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A comprehensive masterclass

in becoming an instant expert

Illustrate with
Photoshop
The professional guide to mastering digital illustration

For every version of Adobe Photoshop, including CS6


Welcome to

For many digital artists, Photoshop is an integral part of their process


when it comes to putting the finishing touches on a piece. Increasingly,
however, Photoshop is becoming an essential tool for these artists because it
allows them to create as well as manipulate their images with a surprising level of control.
No longer restricted to Illustrator, artists can work with ease in a single suite which has been
getting better and better, and with the new tools released in CS6 its easy to see why.
Illustrate with Photoshop has been written for pros, with the aim of teaching illustrators how
to adapt their workflows so they can do almost everything inside this single, great program.
Starting with an essential tips feature that outlines the key tools, shortcuts and processes
that every pro should know, we then walk you through contemporary styles and some
inspiring artwork to teach you how theyre made, and how to illustrate with Photoshop.
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Production Editor
Gavin Thomas

Senior Art Editor


Danielle Dixon

Design
Charlie Crooks

Cover art
2008 Hair review Andrew Archer/Art director Jill Thompson, Style Clip magazine
NY Times Dining cover illustration Luke Lucas
Design Week supplement Andy Potts/Design Week
Allure Chris Haines, Pete Harrison, Mike Harrison
Ignite Mike Harrison

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Disclaimer
The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any unsolicited material lost or damaged in the
post. All text and layout is the copyright of Imagine Publishing Ltd. Nothing in this bookazine may
be reproduced in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher. All copyrights are
recognised and used specifically for the purpose of criticism and review. Although the bookazine has
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Photoshop is either a registered trademark or trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated


in the United States and/or other countries and is used with express permission.

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Illustrate with Photoshop Genius Guide Volume 1 2012 Imagine Publishing Ltd

ISBN 978-1908955548

Part of the

bookazine series

IMAGINEER TEAM
OF THE YEAR OF THE YEAR
DANIELLE DIXON BOOKAZINES
Contents
128

ILLUSTRATION
FEATURE
18 Editorial Illustration
24 Editorial Artwork

8
30 Technical Illustration
34 Stylised Illustration
38 Sci-Fi Scenes
50 Top Tips 44 Limited Colours
for Illustrators 50 Striking Pastels
Get up to speed on the 56 Detailed Illustration
essentials and be 60 Vexel Vehicles
inspired by art
GRAPHICS
Chris Gould www.cgsketchbook.com
FEATURE
68 Professional Graphics
90 76 Pixel Art
82 Poster Graphics
86 Digital Collage
90 Shape Symmetry
94 Textures and Depth
98 Vector Layers
104 Abstract Graphics

60
108 Photoreal icons
112 Graphics and Photos

6 Illustrate with Photoshop Genius Guide


Illustrate with Fantasy
Photoshop
Art
GENIUS GUIDE
Photoshop can open so many new and
exciting doors for the adventurous
art enthusiast
184
TYPOGRAPHY
FEATURE
120 The Art of Type
128 Type Effects
132 Futuristic Type
136 Fluid Type
140 Electric Type
144 Found Objects
150 Collage-Style
154 Repouss Tool
158 3D Type
164 Type Designs

MIXED MEDIA
FEATURE
170 Applying Mixed Media
180 Digital Collage
184 Paint Textures
188 Fresh Style
192 Event Design
198 Type and Photos
202 Creative Design
208 Surreal Illustration
212 Photo-Illustration
218 Advanced Selections

98

202
Illustrate with Photoshop Genius Guide 7
50 Top Tips

50 TOP TIPS FOR


ILLUSTRATORS
WHETHER ITS INSPIRATION OR INFORMATION YOU NEED,
CHECK OUT OUR 50 TOP TIPS FOR PHOTOSHOP SUCCESS
Photoshop can open so many new and exciting that you want to achieve in Photoshop. Then the most
doors for the adventurous art enthusiast, but import thing is to just have a go; whether you practice
knowing where to start can often put off many improving a photograph or begin building a digital art
aspiring digital artists before theyve even given it a try. composite, simply by practicing youll be developing your
In this run down of the top 50 Photoshop tips for skillset and testing it in a variety of new art environments.
illustrators, youll learn everything from making quick With every piece of work that you embark upon, youll be
colour changes to using layers effectively, and well show challenged to apply your skills and techniques in new
you which tools you should be using as well as the ways that will ultimately help to improve your proficiency
time-saving shortcuts. Once youre up to speed on the with not only Photoshop, but illustration per se.
essentials, and inspired by the superb quality of the Whatever you use Photoshop for whether its
artists work shown here, youll be ready to tackle our photo-illustration, graphics, typography, drawing or
tutorials and start mastering Photoshop. painting just have fun with it! The more you enjoy
Before you begin, sketch out a handful of ideas to help working in the software, the more likely you are to go
you narrow down a concept or a suggestion of what it is back to it and continue to improve and hone your skillset.

Mike Harrison, www.destill.net

01 GETTING STARTED
As the blank canvas stares back at you, knowing what to do and how to start can often be the hardest
thing to do. To get your creative juices flowing, try building on an existing image, like a scanned sketch from your art
book or a captivating stock photo. The main thing is to brave that all important first step and get the ball rolling.
Mike Harrison,
Pete Harrison
& Chris Haines

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GENIUS GUIDE

Illustrate with Photoshop Genius Guide 9


50 Top Tips

Ben White, http://nvlnvl.co

02 CONVERTING
TEXT
For convenience and compatibility,
Ian Jones, www.nonsense-
prophet.deviantart.com
03 TWO TOOLS
ARE BETTER
THAN ONE
always convert your text to a shape Wherever possible, create and add
layer before sending files to a press. bespoke elements to your artwork
The reason for this is simple: the by using and combing the tools at
recipient may not have the same your disposal. For example, you can
library of fonts as you, and as such create a range of interesting effects
they would not be able to see the simply and easily by just fusing layer
resulting artwork in the way that you styles and blend modes together, or
had originally intended. In order to do by using the warp text tool to mould
this, first select text layer, then go to interesting shapes. Be diligent,
the Layer menu and find Type, and however, and always keep an
finally opt for Convert to Shape. Your editable version of the text hidden on
text will now be a vector shape and a separate layer, in case you need to
does not require a font to be installed. make changes.

04 KERNING
ACTION
When you start using fonts in your
05 IMAGES OF A
FEATHER
When blending a variety of stock
artwork, it is a good idea to pay photos together it can be hard to
considerable attention to kerning. In make them fit harmoniously. To
essence, you should aim to fit the make the collection form more
same optical volume between naturally, note the light sources and
adjacent letters, as getting the directions that are used in each
kerning right can make the difference image as well as each colour palette.
between a balanced piece and a It will be easier to fit images together
shambolic one. There are many that are taken in the same light and
fantastic font families out there, feature similar hues and tones.
including a plethora of free ones. Failing that, using an adjustment
Take a tour of Font Fabric or Hype layer over the top of all the images
Chris Haines,
http://cargocollective.com/chrishaines/ For Type to get started. Alexander Otto, www.diftnorm.com will help to unite them.

SHORTCUT KEYS
THE ESSENTIAL TIME-SAVERS

06 If you need to merge all your layers into one,


hit this string of keys to create a single tidy,
all-encompassing layer.
07 If only life had the Cmd/Ctrl + Z option! This
super shortcut will undo any mistakes you 08 By hitting the Tab key, you can hide or show
the palettes ideal for clearing the desktop
make in the blink of an eye. when working on a large piece.

or

09 If you want to convert your high res 300dpi


artwork to a web-friendly 72dpi, hit this to
bring up the Image Size menu.
10 Perhaps one of the most widely used
shortcuts; the former copies, whilst the
latter pastes. Fantastically useful.
11 Hit [ to decrease or ] to increase the softness
of a brush. To move up or down in
increments of 25%, hold the Shift key first.

12 When you need to zoom


right out of an image, tap
Cmd/Ctrl and the number 0 to
13 Bringing up the hand tool
by hitting H when zoomed
in on a picture is a fast and efficient
14 This combo activates the new
layer dialog box and presents a
new layer over the active one. To skip
15 Save, save and save again!
The shortcut to save
couldnt be simpler. To use Save As
pull the whole picture into view. way of panning around the frame. the dialog box, hold Alt too. instead, opt for Shift + Cmd/Ctrl + S.

10 Illustrate with Photoshop Genius Guide


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GENIUS GUIDE

Chris Gould, www.cgsketchbook.com

16 TEXTURED TONES
To give pictures added depth, Photoshop
artists use textures to flavour the image. In this
image created by seasoned pro Chris Gould (www.
cgsketchbook.com), he has made the girls face by
taking a stock image, changing it to a grayscale
17 COLOUR CONTRAST
Colours dont always need to be
complimentary of one another.
Sometimes, contrasting colours can
culminate in more eye-catching results, such as
with the red and greens shown here. The conflicting
18 SIFTING THROUGH
THE LAYERS
Artists like Chris spend a lot of time placing and
moving the elements on an image to ensure that
the composition is as dynamic and eye-catching as
required by the brief (or the vision you have). By
vector in Illustrator, and then cropping and colouring hues help to inject a tension into the image that fits sorting through the layers, you will quickly discover
in Photoshop before finishing it off with gradients well with the narrative of this piece The Music In which parts work well in a composition and which
and adding the texture of paving slabs. You and helps it to stand out. ones dont.

Illustrate with Photoshop Genius Guide 11


50 Top Tips

21 COMPOSITTION IS
KEY
When composing a photo-illustration the
Neil Duerden, www.neilduerden.co.uk

composition will either make or break its


success. Think about where the viewers
eye is drawn. Just as in photography and
other artistic mediums, you can direct an
images focus by using compositional
rules such as the rule of thirds, leading
lines or curved elements to direct the
viewers attention wherever you wish.
This is of key importance to advertisers,
who want to place their message at the
pinnacle point of focus.
Ian Jones, www.nonsense-prophet.deviantart.com

If you work mostly online, then keep a folder of ideas, images


19 INSPIRATION FOLDER
Inspiration can come from anywhere and
everywhere, so its a good idea to keep a folder or
and weblinks that you can dip in and out of if artists block
strikes. The digital melting pot can become a useful
scrapbook of articles that intrigue you or images
that captivate your mind. Alternatively, if you work
resource for character ideas, graphic treatments, font
mostly online, then keep a folder of ideas, images choices and lots more
and weblinks that you can dip in and out of if artists
block strikes. The digital melting pot can become a
useful resource for character ideas, graphic
treatments, font choices and lots more.
Chris Gould, www.cgsketchbook.com

Carles Marsal, www.carlesmarsal.com

20 INSPIRATION FROM
REALLIFE EVENTS
Use your real-life stories and situations to inspire
your art. Digital artist Chris Gould (www.
cgsketchbook.com) created this self-portrait to
22 SKETCHING SENSE
Spend some time sketching out
the designs in your minds eye
before heading into Photoshop,
as its important to have a solid and well-thought out
basis of an idea to minimise any time, resources
to create images more naturally and freely, but
some see it is as an essential tool for creating
matte-paintings or freehand elements. Moreover,
for fans of the Photoshop brush tool, a graphics
tablet offers an extension of the canvas and a more
natural way of creating artwork, with the result
illustrate how he felt during a bout of glandular and energy wasted at the proof stages. It is here that looking arguably more impressive than a drawing
fever. He created the head-splitting misalignment the form of what you want to achieve can freely take made on-screen with a cumbersome mouse.
effect by using channels to separate the CMYK shape, as you explore composition, texture ideas Wacom is one of the most popular brands of choice
components of the original photo. Other elements and colour schemes. for digital artists as they produce a wide range of
were composed using the vector tools, while the Many professional or enthusiast Photoshoppers graphic tablets, from the user-friendly bamboo
lightning bolt was generated by masking a collection invest in a graphics tablet to help them design their collection to the Cintiq family of professional
of halftone patterns he had previously composed. artwork at this stage. Not only does it allow artists models. Visit www.wacom.eu for more information.

12 Illustrate with Photoshop Genius Guide


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GENIUS GUIDE

Alexander Otto, http://diftnorm.com/

23 SAVE THE DAY


It couldnt be any simpler:
Cmd/Ctrl and S, yet many of us forget
to do it and lose hours of work. Try
and get in the habit of tapping those
keys regularly. Also, whether you
24 KEEP ABREAST
OF THE NEWS
Adobe and third-party plug-ins will
always be updating here, there and
everywhere. Keep yourself and your
machine up-to-date with the latest
25 LAYERING IT
ON THICK
Instead of editing
and working on a
single layer, use adjustment layers to
build up your artwork piece by piece.
26 FILTER FANCY
There are various schools
of thought concerning the usefulness
of filters. Those that love them say
they make a sound starting point for
beginners help to spark creativity.
have Apples Time Machine or use versions and learn how to utilise any That way, if you need to edit or delete When it comes to photo manipulation,
cloud-based services, or even a good new additions to the suite, such as an element that you put in place liquify, lens flare and blur are three of
old fashioned external hard-drive, be tools and features, in order to get the several stages ago, then you wont the most popular filters, but there are
sure to always back up your work too. most out of the suite. upset the whole illustration. hundreds more to explore.

PHOTOSHOP TOOLS
INSIDE YOUR KIT BAG

NAME : MOVE TOOL NAME : CROP TOOL NAME : EYEDROPPER NAME : ZOOM NAME : BLUR
SHORTCUT : V SHORTCUT : C SHORTCUT : I SHORTCUT : Z SHORTCUT : R
LOCATION : TOOLBAR LOCATION : TOOLBAR LOCATION : TOOLBAR LOCATION : TOOLBAR LOCATION : TOOLBAR

27 Its as simple as it
sounds, the Move 28 This allows you to
cut away a piece of 29 You can quickly
change your 30 This handy tool
allows you to zoom 31 As youd expect, this
tool blurs things. Use
tool allows you to grab, drag an image. Drag to select the foreground colour to any hue into an image. To zoom back it for a multitude of reason,
and then move layers around area you want saved; the rest or tone that you select with out again, hold down Alt such as blending contrasting
the canvas. will be deleted. the Eyedropper tool. whilst clicking the mouse. tones after cloning.

NAME : CLONE STAMP NAME : ERASER NAME : BRUSH TOOL NAME : MAGIC WAND NAME : GRADIENT TOOL
SHORTCUT : S SHORTCUT : E SHORTCUT : B SHORTCUT : W SHORTCUT : G
LOCATION : TOOLBAR LOCATION : TOOLBAR LOCATION : TOOLBAR LOCATION : TOOLBAR LOCATION : TOOLBAR

32 The Clone Stamp is


useful for carefully
applying textures or for
33 The Eraser is crucial
when it comes to
deleting information from a
34 This essential tool
lets you paint onto
an image or canvas with any
35 A super time saver,
the Magic Wand
allows you to select a colour
36 With the Gradient
Tool, Photoshoppers
can incline the strength and
removing errors, blemishes layer, but is also handy for colour, brush style, shape range and then transform it combination of colours in the
and other unwanted marks. softening textures. and density you desire. to another colour. foreground and background.

Illustrate with Photoshop Genius Guide 13


50 Top Tips

37 DIY PHOTO AND


RESOURCES LIBRARY
Ben White, http://nvlnvl.co

Stock photo and resource sites


can be expensive, although there
are many free options out there
too. However, there is no reason

Yago Martins, http://yagomartins95.deviantart.com


why you cant start a library of
your own photography. Start

Joplin Lefrandt, www.lefgozerdesign.com


collecting and cataloguing new
and saved images, because
self-photographed textures or
scanned in elements could come
in handy one day.

38 RAM
If youre computer

42 43 44
shopping then it is worthwhile
choosing a model that offers a SHADE IN LETTER ART SMART OBJECTS
mighty dose of RAM; the more The slower the better when Photoshop artist Joplin When youre working with
the better. Photoshop is incredibly it comes to shading or highlighting Lefrandt created this image after being several different sized layers or you are
memory intensive and the larger too, for that matter. The easiest and inspired by his heros infamous I have using layers that are larger than the
your images become, the more most effective way to do it is a dream speech. To recreate this, find a document size, its a good idea to
resource heavy they are. incrementally, by using multiple layers portrait image (cut away distracting create a Smart Object to bind things
and playing with the opacities until elements) and use it as a background, into a single group. By duplicating or
theyre exactly how you want them. The then add in words from their speech, making changes to a Smart Object, you

39 BLACK AND WHITE


When composing
illustrations, matte paintings or
result will appear more refined and
youll have avoided any excessively
film, song, etc. Select different phrases
and give them different opacities, font
can make changes to all the elements
in one go. Plus, all the original image
harsh transitions in tone or colour. types, font sizes, kerning and leading. data and quality is secured.
concept art it is often thought
better to start with a 50% grey

45
background, as using a pure
white background can make it MANAGEMENT
harder to recognise contrast and ISSUES
deal with the subtlety of midtones When you are working with lots of
and shadows. layers, Smart Objects or groups it can
be a job to keep on top of everything,
Ian Jones, www.nonsense-prophet.deviantart.com

so organise your

40 ADDING TEXTURE
Add a little texture into
surfaces by experimenting with
layers by using
explanatory and
recognisable
brush shapes and dynamics, as it names and
can be a creative way to make groups. Not only will
your image more interesting. this allow you to
Masking or cutting a faint texture
keep on top
over surfaces can also help to
of things a
make brushwork appear
more natural. lot more
effectively, but

41 GRID LOCK
If youre struggling
if your work is
heading to a client or
recipient then the
clarity can help
46 PHOTO EDITING
When using Photoshop to
edit and improve portraits, one of the
47 CUSTOM BRUSHES
It is easy to customise your
own brushes and doing so will inject a
to create a dynamic best tools to use is the Spot Healing personal touch to your bespoke
composition, consider using a speed up the Tool. This handy little icon lives on the creations. Whats more, anything can
grid. You neednt tightly align workflow at Tool Bar and uses local textures, become a brush; from textures to
elements or focus on repetitive both ends too. colours and tones to blend away flaws pictures, from symbols to text if you
lines, but the underlying structure such as wrinkles, freckles, moles and can think of it, you can make it into a
Ozkar Arias
may help you to consider how (Ozkr331),
http:// blemishes. Use it with caution and set custom brush. Simply open an image,
the image works in terms of ozkr331. the hardness to around 50% for more select the part of it you want to use, go
quarters, golden sections and deviantart.
thirds.
com natural-looking results. to Edit and then Define Brush Preset.

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GENIUS GUIDE

48 TALENTED TYPOGRAPHER
Creating typography may sound a bit
advanced if youre chiefly illustrating in Photoshop,
49 EXPERIMENTATION
Learn through a process of trial and error
and youll soon discover for yourself what works
50 QUICK COLOUR CHANGE
To change the colour of text or images in
a flash, simply press Cmd/Ctrl + U to open up the
but it is good to have goals and creating your own and what doesnt. Tutorials can teach you the theory Hue/Saturation dialog box. Then, simply drag the
font could be one of them, as it draws on a whole behind what you want to achieve, but only through Hue sliders as necessary to effect a change in
range of skills. Many artists favour Illustrator for practice and experimentation will your creative colour. For the best results, you should make small
creating part or all of their typography, and that skillset swell and your personal style begin to really and incremental adjustments, and also remember
could be the next app you decide to investigate. take shape. to do this in a separate adjustment layer.

