape layers to create my basic shapes. The beauty of using Photoshop is that I was then able to use the brush tool to add texture and color.

I have been experimenting with more ways to make my technique and methods clear to you viewers. I tried to zoom in on the menus and palettes, and I included a more variety of views to get an overall feel for my workflow. I hope this looks a tad better. Let me know what you think.

Video: Fairy (Quicktime, 4:38, 6.1 MB)