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Kevin Roodhorst shows us through the process he adopted to transforming a stock image of the Buddha into one that represents the mysticism and divinity the being represents.

Classic Image to Supernatural!

The stock photos that were used were bought on shutterstock.com. Working step by step on the image, aspects of mystical dimensions were slowly developed by adding external elements, colour balance, textures and the likes, thereby providing a supernatural quality to the overall imagery of the enlightened being.

Transforming

Step 1

This was used as the input image for the project. The main idea was to bring forth the underlying aura or vibe of holiness and divinity to the otherwise straightforward imagery that can be seen over here.

Transforming

Step 2

Started with masking the Buddha statue with the brush tool in quick mask mode. Once masked, a hole was created in the middle of the concrete pieces that had to be placed on top. This served as a base for the process that was to follow.

Transforming

Step 3

Here, the concrete pieces were integrated together and some shade was added to it, as well. The shade was made with curves. In the same way, the colour of the concrete was also adjusted with the colour balance and curve layers.

Transforming

Step 4

On top, a nice water stock photo was placed with some rocks on the side. It was then adjusted to tone with a curve layer, further adjusting the colour with a colour balance layer. The layer itself was set to screen mode while, for the central portion, an underwater cave stock photo that had been set to screen mode was used.

Transforming

Step 5

A nice looking coral stock photo was further picked up. For the basic underwater look, a solid colour blue adjustment was used on soft- light. The same solid colour was used for integration of the diver’s layer on soft-light along with some curves for the highlights and shadows.

Transforming

Final

A boat and some fishes were also used around the coral. The most important part was to make it look underwater, which can only be done by making it hazy i.e. brushing soft paint strokes of blue around the Buddha and lowering the opacity by quite a bit. Also, the particles around the Buddha brought a lot of realism. These are just tiny white dots with a lowered opacity and some gaussian blur applied. To make the Buddha look old, a lot of textures was added on top of it. Used cracked ground stock photos, likewise, were set to multiply or darken.

Issue-42-Cover

Published in Issue 42

Every designer wish to be independent and willing to jump into the word of freelance but most of them unaware of the fundamental challenges of the initial phase. So, we dedicated this issue to freelancers and interviewed some established and talented designers to dig deep for the expert advice. Kevin Roodhorst on the other hand, an experienced freelancer from Amsterdam, has recently shifted to be a full-timer with an Agency says “Freelancing is not all roses!” and shared the best way to survive as a freelancer! So, whether you are a freelancer or planning to be one, this issue is a must-read. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

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Though we are a country full of festivals all around the year, but this special festivity time of year when not only you change your calendar but also the gifts, family dinners, celebrations and new year resolutions all make it a special time in everyone’s life. Nithin Rao Kumblekar decided to capture this memorable time for the cover of Creative Gaga. Here, he explains his thought process and step by step tutorial.

For any painting, to begin with, sketching is not only the most basic but the most important thing. The whole painting depends on it and can be considered as the backbone of any painting.

 

Here, I have focused on the subject from the top angle with slight fisheye effect. I did some scribbles first and then fine tune the outlines to make the subject clearer for the next stage. For sketching, I use Adobe Photoshop with Wacom Cintiq monitor and several different brushes which give the real feel of sketching with the pencil.

Festivity

I normally use “Hard Round Pressure Size” brush by enabling brush pressure as well as thickness buttons in the top brush control panel. This will serve the purpose of getting the pencil sketch effect. This feature is also useful while colouring.

Festivity

I have kept the main source of light from top hence the play of light and shadows are pretty simple in this illustration. Also, the characters expressions play very well depending on how we choose to place the light source.

Festivity
Festivity

Here, I wanted to get the festivity feel in the entire colour tone. So I chose to get the orange and yellow tone which gives a warm feeling in the environment. The final colour tone can also be achieved even at the last stage by adding just a flat colour layer on top of all layers and then by trying different mode options in the layer pallet. But here, I chose to set the colour tone layer by layer. I did not use any colour filters, as I mostly knew which tone the final illustration should have.