Neil Duerden, www.neilduerden.co.uk

Illustrate with Photoshop Genius Guide 15


Illustration
Discover expressive design
18 Editorial Illustration
Learn industry routes and practices

24 Editorial Artwork
38
Master the Pen tool via a zombie poster

30 Technical Illustration
Create a ghosted technical illustration

34 Stylised Illustration
Explore style, balance and harmony

38 Sci-Fi Scenes
Build a futuristic battle scene

44 Limited Colours
Get big impact from small palettes

50 Striking Pastels
Use filters and layers innovatively

56 Detailed Illustration
Examine line drawings up close

60 Vexel Vehicles
Develop realistic vexel artwork

24

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44 56
34
50

30
Illustrate with Photoshop Genius Guide 17
Illustration

EDITORIAL
ILLUSTRATION
WE EXPLORE THE BEST INDUSTRY ROUTES AND WORKING
PRACTICES WITH OUR GROUP OF PROFESSIONAL EDITORIAL ARTISTS,
AS THEY REVEAL THEIR COMMERCIAL STYLES AND TOP TIPS
You might think editorial illustration is style. That course has changed [since I attended], graduation is just the beginning of the road, as
constrained by certain rules and but Im sure there are similar illustration or Andrew Archer (www.andrewarcher.com),
conventions, predetermined by clients and arts-based courses that would fit the bill. freelance illustrator from New Zealand, puts into
established templates. However, the boom of Caricaturist and member of the Society of perspective: I think its always been an entry point
various digital formats is redefining the terms. Illustrators NY, Jason Seiler (www.jasonseiler.com) into illustration, as its one of the more common and
Common sketch-based art is matched with richer did the same in a roundabout way. He self-studied fast-moving mediums within the industry. With that
visual devices and a multitude of illustrative styles and copied drawings produced by published artists, in mind I also think editorial illustration is one of the
are employed cartoon, mixed media, graphic such as Roberto Parada and C F Payne, which most difficult and challenging areas; it proves a
design and super-digital methods are all acceptable. extensively improved his appreciation of industry great test to see if you have what it takes out of [the]
Theres still a great respect, though, for the original styles. This was enough for him to get exposure school [environment].
art forms, with digital styles often replicating and paid work via smaller publications such as So how do you close this gap and reach out to
traditional application. Cracked magazine. While he openly admits to not clients? Our artists were again all in agreement that
One tradition that certainly hasnt changed is the having a definitive plan of action when starting out, exposure is the key, even if they go about this in
impact such imagery serves. Cover art still needs to he knew education was vital. At the age of 26, I individual ways; for instance, design blogs and
entice readers to pick up a book or magazine, with decided to attend the American Academy of Art in societies, personal websites and quarterly
artists needing to present a product or brands Chicago, Seiler says. I got a lot out of my newsletters with working updates are all endorsed
attitude and persona in one compact visual no life-drawing classes there; it was just the thing that I as good promotional devices. However, one thing
easy feat. All editorial artwork is used to capture the needed. The classes taught me a lot about values, they all have in common is agent representation,
personality and character of the publication, piquing colour and light. which can be a massive advantage in the
consumers interest and proving its worthy enough commercial arena. The Association of Illustrators
for them to pick up and, ultimately, buy. In this PROFITABLE AGENTS (AOI), dbut art, the Central Illustration Agency and
feature, we delve into what defines current So is education the only means to this end? Anna Goodson Management are just a few
commercial standards, delivering you in-depth Perhaps, as Seiler goes on to reveal: During my examples of who is out there. However, be as
industry advice to give you a head-start in your own third year of school, I went to New York City to careful in choosing your agent as they are when
editorial design career. attend the annual show of The Society of choosing you.
When it comes to making it as a commercially Illustrators. When I was there I met many big artists Our artists err on the side of caution as far as
viable editorial illustrator, it seems you can do it the and art directors all of them asking why I was agent fees are concerned. These can have a
easy way, or the hard way. Never to deter going to school. They all thought I should be significant impact on your yearly income. Taking
self-initiated careers which can be fruitful when working full time. The ironic thing was that I was upwards of 25 per cent of the commission, this can
coupling robust aesthetics with an enthusiastic turning down jobs so that I could do schoolwork, in be considerably detrimental when applied to all
work ethic following these blindly can result in order to get a degree in illustration, so that one day I projects, especially those with smaller editorial
misunderstanding a variety of practices fees. But Archer explains: The main
and conventions. Many of our professional
artists present a strong case for education, All editorial artwork is used to capture downside, obviously, is that they take a
commission of the entire fee which,
in order to really appreciate applied the personality and character of the depending on peoples opinion, can
techniques and working standards.
Renowned illustrator Andy Potts (www.
publication, piquing consumers outweigh its worth. I personally think if you
use your agents skillset and experience
andy-potts.com) is one such artist. interest and proving its worthy well, they definitely pay off in the long run.
Graduating from Portsmouth University, enough for them to pick up A good agent should know what youre
UK, with a BA in Illustration, he explains:
This Illustration course was ideal as it
and, ultimately, buy capable of what your strengths are, as
well as your weaknesses. A good agent
was tailored to answering editorial briefs works for and with you, to which Potts
and working to commercial demands, while could get work. It didnt make any sense! agrees: I have two: Good Illustration Agency in the
encouraging you to develop a visual language and Realistically, for most artists seeking a career, UK and Anna Goodson Management in Canada

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001

Illustrate with Photoshop Genius Guide 19


Illustration

covering North America. Having an agent brings very particular about using a combination of the Interestingly, Darren Hopes opens a whole new
great benefits in terms of increased visibility and latest trends, but most are dedicated to an entirely avenue of discussion. Believing the industry to also
workload, particularly abroad where it would be individualistic approach. We asked if one of these be in a state of flux, he infers: There are specific and
difficult to establish yourself without tapping into an approaches is more productive than another. noticeable trends perhaps they create each other
agencys client network. Im not really sure, says expert Seiler. Fads in through counteraction? In the Nineties there was a
An agents workload often goes unnoticed, but illustration come and go; I think the artists who stay surge of digital-looking illustration, due to the rise
this can determine how much time you have for for the long-haul are the ones who have strong of the technology and perhaps also reflected
creative pursuits; negotiating contracts, image drawing, painting and compositional skills, as well politics, looking ahead to the Millennium. Slick and
usage and chasing invoices, etc, can all take up a as humility and honesty about their own work a visually complex, this seemed to be then
sizable portion of your day. Professional mixed- willingness to grow and improve. Potts agrees: counteracted by a return to very basic mediums, at
media illustrator Darren Hopes (www.darrenhopes. There are always particular stylistic fads and trends least in appearance and skills; pencils and drawing
com) says: Editorial is fast turnaround work. Thats that capture the imagination only to be imitated into were back [if still through digital means].
one of the reasons I like it so much, Archers thoughts on this are less
along with the varied subject matter
so with any luck you spend most of
An agents workload often goes unnoticed, abstract: Styles and trends are forever
changing as are peoples perceptions
your time working. This means less but this can determine how much time you as to what is good or relevant to the
time for advertising yourself so its have for creative pursuits; time. Im not sure why, but I think its just
great to have that in the hands of a
dynamic group like the Central
negotiating contracts, image usage the natural evolution of anything visual.
The most noticeable style loop that
Illustration Agency; the team there is and chasing invoices, etc, can take rotates frequently is the whole computer
fantastic at coming up with ideas to up a sizable portion of your day versus hand situation. It seems that just
promote artists work in very when computer-generated images are
imaginative ways, which as an individual I would be a swift and unfashionable grave. I try to avoid cool, the whole thing flips vice versa and hand-
hard pushed to afford or have time to execute. stylistic pitfalls by stubbornly ignoring the zeitgeist drawn images come back in. Many styles emerge
and concentrating on my own visual approach. in tandem with software innovations, but more
STYLE CYCLES Possibly this is to my detriment, but at the moment recently there does seem to be a technophobia
Establishing that an affiliation with an agent can its a case of if it aint broke, dont fix it. In a bid to backlash against digital design and a growing
open you and your work up to global markets, this avoid any stylistic overlaps, I tend to look for fascination with handcrafted, more low-fidelity or
also means that your portfolio needs to be diverse inspiration outside the confines of the illustration retro-themed approaches. Thats not to say that
and comprehensive. But must this confine you to world generally; films, art, photography and music, artists arent amalgamating the two to get the best
solely contemporary styles? Some of our artists are and so on. of both worlds.

002

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001 |
T-Pain

003
KING magazine asked me to come up
with the idea and so I did. I wasnt very
familiar with T-Pain, so I listened to
some of his music and felt that painting
him in space would be sort of cool
Jason Seiler/KING magazine

002 |
Draing
Illustration about draing and
slipstreaming techniques used within
triathlons
Andrew Archer/Art director Marco
Crisari, Triathletes World

003 |
2008 Hair review
Illustration for a review of the cool
mens cuts and trends of 2008,
featuring three of the top haircut
trends in one
Andrew Archer/Art director Jill
Thompson, Style Clip magazine

QUICK TIPS
MANAGING YOUR STYLE
Be aware of your limitations and use these
to your advantage simplifying workflows
when completing deadlines

FAMILIARISATION
When working with new clients, provide
them with an example of your process so
they understand how your roughs relate to
the final image

BE PUNCTUAL
Handing in your
work early can be beneficial. It calms your
nerves and you have time if the editor
suggests changes

INTERVIEW
WE DISCUSS WAYS TO DRAW REPRESENTATION WITH VICKY
HOBBS, STUDIO MANAGER AT LEMONADE ILLUSTRATION AGENCY
Lemonade is a multidisciplinary illustration Being part of Lemonade is a sign of excellence more than equipped to cover this but we always
agency, serving clients in all sectors and in all in itself, as the studio requires a certain quality look for the right attitude to the job as well as the
media, working in over 17 countries out of two and attitude from represented artists. Hobbs tells quality of the illustrators work.
offices. Studio manager Vicky Hobbs explains: us: Reliability goes without saying. Illustrators
Lemonade gives its artists access to a worldwide seldom understand that professionalism is just as
client database and the client often will take a risk important as talent. All our illustrators are
on a new talent because theyre with the agency. extremely talented, but what makes a successful
Editorial commissions generally come from a editorial illustrator is their ability to have ideas and
variety of clients with very tight deadlines to meet a conceptual imagination; style is not as
the next issue. We have supplied clients as important as the content of the images. The type
diverse as The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, The of illustration required varies from publication to
Guardian and more, explains Hobbs. publication and our large variety of illustrators are

Illustrate with Photoshop Genius Guide 21


Illustration

INTERVIEW 004 |
Design Week
WE TALK TO SAM FREEMAN, ART DIRECTOR AT DESIGN WEEK supplement
Cover illustration for
links to websites, he explains. Design Weeks
A usual brief from Freeman will feature basic Interaction supplement,
part of a series of five
concepts, a full brief and samples of the artists illustrations.
work he particularly likes. Being a weekly, the Commissioned by Sam
turnaround time is often tight. At best, its a week Freeman
Andy Potts/Design
and at worst, its two days, he reveals. If its a Week
longer lead time, Ill request a rough after a
couple of days to ensure things are developing 005 |
the way I envisaged. If there are any changes, Ill Futurism 004
Design Week magazine, providing information request them at this stage. From that point on, Illustration for an
article on the futurist
on graphics, digital media, commercial interiors, its in the hands of the illustrator. Ray Kurzweil
product and exhibition design, regularly
commissions editorial illustration for its articles.
Asked which styles are currently emerging in
the industry, he says: A move away from vector
Andy Potts/
Independent On Sunday
005
Magazine; artistic
Art director Sam Freeman sources designers to more of a hand-rendered feel is evident. direction by Ben
both from agencies and extensive web searches. Collage illustration is something Im seeing Brannan
Illustrators are generally very good at self more and more of artists like Ciara Phelan,
promotion, so Im constantly getting samples in Chrissie Abbott and James Dawe are all great 006|
OCD Stairs
the form of printed cards, emailed PDFs and examples of this.
Work for The Sunday
Telegraph on Obsessive
Compulsive Disorder. I
007 |
006 007 Bad Bets Obama
was struck by the story
of a girl who was
The concept for this one was unable to go up stairs
basic. The art director for The Darren Hopes/The
Weekly Standard will Sunday Telegraph
sometimes do a rough sketch
to show what hed like to see
and then its up to me to bring Many styles emerge in
his idea to life
Jason Seiler/The Weekly
tandem with software
Standard innovations, but
more recently there
does seem to be a
technophobia
A large amount of editorial illustration is now the demands of the commercial client. Seiler
backlash against digital design
made up of hand-rendered elements, pencil lines or reinforces this point: Painting digitally saves a lot of and a growing fascination with
paint textures, adding life and spontaneity to stress and frustration when working on an editorial handcrafted, more low-fidelity
imagery. Many believe that there is no real
computer-generated substitute for such, yet digital
illustration. To work traditionally means that you
have to paint fast enough and finish with enough
approaches
media is essential in controlling and manipulating time for your painting to dry so that you can scan it. explore and others like to see what you can come
different media upon scanning. Hopes puts it into If there are changes that need to be made, forget up with. A good art director will give you guidance
perspective: I use Photoshop extensively, relying about it; too much to deal with and, in my personal and then trust you to deliver your interpretation of
on custom brushes I have created from real media opinion, magazines and books dont pay enough for the brief, explains Potts. Once you have built up a
to apply a more natural, painterly feel. I can work traditional painting. This is why I prefer painting body of work, clients can use your previous
very quickly and almost entirely in Photoshop if the digitally for my editorial work. If changes are illustrations to establish what theyre aiming for,
deadline is very tight. The beauty is the layer-based needed, its never the end of the world. It may take a which is useful, as long as they arent looking for a
nature of Photoshop makes tweaks and colour little while to get it right, but no where near the time carbon copy.
alterations quick and simple. if painted traditionally. With more blas directors, you have to learn to
New artists should prepare for amendments and be flexible, punctual and able to work with them in a

CREATIVE intervention, yet the complexity of an editorial brief


lies with the art directors themselves. A standard
polite and patient manner. This can be difficult
sometimes, especially when its about a topic that I
INTERVENTION brief consists of the image dimensions and the have no real interest in, admits Seiler. Sometimes
So our artists arent only using digital media to article that needs illustrating, with a date for the the ideas that I come up with are way off what the
replicate traditional types, but also for cutting initial rough and the final deadline. Some art art director and editor might have in mind for the
production times extensively keeping on top of directors have a specific idea that they want to article, but it will spark ideas and a dialogue.

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Such skills let you ride the changes between style


and formats that editorial clients demand.
such as advertising, design and packaging.
This is all great news for the next generation of
A standard brief consists
Traditionally, editorial illustrators tend to be editorial illustrators. Art directors will always be of the image dimensions
employed by the newspaper and magazine attracted to a new aesthetic because it stands out on and the article that
industries; but these fields are adapting to the digital
age, and many publications are now developing an
the shelf. Diverse in terms of style as well as subject
matter, and because of the fast turnaround and
needs illustrating,
online or app-based presence. Ive found that my sheer amount of commissioned imagery, I think with a date for the
commissions are increasingly for print and digital
use, explains Potts. Editorial illustration is a large
editorial art directors will take a chance, suggests
Hopes. Many students get their first commissions
initial rough and the
chunk of what I do, but the same skills and visual from the editorial industry as directors know that final deadline. Some art directors
style are now transferable to other creative markets students are a great [source] for fresh ideas. have a specific idea that they
008| 009 | want to explore and others like to
Witness
This illustration is a piece that was
Opener for MLB
I was commissioned by Major League Baseball 010 | see what you can come up with
commissioned by Fortean Times magazine for to paint three illustrations for the 2010 World Ricky On Subway for MLB
an article on witness statements of Series Program, so I illustrated a player strolling This painting is one of the smaller spot illustrations that I did for Major League Baseball.
supernatural phenomena around in Chicago looking like a tourist For this piece I wanted to show how this player enjoys riding the New York subways
Darren Hopes/Fortean Times Jason Seiler/MLB Jason Seiler/MLB

008 009 010

PROJECT RUNDOWN
WE RUN THROUGH A REAL-WORLD EDITORIAL COMMISSION
Most issues of Advanced Photoshop use editorial illustrators to
bring the features in the magazine to life. At the planning stage of
each issue, editor Julie Bassett and senior designer Sarah Bellman
sit down to plan a rough concept.
For one issue, they had the task of illustrating a feature on the
Adobe Photoshop Exchange. After deciding the editorial would run
as a series of mini reviews of the best resources, rather than
running text, they went to work laying out the basic structure to
see what space would be available for the illustration. They picked
Radim Malinic (aka Brand Nu, www.brandnu.co.uk) to illustrate
feature shown here to the right, as his online portfolio showed
many examples of high-quality work on similar projects. Malinic
was sent a full commission, detailing the concept of the illustration,
the editorial layout and the type of resources being featured.
After a few days hard work, they received the first draft of the
artwork, which had a fantastic style but required tweaks for it to
work effectively with the editorial. More progress shots were sent
in, until both Advanced Photoshop and Malinic were happy with the
final artwork.

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EDITORIAL
ARTWORK
WE EXPLORE THE ART OF DESIGNING FOR EDITORIAL COMMISSIONS,
WITH THE CONCEPT OF A FEATURE ON ZOMBIE MOVIES
Zombies are still big business at the moment. There reveal how to use Adobe Illustrator to create realistic OUR EXPERT
are horde upon horde of them in contemporary graphical characters and, subsequently, Photoshop to add SIMEON ELSON
literature, cinema and videogames including texture and work up the final composition. www.simeonelson.co.uk
comic phenomena such as Marvel Zombies, DCs Blackest During this workshop you will learn how to master Simeon is a freelance illustrator and
graphic artist. He creates his work by
Night and TV series The Walking Dead. Coinciding with these Illustrators Pen tool in a simple but highly effective way, as fusing vectors with pixels, working
were the launches of the Red Dead Redemption, Dead Rising well as how to create dynamic visuals with powerful and mainly in Photoshop and Illustrator.
He has worked on flyers, posters,
2 and Left 4 Dead 2 videogames, all out in 2010. So, what intuitive Photoshop colour and layer effects. We have used a logos, websites and more.
better subject to focus on for grasping editorial styles? wide variety of stock images from two texture sites, Fotolia
For this tutorial, we set up a mock brief for international and iStockphoto, so you will need to download these SOURCE FILES
illustrator Simeon Elson, who shows you how to re-create beforehand if you want to follow the tutorial exactly; You will find links to all of the stock
an iconic and cinematic illustrative style which engages however, we recommend gathering your own zombie stock images that we have used on the
disc, but we encourage you to try this
viewers one which is as gruesome as it is cool. Well as originality is imperative to editorial design. tutorial out with your own resources.

PEN A ZOMBIE POSTER


MASTER THE PEN TOOL AND CREATE DYNAMIC VISUALS

USING ILLUSTRATOR
To create this particular style of editorial
design, we must make use of both
01 FILE PREPARATION
Open up Fotolias serious man rifle in
Illustrator, then change the mode to CMYK via
02 OUTLINES
Next select the Pen tool to draw the characters deepest
shadows. Before drawing each shape, set the Pen tool Opacity to
Photoshop and Illustrator. If you dont File>Document Color Mode. Double-click on the 0% this way you can see the shape youre drawing and the
currently have the latter app, then you can
download a free 30-day trial directly from photo in the Layers palette and call it Reference. photo below simultaneously. Try to create interesting abstract
the Adobe website (www.adobe.com) so Click the Lock tab, to prevent the image moving. shapes.
that you can follow along with all of this Create a new layer and call it Black Lines.
workshops steps.
In particular, Illustrators Pen tool is an
essential part of this tutorial, so take time to
familiarise yourself with it. Draw some
random abstract shapes to get used to the
click-and-drag motion needed to create
accurate curves, and also make some
shapes with sharp edges and corners, as
this will help you learn how to produce
more rigid elements.
Take time to learn the different elements
of Illustrators Pen tool too: the Add Anchor
Point tool, the Delete Anchor Point tool and
the Convert Anchor Point tool, etc. The most
important thing is to express yourself from
the get-go by creating interesting shapes
that are quite edgy and abstract to give you
a striking and graphical end product.

03 SKIN TONE
Select a flesh colour with the
Eyedropper tool if the colour is too dull
then tweak its values to brighten it.
Create a new layer and call it Skin
Base, position it above the Reference
layer and then draw out the flesh areas.

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Illustration

04 ADD DETAIL
Open a new layer and name it
Medium Contours for the midtone
QUICK TIP
Experiment when
using textures. Use
05 BLENDING COLOURS
Still with the Darker Contours layer active, open the Gradient palette, setting Type to
Radial. Place the Darker Contours swatch at 0% and the Medium Contours swatch at 100%.
different colours,
shadows of the characters skin. Repeat Opacity settings and Add another gradient slider at around 65%. Remove the Medium Contours swatch from the
this process to create the Darker blending modes and gradient and drag the swatch located at 65% to 100%.
go for it! Also, try
Contours layer. You should now start to
mixing various
see your character emerging. For a more blending modes
realistic look we are now going to blend together, for example
Screen with Hard
some areas of the face using gradients. Light can give a great
contrast in colours,
although you will
need to fiddle about
with the values to get
the best results.

07 ACCURATE COLOUR SELECTION


Next, lets draw his eyes. Use the Eyedropper tool to pick the
lightest part of the iris, then place it right next to the pupil. Adjust the
colour until your selection matches your characters natural eye
colour. The iris consists of four or five different shades so use this
colour selection process to re-create them all.

06 BLENDING CONTINUED
Keep making the 100% location colour darker until you get an effective blend.
Apply this technique to any other shape that you feel requires a more realistic contrast. You
may find in some cases the darker 0% location colour needs to be made lighter.

09 EXTEND THE RIFLE 2


Choose the Direct Selection tool,
pulling the top-right corner anchor point up
slightly to create a diagonal angle. Finally,
with the Ellipse tool, draw a thin oval shape,
then angle it and position it at the top of the
rifle. Then add any final detail to make the
join seamless.

QUICK TIP
Drawing stubble can
be very tricky. Pick a
tone or gradient
similar to the
gunmans eyebrows.

