Tutorial: Painting Your Digital Artwork Using Multiple Layers

Tutorial: Painting Your Digital Artwork Using Multiple Layers

Paintings don't just have a layered concept but also layered design. What might appear as uni-surface and simple, actually goes through various complicated and calculated processes in the digital world today. Illustrator Rahul Sharma, uses his painting called 'Last Fight' to take us through its initial and final formation.

Step 01

After the brief has been absorbed into the mind and an initial thought or idea manifest itself, a small greyscale thumbnail is created, around 800x600 pixels in size. Once happy with the outcome, the next step is to increase the size and resolution to 300 dpi.

Step 02

A new layer is then created over the thumbnail after changing its opacity to 30%. The characters are then defined further, creating the line art.

Step 03

Another new layer is then created at the very top, and opacity of the rough sketch is turned to 30% and proper line art is carefully done by tracing out and fine tuning the picture. This stage is important as it becomes the base and guideline for the painting.

Step 04

The rough sketch layer at the bottom is turned off and the final art line becomes clearer.

Step 05

Following this, a new layer is created underneath the line art and named as 'base colour layer'. The sketch is gradually coloured in. Because this happens underneath the line art layer, there is no risk of destroying the line art.

Step 06

Once the base colours are filled, notice that the mood of the painting begins to set in.

Step 07

Once satisfied with the outcome, a new layer is created, this time above the line art, and is filled in with necessary colours.

Step 08

While colouring the painting in, be aware of the light and shadows.

Step 09

And gradually, with patience, the painting starts to come more alive as colour creates tones of drama and action.

Step 10

The painting at this stage might appear finished, but not quite. It's important to go in as deep as possible to make it real. The final stage involves creating the henna design on the woman's leg. This is done on a single layer which is switched on in overlay mode, giving the henna a greenish hue.

Step 11

Once completely satisfied with the outcome, the layers are all merged. Thereafter, light and dark effects can be played with by visiting the adjustments tab.

Step 12

Once final adjustments are made, a new and final layer is created over the painting and filled with a light tone of bright orange. This is then changed to the overlay mode and the opacity is reduced to 20%. This is basically what renaissance masters use to do with their painting as the glaze unifies the painting's colours.

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