The character colouring steps are shown here:

 

To avoid any spill of colours at this stage, start by creating the characters and the props in different layers. And If you want to colour a specific part without disturbing the nearby object then you need to create each and everything in different layers and then group it under the character or the object name.

 

For example, in this illustration, I’ve created layers for the skin and clothes within the characters. And for the background, there are many layers for all the objects and that is where you may get confused.

When you have multiple layers then the convenient way to work on the desired layer is to hold the control/command key and then click on the part of the illustration that you want to select. The correct layer will be selected and then for colouring, again hold the control/command key and click on the selected layer under the layer panel, this will highlight/select the layer with selection marquee and you can begin the colouring. There won’t be any spill of the colour outside this selection.

After all the characters and objects are coloured it is time for the background light fixes. In these images, you can see the difference as I’ve added slight glow as well as little shadows to make the characters stand out. And finally after completing everything sometimes you might want to change the size of some objects or change few colours. Since we had everything in layers it is easier to do these minor adjustments even at the final stage. I had increased the size of the boy by about 15%. And we have reached the final illustration.

Festivity

I almost forgot to mention one important thing that to always save the file and keep duplicating it. As sometimes, the file might get corrupted due to some system error or something else. But If you have duplicate files then you don’t have to begin the illustration from scratch. So saving is a good habit but duplicating the files is even better. Good Luck!

Published in Issue 35

Festival & Calendar Design! The season of the festival has started and everyone is preparing to have a unique one this time with less cash and more fun. We interview many creatives who create promotional or calendar design each year. As most of the thing around us had shifted to digital, even calendar design and the promotion has shifted. But Yorick Pintos, a strategic consultant at studio Kohl suggests that best option would be to a mix of both, the traditional and digital media. Digital Illustrator Nithin Rao Kumblekar also shared his love for the printed calendars and emphasis on the effectiveness of it. With many unique inspirations, advice and project showcase this issue is a must-have if you are interested in print design & want to understand the future of the same.

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

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As your logo is something which represents the company or brand for a significantly long time, so you will never want to go wrong on it. We have compiled some of the best logo tutorials and advice to help you get the hang of all the functionality and techniques you might need for your next logo project.

1. Golden Ratio in Logo


2. Design A Modern Logo


3. 3D Logo



4. Simple Emblems & Logos

5. 3D Gradient Logos


6. Monogram Logo


7. Vintage Logo


8. Retro Logo



9. Monoweight Logo


10. Hole Logo Effect

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Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Mistakes are not really as evil as it sounds, on the contrary in most cases it helps you to evolve as a better person. We can learn a lot from our own mistakes. Also, for any artist, it can be a great exercise to revisit the old artwork just to see how much you have improved. To do the same, concept artist Shyam Deshpande re-illustrate his old illustration with new learnings. Here, he shares his process and all the learnings from his mistakes.

Mistakes
Mistakes

Step 1.

This is one of old work painted back in 2013 and I was pretty happy about it then, but after some time, it doesn’t look as great as I thought it initially. Actually, I feel the same for most of my artworks which I believe is a good thing in a way as it portrays your continuous evolvement as an artist.

Mistakes

Step 2.

Since I wasn’t too happy with this 3 years old artwork, I started working on it again. The basic idea was to show a fearless lady who’s a Mercenary goes with a ‘cute’ but fearless pet. So, in this revisiting exercise, I decided to design a tribal character, inspired from the Nigerian tribes reference which I found while looking for references for Hyena. I used few different elements from references with incorporate some of my own ideas.

Mistakes

Step 3.

After finalising on the characters and design elements I tried to work on the final lines. I believe, it’s good to fix most of the issues in the drawing stage.

Mistakes

Step 4.

Even if you add lots of details in the drawing and great rendering with a nice colour scheme in the first silhouette, it will still be a waste of time. As there will be no attitude in it, it will be boring and stiff. But on the other hand the second silhouette, clearly shows a particular attitude, the confidence in the stance comes due to the distance between the legs, the dynamic line of action which adds to the drama. So it’s always good to check the silhouette and correct it before going for the detailing.

Mistakes

Step 5.