08 EXTEND THE RIFLE Use this colour to draw


around the beard area,
Continue to add detail to the portrait, applying highlights, facial features and mixed set Opacity to 70%,
skin tones but be sure to keep each colour on a separate layer. The gun has been then add one or two
hairs with a small
cropped, so we need to top off the rifle. Use the barrel as your reference guide to draw a
brush in order to boost
small slanted rectangle. their realism.

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10 CREATE THE MAIN ZOMBIE


When illustrating the main zombie in the background (our reference is the Zombie image from Fotolia), features such as the eyes (enlarge the pupils) and
teeth need to be changed. As seen in this reference photo, features are more vampiric. For this illustration were going to use a more simplistic style with only a few
colours, leaving the rest transparent. Repeat these Illustrator steps with as many characters as you want to include (see the links on the disc for the ones we used).

11 SWITCH TO
PHOTOSHOP
Now all of our characters
12 TEXTURE THE
CANVAS
We add in old paper texture
have been created, its from iStockphoto (link on the
time to jump over to disc). Stretch the texture so
Photoshop. Create a new that it fills the page, then
CMYK file and set your Edit>Transform>Rotate by 90
workspace to a multiple degrees clockwise. Set the
palette layout meaning blending mode to Linear Burn
you can see your Color and Opacity to 67%. Open the
palette as well. Open a main zombie image and the
new layer and then use gunman. Create a new group
the Paint Bucket tool to fill and call it Gunman Files,
it with a deep orange tone. placing the man inside it.

13 WOOD TEXTURE
Now we source a wood texture from CGTextures
(WoodFine001), rotate the image so its at a similar angle as the gun,
then set the blending mode to Lighten and the Opacity to 48%. Select
the gunman by pressing Cmd/Ctrl and clicking the layers thumbnail,
then invert the selection (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+I).

14 MORE TEXTURE
Hit Delete to clear the selected area. Select the Eraser tool set to a 27px Brush (at
90% Opacity). Erase remaining texture around the wood. Select the man and wood texture
layers, then click the Link Layers icon so they move as one. We are now going to use
splatters to add a bit more edge to the gunman.

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Illustration

Position the splatter so


it looks like zombie
15 ADD SPLATTERS
Position the splatter so that it
looks like zombie blood has splashed onto
blood has him. Then set the colour to red by

splashed onto double-clicking the layer and applying a


Color Overlay. Use an inverted selection
him. Then set on the gunman to clear the excess
the colour to red splatter, then erase any unwanted areas.

by double-clicking the layer Repeat this process on other areas of the


gunman. Use the Eraser set to 400px, 0%
and applying a Color Overlay Hardness and 18% Opacity to reduce the
prominence of the splatters.

16 WORK UP
THE
BACKGROUND
17 TEXTURE CONTINUED
Duplicate this layer and then flip it vertically (Edit>Transform> Flip
Vertical). Drag the duplicated layer to the bottom half of the page so that it
Enhance the fits seamlessly with no visible joining point. Follow the same process
background by adding with another texture (we used Urban Dirtys glass frosted crack image),
in a new texture (we setting the blending mode to Soft Light at 51% Opacity and place this just
use the stone pebble below the main zombie.
texture from Urban
Dirty). Place it just
above the main zombie
layer and stretch it so it
fits across the top half
of the page, setting
Opacity to 40% and an
Overlay blending
mode. Add a layer
mask and select the
Gradient tool set to
black-white, and draw
a small gradient
starting just before the
halfway vertical mark.

19 ENERGY THROUGH COLOUR


Add another zombie and use an Eraser at 35%
Opacity to fade out the bottom of the zombie. Duplicate
your glass frosted crack texture again, placing it above
the second zombie and changing the blending mode to
Multiply. Place in a position where you get an
interesting contrast, then clear the area around the
second zombie. Set the Opacity of the texture to 74%.

18 JEEPERS CREEPERS
Create a new layer placed below the main zombie layer. Select a light green colour and, with the
Brush tool set to 34px, Hardness at 53%, 100% Opacity, colour in the zombies eyes. Add the Urban
Highway image (from iStockphoto), duplicate twice, setting the bottom duplicate to 100% Opacity and
applying a Overlay blending mode.

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20 THE END IS NIGH


Apply the same technique using the zombie girl image from Fotolia to add a little more variation.
Add splatters to increase contrast in the image. Colour the main zombies teeth and add a Stroke to the
ADD EMOTION
Our gunman has a mean look as hes on a mission to
blast every zombie in his hometown to pieces. We can
gunman to help him stand out. Colour the Stroke light yellow, set its blending mode to Screen, then choose enhance this emotion by adding textures and blood
splatters. Use the glass frosted crack texture,
an opacity that suits. duplicating and placing it above the gunmans face and
shirt. Experiment with blending modes such as Multiply,
Linear Burn and Darken for a grubby look.
Use the Eraser tool set to Brush mode, 30% Opacity,
with a so edge and sized between 300-500px to
carefully remove unwanted areas. Try not to overdo it to
the point where the gunman is lost, but at the same time
we want to inject a sense of chaos and commotion.
Also the gunmans shirt starts as a blue/green colour,
but this is too bright. We could simply edit it in Photoshop
using Hue/Saturation or a Color Balance adjustment, but
with a vector illustration like this you would be hard
pressed to do so without losing detail and sharpness. We
can amend this in Illustrator by simply reducing every
shape of the gunmans shirts Cyan value by 5% and then
saving it as a new file. Then position it in place of our
previous gunman in our final PSD file.

21 ENHANCE THE COLOURS


Add a Radial gradient to the orange base
layer and set the outer colour to a deep red and the
inner colour to transparent. Change the blending
mode to Linear Burn at 20% Opacity. Next, we add
more two-tone zombies, and apply the glass
frosted crack texture for more grunge.

22 MORE ELEMENTS
Continue to build up
more detail by duplicating the
silhouettes and overlapping
them. Use blending modes
like Screen and Lighten, and
reduce the opacity if needed.
Also tweaking the positions
of the characters can make
all the difference to the final
23 FINISHING TOUCHES
Lastly, we need a bit more dynamism. Use
your splatter texture to add lighter areas around the
composition. Create another zombies. Reduce opacity in places; also use a large,
splatter layer with a yellow low-opacity Eraser to fade edges. After any final
Color Overlay set to Screen. compositional tweaks, were done.

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Illustration

TECHNICAL
ILLUSTRATION
OUR EXPERT
TONY LINKA
www.tonylinka.com
Tony Linka is a freelance technical
and scientific illustrator, based out of
Toronto, Canada. He also works as a
3D Lighter for March Entertainment
(www.marchentertainment.com).
REV YOUR CREATIVE ENGINES AND CREATE THIS GHOSTED
TECHNICAL ILLUSTRATION USING LAYER MASKS SOURCE FILES
You can recreate this image by using
the layered linka_progress_shot1
(LAYERED).psd line art file provided
on the CD or you can work from your
own sketch.

LINE DRAWING
This technical illustration starts out as
line art created from a basic sketch

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If youve ever looked at a ghosted technical of every aspect of your illustration, while WORK IN
illustration and been amazed by the simultaneously keeping your original artwork PROGRESS
technique and how much information has intact. This means that if you decide that you FROM LINE-ART TO
been revealed in one image, then this tutorial arent happy with your ghosting on a specific FINISHED DESIGN
is for you. What was once done traditionally layer, then you can simply delete the layer mask,
using an airbrush, armed with an x-acto knife and and revert back to your original artwork, and
frisket film, can now be completed digitally, with start all over again.
the help of Photoshop. In this tutorial, you will This technique requires a little time and patience,
learn how to use Photoshops layer mask options, so work slowly and build it up layer by layer. You
along with the Magic Wand and Brush tools, to want the ghosting to be subtle and smooth so that
recreate this ghosted muscle-car illustration. The it feels like you can actually look through the cars Step 2: Create the layered line art
main advantage of this technique is that layer exterior and at its internal components. Thats the
mask settings give you full control over the visibility key to the illusions success.

You will learn how to use Photoshops layer mask options, Step 5: Paint the internal parts
along with the Magic Wand and Brush tools, to recreate this
ghosted muscle-car illustration. If you arent happy with
your ghosting on a specific layer, then you can delete
the layer mask, and revert back to your original artwork
Step 10: Start the ghosting effect

LAYING THE GROUNDWORK


GHOST YOUR MUSCLE CAR USING LAYER MASKS, THE MAGIC WAND AND BRUSHES

01 IT STARTS IN
THE SHOP
As with any technical illustration,
you should research before you
begin. Gather as much reference as
you can. If you cant see the vehicle
in person, you can always look for
photos online. Next, come up with a
plan. Decide which internal
components you want to show, and
sketch them on paper. This way,
you can break down the illustration
into separate sections for ghosting.

02 STARTING LINE
Once youve broken
down the initial sketch,
create separate line drawings
for each section of the
illustration. This can be done in
03 PIT STOP
Create a base colour layer in the folders
behind each internal components line drawing,
Photoshop, or by hand. Next, and an exterior base colour layer as the bottom
place the layers in order put layer. This way, the exterior of the car will be
the objects closer to the viewer revealed when you ghost the internal components.
on top, with their blending Before you move on to the next step, stop and
modes changed to Multiply. You double-check to make sure everything is
should be able to see all of the overlapping properly. The layer order is essential to
line drawings on your canvas getting this technique to work, and its much easier
overlapping each other. to fix any problems now rather than later.

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Illustration

04 BODY WORK
Since well be painting all the layers separately, its important to decide where your key light will be
coming from. Stick with that direction for all the layers this will hold the drawing together. A tip for painting
QUICK TIP
A graphics tablet is highly recommended
for this type of technical illustration.
Whether youre painting the exterior
a car with no background environment is to add a horizon line highlight along the body of the car. This, of your car or ghosting its parts, the
along with a cast shadow, will act as visual cues to the viewer that the car is sitting on a ground plane. tablets pressure sensitivity cant be
beaten. Hit F5 to go into your Brush
menu and then turn on Pen Pressure for
the Size and Opacity controls.

05 PARTS DEPARTMENT
Now, you can move on to painting all the
internal component layers. Remember to stay true
to the materials youre painting, whether its
reflective, matte, glossy, etc. Since you dont have a
background to reflect into your objects, you can
simulate materials like chrome by painting planes
facing up towards the sky a cool blue, and planes
facing down towards the ground a warm brown.
The Gradient tool is a very fast and effective way to
paint cylindrical objects.

06 START YOUR ENGINES


Now, were ready to begin ghosting our
internal components. The primary advantage of the
layer folder setup is that you can apply layer masks
to the folders for ghosting, which will be applied to
both line and colour layers, as well as any other
layers that you may have in the folder. This will also
leave the option available to edit your line or colour
layers if you need to make any future changes, and
still have the ghosting applied. Add a layer mask to
each layer folder.

07 BACK SEAT DRIVER


Start with the back seats, and hide all the
component folders. You want the seats to show
08 PASSENGER SEAT
Follow the same steps as the back seat
except youre only going to mask out the window
09 UNDER THE HOOD
Its time for the exciting part ghosting the
drive train. This may look daunting, but if you break
through the windows, so initialise the Exterior Line trim and roof, leaving the passenger seat visible in it down into smaller steps it becomes manageable.
layer, and use the Magic Wand to select the the window opening and on top of the car. Use the The first step is to approach it like the back seats,
window openings. Initialise the layer mask for the Magic Wand tool again, and select the parts of the and remove all areas outside the body area. You
back seats by clicking the mask icon, then body of the car that the passenger overlaps. Use a can use details like the hood scoop intake and front
Select>Inverse. Paint the mask around the window large, soft brush with Opacity no greater than 20%, grill as ghosted-out objects to bring more of the
openings using a 100% Opacity black brush so you and slowly paint the layer mask to reveal the exterior forward. They also act as points of
only see the seats through the window. exterior of the car. reference for the internal components.

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10 BREAK IT DOWN
The next step is to reveal the exterior body. Keep a close eye on how the exterior and the internal
components relate to one another. You should let the exterior guide your ghosting, so break it down into
SLOW AND SUBTLE
To successfully achieve an airbrushed look takes time.
When painting your layer mask, use a large, so, round
brush, and keep your opacity low no greater than 20%.
sections fender, door, hood, etc and work on one sat a time using the Magic Wand. To reveal the exterior Use long brush strokes working slowly from the outside
more along plane changes and panel seems, let the drive train show more clearly in areas of the cars body. on your ghosted layers so there is a slow, gradual reveal
of the cars exterior. You dont want the ghosting to be
too abrupt or it will have
a cut-and-paste look.
Then, use a smaller
brush with a higher
opacity to reveal details
like the exterior cars
signal lights.

11 BEHIND THE WHEEL


Now, ghost the driver seat over top of
the drive train and back tire. Use the chrome
window trim as a divider between whats visible
and whats ghosted. Using your soft-edged
low-opacity brush, slowly ghost in the back tire
and drive train, so theyre visible, but you dont lose
too much detail in the seat. Next, instead of adding
an Outer Glow layer style, paint one around the
base area of the seat. This will suggest that its
sitting on the floor of the car.

12 POWER STEERING
Before ghosting your steering column, add your
dash and trim layers, since theyll be overlapping
objects. Next, follow the same steps as with the front
seat (Step 11). Once you have it looking the way you
want, add an Outer Glow layer style by Ctrl/
right-clicking on the Steering Column Colour layer, and
going to Blending Options. Youll want to keep it subtle,
so lower the Opacity to around 24%, and increase the
Size to around 60px. This will help separate the
steering column from the background. Take your time
and experiment with how much you want to show.

13 SHIFTING GEARS
Add highlights to the windows. Use the
Magic Wand to select the window areas in the
14 FINISHING TOUCHES
To add finesse to your illustration, paint
some edge highlights for your cars exterior in
15 FINISH LINE
Press Cmd/Ctrl+0 so your canvas is resized
to fit the screen. Scan the entire illustration to get
Exterior Line layer. Create and rename a new layer front of your ghosted layers. This will help to bring an overall impression of how your ghosting has
below this layer, and paint in the highlight for the your cars exterior in front of the internal come out. If you feel that one layer is dominating
windows. Youll want to find a happy medium that components so they look like they are inside the the others, lower its Opacity in the Layers palette.
shows off a strong highlight, but also allows the car. Add panel edges and corners where the hood Try playing around with Outer Glows, whether
viewer to see the interior, so use a soft, round and side body meet. Use the Magic Wand to select black or white, to add more depth. Youll want to
brush with Opacity set at around 20-35%. Change areas on your exterior line layer, and paint the create the illusion that viewers can actually see the
your palette colour to near-white blue. highlights on a new layer below this. cars internal components.

Illustrate with Photoshop Genius Guide 33


Illustration

EXPLORE STYLISED
ILLUSTRATION
FLIGHT FRENZY
Bex Glover is an illustrator and graphic
designer from the UK. Featuring in
START WITH
magazines, books and animation, her A PENCIL
stylised and vibrant urban-meets-ornate BUILD YOUR SKETCH
illustrations are generated using hand-
rendered and digital techniques, and are
influenced by nature, fashion and street art.
OUR EXPERT
BEX GLOVER SOURCE FILES
www.severnstudios.co.uk Sketch.

Stylised illustration is, in essence, an


illustrators own depiction of reality. Many well In this tutorial I look at the
known illustrators have an identifiable style process of creating a
which sets their work apart. It may not be instantly
obvious why some work looks or feels familiar, but on stylised illustration PENCIL SKETCHES
closer inspection you will find similarities in technique, with a harmonious Start by sketching out your ideas on
paper before scanning. I tend to work
from use of colour, line and scale to character,
perspective and even subject matter. Much of the
and balanced feel in pencil in my sketchbook and then
move onto single sheets for more
refined drawings.
illustration we see today is stylised, particularly in a
digital age where countless techniques can be achieved I often use photographs for reference in my
with 2D and 3D software packages. Whatever the drawings, and while I want to capture an element of
method, a careful and appropriately stylised illustration reality, I focus on these more for the purpose of
will have a balanced feel that enhances the process of outlining simple shapes and forms. When drawing, I
informing, telling a story or conveying a message. like to use continuous lines without lifting the pen
Illustrators such as Charley Harper offer a great (something I remember having to do in life drawing
example of how to produce effective stylised work. His classes at college), and this is one feature that is
approach to nature illustration shows how simple integral to the aesthetic of my work. This technique
shapes and minimal realist detail can achieve gives me the freedom to explore the shape of the
beautifully balanced results. Rather than mimic nature subject matter and I like the way intersections between GO DIGITAL
too closely, he captured shapes, pattern, texture and lines create new shapes and patterns. Scan in and tidy up your drawing so
you have solid, clean lines to work
colour combinations in his graphic illustrations. Once youve scanned your drawings into Photoshop, with, making it easier to select areas
I also find nature an inspirational theme for my own you need to tidy them up a bit. For a sharper, more for adding colour and texture.
work, and in this tutorial I look at the process of digital look, you may want to redraw the outlines in a
creating a harmonious and balanced illustration using a package like Illustrator. I like to keep a more hand-
combination of several stylisation techniques, most drawn feel to my line work however, so I use
notably those of colour, continuous line, shape, Image>Adjustment>Levels to create more contrast
simplified detail and texture. between black and white in the image. Select all the
To start with I always sketch out my ideas, exploring white areas and then choose Select>Inverse. Create a
rough compositions, characters and ideas, until I have new layer and fill it entirely with black and you should
something that I feel will work. It doesnt have to be set now have a good outline to work with. Check carefully
in stone and your idea will likely develop throughout the to see if there are any further areas that you need to
process, but it helps to have a rough plan of what you tidy up, using the Eraser or Brush tools to add or
are aiming for to keep you focused. My illustrations remove details.
always start off with a physical drawing. I use a Wacom To help create some harmony and build up a style, I FEATHER FEATURES
tablet for colouring and adding detail digitally, but still have repeatedly used a series of shapes and elements Start to create shapes for the feathers.
like the control of a traditional pen to create the initial throughout the illustration to emphasise the motif. Build up overlapping lines using your
scanned in artwork as well as adding
main elements. So, my next step is to create clear line Using the Polygonal Lasso tool, create a rough outline some freehand details using the
drawings in real pen to use as a guide once scanned in. around each bird and then Edit>Cut and Edit>Paste each graphics tablet.

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Illustrate with Photoshop Genius Guide 35


Illustration

COLOUR THE BIRDS


FILL WITH GRADIENTS AND TEXTURES
02 TEXTURE THE DETAILS
Using the Magic Wand tool, select feather
shapes and fill with texture and colour. Stick to a
rough colour palette to help ensure a balanced look
to the style.

01 GRADIENT TONES
Gradients can help to add an extra
dimension to an illustration. Choose a background 03 REMOVE LINES
Create a simplified style by removing detail
and foreground colour and Edit>Fill the selected such as line work, leaving areas of colour and
area using the Gradient tool. texture mixed with negative space.

04 SET THE SCENE


Adding a background will help to tie all the elements of a composition together.
05 ADD ATMOSPHERE
Custom brush effects and the subtle use of blending
modes will help to add those atmospheric finishing touches.

one onto its own layer. This allows more flexibility to organic lines here, but you may want to concentrate on
DEVELOPING STYLE move the various elements around. I have also broken a specific pattern for your own stylised approach. Think
Shape, pattern, line and colour all help to each bird down into a number of elements, including about the shapes you create between the lines, as
achieve a stylised look in an illustration. Using wings and bodies, using Layer>Duplicate Layer and these areas will be built up using texture and colour.
these elements consistently throughout will then rubbing out the lines that I dont need. The end Now for the colouring and filling. I have a selection
add an overall harmonious feel.
result is a library of bodies and wings, which can then of textures that I use frequently in my work saved on
be coloured and transformed in a variety of ways to my computer so I can call upon them whenever I need
create new birds in different positions but each with a to. These range from scanned material to watercolour
similar aesthetic. and paint effects. I find that using these textures in
I wanted to focus on capturing the movement of the digital work really helps to add more depth and give a
birds and their feathers in this illustration. To begin hand-rendered feel. Ive added a watercolour texture to
layering up lines, I first duplicated the wings and scaled the main body of the bird here, for example. Next,
In the first image I started to incorporate small
and rotated them slightly using Edit>Transform>Scale, create a flattened copy of all the line elements of your
birds from my library of elements. While the
birds all look similar in style, I felt like the and Edit>Transform>Rotate. The next step was to add bird drawing using Layer>Duplicate Group, then
colours didnt really work with the larger bird. some freehand lines. Create a new layer and then, Layer>Merge Group. You can now select areas of the
using the Brush tool, select a reasonably fine brush and wings using the Magic Wand tool and fill with textures
In the second image, I pulled out colour ranges
from the large bird and applied them to the start creating the detail. It really helps to have a and colours to build up the feathers. Keep the various
smaller ones, creating a much more cohesive graphics tablet at this stage as it allows you to draw colour fills and textures on separate layers to allow for
feel. Using a colour palette can be one really
useful technique in effective stylisation. more quickly and naturally. I have tried to capture the easy editing.
essence of feather shapes with a range of continual, Try experimenting with the blending modes found

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GENIUS GUIDE

CREATE SOME VARIETY ARTIST


SHOWCASE
ADD INTEREST AND FLAIR WITH DIVERSE ILLUSTRATIVE ELEMENTS
STUNNING STYLISED ART
FROM BEXS PORTFOLIO

01 USE A LIBRARY
Keep a file that contains a range of TREEHOUSE CAF MURALS
elements that you can reuse. This way you
can modify to create more variety, within a
consistent style.
02 HIGHLIGHT KEY SHAPES
Select spaces with the Magic Wand tool and Edit>Fill with
colour. The more contrast between textures and colour the better.
2010, Real media, Photoshop
Illustrated murals for the walls of The
Treehouse Caf in a London-based
department store, depicting a range of
flora and fauna together in an
enchanting woodland scene.

