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Drawing and Painting Aspen Matthew's Tutorial

I've experimented with a few different techniques in photoshop to create images. In this tutorial, I'm explaining the method I used to create the artwork I made of Aspen Matthews.

Aspen Matthews - colored (2015).jpg

Transferring from grayscale to color can be tricky if you're not familiar with how color and grayscale mesh. Grayscale colors interact with colors to create a pitch of color. For instance, if you want a dark color you put a dark tone of gray and if you want a light color you put a light tone of gray and so on.

The first step is completing a rough drawing before starting the shading process (gradient detail). It's okay to be loose with your rough drafts and then to leave out certain details in the actual drawing until those details are necessary.

In the image below it shows the lines/sketch I began with, which was a year old. It needed some tweaking and fixes and I began that when starting the shading process. I would not recommend making fixes this way since it causes more time and effort to be spent.

By the end though, the image ended up looking different from the sketch but definitely more appealing.

Aspen Matthews (2013 to 2014) WIP Process.jpg

So now we have an idea about the shading and the next step is to add sections of values. What I mean by that is to identify each element in the painting. The water, her skin, hair, eyes, etc. each of these will be a different color. Also, take note that the background for this sketch was actually 15% gray and it was turned white only until after the whole drawing was done because I wanted it to be white for the colored version.


Creating a blank new layer, I place a gray down to block out the body of Aspen. Creating another layer I blocked out the water using a gray that wasn't as dark as Aspen's block out. Next is finding the shape that is created by the two overlapping. Since these are on separate layers I can turn them down to about 50% to see the overlapping area. Merge those layers to refill them so they're solid. I filled the overlapping area in with the dark shade of gray (never use straight black).

These blocking layers can also be done with color in them instead of gray but would need to be transferred to gray eventually. If you have color in it you'll need to duplicate it and turn the duplicate into grayscale by selecting 'black & white' in the 'create new fill or adjustment layer' button, it looks like a tilted half moon. In the end, you want to make sure you have a color blocking layer and a grayscale blocking layer.

The drawing layers for this were then duplicated and merged to create a new layer to be multiplied overtop of the grayscale blocking layer. The grayscale blocking layer should then be turned down 50%. Our color blocking layers should be placed above the drawing.


Below, your image should look like this next with the color layers and transparency settings and etc.

Aspen Matthews - colored (2015) tutorial.jpg

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