Before adding colours, worked in grayscale as it’s very important to get the values and tones right. Skipping this may confuse you in hue & saturation and you may also miss the correct values. Also, it’s easier to paint once you have the values place in advance. You just need to add one more layer on top of the grayscale in colour blending mode and start painting.

Mistakes

Step 6.

The final Image after all the colours with raw brush feel as I wanted to highlight her raw nature & the aggressive attitude.

Published in Issue 35

The season of the festival has started and everyone is preparing to have a unique one this time with less cash and more fun. We interview many creatives who creates promotional or calendar design each year. As most of the thing around us had shifted to digital, even calendar design and the promotion has shifted. But Yorick Pintos, a strategic consultant at studio Kohl suggests that best option would be to a mix of both, the traditional and digital media. Digital Illustrator Nithin Rao Kumblekar also shared his love for the printed calendars and emphasis on the effectiveness of it. If you are interested in print design & want to understand the future of the same. So, go ahead and order your latest issue copy!

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

The challenge of capturing the energy and excitement when illustrating for sport is difficult to achieve. Shreedhar Sutar’s illustrations not only achieve it but also appeal broadly with an optimistic tone. He dwells on his techniques of maintaining that energy in each sport star while bringing character to life. He takes us through his processes.

Energy

Step 01

Draw on a paper sheet to get the hint about the main force and structure of the drawing. Later took the rough drawing to Photoshop and starts working on light source and shadow in outline with the help of Wacom tablet.

Energy

Step 02

With calligraphy brushes applied basic shade for a base colour. Here it’s better to know a grey scale in detail, as the skin style will be very important for the final output. Skin tone is prepared by overlapping of multiple layers, which makes skin look more realistic. Used the same process for the hairs & clothes too, using dark and middle tones with some highlight. For beard used stippling style to get the realistic feel using both mouse and pen tablet.

Energy

Step 03

The clothes are as important as skin to create that realistic look. Drapery and fold have been achieved by creating shade and highlight. For bright reflections kept the path open with white colour. To make the clothes more appealing also embedded logo and text on the T-shirt. Also kept a single light source to create the depth in illustration. Used the same process for other objects like a hockey stick, socks and shoes. To work further merged all layers into one.

Step 04

Used smudge tool at 60% opacity to create stokes which shows the force behind the action. Outlines may look a bit blur after using the smudge tool, so created a black outline around to maintain the sharpness. Additionally applied a motion blur effect to half of the image to achieve speed.

Step 05

To make the illustration more believable used the watercolour splatters, droplets, flow and strokes to portray the sweat, as it would be an important part of the illustration. Applied watercolour flows and white spatters to merge the background and the character. Then finally applied shadows to create the depth.

Step 06

The final illustration achieved.

Published in Issue 28

This Illustration Special is best to know why and how illustration as a popular medium is taking the design world by storm! From evolution of illustrations to its place in the world today, renowned designers and illustrators like Abhishek Singh, Mukesh Singh, Archan Nair, Alicia Souza, Raj Khatri with some international talent such as Fil Dunsky from Russia, Iain Macarthur and Richard Field from UK, who live and breathe illustration, would be the right people to gain some insight from. With many more talents to explore with great insights and excellent techniques, again a fully packed issue is waiting to amaze you!

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Gal Shir is an Israel based self-taught digital artist who creates digital illustrations on iPad Pro using Procreate App and Apple Pencil. He has been freelancing since the age of 16 and later worked with many creative studios/ startups including Promo.

 

He founded Color Hunt, which provides colour palettes with several combinations to make life easy for the creatives. He leads the design at Lemonade, along with consulting and helping entrepreneurs to establish design thinking. Gal has collaborated with brands like Apple, Adobe, LG, Procreate, Affinity, Dribbble, 9GAG, UNILAD, The Bright Side, and more.

 

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It’s not enough to create a character. What makes a difference is the way you portray it. Illustrator Neeraj Menon works on one of his creations to render it a disposition that presents it in a new light. He explains the process.