03 MIX AND MATCH


Combine wings and bodies to create a range
of different positions. Change the dynamic by putting
04 COLOUR CONTROL
In a new file (always keep an original), flatten
each bird onto its own layer and adjust the Hue and
the wings in front or behind the bodies. Saturation to achieve different results.

on the Layers palette to create effects that allow the how the various elements interact and aim for a SELF PORTRAIT IN MARCHESA
textures to show through the colours. Have a go at feeling of movement and energy. Its also a good idea 2010, Real media, Photoshop
adjusting the opacity levels as well (also on the Layers to play around with scale to help create a sense of Stylised self-portrait in a Marchesa frock.
This piece was created for a collective
palette) for some subtle results. perspective. I have made some of the birds smaller fashion book called Amelias Anthology of
I like to start simplifying the composition by and lighter so that they appear further away. Fashion Illustration.
stripping areas to leave simple shapes, minimal details I wanted this illustration to look as though the birds
and negative spaces. One good way to do this is to had taken off from the treetops and were soaring into
remove part or all of the initial line drawing. Before the sky, and adding in a background helped to tie
turning off the layer with your outline, hold down Ctrl/ everything together. I used a watercolour effect and
Cmd and click on that layer to select the whole line applied 30% Opacity with the blending mode set to
drawing. Select the layer where you created the main Overlay. Sitting just beneath, I added a layer with a blue
background of the bird and Edit>Cut the outline shape to white gradient fill. I created some flowers, leaves
from that layer. I have also added a simple red to white and blossoms with the same colour, textural and
gradient to the wing and body shapes, with a Multiply stylistic elements. Finally, take a large feathered brush
blend mode to give a cohesive tone as well as a sense in white and add some flowing swooshes across the
of shadow and a feeling of spatial depth. page on a new layer. By putting this above the others
Build up the scene with small birds from your and adding a Soft Light blending mode, you can THE MAGIC WATERING HOLE
library. Aim to create a similar style in colour and achieve some lovely, subtle cloud effects. 2010, Real media, Photoshop
texture for all the elements you add to ensure there is Reflect on your final composition and adjust Print design for collective Ink-dots Tonic
exhibition in Bristol. A zebra quietly sips the
a harmonious look to the composition. Think about elements to get the balance and style just right. magic water amid colourful, dancing fish.

Illustrate with Photoshop Genius Guide 37


Illustration

SCIFI SCENES
BUILD A STRIKING FUTURISTIC BATTLE SCENE USING STOCK
OUR EXPERT
ROB SHIELDS
www.robshields.net
PHOTOS, TEXTURES AND YOUR DIGITALPAINTING SKILLS Based in Philadelphia, self-taught
digital artist Rob explores a wide
In the following tutorial we will take a traditional and knee joints, or if you are building a flying machine it variety of commercial and
cityscape and transform it into a futuristic battle needs to have elements that suggest thrust and lift. This self-initiated projects. To see his
latest work, you can visit his
scene using Photoshop. The goal of this doesnt mean your machine must abide by the laws of online portfolio.
walkthrough is to learn how to make stock images physics, but it should at least resemble an object that does.
conform to your imagination rather than the other way Its also paramount not to go overboard. Having an
SOURCE FILES
around. Some basic understanding of anatomy and a endless supply of imagery makes it tempting to try and We have provided a small version of
graphics tablet are recommended. find an image for every nut and bolt. However, this will lead the background image from
Another important thing to bear in mind is functionality. to a chaotic design that ultimately doesnt work. Note, iStockphoto, a set of textures for the
robot and the aeroplane, a cloud
When designing your machinery you should not only think when real machines are built, a designer often re-uses brush and a link to one additional
about how it will look, but also how it will work; for elements. Its smarter, more efficient and, aesthetically, stock image that we are unable to
example, if your robot has arms and legs, it needs elbow leads to a more cohesive object. include on the disc.

PIECE TOGETHER THE FUTURE


MAKE STOCK IMAGES WORK FOR YOU

01 CREATE THE CITY


Take the backdrop provided
(iStockphotos Hong Kong) and rotate it
UNDERSTANDING
YOUR SPACE
Before beginning, its useful to decide
to the left by about 15 degrees. Extend upon the type of characters and setting
the image by duplicating the foreground that you want to create. Do you want your
machine to look human or do you want it
building on the left and painting in
to have animal anatomy? Will it be sleek
additional sky on the right. Afterwards, and fast or large and powerful? Where
darken the image using Levels and add a will the camera be located?
Its important to answer these
dark purple-to-white gradient map with
questions because of the nature of sci-fi
blending set to Linear Burn (65%) and a illustration. The genre itself is particularly
layer of black around the edges set to interesting because it is so focussed on
storytelling, and well known for
Overlay (50%). extrapolating emergent aspects of
contemporary culture in order to
investigate them. As such, sci-fi artwork
relies heavily on narrative to add impact.
In the following image we knew we
wanted the scene to take place over a city.
We wanted to have a large building in the
foreground and smaller buildings behind
it. This helped us to define our open
canvas space. It also helped us to decide
on a sleeker, faster robot, which was
capable of flight. You will notice when
looking at the composition that there are
Having an endless a number of complementary lines; the

supply of imagery wings of the planes and the robots


weapon, for example, each follow similar

makes it trajectories in this scene.

tempting to try
and find an 02 INITIAL SKETCHES
Our first sketches are going to

image for every be very basic and made using a hard


round brush. The plane will consist of
nut and bolt. However, this wings, tail fins and an area for a pilot. To
will lead to a chaotic design sketch the robot, begin with the shape of
the head and add the spinal column to
that ultimately doesnt work suggest the direction of the body.

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Illustration

03 DEFINE THE PLANE


To create all the planes
we only need to define one and
04 DEFINE THE ROBOT
The robot is roughly based on
human anatomy, so we want to represent
then duplicate it. In this update of the major muscle groups. Starting at the
the aircraft we have defined the spinal column, add the pectoral and
basic aspects by adding slightly abdominal muscles. Add quadriceps to the
more detailed shadows and legs and then add bicep/tricep areas to the
highlights, as well as adding gun arms. Remember to leave space for joints in
mounts on the bottom and small the arms and legs. Finally, place the eyes to
engines to the wings. give a better sense of the robots face.

05 START THE EXPLOSION


Open a fire image (we used iStockphotos
Flame at an offshore oil rig) and change the blending
06 MORE ON THE PLANE
Here we update the
aircraft again, adding black to
to Lighter Color. Next add an orange Outer Glow and create an interior control centre.
set the blend mode to Hard Light (75% Opacity). In the Notice that interior lights have a
colour palette select black and blue, then use the Cloud slight Outer Glow. The engines are
Brush.abr included on the CD to create the smoke. also more clearly defined and use
a Color Dodge glow. The guns are
When painting now given explosions of yellow

hands even and orange and the outlines of the


entire aeroplane are darkened.
at a basic
level it
helps to
look at
your own hands for
reference. To paint
the right hand of the
robot (which holds
the weapon) look at
your own holding a
similar-shaped object

07 BACK TO THE ROBOT


Now we basically fill in the lines that were created in our previous sketch with a
darker blue tone. Add more detail to the arms, thickening them and adding a more
defined pivot point on the most visible arm. The face and side of the head are also
worked up and the eyes are given a new shape and an Outer Glow style.

QUICK TIP
Painting the white
exhaust fumes
coming from the
robots feet is easy.
Use the same cloud

08
brush from Step 5.
Make the clouds more GET HANDS ON
concentrated around
the feet, widening and
fading them out at the
bottom. A very light
When painting hands even at this basic level it
helps to look at your own for reference. In order to paint the
right hand of the robot (which is holding the weapon) look at
09 WARP AND BLEND
Using the stock provided, begin to place texture on the largest
plane. Use the Warp tool (via Cmd/Ctrl+T) to make the stock conform to
Drop Shadow layer your own hand holding a similar-shaped object. This will the shape of your painting. Next blending options such as Soft Light, Vivid
style gives a bit more
definition. help you to decide exactly how much of the fingers will be Light and Linear Light are used to make a cohesive scene. There are no
visible and where the thumb should be positioned. strict rules here its just a case of what blends best.

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10 CLEAN UP THE ROBOT


Before we can add any texture to the robot, as
we have for the aircraft, we have to more clearly define
11 WORK UP THE
COCKPIT
Here we add a few final
QUICK TIP
When duplicating the
ship you may need to
bend it a little in order
the lines of its body. Bear in mind that this will not be textures and begin to further for it to look more
our final design it will simply serve as a solid colour work up the interior of the natural in its new
plane. The control panel is position. Keeping the
base. In addition to cleaning up some of the lines and wings in a straight line
angles, we also change the face of the robot once again elaborated, a small, just-visible is key here. An easy
remember, this is an evolutionary process before pilot is added, and glare is way to do this is with
the Puppet Warp tool
we flip it horizontally (Edit> Transform>Flip Horizontal). applied to the windshield of the
(Edit>Puppet Warp). If
aircraft to suggest its curvature. you do not have that
The glare is created by warping tool, Warp works too.
a Lens Flare and setting its
blending mode to Color Dodge.

12 BRING THE BOT TO LIFE


Now its time to start adding texture to the
robot. Try to choose pieces that somewhat
resemble the muscles that they will be
representing. We also add a series of glowing
highlights to suggest the internal power source of
the machine. Notice that the abdominal area
remains clearly defined as six separate muscles.

13 RECYCLE TEXTURES
In this step, we finish texturing the robot by
adding only three new textures. Notice that the
chest plates texture also doubles as the kneecaps,
while the texture on the oblique muscles and inner
leg muscles are the same and the quadriceps
texture (a new texture) is used in various places
from the head to the forearms. Recycling saves you
lots of time!

14 CURVES HIGHLIGHTS
You may have noticed that the robot in Step
13 has more highlights. An easy way to do this is to
create a new Curves layer set to Color Dodge
(Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves). Brighten
the image by adjusting the Curves graph then hide
the layer by painting over it with black. Now paint
the highlights back in using white.

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Illustration

15 PAINT ON COLOURS
In addition to Curves, we also highlight various areas
of the robots body using a colour similar to #03f8f9. In order
16 EXPAND THE
EXPLOSION
To give the explosion more
to make the effect more subtle we paint it at an Opacity lower impact we enlarge the
than 50% using a small hard brush. Also apply a small Outer original image to cover the
Glow set to the Normal blending mode at 100% Opacity. entire building top. We also
extend the smoke and the red
highlights at the base of the
smoke. When painting the
explosions flares remember
to use white-yellow at the
tips and darker orange-red at
the base to represent varying
degrees of heat.

17 FINALISE THE PLANE


Using the Smudge tool, we are going to pull out the various strands of the
gunfire on the main plane. We dont want it to be exactly symmetrical so pull out some
strands further than others to avoid uniformity. Next create a new layer and paint
yellow and orange highlights onto the nose and wings of the craft; change the blending
mode to Hard Light.

18 HEATWAVE
To create the heatwave effect coming out of the engine, first
flatten a copy of the image and isolate the area around each engine with
the Circular Marquee tool. Then use Filter>Ocean Ripple or Glass, as
shown here. Now place the new image back into the scene and erase
the edges with a soft brush as needed.

19 GROW THE SQUADRON


Now that the main plane is finished we can duplicate it. For the one on the left, we rotate the plane
and size it down by about 60-70%. We need to continue the wing that is visible and we are also going to cut it
to suggest that the robots weapon is at work. Again, use a colour similar to #03f8f9 and then apply the
previous techniques.

20 GROW THE SQUADRON 2


For the distant aircraft we must firstly
lower the contrast via Brightness/Contrast). Next
we need to add a faint highlight to the bottom of
the aeroplane from the city light. Use the
Eyedropper tool to grab a lighter colour from the
city and paint it on at a low opacity. Finally, we
must darken the upper portion of the plane.

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21 GUNFIRE
The bullet trails are painted with a soft brush in white and then given a yellow Inner Glow set to Vivid Light and an orange Outer Glow set to Hard Light. We
also paint ricochet sparks on the robot using a similar process. This time the Inner Glow is white and set to Screen blending at 50% Opacity with the Outer Glow
being yellow (also set to Screen at 50%).

The bullet trails are painted with a


soft brush in white and then given a
yellow Inner Glow set to Vivid
Light and an orange Outer Glow
set to Hard Light

23 FINISH ON A
HIGHLIGHT
The final highlights occur
in a few places. On the
right side of the robot
where the metal reflects
the light from the gunfire
we use yellow-orange
and set blending to Color
Dodge. On the left we add
a low-opacity white to the

22 EDIT THE ANATOMY


At this point we re-examine the robots shoulder anatomy and decide we
need to move the arm on the left closer to the torso. We also need to carve out the
entire silhouette. We also
paint a white centre to
each of the light swords
neck and rotator cuff areas better and increase the shoulder armour on the left. to accent the weapon,
Always double-check anatomy before releasing a final product. Its easy to miss both making it more of a focal
minor and major flaws while working. point in the image.

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Illustration

GRAB ATTENTION
WITH LIMITED
COLOUR
WORK IN
PROGRESS
USE LIMITED
COLOURS TO GREAT
EFFECT
GETTING BIG IMPACT OUT OF SMALL PALETTES
Limited colour palettes have been used for is often informed by their subject rather than chosen on a
thousands of years originally because there whim, and this can actually be helpful in many ways it
was no option but to use pigments from nature. opens up the opportunity for the composition to take the
The earliest examples are in ancient cave paintings, which lead, and for highlights to really pop.
were typically depicted using only red or dark brown. The modern painter, both digital and manual, has
However, a natural palette doesnt necessarily confine an thousands of colours to choose from, so its important to
artist to muted earth tones. As far back as ancient Egypt, remember or intuit some basic rules of colour theory:
colours included a vivid spectrum derived from natural which hues harmonise, which cancel each other out, what
Step 1: Sketch start
elements and the technologies of the day. theyre associated with and how to place them next to each
As time went on, an industrial approach was taken to other. This last is perhaps most important when
creating palettes. The choice of base colours increased composing a painting. Ill be referencing these basic
tremendously, and artists might have found tone selection principles throughout the tutorial as I create a simple,
a daunting task. However, a master painters colour choice limited-palette painting.

STARTING YOUR PROJECT


BEGIN WITH A SKETCH AND TAKE IT INTO PHOTOSHOP

Step 8: Minor changes

02 DIGITAL PAINTING
Once in Photoshop, I set the sketch layer to Darken so I can still see it as I
paint on a layer beneath. My brushes of choice for painting are custom made: I
Step 16: Complement the colours

01
use the Dual Brush mode with either a square or round base brush, and a
SKETCH START scattered second brush inside. These are helpful for blending and creating the
I always begin with a
illusion of actual paint.
sketch, either manual or digital.
This one is a scanned pencil sketch,
which can be great because that
allows me to also incorporate the
03 SAFE
EXPERIMENTING
When Im happy with the
papers natural texture and colour. base shading (the most
It also helps me to define the prominent parts), I create a
lighting in the sketch, so that there new layer. This way I can
is less confusion during the experiment without making
painting process. permanent changes. Step 23: Final assessment

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GENIUS GUIDE

A limited palette
enlivens a painting
by allowing
the viewers
eye to rest as
it moves
around the
composition

OUR EXPERT
OLENA SHMAHALO
www.OlenaShmahalo.com
Olena, based in the USA, has
loved illustration both 2D
and 3D since childhood, and
has been working with digital
media since about the age of
ten. She likes to experiment
with new mediums,
techniques and subjects,
while applying extracurricular
learning to her work.

SOURCE FILES
A base sketch has been
provided on the resource disc.

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Illustration

STRIP BACK THE HUES


PAINT A DRAMATIC PORTRAIT USING A LIMITED COLOUR PALETTE

04 BUILD UP SHADING
The painting is beginning to
get more detailed and defined, but
06 PLAY WITH BRUSHES
I change my brush depending on what I need to
paint: the square is better for rougher, more textured
Im still working in only two colours painting, while the round is better for blending or cleaning up.
in order to establish the shading. By increasing Spacing within the Dual Brush menu, I create a
brush that blends more easily while still looking natural.

05 BLOCK COLOUR
Here, Im starting to block out more of the body
and hair. I dont bother too much with the details yet, and
since the face is the main focus, these portions will be left
fairly flat to help them recede into the background.

09 ROUNDING OFF
Minuscule changes
(here, to the nose and lips) help
give the appearance of
three-dimensionality and also
help to get the expression right.

07 ASSESS AND CORRECT


At this point, the hair is about as detailed
08 MINOR CHANGES
The face has changed quite a lot now. The eyes were starting
to look too cartoony, so Ive made them more human by decreasing
as I want it to get, so I focus on the face. It looks their width and increasing the depth by building up form through
okay, but slight changes can alter the expression contrast. Ive also collapsed the painting layers into a group so that I
and features a lot. can compare my progress to the sketch and my initial intentions.

CUSTOMISE BRUSHES
Its helpful to change the brush size a lot while
painting. To shrink or enlarge the brush quickly,
press the [ or ] key. Also, save your favourite
brush adjustments (with the Brush tool selected
go to Brush> New Brush Preset) even if slight, so
theyre ready when you need to use them.

10 EXTRA DEPTH
Ive started adding more depth and shading to
the hair and neck. Sometimes I turn layers on and off 11 HAPPY MEDIUM
Neck shading can be difficult unless you have a
to see if Ive overworked something I was happy with good reference photo. Since Im not working from one
at a prior stage, and if thats the case then I can use a at this point, I had to find a happy medium between
layer mask to erase the unwanted changes. fading the neck out and forming its correct structure.

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13 PRESERVE WITH LAYERS


Ive added a layer over the sketch to clean up
some of the pencil lines and paint over what Ive done
LIMITED COLOUR TIPS
HOW 20TH CENTURY ILLUSTRATORS
MADE THE MOST OF THEIR MEDIUM
so far without the sketch lines getting in the way. I will BY WORKING WITH STRICT PALETTES
be using colour above the current painting to preserve
20th century illustrators tasked with creating posters oen
what is done in grey. had a lot of restrictions on their work in terms of cost.
Companies producing the advertising posters these
illustrators worked for wanted to churn out attractive
posters as cheaply as possible. A colour scheme that didnt
require more than a few base inks and would look good on
cheaper paper stock was essential. These images all come
from the London Transport Museum, which has a superb
collection of London Underground posters of this type.

CONSTRAINED COLOUR
MEANS VISUAL IMPACT
12 HIGHLIGHTS TO FINISH
Finally, the neck is looking more
natural thanks to some minor highlighting.
At this point, Im pretty happy with the
monochrome and almost ready to move on
to the colour. 15 THREE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER
Im slowly adding more colour, but still only
working with orange, blue and green. Colour choices are
fairly arbitrary at this point; I let the subject and painting
itself inform me intuitively. I was partially inspired by
Matisses Lady With Green Stripe.

14 KEEP WITHIN A TONE


When starting with colour, its best
to begin with tones that are in the same THE NORTH DOWNS 1915
range as those in the greyscale image. Ive This country scene by Edward McKnight-Kauuffer was
designed to attract travellers from the city further afield to
used the Eyedropper tool to sample the the countryside. It looks like a colourful pastoral paradise,
grey from the hair, and in the Color Picker I
chose a warm orange hue that closely
matches the shade of grey.
17 THE BACKGROUND TIES IT TOGETHER
The image needs something of a background.
Ive chosen blue and off-yellow since these are
but if you count th base colours used youll find a couple of
greens, a yellow, an orange, and a hint of red - thats all!

harmonious but contrasting in nature, and really bring


out those separate ends of the spectrum from within
the face.

16 COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS
As the colouring progresses, Im
still tone-matching but now allowing for
WISLEY 1922
This poster, designed by
more vibrancy. The placement is getting a
BOOK TO Robert John Gibbings,
bit more strategic: complementary colours
HAMPSTEAD 1910 uses the classic
This lovely image by Charles Twenties device of
like red/green, blue/orange accent each Sharland looks dramatic silhouetted foreground
other, and I let highlighted areas go to the and full of life but relies on details against a more
the same colour harmony colourful backdrop...
warmer side of the spectrum; shadows are later used in Gibbings which is simply green,
cool or grey. Wisley piece blue, yellow and white

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FINAL TOUCHES
A LITTLE SOFTENING AND SHARPENING CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
GRADIENTS
19 I lowered the background layers opacity and added a few
gradients to help wash the colour in. Another useful setting for
blending is the Flow slider. I slide it all the way down (sometimes
to 1%) for a softer brush that blends really well. Its a more
natural-looking, easier setting to work with than Opacity.

SOFTENING TOUCHES

18 PAINTERLY TOUCH
Another brush I like to use is a variation
20 The gradients were too apparent,
so I painted over and hardened some of
on one of Photoshops defaults: the Round the areas where this was the case. I also
Bristle 100 with Dual Brush on (and a filler of the pasted my greyscale painting over the
Scattered Leaves 199), with an Angle Jitter of colours and set it to Darken to enhance
about 65%. This is great for painterly strokes, and bring in contrast, while masking out
with added texture due to the bristle. unwanted parts.

VARIATIONS

21 CHANGES CAN ALWAYS


BE MADE
22 A useful colour adjustment option is the
FINAL ASSESSMENT
Id like to make some changes to
the colour range of the image as
Variations tool: Image>Adjustments>Variations. I
usually prefer the effects of Saturation to those of
Hue/Saturation or even Vibrance. Its best to make
23 Now that the colours are as rich as Id like, its time to
make any necessary last-minute adjustments to the modelling.
a whole, so I copy the whole thing your changes in small increments, so the Fine/Coarse Ive changed the eyes and nose again, subtly but in accordance
to a new layer. (change) slider is almost all the way down. with the desired expression and amount of realism.

COLOUR PLACEMENT
Remember that where and how
colours are placed is much more
24 SHARPENING
TOUCHES
The last thing I like to do
important than how many are used in
an image. If you arent intuitively sure is sharpen the image. This
of your placement, research colour can be done in different
theory or look at various master
artists works I would recommend ways, but here I felt that
Cezanne or Matisse. the Poster Edges filter
(Filter>Artistic>Poster
Edges) would look best.
With the Edge Thickness
and Intensity sliders all
the way down, this gives a
slight dark outline to
strokes, which not only
sharpens the image but
gives it a more natural,
gritty feel.

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Focal areas of colour draw


the eye, which can be led
by carefully placed lines
and secondary colour

25 FINAL PRODUCT
Our portrait is finished! By limiting the colour range
to a few complementary colours and physically limiting the
amount of colour used, the image has more weight and
presence than one fully coloured. Try this with your next
painting. It works on pretty much any subject.

PROVEN TECHNIQUES
COMPOSITION AND MODELLING
Even with beautiful colouring, a painting
can fall flat because the drawing
underneath is no good. Burne Hogarths
books on drawing are helpful, as are Da
Vincis sketches. Good composition is also
an imperative.

COLOURS AND REFLECTIONS


ENHANCE MOOD
Extra reflections in the eye suggest
wetness to emphasise the sadness in this
portrait. Also, the intensity of the red
brings attention to the eye and also
suggests pain through the associations
Serpentine lines add that red carries.
to the dynamism of
the image and help SHADE IN PATTERNS
the colour to pop When shading, remember not to go
directly from light to dark, but that
shadows always go in a kind of pattern:
dark-darker-midtone, or midtone-darker-
light, etc. Using a subtle dark line between
shades does wonders.

THE SERPENTINE LINE


Dynamic lines add life to a painting,
To know if youve especially one as simple as this portrait. In
his Analysis of Beauty, William Hogarth
effectively rendered an referred to this kind of stroke as the
Serpentine Line, which helps guides the
expression or eye around the canvas.

pose, mimic it and ECHOING


then compare Streaks of hair pick up and echo colours
that are used in more focal areas of the
image. The placement of these secondary
streaks of colour is all-important; they
draw the eye around and back into the
images focal point.

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STRIKING
PASTELS
USE THE POWER OF PHOTOSHOP FILTERS AND LAYER
FUNCTIONALITY TO CREATE ILLUSTRATIVE EFFECTS
While there are programs dedicated to creating illustrations, it is possible to replicate similar effects
using just the tools in Photoshop. Working from a photo stock base, we can use a combination of OUR EXPERT
layer styles, filters, gradients, layer masks and more to build up a mixed-media style that would look ADAM SMITH
at home as a fashion editorial illustration. www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk
The image is built up in sections, isolating key areas with the Pen tool and then using the techniques Adam is the Photoshop expert for
described in this tutorial to create that illustrated look. Doing it in this way helps us to build up and manage Advanced Photoshop magazine. In
this tutorial, he combine his passions
our artwork. Depth is added through shadows and highlights, as well as gradients, plus we have used for both digital and traditional styles.
texture stock photos and brushes to give a more tangible feel to the final piece. SOURCE FILES
Before you begin working on a project like this, it pays to get all of your resources to hand. We have On this resource disc you can find a
supplied you with some custom brushes and texture photos, and we reference further stock imagery and host of royalty-free assets to mimic
the effects in this tutorial. These
custom brushes that we have used throughout the steps. We have completed this entire artwork using free include a range of fabric photos, as
stock, except for the main model image, which we sourced from Dreamstime (image number 14999622.) well as custom brushes.

WORK IN DISSECT THE DETAILS


PROGRESS SEPARATE YOUR SUBJECT INTO LAYERS TO MANAGE YOUR WORKFLOW
FROM PHOTO TO UNIQUE
FASHION ARTWORK
01 SELECT SECTIONS
Well be working on the subject in sections,
so separate each work area first. Start
02 SPLIT THE SUBJECT
Back in the Layers palette, with the
selection active, copy and paste into a new layer
by pasting your subject into a new workspace named Dress. Do the same thing to separate out
(235 x 302mm, 300dpi). The quickest way to start the other key elements of the model, namely the
sectioning is by making a selection of the dress arms, the legs and the head. Paste each element
with the Pen Paths tool. In the Paths palette, Ctrl/ into their own layers and name them logically to
right-click the path layer and click Make Selection. keep organised.
Step 2: Separate into layers

Step 12: Texture your garment

03 ORGANISE THE GROUPS


Now well pop our sectioned layers into
designated group folders to manage them more
easily. Make sure the Dress group sits on top of
your stack. First, we attend to the Head group.
Minor retouching is necessary to give our subject a
more synthetic, illustrative look, so start by
duplicating the Head layer and using the Patch tool
Step 17: Replicate traditional media to clean up wrinkles and blemishes.

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04 SMOOTH THE SKIN


All youll need for this
manual paint effect is a
QUICK TIP
Getting that doll-like look with
your subjects features is all-
important to the subsequent
soft-edged brush (set to 0% effect of your artwork. You can
heighten the synthetic look
Hardness). Create a new layer
of the skin using two Curves
called Face Paint, setting your adjustment layers: one saturating
soft-edged brush to 30% shadows, the other increasing
highlights. Invert their layer
Opacity, and then select skin masks and paint to them with a
tones with the Color Picker as low-opacity, soft, white brush.
you go, gradually building up a

05
smoother facial surface.
ACHIEVE A PALE SKIN TONE
Relieve this effect slightly by
Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E to merge all the
dropping the layer Opacity to
Head layers. Select Image>Adjustments>
85% and working within a
Shadows/Highlights. Set Shadows at 65%, Tonal
selection of your head, so that
Width at 75% and Radius at 50px. Set the
there are no overlapping paint
adjustments Color Correction to -38. Once saving
edges. You can then edit
out, set the blending mode to Screen, apply a layer
highlights and shadows with
mask and invert this to black. Paint skin back with
two Curves adjustment layers,
a soft brush. Also apply a Hue/Saturation
painting to their respective layer
adjustment layer, with Saturation at -30 and
masks and emphasising the
Lightness at +10. Mask away cheekbone and eyelid
facial contours.
areas to bring back in contours.

06 FOCUS ON THE GARMENT BASE


Activate your Dress group. Make a selection
of your Dress layer (Cmd/Ctrl-click the thumbnail)
and create a new layer, filling the selection on this
with the Gradient tool. Weve used a brown
(#8a3705) to pale yellow (#ffeebc) style. Apply a
layer mask to remove from the subjects jewellery.
Next select, copy and paste one of the fabric textures
from the supplied RS10170_Batique.JPG file into
your group, above your gradient layer. Make a
selection of your dress layer as before, applying a
clipping mask (Cmd/Ctrl-click the layer).

07 DEFINE FABRIC FOLDS


Apply a Luminosity blending mode to the
RS10170_Batique layer, decreasing Opacity and Fill
to 30%. Duplicate your original Dress layer and
place this at the top of the groups layer stack.
08 PREPARE THE
SUBJECTS LEGS
To finalise the look of our
Select Filter>Artistic>Poster Edges, setting Edge illustrative garment weve
Thickness at 1, Edge Intensity at 0 and selected, copy and pasted the
Posterization at 3. Set the layer blending mode to trim around the neck into a
Overlay at 40% Opacity, integrating with a layer new layer on top, as this was
mask to create contour. covered by our previous layer.
Apply an orange-red tone
(#ff4707) with Color Overlay
layer style at 35% Opacity.
Next, move to the Legs
group. Start by making a
selection of the subjects
shoes, with the Pen Paths tool
as in Step 1. Apply and edit
with a layer mask, to hide the
shoes, as you can see in the
thumbnail to the right.

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WORK WITH THE LIMBS


CREATE STYLISED ELEMENTS USING TEXTURES, GRADIENTS AND TEXTURE BRUSHES

09 ADJUST THE LEG


GRADIENT
Make your masked leg layer a Smart
Object, then Cmd/Ctrl-click the layer
thumbnail to create a selection. Add a
new layer and fill this with a dark
(#c1d0e4) to light (ecf9ff) blue
gradient, top to bottom. Deactivate
your selection, placing your Smart
Object above this gradient layer. Set the
Smart Object layer blending mode to
Overlay at 40% Opacity. Make another
selection of the legs, creating a new
layer titled Knees. Here, apply a 30%
Opacity light-blue soft brush to
highlight the knee and shin areas,
again creating added contour.

Here, apply a 30%


Opacity, light-blue
soft brush
to highlight
knee and
shin areas,
again creating contour

10 MIXED-MEDIA TEXTURES
Once again make a selection of the legs and create a new 11 ALTER THE
ARMS
Open the Arms group,
layer titled Brushwork. Import the supplied Media brushes.abr,
selecting Marker 2 from your preset options. Open the Brush palette again making a
and activate the Brush Tip Shape options. Set Angle at -128 degrees selection of your
at a 1,800px Size, applying over the legs. Set this layers blending Arms layer and
mode to Overlay at 50% Opacity and apply Sharpen filters to create creating a new layer.
greater delineation. Continue to build effects with multiple layers Fill this selection with
using masks. a solid colour selected
from your subjects
neck area. Apply a
white to transparent
Gradient layer style.
Set Opacity at 64%,
Angle at -6 degrees
and Scale at 10%,
pulling this to the left
to create reflection
down your subjects
left arm. With another
active selection made
from your Arms layer,
create a new layer
titled Arm Edges.

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13 INSERT MORE TEXTURES


Attach textures to the arms like in
Step 10, but use a wet brush photo texture (such
as image number 1083318 from www.sxc.hu).
Copy and paste this texture into your group and
desaturate (Cmd/Ctrl+U, -100 Saturation). Make a
selection of your Arms layer as before, then apply
a layer mask to your texture layer. Set the blending
mode to Overlay, tweaking opacity and Levels
(Cmd/Ctrl+L) to get defined texturing. You can vary
the effect by applying more textures.

12 FOCUS ON THE ARM EDGES


Select a 100% Opacity soft-edged white brush and paint this to the outside edge of the arm, creating
a reflection effect. Apply shadowed areas to the insides of the arms using a skin-toned brush, set to
Multiply, 50% Opacity. Set the Arm Edges layer Opacity to 80% and duplicate it, placing this new layer at the
top of the stack. Set the blending mode to Multiply at 10% Opacity. Edit away the top parts of the arm with a
layer mask, leaving only details visible in the hands.

APPAREL AND BACKDROP


LEARN HOW TO LAYER TEXTURES TO CREATE CONTOURS AND DIRECT VIEWER ATTENTION

14 PLACE ACCESSORIES
We need to simulate some sort of movement in what
is so far a static image, so well start with the bag element.
Create a new layer above the others called Tassels, painting
these in with the Marker 3 brush from the Media brushes.
abr file and using Transform>Warp to create a wind-swept
effect. Weve also applied a teal to transparent Gradient
Overlay, at 90-degree Angle.

15 APPLY MORE FASHION ELEMENTS


Open a photo of a ribbon ( we used image no 1117848 from www.sxc.hu). Copy, cut and
paste this into your Dress group. Press Cmd/Ctrl+U, increase Hue to -180, decrease Saturation to
-40 and Lightness to -10, co-ordinating with the teal colour of your bag. Lengthen the band of your
ribbon by making a Marquee selection, extending with Edit>Content-Aware Scale.

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16 BRING MOVEMENT TO THE RIBBON


Flowing ribbons are drawn out with the Pen
Shape tool and rasterised, editing edges with a layer
mask and painted with low-opacity black brushes.
Weve then merged all ribbon-related layers into a new
layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E) and applied brush
17 ASSIGN LINE DETAIL
Merge all related model layers into a separate layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E) and duplicate it.
Apply a layer mask to the original merge and invert this to black. Select a Splatter style white brush, set to
textures as in Step 10. Weve also comped in flowers, 30% Opacity and apply to your mask, painting your model back in as if with coloured markers. Apply
scattering petals using flora stock (we used 642560 Filter>Stylize>Find Edges to the duplicate, working with a layer mask as before. Set this layers blending
from www.sxc.hu). mode to Multiply at 70% Opacity. Duplicate and experiment with layer opacity to get suitable line quality.

QUICK TIP
Juxtapose your lined model ACHIEVE DEPTH WITH
illustration with elements ABSTRACT SHADOWS
that have a cutout style.
Weve applied the Pen Shape
tool to bunny stock (sourced
from www.sxc.hu, image
numbers 438073, 479659
and 1115471) and made
selections of butterflies. Copy
and paste from bright texture
stock to create an abstract
fabric example.

18 BUILD THE BACKDROP


The backdrop should
look to support the model detail.
You dont have to go crazy with
effects, but try to add visual
interest. Weve created backdrop
textures from media brushes and
grunge textures (www.sxc.hu
image numbers 1345387 and
1083318), raised with a soft pink At this late stage there are still a few
to purple gradient and set to additions that you can make to further
improve your fashion image, such as
Multiply blending mode. Weve also refining detail and tweaking colour. We
added in splats (sourced from also felt that the depth of field wasnt quite
DeviantART, called Grungy Ink right, so went ahead and made further
alterations to suit.
Splatter Sprays by dennytang) in You wont want to deviate too far from
behind our subject, as well as a mixed-media look, so solid, lifelike
shadows are out of the question, leaving
abstract shapes and even reworked
us to work with abstract types. To create
our subjects hair using brushes these, simply copy and paste in a texture
(sourced from DeviantART, called section, changing the orientation with the
Transform options, setting a Linear Burn
Hair.Part.1 by trisste-brushes) to blending mode, editing with a layer mask
highlight movement. and opacity settings.

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USE DETAIL IN
ILLUSTRATION
THE ISLAND OF THE FROGS
If you ever have the misfortune of being turned into a
frog, youll be banished to the island of the frogs, a
mysterious piece of land no one has ever been able to
find (although some say that it is just off the coast of France).
All the frogs hope that one day their princess will come and OUR EXPERT
give them that magical kiss to turn them back into a prince. MATTHEW ELLERO
Well, thats how I see it anyway. One of the toughest things www.matthewellero.com
about this brief was putting an original slant on the iconic A Photoshop and real
image of the princess holding the crown-wearing frog. The media expert based in
the UK, Matt describes
idea of a land of frogs for cursed princes fits in nicely with the himself as a shy,
fairy-tale theme and even the narrative the princess has to obsessive compulsive
who likes to create
find her prince among all the frogs, an added obstacle on the
intricate, cluttered
path to true loves transformation. illustrations, mixing
A Disney film released a couple of years ago relocated the various styles.
story to the swamps of New Orleans, giving it a fresh
perspective and relating it to the stories of voodoo curses I wanted to give the iconic
sometimes associated with that area of the world, fitting
nicely with what the narrative requires.
image of the princess and the
While the princess holding the frog is the focal point of the frog a fresh slant,
image, the surrounding forest is just as important. My brief placing the main
stated that there must be lots of things for children to look for
and find. In the spirit of Wheres Wally?, then, (or Wheres
characters in a unique,
Waldo? if youre American) see if you can find the following busy environment
elements hidden in the image: nine frogs, a mailbox, three
street lamps, two frog statues, a sleeping beauty, nine birdbox SOURCE FILES
numbers and six waterlillies. A creative pack is available.
Im kind of obsessed by detail. I want people to be able to
pick out different things every time they look at one of my
drawings. One problem with creating such busy imagery,
however, is making sure that the viewer isnt overwhelmed by
detail. Originally there was just going to be one deep forest
that bled off the page, however the composition started to
look too busy. It was getting hard to know where to look (see
the boxout on composition), so I pulled it back.
Little visual clues dotted around the drawing fill the viewer
in on the details. The frog statues, ruins and mushroom
village suggest that the frogs have been here for some time
and that they are no ordinary amphibians. It would be a bit
boring if frogs were the only inhabitants of the island. Taking
my cue from Pokmon, I used existing animals as a
springboard to create my own species. The Rabboon is a
cross between a rabbit and a raccoon, while the eerie ghosts
of the forest (towards the top right of the island) take their
inspiration from the minimalist creature designs in Spirited
Away and The Moomins.

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On the subject of Spirited Away and Hayao Miyazaki films in THE BIRD TREE
general, Ive always admired how they ground supernatural The bird tree is one of the focal points of the illustration. It seemed an ideal solution to the
elements in a realistic world with familiar elements that we problem of having too big an empty expanse of leaves, and makes the forest seem more alive.
can recognise. This has had a big impact on my drawings and
helped me in the way that I approach any illustration brief.
The initial drawings take a few days; I sketch each object
individually on Winsor & Newton Bristol Board (250gsm
paper) before scanning them all in on the computer. This is a
long and slow process, but I like this way of working for a
number of reasons. First of all it allows you to have complete
control of the composition in Photoshop and because each
object is on a separate layer amendments and corrections can
be made easily. Second, you can create large-scale images
with lots of detail as the images arent limited by the size of
your scanner or support.
Although Bristol Board is expensive, I would highly
recommend it. Because the paper is so thick, you can press
hard on the pencil without fear of warping or creasing it. The
paper is also bright white so you dont have to worry too much
about altering the levels in Photoshop after drawings have
been scanned.
At this stage I use a 2H pencil, then go over lines in a HB or
2B to make them darker. I dont worry too much about rubbing
out the 2H lines. They are so light the scanner will often not
pick them up. I can end up with somewhere in the region of
50-100 A4 pages of drawings. These are then scanned in to
Photoshop at 600dpi greyscale, which allows me to play with
sizing without losing too much quality. I tend to draw at about
twice the size that they will eventually end up, enabling me to
work in detail easily. Although most of my work is done in
THE POND
I wanted the pond to stand out from the rest of the busy composition as an area of calm in a
pencil, sometimes I like to use other media as well, especially
busy image. Light pastels give the water a nice sheen.
when working in colour, to give it another dimension.
The brief mentions a pond, so to give the impression of still,
calm water I used black pastels, applying different degrees of
pressure to suggest water depth. Pastels are messy and I
really dislike using them, but you can get some lovely results,
and by using the Linear Burn filter in Photoshop they are
easily integrated into the pencil drawings. In this case, each
pastel layer is given 50% Opacity so that when placing multiple
layers on top of each other, tones are built up gradually.
Once the drawings are saved as TIFF files, I bring them into
Photoshop one by one, altering the levels and contrast until I
get a nice black line. Once Im happy with a set of levels, I
make a note of them (most of my drawings use the same
settings so its got to the stage now where they are stored in
my memory).
The first object that I bring into the Photoshop layout is the
image of the cobbled stones. These lead into the forest and
seemed an ideal starting point for the image. Shrubs and
ferns are brought in next to surround the path and I go on in
this way, building up the image starting point until I have
imported all of the items.
Over 100 scans, 900 Photoshop layers and lots of cups of
hot chocolate later, the image is just about finished. Ill print off ADD SOME PERSONALITY
a few full-size versions as Im working to make sure that One of the most important things in any illustration is making your characters unique. In my human
characters, the two aspects that I concentrate on are the eyes and the hair. One eye tends to be bigger
everything looks alright and then, once Im happy with the final than the other. I think this makes them look a bit kooky. The hair is extra detail and is really a character
product, Ill flatten the file, rename it, wing it across to the on its own. In the case of the princess, it is fairly over the top a bob would be far too ordinary for
client and wait for any feedback. Phew! fairy-tale royalty.