Render
Render

Step 01

Started out with a basic sketch. Used a fairly large canvas, usually A4 at 300 dpi, in case you would want to print it out later. It also gave enough room to zoom in and add detail.

Render
Render

Step 02

Rendered the basic details on the face. Modified the drawing on the left arm slightly. Used only grayscale on the majority of this painting. Realised this was the best way to ensure values and separations remained correct. Blocked in the shape of the goggles and added in the orange lenses. This would be one of the only actual colours used in the entire piece. Used a basic calligraphic brush for most of this painting.

Render

Step 03

Blocked out the basic shape of his flowing coat. This would help form his silhouette. Also blocked out basic folds and lines at this step. Cloth is usually tough to render and it helps a lot to have ready reference at hand. It’s best to shoot your own reference if possible.

Render

Step 04

Added in highlights and detail on his coat, such as bullet holes and tears/rips. Also, to help in the design of his armour, opened up alchemy, a free drawing software. Saved the design and imported into a Photoshop file. The free-flowing shapes in alchemy helped come up with a unique design which could be used as a base for the armour design.

Render
Render
Render

Step 05

Started fleshing out the armour here. Added shapes and light. Also, added some screws all over it. Used a simple custom brush. Also, at this stage, added a layer of flat purple in pin light mode to give the greys a bit of colour. It helped bring out a sterile sci-fi look.

Render

Step 06

Modified the armour further and added more light and shade.

Render

Step 07

Added a hexagonal pattern on the armour to suggest high tech. Used a brush for this to control the size of the pattern. Used the texture setting on the brush and paint it in.

Render

Step 07a

Added some fiery/glowing edges to the bullet holes on his jacket and small wisps of smoke from them.

Render
Render

Step 08

Added in bullet impacts on his armour. Added some stitching on his armor which was a simple modification to the calligraphic brush and added some decals overall on his armour.

Render

Step 09

Moved back to the face again. Finished rendering the hair and added some cuts/wounds on his face. Used custom brushes for some of these, which were mostly scanned splatter effects. Such brushes can also be downloaded online.

Render

Step 10

Added in details on the goggles. Used a pattern to suggest texture/material on the frame.

Render

Step 11

Rendered the right hand and then moved on to the gun. Looked for references that would help.

Render

Step 12

Added light shade on the gun and added some screws and glowing bits to suggest it came from the same family as the goggles and armour.

Render
Render

Step 13

Used some photo reference to get the swordhand right. Added some rim lighting around the edges and tightened up some details futher. Removed the shell casings from the gun. Added a pattern in the background and some sparks with a red gradient in the foreground for an added visual boost. Also added a noise filter in overlay mode on the image for added texture.

Render

Step 14

Arrived at the final image.

Published in Issue 15

In this issue, we invited leading Gaming professionals to share their inspirations along with their suggestions to improve the Gaming Art in India. Featuring some of the big names of Gaming Art like Vinay Vikram Singh, Sandeep Menon and Neeraj Menon along with Internationally renowned Russian studio, ‘Grafit Studio‘ and many more talented creatives. So, go ahead

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Art is all about materialising your expressions. Vishnu PR takes us through his tutorial of how he transforms the expressions in his mind or even the expressions visible in a piece of art into his style and statement by creating a digital portrait.

Creating from imagination and references is one thing, adding your personal touch to these references and imaginative thinking completely changes the structure of the artwork for the good, defining the artists’ style.

 

For the creation of a portrait, inspired from an oil painting, in his own style, Vishnu has represented his personal touch in various forms of detailing like managing the light, shadow and highlights and addition of textures in just the right amount.