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MEET THE GHOSTS OF THE FOREST THE PRINCESS INTRICATE ARTWORK FROM
I wanted them to be fairly unnerving, so I left the Rather than have the princess stand, I thought it MATTHEWS PORTFOLIO
design minimal and gave them a vacant stare would be nice to have her kneeling, bringing her
without noses or arms. I considered getting rid down to the level of the frog. I wanted to give her
of the black outline, but this didnt work out as an unusual hairstyle.
well as Id hoped.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK


2010, Photoshop, real media
An image for the zine i heart, where we were tasked with
drawing our favourite place, mine being New York. A
perfect fit for my cluttered style.

CREATE THE COMPOSITION


BALANCE YOUR INTRICATE DESIGN WITH CAREFULLY PLACED DETAILS

GET TO KNOW ME
2011, Photoshop, real media

01 02
This was for the American charity Art With Heart who were
SKETCHES PHOTOSHOP LAYOUT putting together a colouring and activity book for
I start with a couple of sketches to decide After each individual object has been disadvantaged children. The dimensions I had to work to
were unusual and the drawing proved quite a challenge.
where I want the objects to go. The focal point is scanned in at high resolution I tend to go for
the princess holding the frog, so she goes into 600dpi I begin to piece the composition
the centre. together in Photoshop.

03 REFINEMENT
Im beginning to worry that the
composition is looking too busy, so I print the
04 DETAILS
After having my eureka moment, I
decided to use an organic white border and set
FOR THE COMMON WEALTH
2011, Photoshop, real media
A CD design for a band. They wanted a couple holding hands
image and look for ways to move the the image on an island. Now I add in details such I was worried it would look too cheesy but I think I just
composition around. as the boat. about got away with it.

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Illustration

VEXEL VEHICLES
WE SHOW YOU HOW TO USE COMMON PHOTOSHOP SELECTION OPTIONS
AND LAYERING TECHNIQUES TO MASTER REALISTIC VEXEL ART

OUR EXPERT
THIBAUT MAETZ
www.thibautmaetz.com
As a full-time mechanical engineer,
Thibaut is a self-taught Photoshop
artist. Virtually tuning his styles, hes
now fully grounded in vexel art. You
can see more of his design work on
his website.

SOURCE FILES
You will find the car reference image
we used from iStockphoto on the CD,
as well as a background image, but
feel free to substitute your own.

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Digital artists have readily embraced vexel


design recently, giving rise to many a cool car
image. In this tutorial well reveal how to
you to apply various colours and flattened gradients in
order to reproduce realism through lifelike textures
and exposure.
01 PIMP YOUR RIDE
Begin by opening your document
(235 x 302mm, 300dpi) then pasting in
replicate these vexel art techniques, specifically This type of construction may achieve different end your vehicle image (1370069 from
geared towards the automotive genre. Heavy use of results depending on the level of precision that you iStockphoto). You might want to modify it
the Pen and Brush tools and the layer-focused work at. However, if you remain concise and pay a little as we have eg you can change
workflow make this a style almost synonymous with attention to delineation then Photoshop users will the ride height and the size of the wheels.
the Photoshop program. undoubtedly achieve a look thats more photorealistic Do the former by selecting the car body
All designers will need to re-create this vexel car is than cartoony. The degree of photorealism will depend with the Pen Path tool, copy, cut and
a minimal knowledge of the Pen Path tool as this on how far you want to push the details, but with the pasting then shifting the new layer down
will serve as your main application device, in addition advice presented in this guide youll at least be armed slightly. Touches like this will give the car
to a shedload of patience and time. Using layers is with the vexel fundamentals, from which you can a more sporty look.
also integral and the layer-driven process will enable evolve at your own pace.

02 COLOUR MODIFICATION
Dont be afraid to change the
colour of your car. Make a duplicate of the
bodywork layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J) then make
an active selection of this (by Cmd/
Ctrl-clicking the layer thumbnail). Go to
Image>Adjustments and use the various
layers at your disposal such as
Brightness/Contrast, Hue/Saturation and
Levels. Use with caution to get your
preferred colour effects.

VEXEL ART 101


Vexel art is not strictly defined, as it can
be done in a variety of ways. You should
also know that vexel art is not very
suitable for making prints, as its not
possible to resize the final result as you
would with pure vexel work. So, if you
want to print your art, dont forget to
create a very high-resolution canvas.
Also, you need some digital drawing
ability to work on vexels, as youll oen be
using manual PS tools like Dodge and
Burn to apply gradient effects etc. The
methodology for this tutorial is not
without its flaws, but it does guarantee to
deliver realistic renderings.

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03 PIMP YOUR RIDE 2


To further enhance the look of the car,
were going to add two blue bands concurring
04 COLOUR THE LINES
Create a fill layer with a blue tone (#23356e) and apply Multiply blending at 74% Opacity. Create a
second layer with the same colour, this time setting the blend mode to Hard Light at 65% Opacity. The result
with those already present on the side of the will be very close to existing lines, while maintaining a certain amount of transparency.
body. Use the existing lines on the hood and roof
to create your selection using the Pen Path tool
(once again, Cmd/Ctrl-click the thumbnail in the
Paths palette to make a selection).

QUICK TIP
05 WORK UP THE
BACKGROUND
We have a pretty basic background at
If you do not see the
lines correctly traced
by your Pen Path
application then we
the moment that we can change to advise you to create a
bump up interest (were using new 100% solid white
background.jpg on the CD). Whichever layer, lowering Opacity
to around 40%, just
image you use, ensure that visuals are above your car. You
consistent with the shadows already will now see areas
that are already
on the car body. Properly integrate the
completed as well as
image with the windscreen; create a those which need to
cutout of the screen so we can see the be finished.
background and then place a new
layer with the same dimensions as the
cutout, fill with blue (#2e596b) and set
Opacity to 70%.

06 OUTLINE
With the car retouched and reshaped,
we can now begin the vexel work. Make an
07 INLINE
Now you must
create the internal
outline of your car with the Pen Path tool, contours that enable you
using the Ctrl/right-click>Stroke option from to define each element of
your Paths palette. When the outline is the car chassis for
complete, hit Ctrl/right-click so you can create example, the headlights,
a contour plot using the Pen tool. Set a 7px windscreen wipers, etc.
brush with the Hardness parameter pushed Create a new layer and
to the max then apply. apply the same process
as in Step 6, but with a
finer brush of 3 or 4px at
the same hardness.
Zoom in to around 200%
when completing this
step so all detailed edges
are accurate.

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Start by applying these


techniques to the most simple
body sections of the car;
this is a great way to
familiarise yourself with
vexel techniques

08 VECTOR MASK
Still using the Pen Path tool, we now make a clipping
path for each area (eg door, windscreen, mirror, etc) of the car.
This will define our future layers properly thanks to the vector
mask. To begin this process, create a path along the black
outlines previously created for the front of the car, for
example, close the path, Ctrl/right-click and hit Create Vector
Mask. Repeat for each part of the car on a new layer.

START IMAGES
For this tutorial we used a photo of a car that was shot
outside. It therefore has many reflections that can
09 FILL WITH COLOURS
Now that we have created our
vector masks, we can fill them with
complicate the implementation of a vexel process. But at paint. Always try to fill the mask with the
least with an approach like this youre prepared for the most dominant colour in the area. For
difficulties that may be encountered. If you dont feel like
taking on this type of image for your first stab at vexel art, example, fill the bodywork with a white
we recommend that you choose an image shot in a studio colour, but use a blue tone for the metal
instead, where the reflections are much less of an issue.
bumper and grey for the cars interior.
Once you have the basic method nailed then you can try
portraits. Portraits are more difficult because there are

11
very few uniform planes or well-defined sections of colour
like those found on a vehicle. There is also hair, which is a DONT RUN BEFORE YOU CAN WALK
constant source of problems, and it can take a very long Start by applying these techniques to the most simple body sections of the car; this is a great way
time to get convincing results.
to familiarise yourself with vexel techniques as often they will only require large, flat blocks of colour. You
can then move on to the windshield, lights, wheels and rims, which are elements that demand more

10 CLIPPING MASKS
Using clipping masks at all times will enable
you to create flattened colour without any unwanted
precision and therefore more layers.

elements around the edges, as they will be captured by


the vector masks created in Step 8. We can quickly
make clipping masks by holding Opt/Alt and clicking
between two layers in the Layers palette.

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12 COLOUR AREA
Go to the first layer just above
the layer bearing the vector masks, and
QUICK TIP
Put layers of each
main car section into
groups so you can see
start creating an initial colour area using more clearly what you
the Pen tool. Dont forget to gather up have produced and
where it should go in
colours of the same hue. For instance,
your layers stack.
dark tones should be on the same layer As soon as an area is
and the bright shades on separate complete, do it straight
away for your
layers. This makes it much easier if you convenience later on.
need to modify any colours later on.

13 FEATHER
EDGES
Once your selections
14 WORK THROUGH CAR SHAPES
Always start with the biggest sections of uniform colour to create the car
shapes, and work back down to the smallest. For example, begin by creating layers
are made, use for each tone of car paint and finish with shadows that fall over the bodywork and
Path>Make Selection to other more subtle details.
apply a selection then
go to Select>Feather
and add a 2px Radius;
this will better integrate
your edges with
colours beneath and
will also simulate
gradient effects,
disposing of hard-
edged sections. You
can then play with the
Feather parameter to
adjust the level of the
gradient. We tend to
use a 2px Radius, but
you can push it up to
6px if you desire.

15 LAYER LOVE
Do not deprive yourself of layers use as many as necessary to achieve the
most accurate finish. The more layers there are, the more tones you can apply to
faithfully re-create the original image. This will result in colour gradients that are much
more uniform and also make the rendering more realistic.

16 DODGE AND BURN TOOLS


Photoshops Dodge and Burn tools are key to integrating your
various layers together. They will also apply gradients to the most
expansive layers. However, use these tools with caution because they
can be extremely sensitive. Usually, we set the Range to Midtones
and Exposure to 50% for both tools.

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17 WHEEL RIMS
For the rims, make only an outline of the rim itself using the Ellipse tool
instead of the Pen Path tool, and also apply the Free Transform options to refine the
path. Once you are satisfied, create a clipping path and, utilising the previous
techniques, use as many layers as needed to achieve a result as close to the real
rims as possible.

18 BEGINNING TO TYRE
According to taste, you can create the tyre tread or not. This depends
on the overall visual that you want to produce. If you prefer a cartoony
rendering, apply only a flat black shade. You can also customise tyres by
applying colour tints to the edges; think The Fast and the Furious!

19 RADIATOR GRILLE
Trace the cars grille using the Pen Path tool by
following its different features. Ctrl/right-click on your
path, selecting Make Stroke. Create outlines with a 3px
hard brush set to maximum hardness and a brown/
grey tone (#181819). Duplicate this layer to create all
the grille bars and then merge them together.

20 FINAL TOUCHES
The bottom doesnt completely fill the canvas; fix this with a black band or a gradient. And here
you are with your first vexel vehicle! Free your imagination to further improve the result by customising
your car, or try out this workflow on an alternative source image.

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Graphics
Generate for modern styles
82

68 Professional Graphics
Get the inside story from graphic illustrators

76 Pixel Art
Create epic isometric pixel art with flair

82 Poster Graphics
Advertise a product without using words

86 Digital Collage
Explore composition and colours

90 Shape Symmetry
Combine organic and geometric forms

94 Textures and Depth


Bring artworks to life with layered textures

98 Vector Layers
Master CS6s new Vector Shape tools

104 Abstract Graphics


Add vibrance using shapes and lighting

98
108 Photoreal icons
Illustrate realistic icons from scratch

112 Graphics and Photos


Blend photos with painted elements

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Photoshop has proven


to be an incredibly
powerful tool for
image creation as
well as image
manipulation

112
90
94

104
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Alice Lickens, www.lickens.co.uk

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PROFESSIONAL
GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION
WE CHAT TO A HANDFUL OF GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATORS AND GET THE
INSIDE STORY ON HOW THEY USE PHOTOSHOP IN THEIR WORK
Jessie Ford, www.jessieford.co.uk
Every good illustrator has a bag of tricks and is a vital part of what she does. I use Photoshop to
for most, these days, that includes a trusty draw shape layers, she says. All of the animals or
program to work in. Photoshop may have characters I create are vector based, which allows me
started as the image editing member of the Adobe to make them as big or small as I need without any loss
family but it rapidly bulked itself out to include options of quality. When Ive drawn the shapes I can play around
and functions that give artists and illustrators with colours very easily by double-clicking on the shape
something to get excited about too. layer thumbnail in the layers palette.
Its proved to be a powerful tool for image creation as For effects, Jennifer finds that Photoshop has a
well as image manipulation, and has weaved its way variety of options to tinker with. I use gradients and
into the workflow of many an illustrator. Weve rounded inner and outer shadows on individual layers. There are
up a few such illustrators that count Photoshop among many, many options inside the Layer Styles dialog box
the tools of their trade. We ask them how they use it, and you can get some wonderful effects. I also use a lot
why they use and how we can learn to use it better. of texture in my work, so I scan in old books, add
From Photoshop natives to Photoshop converts, expert photographs and lots of my own scribbles on individual
users and illustrators that find certain basic functions layers and blend them at various opacities, she says.
vital to the way they work, we examine all angles of this This attention to detail is certainly evident in her work.
nifty program to see how it collides with the world of Jennifer created Animal ABC, a stylish book for tots
graphic illustration. coming to grips with their alphabets. The book is
Shaun Venish and Photoshop have a history. The available for a range of digital devices and her
Texas-based graphic artist and illustrator began using illustrations, such as that displayed below, show off the
the program in the nineties. I first encountered Adobe textured effects that she created in Photoshop.
Photoshop (v2.5!) in 1993, he says, and was really While some illustrators, like Shaun Venish, have had
taken by the airbrush tools and cloning. When Version 3 the program at their creative side for many years, >>
introduced layers, and Version 5 gave me real editable
type, it quickly became a natural place to work. Shaun
creates his illustrations for a diverse client base, which
include editorial pieces and logos (www.venish.com).
For him, inspiration comes from looking at a lot of
other peoples work across a broad range of mediums.
Theres always so much to learn, he enthuses,
perfectly capturing the way many illustrators feel about
this amazing piece of software.
Jennifer Farley (www.laughing-lion-design.com)
prefers to put the mouse down and go outside to find
some inspiration. Books, movies, photography and
travel are all great sources of inspiration for me, she
says. I think its very important to get away from the
computer and give yourself time to daydream and
relax. There is indeed a ton of eye candy online and you
can spend hours trawling through it, and its nice to see
what other people are doing, but getting out into real life
and experiencing it is the best way to get the ideas
flowing, for me.
Jennifers designs are bright, bold and she loves Jennifer Farley, www.laughing-lion-design.com

creating work especially for children. To her, Photoshop

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TOP ILLUSTRATION INSPIRATION


THE SITES TO TURN TO WHEN YOUR CREATIVITY NEEDS A BOOST
WE AND THE COLOUR ASSOCIATION OF ILLUSTRATORS ILLUSTRATION WEB
Under the watchful eye of Dirk Petzold, www. The association offers up a pick-n-mix of For a wider cross section of whats being crafted,
weandthecolour.com has become a staple on the illustration resources from interesting reviews to created and doodled visit www.illustrationweb.com.
radar of many creatives. Illustrators, in particular, practical advice. On their site, www.theaoi.com, The well-established agency showcases the work of
are in for a real treat, with constant and well simply follow a link through to the blog to keep their artists by style and by name. For other artists
considered selections appearing of some of the tabs on up-and-coming artists and where you can the site is candy jar of beautiful work by a diverse
very best work on the web. Creative freeze is soon see their work. If your work needs an extra pair of and talented collection of illustrators.
thawed after a little perusing. eyes, youll also find portfolio consultations that
dont cost the earth.

>> others have come to the fore more recently. Alice such as her poster for the Design Museum Ball looking at my work, its very evident of my
Lickens (www.lickens.co.uk) also has a penchant for (shown in the lower right), for a lot longer than shes background. Ive intentionally tried to retain the
childrens illustration, and her clients include Random been using Photoshop. I actually took to it fairly late hand-crafted feel to all of my images. Looking at
House and Pavilion books. Alice was chosen for the on, she says. I was thick-skulled about it, but then I the cover she made for The Go-Away Bird, we
2012 Sendak Fellowship and will be going to live and started to see all these beautiful images people were couldnt agree more. Once Jessie started to tinker
work at Maurice Sendaks residence later this year. creating and realised I was missing a trick. I started with the technology, she found that Photoshop could
Sendak was, of course, best known for creating using photoshop in my last year at university and I accommodate the way she worked. Time, money
Where the Wild Things Are. was appalling to begin with. I had some really patient and space, Jessie explains, all contributed to my
Alice has been creating breathtaking illustrations, friends who showed me the ropes and then it was a
lot of finding out how it fitted for me.
The way that Alice uses Photoshop demonstrates
the versatility of the program in its ability to offer
options to each type of illustrator, no matter what
their workflow is. While Jennifer Farley often creates
shapes directly in Photoshop, for example, Alice
goes right back to pen and paper. I have quite an
archaic process, Alice jokes, whereby I draw
everything out by hand, often using a lightbox to sift
out layers. My work is quite shape-based, so I then
photograph it all and digitally colour and add texture.
Then I start fiddling with it. As most people who
work in this way would agree, she concludes that
Photoshop is an incredibly handy tool and pretty
central to how I work now.
Jessie Ford (www.jessieford.co.uk) is another
illustrator who considers herself a convert from
purely mechanical methods, and who finds value in
Photoshop as a tool to add to her kitbag. At art
college, I used a computer about three times, she
explains. I was very against them more through
fear of the unknown than anything else! I spent all
my time producing collages with cut paper and in the
Alice Lickens, www.lickens.co.uk Jessie Ford, www.jessieford.co.uk
print room, working on silk-screen prints. I think that,

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slow move over to computers, but its changed my


working methods and productivity to no end.
I like it for layering up my designs for the flexibility
it gives me over changing colours and the fact that
mistakes are easily rectified, she continues. Often, I
have reached for the Apple Z button when Ive been
painting and wished it was only so easy. Photoshop
gives you the freedom to be experimental without
restrictions. Jessie has had work featured in
publications such as The Financial Times and She
Phil Wrigglesworth, www.philwrigglesworth.com (above and below)
Magazine. In terms of my method, Jessie explains, I
always use cut paper and drawn line, that I physically
produce, and then I scan it in. I use Photoshop as a
device to layer up my picture, and then add to it as I go. I
never draw with the computer I simply use it as a way
to layer up the image.
Illustrators have a range of options available to help
them translate an image in their minds into the digital
realm. Tools within Photoshop that can be used to
create images from vector graphics include the pen,
type and shape options. Other methods, such as those
used by Jessie, include drawing and scanning, or using
a tablet to draw a digital image directly in the program
Phil Wrigglesworth (www.philwrigglesworth.com)
has the benefit of being well-versed in traditional
illustration methods before he turned his attention to a
digital method of producing graphic illustration.
My artwork [shown to the right] is now 100 percent
digitally produced in Photoshop, he says. Once I have
drawn the sketch with a pencil on paper and scanned it
in, the rest is produced whilst sat in front of my
computer. Even though the image is digital, I believe it is
completely produced by hand and uses the same or
equivalent techniques of traditional medias, which have
found parallels within the Photoshop tool box. The
benefits of using Photoshop outweigh the traditional
format like, for example, I dont have to wait for >>

BEST PHOTOSHOP TOOLS PANEL

LAYER OPACITY AND THE POWERFUL PEN DODGE AND BURN CLONE STAMP LAYER MASKS
BLEND MODE TOOL TOOL IMPERFECTIONS Use Layer Masks to blend
These two work hand in hand The pen tool is an illustration The Dodge and Burn tools live AWAY between layers, manipulating
and are indispensable for essential if you create your in the left-hand palette. Use a A favourite amongst photo and removing parts of a layer
applying textures and blending own vector shapes or drawing combination of these tools to retouchers the Clone Stamp without actually removing
layers. Youll find both settings paths. Select the tool from the create light and shadow in tool is there to help tidy your pixels. Masks are easy to
under the layers palette. Try left-hand palette and specify your illustrations. Pay heed to work and get rid of unwanted adjust and you can come back
Screen and Hue blending its function and settings on the the source and direction of elements. First specify a and tweak isolated areas of
modes for texture work. top tool menu. light before using. source and then paint away. your piece without hassle.

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EXPERT OPINION
PHOTOSHOP HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PART OF ROB FULLERS WORK HE TELLS US WHY IT PLAYS A VITAL ROLE

OUR EXPERT
ROB FULLER
http://robblogstuffnow.tumblr.com/mywork
Freelance illustrator, designer and animator.
Digital painter.

The only time in my life that Photoshop was absent work. The other is, of course, the paint tools and out in Photoshop but they really do save my bacon. I
in my illustration work was when I used things like brush system, which is exactly what is needed for cant function if I dont use layers correctly. Often,
pencils and paint. I remember when I discovered that painting. The way I use Photoshop really depends on history is irrelevant when Im making hundreds of
a computer could be used for more than just what I am making. Taking a digitally painted poster brush marks. Splitting elements of the painting into
document editing and card games. Ever since I as an example, Photoshop has a very strong layers is essential for me. Duplication of layers is
realised what Photoshop was, and the sheer amount presence all the way through the process. With also very important; it becomes my history and my
of power it gave me, I havent really stopped using it. digital painting, the program takes me through the undo button.
Photoshop was the first Adobe program that I whole image preparation and painting process, Plus, the ability to mould and create the perfect
explored. I have since learned others such as making use of brushes, gradients and textures along brush is so incredibly useful, whether its with the
Illustrator, and found them equally as useful in the way. Brush tool itself or with an Eraser. I think that it is
different ways, but I always come back to Photoshop, I usually find that if I use Photoshop in conjunction very important to get to know your brushes. In the
especially with my more recent work shifting back to with other CS programs, its as a starting point, past, I would just import a brush and go with it. Now,
digital painting. In a way, Photoshop feels like home. finishing point or both. I often prepare work in once I pick it apart and understand how and why a
As long as Ive used a computer for illustration, Ive Photoshop or create some of the building blocks that brush is functioning in the way that it does, my
used Photoshop. will later be used to create the final outcome control and use of it improves. One tool that passed
In my opinion, Photoshop has two big advantages elsewhere. It is again just as common to bring me by for a ridiculously long amount of time is the
over other programs. Firstly, the photo manipulation something into Photoshop to give it that extra coat of Refine Edge tool in the Select Menu. Creating or
abilities and tools are perfect and so easy for creating paint or finishing touch. cropping the perfect edge to an image becomes a
reference imagery, which is so important in my Layers may seem like an obvious thing to point doddle when using it.

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Catell Ronca, www.catellronca.co.uk

Richard Deverell, www.richarddeverell.com

Phil Wrigglesworth, www.philwrigglesworth.com

>> the paint to dry; if I make a mistake, the back elements and visualise what something will look like different programs, she says, but over time they
button is always at hand; and I dont have to rely on before committing to it. I use this program a lot, she have become more and more alike. There are now
consistent light, as my colour palettes are always laid says, initially translating a black and white sketch to many overlapping features between the programs.
down in saved files to work from. visualise how an image will look in colour. It is hugely The vector drawing tools in Photoshop used to be the
Phil finds that his favourite pieces to illustrate tend helpful to define my composition. I try out textures poor cousin to Illustrator, but with CS6, Photoshops
to arrive when working on very open briefs, which and colours to see how they will work together. I love vector tools are catching up dramatically. Theyre
allow him to push his idea generating abilities and playing with hue and saturation, the contrast and levels. both great programs.
drive the illustration into unusual territory. This only I then refine my painted samples, integrate textures Working on continuously challenging projects is
happens when commissioned by skilled, and fuse all my elements into the final illustration. one great way to force yourself to learn new skills
understanding and trusting Art Directors. All of the One of the obvious questions to ask is why and discover new tools to use. The job I did for
design team from the Guardian are brilliant to work Photoshop still finds such a vast illustration base Mears Direct was great fun and a huge challenge,
with and, subsequently, I have produced some of my when other Adobe programs such as Illustrator, as says Richard Deverell (www.richarddeverell.com).
favourite pieces of work for that newspaper, he says. the name would suggest, are built-for-purpose They wanted a brochure that showed everything the
Catell Ronca (www.catellronca.co.uk), shown illustration programs. Jennifer Farley thinks that the company could offer their clients, mostly housing
above, finds Photoshop useful not only in her two programs are not so very different from each associations, but without words until the very last
workflow, but also as a way to play around with other. Initially, Photoshop and Illustrator were very page. It started with a red on white pattern and, >>

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Richard Deverell, www.richarddeverell.com

>> with the turn of each page, it was as though the


viewer was taking a step back and seeing more of the
image, the tiny details becoming less visible as the
pages turned and the image grew. The book has 31
illustrated pages, and producing the 24 separate art
files to fit the brief, and the page size, took a lot of
careful planning. Among Richards specialities are
illustrated maps, such as his map of Dubai shown
above, that require a solid knowledge of layers to try
and manage so many elements.
Layers are a rudimentary part of using Photoshop,
but Jennifer Farley says that their usefulness cannot be
spoken of enough. Layers are our friends, she says.
Learn how to use them and their associated functions
the layer effects, blending modes and opacity. Also,
learn the keyboard shortcuts for the tools you use all
the time. This will speed up your work enormously and
many of them are pretty easy to remember. Jennifer
also advises getting up close and personal with all
things brushes, and learning how to create and
manipulate your own.
Phil Wrigglesworth recommends not mistaking
Photoshops useful tools and filters for means of
Catell Ronca, www.catellronca.co.uk (above left and right)
covering up technical flaws in your work. On the

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WHAT NEXT?
YOUR CREATIVE JUICES ARE
FLOWING AND YOUR DIGITAL
CANVASES ARE FILLING UP, BUT
WHERE DO YOU TAKE THEM?
If youre creating work on commission then
its easy to know where your design will end
up once youre finished sweating over it. If
not, then youll need to think about how to get
the most out of your work when youre done.
There are a variety of paths to take when
selling your artwork and the internet, of
course, has opened up many more
opportunities for you to take advantage of.
The easiest way to get started is to sign up
to sites such as www.spreadshirt.com and
get your designs onto merchandise quickly
and easily, from the simple t-shirt to a variety
of other custom clothing. Websites such as
www.zazzle.com offer other options, such as
iPhone cases and bags. Another route to take
is to look at organisations such as The
Illustration Gallery (www.illustrato.rs),
whose website is a curated marketplace that
sells artists work directly to customers. Youll
have to apply if you want to be featured, but
the benefit of sites like this is that your work
is not just another design in a sea of
illustrations. Care is taken over whats sold
and youll be guaranteed to feature among
other quality artists. No matter which route
you take, having your sale items linked to
your own website is equally important. Make
it as easy as possible for visitors to buy your
artwork, whatever the format you wish to
offer it in.

Alice Lickens, www.lickens.co.uk

Layers are our friends. Learn opposite note, he says, use Photoshop as just another
image making tool its your skill and imagination that
how to use them and their drives the package to produce your work, not the other
associated functions way round. Shaun Venish agrees, saying that it took

the layer effects, him a while to learn that skill is built up when you focus
on your art rather than on the tool.
blending modes and Develop better skills in the principles of design,
opacity. Also, learn composition, colour and so on, and dont get too caught
up in the gadgetry and complex add-ons and plug-ins.
the keyboard shortcuts for And finally, Jennifer adds, practice, practice, practice
tools you use all the time while having fun.

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Illustrate with Photoshop
GENIUS GUIDE

REDISCOVER
PIXEL ART
CREATE EPIC ISOMETRIC PIXEL ART WITH SOME
CANNY DUPLICATION AND A BIT OF FLAIR OUR EXPERT
CHRIS MALBON,
By the end of this workshop, you will think of the Duplicate Layer command as your new best friend. AKA MELBS
This image may look super complex at first glance, but look closely and youll see that its composed www.chrismalbon.co.uk/blog
of the same graphics repeated over and over. Each copy has a subtle colour change a different roof With 14 years experience,
Melbs works for some of the
or window, or an element thats been flipped but essentially its the same root illustration. If the thought of a biggest brands in the world. Now
pixel-by-pixel illustration sounds arduous and time consuming, it isnt; once again, all you have based in Bristol in the UK, enjoying
to do is draw a selection of horizontal and vertical lines and duplicate them. the freelance life with his young
family, he works for both local
Photoshop is the ideal tool for this because of the ease of use it offers with its layer, merging and and global agencies.
duplication functions. Overlooked basic tools like the Eraser and Magic Wand will also come into play.
Pixel illustrations are great for making computer icons, isometric images and even whole scenes, as SOURCE FILES
The artist has supplied an isometric
shown here. We wanted to give this illustration a twist, approaching it in a very graphic and abstract way, so grid and a few basic buildings,
it would be just as at home in a picture frame in the form of a print as it would be on a computer screen. vehicles and trees to get you started.

WORK IN PIXELBYPIXEL PROCESS


PROGRESS RECYCLING ELEMENTS AND A LITTLE IMAGINATION GO A LONG WAY
MAKE A SCENE OF
TOTAL DESTRUCTION
01 ISOMETRIC GRID
To begin, you will need an isometric grid as
a guide, even for your rough sketch, to help get the
02 SKETCH
Like all great ideas, this started in the
sketchbook. We opt for a monster-on-a-rampage
spacing right. Our grid is made up of 30-degree scene, a nod to King Kong and Godzilla. Be as
horizontal and reverse vertical lines and is on the rough as you like, as this is just a scamp. Using
disc. Print it out on A4 and we can get started. layout paper means you can follow the grid below.

Step 9: Lay out your city

Step 13: Lay into your city 03 CREATE A PIXEL BRUSH


Because our piece is going to be
high-res, we cant use a single 72dpi pixel
instead, we have to create a high-res,
printable pixel. To do this, open a new
document, sized 5 x 5px at 300dpi. Then
go to Edit>Define Brush Preset to make a
new brush. Select the Pencil tool and then
open the Brushes palette to select your
new brush; it should be at the bottom.
Step 24: Go with the glow Now were ready to draw pixels!

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04 CORNER TO CORNER
One click at a time this is the most time consuming part of the process whenever changing the
angle of the line, make sure the corners are edge to edge. To achieve a perfect isometric line draw two
QUICK TIP
Remember to untick the
Anti-alias checkbox when
selecting inside your pixel
squares across and one down (see below); use your scamp as a guide to draw your lines. When your pixel outline; this will lead to a
cleaner and bolder shape,
drawing is viewed at 100% (actual size) the Pencil tool at 1px is very small, so you might find it hard to see with no overhang or blur.
and manipulate. A good idea is to enlarge the view to 800% so you can clearly see what youre doing. Pixel art needs to be clean
and precise.

05 ONE ELEMENT AT A TIME


The beauty of this piece is it uses the same
graphics over and over, but each is treated a little
differently. Lets start with a building. Draw an
isometric line on a new layer then duplicate. Go to
Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal and merge the two
layers. Repeat this process but, when done, rotate
this layer 180 degrees and merge so you are left
with a diamond shape. Hit Duplicate Layer and,
with an eraser, remove the top half. Drag down and
draw two vertical joining lines to create a 3D block.

06 COLOURING IN
Check all your isometric lines are
joined and that there are no gaps. Next, select
the Magic Wand tool, open your Options bar
and make sure the Anti-alias box is
unchecked and Contiguous is checked. Click
inside the shape with the Magic Wand, create
a new layer and place it under your lined
drawing, before selecting the Paint Bucket
tool and filling each side of the block with
colour. Keep tones similar and add some
highlights by drawing single key line strokes.

07 SKYSCRAPER DETAILS
Start duplicating your building layers. Now
that you have a base, its fairly easy to recycle the
08 CREATE SOME CARNAGE!
This scene is about destruction so be creative with your lines, creating black fills and placing them
over the tops of buildings to give the impression of holes and burnt areas. Use the Eraser tool to delete
same graphic and, by adding different details, each sides of your buildings, but remember to draw back in black outlines. Place black isometric spots across the
building gets its own look. We dont want to top of your buildings to give the impression of half-demolished structures.
overcomplicate the skyscrapers a few isometric
lines doubled up work great as a row of windows,
while some single white lines can serve as
passable reflections. You can also try applying
some subtle gradients as we have its up to you!

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WATCH THIS SPACE This scene is about


MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY AREA OF THE PS CANVAS destruction so be creative
09 FILL OUT THE SCENE
Once you have created buildings in various states of destruction, turn your attention to the rest of the
scene. Create a background layer filled with a vibrant flat colour or gradient. Use your scamp to give you an
with your lines,
creating black fills
idea of where your monster will go and start placing the buildings you just made. and placing them
over the buildings
001 002 003 to give the impression of
holes and burnt areas

10 HELICOPTERS
Now youve got the hang of drawing edge
to edge, and creating isometric angles, its time to
get a bit more creative. Using the sketch we now
create some helicopters. Again, its fairly simple,
but it helps to duplicate your layers of lines to save
wearing out your finger with all that clicking! Draw
some simple forms first, like the cockpit, which is
a box with a steep, angled line at the front. The
blades are just an isometric circle coloured blue
with its opacity knocked back.

001 | 002 | 003 |


Use the buildings to create some For exposed areas of street around It wouldnt be a city without roads,
background negative space. To do your buildings, create a chequered and these are very easy to do. They
this, select one of the building layers pattern like paving slabs. Duplicate are just isometric lines that are
and lock it. Fill the shape with white, the building tops and keep them flush. moved slightly apart, then joined at
duplicate the layer and start creating Repeat so you start getting a the ends and filled in with grey. Flip
some abstract backdrops; use your chessboard effect then place around some of them around to have the
grid to keep things roughly aligned, the base of your structures, roads going in various directions.
but they can overlap to add interest. eliminating some of the white space. Now the tanks have room to play.

11 TANKS
For the tanks, much of the same applies as
previous steps. So long as you keep the pixels
12 BOATS
We dont want to use too many boats, but
its up to you. Again use your scamps for reference
13 ORGANISE YOUR ARMY
Now to place all these war machines, we
have inverted our scamp because white lines are
clean, you cant go wrong. Keep your sketch close (see, it pays to do sketches!) and the grid to create easier to see. Use roads as a guide for the tanks,
to hand, because drawing tanks, helicopters and your iso-boats. We decide to mix up the size of the boats will need to go on the sea, while helicopters
the like from memory is much harder than you pixels making up the boat; the pixels on the top can pretty much go anywhere. The ocean is just a
think. Create the tanks in a piecemeal fashion to half have a thicker line, giving the impression of a solid blue isometric square with single 1px lines
keep them editable; we need to flip them top-heavy control tower. And to continue the running over it to indicate the crests of waves.
horizontally to fill out the scene, but when doing recycling theme, we copy and paste guns from the Place some tanks and helicopters peeping out
this, remember to reposition the barrel of the gun. tanks, colouring them to match the boat. from behind buildings to develop depth.

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BRING IN THE MONSTER ORGANISED CHAOS


INTRODUCE THE STAR OF THE SHOW: PIXELA

14 GO IN WITH A BANG!
Explosions have no structure, they just
well, explode! So feel free to go a little wild when
15 PLACE THE EXPLOSIONS
It makes sense to surround the monster
with your explosions, also placing near the barrels
making these. You will need to do three or four of guns. You can crop the explosions and place
different sizes for some variation. Create them on them over the black holes on your buildings too,
separate layers and fill them with different colours; giving the impression of small fires. Once again, its
weve used grey, red, orange and yellow. Add some all about the Duplicate Layer command. Add some
pixel dots for shading and a few random 1-2px smoke for realism, which is just some flat bent
embers as a nice extra touch. lines with the opacity knocked back. When creating an illustration as hectic as this, its
best to keep all the elements in separate folders
within their own master file so you have a library of
graphics to refer to. To keep these folders even more
easily distinguished, you can colour code them, by
Shi-clicking on the relevant layer thumbnails in the
Layers palette, hitting Cmd/Ctrl+G and assigning a
colour. When you have placed all elements and are
happy, you can merge everything, but be 100 per cent
sure that youre done, as you wont be able to edit
anything from that point on.

16 PIXELA
Now lets create the star of the show. Start
with the scamp on its own layer and set it to
17 PIXELA 2: COLOUR
Once you have drawn your monster,
create another new layer and place it
Multiply blending; we do this so that any colour underneath your scamp. Go back to the pixel
used can be seen without interfering with the drawing and use the Magic Wand tool to select
sketch. Create a new layer for your pixel drawing. inside the beast, then fill the monster with a
Do your best to stick to your sketch, applying the colour of your choice. We opted for green as
same technique of edge to edge two across and our base colour. Now draw the rest of the
one down as best you can. It might look a little main features such as horns, claws, eyes,
messy to begin with but it will shape up! Key lines etc all on separate layers so that they are
inside the illustration also help give it a bold look. independently editable as we progress.

18 PIXELA 3: DETAILS
The monster details may look complex, but
they really arent. Theyre just a combination of
flush isometric lines, with the opacity knocked
back on different lines. Some areas of Pixela we
have coloured in darker, others lighter, and the top
of his head has been applied with the chequer
pattern from earlier. Theres nothing here you have
not used already. However, if youve got time, it can
be nice to create one or two bespoke patterns for
your monster, eg a reptilian scales pattern.

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19 PRACTISE YOUR SCALES


The scale pattern is dead easy to make. Draw nine small pixel 2D circles, and inside each corner
circle draw something like a cross. Once happy, merge everything, then duplicate your layer and put it next
QUICK TIP
Once you have drawn your
pixel art, dont try rescaling it.
This will blur the pixels
to your first and merge again. Repeat this procedure until you have created several rows. Select All and copy and automatically give
everything an anti-aliased
the pattern, go back to the Pixela picture, select an area you want to fill and paste in the scales. look, and you will lose that all-
important clean pixel finish.

20 HORNS
The monsters horns are simple triangle
forms; its the shading that gives them the feel of
depth and form. Start by drawing a large horn
shape and duplicating it. On the duplication erase
away the bottom half, then redraw your black
keyline. Duplicate again and continue to do this
until you run out of triangle! Place the decreasingly
sized triangles along Pixelas tail.

21 TRAILS
We are now going to create a little
more negative space by giving our
helicopters some white exhaust trails; this
is a nice way to make the piece more
graphic and abstract. Duplicate the roads
created in Step 9 and fill with white. Place
them behind the helicopters and use the
Transform tool to flip them horizontally
and vertically to create zigzags. Again, its
a nice idea to have some trails vanishing
behind buildings for perspective.

22 THINK GREENERY
To create a tree, make sure your pixels are
edge to edge and create a half circle. Then copy
23 PLACING THE TREES
AND FIELDS
Fields are just your roads from earlier placed next
24 GLOW EFFECTS
Its not the done thing to add glares, or any
kind of effects over pixel art, but we like to break
and paste before going to Edit>Transform>Flip to each other and then filled with varying shades of the rules now and then to add a little oomph.
Horizontal, bringing almost flush with your other green. Start placing your trees around the fields Flatten your image and, on a new layer set to
half and draw a few pixels to join the top and and one or two here and there between the Screen blending, pick a medium-sized airbrush.
bottom. Fill in with a green colour and, using buildings to break up the skyscrapers. Of course, Use the Color Picker to pull out existing colours
single pixels, shade one half of the tree, as per the if you wanted to go on and create alternative and apply around flames and explosions to indicate
screenshot. Draw some simple 2-3px trunks in scenes with your pixel monster, you could reuse sparks and heat. Consider also using on Pixelas
brown underneath to complete the trees. any of these elements to save you time. teeth and eyes for an extra monstery glow!

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POSTER GRAPHICS
POSTERS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR ADVERTISING BRANDS, BUT
TRYING TO DO IT WITHOUT TEXT? THATS HARD BEYOND WORDS

OUR EXPERT
JOSH OVERTON
www.overtongraphics.com
Josh is a graphic designer based in
London, UK. He focuses mainly on
digital and print work and has
worked with a number of
high-profile clients. Hes currently
working at BaseKit.

SOURCE FILES
You will find a paper texture on the
CD. Everything else is created from
scratch during the tutorial.

Advertising without words is


possibly one of the most difficult
marketing strategy briefs you
can get. It can therefore require a lot
more work than an advertisement with
words, because creating an image that
gets a point across to a viewer without
using any text is much harder than
having a quick brainstorming session to
think up a tagline.
In this tutorial we look at creating a
mock poster advert for a brand with an
identifiable logo. A lot of current
advertising is text-based. However, when
viewers are walking by in a rush or
driving past at speed, these text-heavy
adverts are lost as they have no
attention-grabbing, self-explanatory
elements that you can take something
from in the blink of an eye.
We will be looking at creating an We will be looking at creating an
advertisement with no words, which advertisement with no words, which can
have several interpretations depending
can have several interpretations on the potential customer who is
depending on the potential viewing it. We will be creating this design
customer who is viewing it using purely Photoshop and some
simple techniques in the program which
are often overlooked.