 

Follow the step by step guidance to know the secrets of making a digital portrait look real and surprise yourself with your own creation.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 1

Start by making an outline of the image that you want to create.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 2

A suitable base colour needs to be added to the created outline. Base colour is an important factor to create a digital art or portrait.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 3

The next step is to add different tones of colours in order to achieve the desired light and shadow effects. To give the skin a realistic look, use texture brushes to create a textured effect on the skin.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 4

In your mind, divide the picture into multiple parts and start by detailing out one part of the picture at a time. This organisation helps in a clear analysation of what exactly needs to be done next and is a smooth way of developing the picture.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 5

Then comes the time to adjust the levels of light, shade and highlights. This will take the picture art a step closer to the actual image.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 6

The fixing of lights and shades is followed by the addition of textures. The more accurately the textures are added, the more detailed will the outcome be.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 7

The textures add depth to the portrait. This is then followed by the detailing of the face and its parts like the eyes, nose, lips, etc.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 8

Now focusing on the hair and detailing it out to perfection. But always keep in mind that doing the hair is time-consuming and requires a lot of concentration.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 9

Finishing up the hair gets us very close to the finished portrait. Make sure that all different parts are detailed out in the proper manner and in the right amount of detail. As a mistake, as small as that of placing a strand of hair at the wrong place can disturb the portrait.

Make a Digital Portrait

Step 10

The final steps to finish up the portrait include last-minute touch-ups and detailing.
The amount of time put into creating a portrait is directly proportional to the outcome! This painting in particular was done by Vishnu in about 15 hours.

It is not easy for an artist to explain all the details and steps required through just a few words! Every step described above is needed to make it look the way it looks. Missing out on even one step can change the final result.

Published in Issue 43

With the changing weather comes the season of Interns, with fresh new energy everywhere and your talented creatives wanting to test their skills and knowledge in the real world of live creative briefs and super creative professional environment.
This issue is a must-read for internees and fresh talents. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Gone are the days of drawing a portrait using pencils and brushes. Digital is the new canvas and Photoshop is the new tool. Digital Illustrator, Vivek Nag is fascinated by ‘Sadhus’ and here he takes us through the making of a portrait using Photoshop.

Portrait

Step 01

The first step is to make a rough patchy sketch of the character. It’s best to do this using a chalk brush or special Photoshop brushes which are meant to replicate a traditional look on the digital canvas. The lines mostly trace the shadows and/or contours of the face as seen in the image.

Portrait

Step 02

Taking the rough sketch as the base, the next step is to start making line art. This is made using the pressure sensitive round hard brush to create thin and to the point lines. Detailing is important in this step. Building upon the rough chalky sketch is beneficial. When satisfied, hide the sketch layer to proceed.

Portrait

Step 03

The next step is to start with the colours. Irrespective of the colours being used in the portrait, it’s best to dim down the background. This offers contrast and a better understanding of how bright the colours that are being used in the painting actually are. The next step is to make a palette of colours using the original image. Depending on the intricacy of colors in a photograph, it’s advisable to make a palette of 5 to 8 colors. In this case, a palette of six colours was used. It’s best to select colours in such a way that for any other shade or tint you require, one’s ability to create that using a combination of the set colours in the palette. As seen above, start filling the composition with patchwork. Using flats helps launch into the fray of the painting.

Portrait

Step 04

Taking the previous step forward, it’s now all about concentrating on detailing. Smaller brush strokes are employed as well as the colours being used are more varied. Notice how the freedoms of the strokes have become a little more restricted here. The line art acts as guiding points and this is the stage where it is put to most use.

Portrait

Step 05

Minute details start from here. The eyes are the most important part of a portrait. A lot can be conveyed from the eyes. For the most natural look, one needs to make the eyes detailed and relatable. The blending of the strokes also starts from this step. As is evident in the image, a certain level of ‘rawness’ is maintained with every stroke rather than applying a smooth blend. Keeping hints of patches provides a natural feel, especially on the skin. Also, one needs to keep the sheen of the eye in mind that is executed with a simple brush stroke, keeping minimal blending. The more striking the sheen, the better the eye tends to look.

Depending on the intricacy of colours in a photograph, it’s advisable to make a palette of 5 to 8 colours while performing a digital sketch.

Portrait

Step 06

The next step is replicating the previous steps with the lips and beard. Here, treat lips the same way skin near the eyes was treated. The beard however forms a rather tricky part of the portrait. The beard is mainly just brushed strokes with hardly any blending at all. The direction and the thickness of each stroke matters. For example, the brushes below the lip and at the origin of the beard are thick, whereas the strokes in the beard are rather fine.

Portrait

Step 07

The prior two steps are repeated on the remaining parts of face. The sides of the face are left undone because it will add on to the next steps. There are still many strokes on the face which are strongly patchy and look undone. However, this adds to the composition. The parts of any illustration with the most amount of detail and/or contrast attracts attention first; in this case, the eyes.

Portrait

Step 08

Once the face is done, this is where one needs to start working on the background. Against the already set dull gray background, start putting horizontal strokes with fine art brushes. The colours used are part of the portrait itself – reds, yellows and whites. This enables the background to compliment the main subject of the painting and establishes a flow to the composition. But also remember not to steal the focus from the subject by using colors that are too vibrant.

Portrait

Step 09

This step is called ‘The Haze’. This is where the focal points and edges are merged into the background. For example, the yellow ochre on the forehead is transformed into a form of smoke (haze) which drifts away from the head. This is still done using fine art brushes. Along with that, more horizontal strokes have been pulled around the beard and hair. These strokes are pulled in about 30% opacity and serve to blend the edges till the background looks like a part of the subject itself.

Portrait

Step 10

The last and final step is to add a layer mask. This is where curves are applied to the artwork. This is where contrast is also added to the painting. This helps the shades to pop out and there is a lot more depth than there was before.

Published in Issue 22

This issue is dedicated to the talented design graduates who are not just looking to work but seeking experience in order to realise the greater goal of life. The issue features various designers from India and abroad. Kevin Roodhorst from The Netherlands realised his goal so early in life that propelled him to start his career as a designer as young as 13. To name a few talents we have Vivek Nag from Fine Arts from Rachna Sansad Mumbai, Simran Nanda from Pearl Academy New Delhi, Anisha Raj from MAEER MIT Institute of Design Pune, Giby Joseph from Animation and Art School Goa and many more. This issue gives a fresh perspective of talented graduates and their unique approach to design.

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Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Whether real life or reel life, we are surrounded by interesting characters. Some pass us by, but some get stuck in the mind and hearts. It’s no different for caricature expert Shijo Varghese, who wanted to draw Captain Jack Sparrow’s illustration for his eye-catchy attitude and appearance. Here he takes us on a step by step guide on how he achieved to create a beautiful illustration.

Illustration

Step 01

Drawing Detailing.

After finalising the subject, a bunch of pictures were collected to study elements like facial features, expressions, actions etc. After a reference picture was selected, an outline sketch is drawn using a Faber Castell mechanical pencil 0.5 on an 85 GSM paper. It’s better to start with the nose, the central element in any face, and then draw everything else around it. After the outlines are finalised, it’s time for detailing. Detailing always starts from the eyes. The hatching technique is used according to the shape, which are generally a group of straight lines. Once that’s achieved, it’s break time. That means, leaving the artwork alone for a few hours and returning to it. If all looks fine, it is then scanned as a 300 dpi JPEG.

Illustration

Step 02

Colouring.

Once the image is scanned, it is then opened in Photoshop CS5 for colouring. Keep in mind that the drawing (illustration) is placed on top of the layer as multiply and lock and a neutral tone is filled below the drawing layer, which serves as a foundation.

Illustration

Step 03

This is followed by creating another layer above the neutral colour layer. This layer is used for detailed colouring along with soft and hard round brushes.

Illustration

Step 04

Colouring is the critical part that is used to bring the character to life. A vast majority of time is then spent on fine-tuning the depth of colour using neutral tones because that’s what the subject demands.

Illustration

Step 05

More character and drama is created using a hard rounded brush in 30-50% opacity.

Illustration
Illustration

Step 06

The last step involves the addition of highlights to finalise the image.

Published in Issue 24

Gone are the days when Illustrations would take a back seat. Now, they are becoming more proactive and are evolving the way we communicate. This time, Creative Gaga focuses on how the advertising world is opening its doors to this exciting form of design. Featuring renowned Illustrators like Chris Beatrice, Nasheet Shadani, Vijay Kumar, Gabriel Mareno and much more, this issue promises to leave no page unturned!

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 48