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MAKE MULTIVALENT ILLUSTRATIONS


LEARN HOW TO SELL WITHOUT WORDS

01 SET UP THE DOCUMENT


First, we need to establish the size of the document. Set it to
International Paper, A3 with a dpi of 300. This is convenient as, with
02 ADD A BACKGROUND
Next we need a background image. We are using a textured backdrop
(supplied on the resource disc), but you can use any texture or colour that works for
these settings, you can print up to A2 posters without compromising your design. Remember, these steps are a starting point for you to go off on your
on image quality and you also save some space on your computers own tangent.
memory. Its a win-win situation!

03 ADD SOME SHAPES


Now we add some shapes to the background just to make
the design a little more complex and interesting. This is an optional
step as you may be going for a cleaner, more minimalist finish. The
shapes we are using are rectangles, which are white in colour with a
faded opacity so that they better blend in with the background.

UNDERSTANDING SKEW
In terms of geometry, a skew
polygon is a polygon which has
vertices that do not lie across a
single plane. Because they are
multidimensional, skew
polygons must have at least four
vertices. A regular skew polygon
is a skew polygon with equal
edge lengths and which is
vertex-transitive. The interior
surface (or area) of such a
polygon is not uniquely defined.
The vertex of an angle is the
point where two rays begin or meet, where two line segments join or meet, where two lines
intersect (cross), or any appropriate combination of rays, segments and lines that result in two
straight sides meeting at a single point.

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ADVERTISING 101
Sometimes its good to go back to basics before
starting a project. In essence, advertising is a form
04 CHOOSE A GUIDE
We have used a
hand for this design but
of communication intended to persuade an anything, within reason, is
audience to buy or buy into a particular product, idea
usable consider what will
or service. It traditionally includes the name of the
product or service and how that item could benefit work for your advert. First
the consumer, to persuade a target market to find a good image to use as
purchase or to consume a specific brand. These
messages are usually paid for by sponsors and a guide for the shaping of
viewed via various media. Advertising can also the rectangles. Once you
convey ideas and principles in an attempt to incite a have your image, we can
certain way of thinking.
move on to its construction.

06 SKEW
Enter
the Transform
mode for the
rectangle (Cmd/
Ctrl+T) and then
Ctrl/right-click to
drag individual

05 HANDIWORK
The next few steps are the longest part of this process and require some
patience. First make a rectangle at any size and apply a default Drop Shadow style to
corners to line
up with the guide
image on the
it. We have used the starting colour #b10d4f. Next, we skew the rectangle and then layer below. Try
repeat the process throughout. to build it with a
3D head so we
can shade
certain shapes to
give the hand
more depth.

08 DUPLICATE AND ROTATE


Now our hand is finished we can duplicate it three times so that
we have four hands, and then rotate all of them and put them at each
corner of the page so that they are pointing to the centre. We can now
move on to change the colour of each hand.

07 KEEP SKEWING
Continue building up the hand shape. The fingers can be a particularly tricky
area of this illustration to get right, so expect to spend some time redoing shapes;
however, finishing something this complex can be very rewarding. Continue with the
design until you are completely satisfied, then merge all the hand layers together.

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The fingers can be a particularly tricky area of


this illustration to get right, so expect to
09 A SPLASH OF COLOUR
Now simply select the hand you wish to colour and then go to
Image>Adjustments> Hue/Saturation and play with the Hue slider. This is a
spend some time redoing shapes; great way to change the colour of the whole image at once without affecting

however, finishing something this the tones of the hand. Repeat for the remaining three hands.

complex can be very rewarding

10 SHADOW
Select all
four hands and
then make a
merged copy of all
four by pressing
Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/
Alt+E. Put this
layer behind the
separate hands
and desaturate it.
Now we need to
apply a slight
Motion Blur at a
45-degree angle.
Finally, we
enlarge and rotate
this layer using
the Transform
controls in order
to create a
shadow effect.

11 POSITION THE LOGO


Open a copy of your logo and place it in the centre of the hands. All we have
to do is create a copy of the logo in the same style of the hands using your icon as a
guide. This is done using the same techniques as described from Step 6.

12 ALL DONE
There we have it: a striking poster without words. A visual statement,
which functions like an advertisement, but which allows the viewer to make
their own interpretation.

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DIGITAL COLLAGE
TECHNIQUES
Learn how composition, colours and attention to
detail can take an artwork from good to great

OUR EXPERT
EE VENN SOH
http://be.net/vennsoh
Ee Venn Soh works under the
creative identity of EIII. He is currently
based in New Zealand, and his main
skillset lies in coding and graphics.

SOURCE FILES
There is a gradient colour preset,
polka-dot pattern file and a colour
adjustment PSD provided on the CD.

To complete this tutorial to best effect, it will be


beneficial if you a good working knowledge of
how to work with Photoshops Pen tool, layer
styles, Transform tools, filters and adjustment layers
(check out the intro tips feature for guidance).
The illustration itself is a classic retro piece given a
twist with a mixed bag of modern abstract geometry.
Colour plays a significant role in creating something
reminiscent of the recent past say, the Seventies.
Conversely, the shapes are more abstract in nature,
which is a characteristic of more modern art.
The whole composition actively encourages
experimentation. We injected contemporary elements
like abstract shapes into an expressive vintage colour
tone and deliberately exaggerated many aspects of the
work to be as quirky as possible, so feel free to deviate
from these steps.
You will learn how to sharpen your composition to
create the perfect balanced artwork based on some
basic principles, while honing your artistic eye. Colour is
key to this and we will start by choosing the right palette.
At the very end, we will focus on the finer details, adding
finesse to the piece by way of Photoshop filters and a
few polishing techniques.
Photoshop is a great piece of software for this style of
art thanks to its advanced layering abilities. You will be
amazed by how you can harness some of the most
basic tools and end up with an amazing digital collage.

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01 BACKGROUND AND COLOUR


Create an A4 canvas and fill it with #c8d2bd. Next, we will start to define a
colour palette for the artwork. Do keep in mind that the colour chosen here will be
02 FOCAL POINT
The focus of this artwork consists of three square shapes. Select
the Rectangle tool (U) to create a shape layer. Hold Shift+Opt/Alt while
affected by the overall colour adjustments in the final steps. A good source of dragging to constrain the proportions of the rectangle while centring it.
inspiration for colour schemes is www.colourlovers.com. Load up the gradients.grd Create a layer mask by duplicating the same rectangle and scale it down to
file from the CD via the Gradient Editor. 80%. Make sure the Maintain aspect ratio box is selected.

03 FOCAL POINT 2
Were going to create the specularity aspect of
the rectangle now. Select the Pen tool (P) to create a
THE LITTLE DETAILS
If you have time, you could add more details to the 3D abstract
shapes. Apply a soft white Inner Shadow layer style to a few
shape layer; we are looking to draw the shadow and shapes to simulate a highlight. If you prefer, you could even add
highlight areas. Hit Shift while creating a new anchor a Drop Shadow to the shapes where they stack on top of each
point to constrain the angle. Fill the shapes using the other to create a sense of depth. Details make a good design
great, and although they can take up a lot of time, they are
gradient colours which were loaded in Step 1. usually time well spent. We also added a few gradient spheres
around the work for extra interest. These little visual
ingredients should work with the focal point, rather than
distract the eye; you are looking to create a harmonious whole.

05 PATTERNED SHAPES
Create a circle, rectangle and triangle using the various shape tools (U) and fill them with
#cab98b. Position them randomly around the edge of the largest rectangle. Add the pattern_polka.
psd file from the CD to the shapes and, finally, apply a Bevel and Emboss layer style using the settings
shown in the screenshot below.

04 SMARTEN UP
Group all the rectangle layers and convert
them into a Smart Object. Duplicate this object twice.
Scale the first object down to 66% and the second
object to 44%. Once again Maintain aspect ratio should
be activated.

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06 TRANSFORMATION EFFECTS
Select the Rectangle tool and create a white rectangle.
Duplicate it and press Cmd/Ctrl+T to transform it. Move and
07 HEXAGON EFFECTS
Using the Polygon tool (U), create a hexagonal shape layer and apply a gradient with
the provided file. Rasterise it, then using the same transformation method from the previous
rotate the shape from the original values, then hit Enter. While still step, re-create the hexagon multiple times. Merge them all together and duplicate the layer.
on the same layer, Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+Shift+T multiple times to Flip the duplicated layer horizontally (Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal) and place in the main
transform it again and again. Try to be experimental with the merged layer.
rotation angle and the distance between each duplicated shape.

QUICK TIP Try to be


Getting a perfect
composition isnt easy.
The basic rule to
experimental
with the
08 3D ABSTRACT
SHAPES
This is the most tedious part of
remember is that true
perfection is attained
not when there is no rotation the tutorial. Using the Pen tool,
create a shape layer and fill
longer anything to add,
but when there angle with a gradient as before.
is no longer anything to
take away.
and the Create the other faces of the

distance between each shape with the Pen tool. This


time apply a new gradient
duplicated shape overlay; experiment with
colours until you find one that
works for you.

09 3D ABSTRACT SHAPES 2
Repeat the previous step as many times as you need to until you have an overall pleasing
composition. Try creating lots of abstract shapes in different sizes and colours, and place them
randomly around the canvas. You can duplicate some shapes and tweak their values to save some
time on bulking out the collage.

10 3D TRANSFORMED SHAPES
Select one of the 3D shape groups and merge it.
Repeat the transformation effect as demonstrated in
earlier steps. However this time you can set a reference
point and transform around that point. Repeat this step a
few times on various 3D shape groups until youre
satisfied with the composition.

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11 STRIPS
Once more, use the Pen tool to create a shape layer; instead of a polygon, this time we will create a
smooth curved strip. Apply a gradient and an Inner Shadow layer style as before. Duplicate the layer, place it
12 GET SMUDGING
Make a rectangle with four different
colours in it. Click on the Smudge tool and change
behind the shape and nudge it just off its original position to create the shadow. Remember you can apply layer the settings to: Diameter 100px, Hardness 100%
masks whenever you want to cover up certain areas. and Strength 100%. Then select your Freeform
Pen tool (P) and draw a zigzag path. Ensure the tip
of the path is in the centre of the rectangle. In the
Paths panel, right-click on the path and Stroke
Path with the Smudge tool.

13 COLOUR SETTING
Next, we make the overall colour adjustments.
First we apply a Hue/Saturation layer followed by a
14 ADD NOISE AND POSTERISE
Create a new layer and fill it with black.
Apply a 400% Monochromatic Noise filter. Change
15 BEAUTIFUL DESTRUCTION
Select All (Cmd/Ctrl+A) and Copy Merged
(Cmd/Ctrl>Shift+C) and Paste it (Cmd/Ctrl+V).
Selective Color layer and then, finally, a Color Balance the blending mode to Overlay and drop the Opacity Select the Lasso tool (L) and make some random
layer. There is a colour_adjustments.psd file on the CD to 20%. Next, click on Layer>New Adjustment selections of the artwork and start nudging these
with the three colour adjustment settings if youd like to Layer> Posterize and set its Levels value to 25%. up or down and slightly to the right. Repeat this
save some time. In the PSD, drag the layer group and step several times, focusing on one area for
simply drop it into your project file. maximum effect.

16 FINAL FILTERS
This last step is a very
QUICK TIP
Play around with the
settings in the Gradient
Using the Lasso tool
experimental touchup so go with your
own instincts here. Using the Lasso tool
Overlay layer style.
While in the Layer Style
again, make
again, make some random selections panel, you can drag some random
and apply Pixelate>Mosaic, as well as
around the gradient in
the canvas to find its selections and
the Distort>Wave and ZigZag filters,
setting the values to taste. If you think
optimum position within
the shape. apply Pixelate>
you have gone overboard with a Mosaic as well
particular effect, you can just use the as the Distort>Wave and
Eraser tool (E) to take things back a bit.
ZigZag filters to taste

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SYMMETRY
WITH SHAPES
OUR EXPERT
ADAM SMITH
www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk
Adam is a creative tour de force at
Advanced Photoshop magazine.
For this tutorial, he brings us more
of his up-to-date styles.
USE BOTH GEOMETRIC AND ORGANIC FORMS TO CREATE FRESH SOURCE FILES
AND UNIQUE SYMMETRY WITHIN YOUR GRAPHICAL DESIGNS Youll find a selection of iStockphoto
images, as well as free shape
resources and links to other stock.
Graphic designers are usually defined as have once been a static style, as well as showing you how Weve also included the wonderful
producers of form, who combine words, symbols to couple 2D and 3D forms. Cloud brushset, courtesy of designer
Creating such bespoke projects is never easy, but the Lee Pearce (http://para-vine.
and images to create a visual representation of an
deviantart.com).
idea or message. With digital techniques, solutions have common factor that does bind them together and ground
become more instantaneous, reflected in the custom-built them graphically is symmetry. This can be produced by
compositions and limited adoption of strict geometric matching up the forms of well-known shapes, creating
styling layering by eye and sensation is more prevalent. recognisable and structured geometry, which is then
In this tutorial we turn our hand to this contemporary individualised through the application of more
graphic style, using both freestyle and traditional shapes to personalised forms. Surprisingly when paired, these can
develop a balanced composition. Also included are several create dynamic and visually stimulating designs,
mixed-media approaches that add tangibility to what may appreciated by many modern-day digital creatives.

PLAYING WITH SHAPES


BLEND ABSTRACT AND REALISTIC CONCEPTS FOR IMPACT

01 SET THE SCENE


Settings for a graphical piece are more
about sensation than visual detail. Open your
02 SKULL
SKYLINE
Copy and paste in
document and create a solid grey layer. Fill a new iStockphotos 11242613
layer with black, then load up the Cloud Brushes image of a nebula. Place
from the CD, applying a 70% Opacity Cloud 3 black central to the skyline, rotating
brush bottom up to create fog effects. right by 30 degrees. Tweak
tones by applying
Image>Adjustments>Hue/
Saturation, with Hue at around
-175 and Saturation at -20. You
should see some semblance
of a skull in the reoriented
image (see screengrab). Also
apply a Smart Sharpen filter to
the Orion nebula image
setting this to 100% Amount
with a 1px Radius.

Creating such bespoke 03 SKULL SKYLINE 2


Apply a Vivid Light blending mode to
your nebula layer then a layer mask, integrating
[graphic] projects is never edges. Duplicate, flip horizontally and reapply a
easy, but the Screen blending mode, tweaking the mask and

common factor that position. Next import the 1036239 human skull
image from SXC, setting a 70% Opacity Soft
does bind them Light blending mode. Position over converging
together is symmetry nebula layers to complete the main skull visual,
integrating with another layer mask.

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04 SKULL SKYLINE 3
Copy and paste in the iStockphoto
2684253 close-up of the Orion nebula
QUICK TIP
Photoshop is adept at
creating both 2D and
05 COLOUR WASH
Copy Step 1s black layer, placing above
all others. Set blending to Screen, then apply a
SANDY SPHERES
Although used sparingly in our own design, the
sand sphere elements are highly contemporary
3D shapes. The fx within modern graphic examples. You can see how
image. Rotate 90 degrees to the left, options Inner Glow 120b91 blue Color Overlay (15% Opacity) and a layering affects these shapes from the examples
applying a Screen blending mode, then and Gradient Overlay, 90-degree violet-to-transparent Gradient on the disc. To create one of your own, apply a grey
as well as Bevel and eclipse shape, then apply Inner Glow to illuminate
rescale and position to the right of your Emboss, effects can Overlay. Copy and paste the 5260804 model edges, as well as a black-to-transparent gradient to
skull, extending from the right eye socket. be used intuitively to from the CD and scale down, rotating 30 create the 3D form. Paste in a sand section from a
Reapply blue and purple tones as before create a sense of the degrees to the right. Apply Image> desert/beach image and position over your sphere,
third dimension. Just then add a layer mask. Ctrl/right-click the sphere
via Hue/Saturation. Lastly, sharpen and experiment to get the Adjustments>Black & White, setting Reds at layer thumbnail and apply to your desert mask,
integrate with a layer mask once more. right look. -120 and Yellows at 75. isolating the shape of this layer to the spheres
edges. Now you can paint in sand contours and
sharpen to finish up.

06 HEADS UP
Position your model head layer as in the example. Duplicate this, resetting a 50% Opacity Multiply blending mode.
Grunge up the area by applying iStockphotos 10117876 and 4157951 watercolour layers from the disc, set to Color,
Linear Burn and Soft Light blending modes. Tweak opacity and saturation to taste, playing with orientation and editing
with layer masks. 07 ORGANIC FORMS
Lets offset the uniform shapes well
apply soon with more organic samples. Weve
used contemporary rustic stock. Open the
IMG_1655.jpg mountain image from the CD,
then use selection tools (eg Lasso) to draw
around sections of the mountain, inserting into
your image. Repeat several times, rescaling and
repositioning as you go. Drop shadows can add
perspective so play with these for best effects.

08 ADD 2D CIRCLES
To create more
personalised graphic effects, try
09 ADD 3D SPHERES
Weve varied the 2D circle
effects by applying Soft Light and
applying the Exclusion blend mode Color Burn blending modes,
to some of these mountain layers inverting some, as well as
and inverting (Cmd/Ctrl+I) to create alternating opacity levels. 3D
unique and interesting colour spheres have then been placed.
contrasts. Now start to apply your Specifically weve added in SXCs
first pass of regular shape circles. 1272764 moon picture, the Sun
Copy and Paste these in from the shape.psd (layer effects visible on
2D shapes.psd or make them the CD) and gloss spheres from
yourself with the Circle Shape tool. iStockphotos 9928486 image.

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10 3D REALISM
As the sun layer acts as a light source, weve made sure this
affects the lighting of the surrounding elements. Weve painted to
11 TRIANGULATION
Hard-edged triangles offset smooth circles well. Weve strategically placed an equilateral triangle,
set to Linear Burn, showing through textures beneath, and a 58% Opacity violet equilateral triangle, set to
the moon layer directly using Dodge and Burn tools. Duplicate your Vivid Light; masking its edges to create transparent effects, weve also applied a white-to-transparent
gloss sphere, apply Hue/Saturation>Lightness -100, lower Opacity 90-degree Gradient Overlay. An extra line shape serves to unite circles and triangles.
to 20% and mask away edges where light would fall. Apply a Drop
Shadow layer style to the smaller gloss sphere.

12 SYMMETRICAL SHAPES
Adjust symmetry and tones of elements, complementing
with CD resources and blending. Apply diagonal and horizontal lines
to make a triangle, then a circle line using the Pen Path tool and
Ellipse shape option. Select Stroke Path within the Paths palette

14
with a 2px white hard brush applied to a new layer.
QUICK TIP GET A MOVE ON

13 BUILD UP SYMMETRY
Inside your circle line shape layer, insert
the sand sphere.psd from the CD, setting it to
Symmetry can be
easily achieved when
looking beyond the
Though acceptable with graphic design,
our image is quite static, so lets work it up with
subtle movement. Weve done so by applying
fitting of geometric
Multiply blending mode. Underneath this layer shapes and aligning the SXC 815479 watercolour image, set to
add a 335675 blue tone circle set to 50% Fill your own freestyle Screen blending mode, over our central shapes,
types with organic
Color Burn, and then on top, a white smaller structures and masking edges. Weve also thrown down some
shape (overlapping the sand shape edges) set direction built from smaller scattered shapes from the disc.
accidental overlaps
to Overlay. A small purple shape is placed
and converging edges.
centrally on top of all these layers. Be spontaneous to

15 IMAGE CUTS
When referring to image cuts, we mean
using selection tools to copy and paste from
guarantee
individuality.

another image into our own usually a reference


of colour and texture without any clear indication
of original picture content. These create diverse
visuals and can be colour adjusted, blended and
used to create further symmetry/direction when
mixed with path and line shapes.
16 EXTRA
ARTEFACTS
With all youve learnt, feel
free to finish the piece or
add extra elements. Weve
included another image
cut with a Lens Flare
effect and the sand
sphere2.psd at adjacent
ends of our line shapes to
create balance. Weve also
added a flyout circle with a
numeral balancing the
piece and creating a
cryptic visual cue (for an
explanation, Google
Lifepath number).

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USE TEXTURES
TO ADD DEPTH
LAYER PHOTOGRAPHIC TEXTURES AND OBJECTS TO BRING
YOUR GRAPHIC ARTWORKS TO LIFE OUR EXPERT
THOMAS BURDEN
In this tutorial well show you how to construct this seasonal graffiti-inspired image from elements www.therewillbeunicorns.com
drawn exclusively in PS. Well also show you how quickly and easily a flat image can be transformed, There Will Be Unicorns is the studio
moniker of illustrator, Thomas. He
by adding a more interesting aged look with just one texture and a handy free plug-in specifically has mixed a freelance career with
made for the job. Supplied by illustrator Thomas Burden, he uses this on his very own professional projects, longer, full-time stints as a designer
invented as an invaluable production device to halve the time spent creating and editing textures. at McFaul Studio and CRUSH Creative.
Rather than simply overlaying textures using the blending mode options, well be building up separate
SOURCE FILES
layers of solid textures manually. These are easily edited through colour adjustments. Well explore how to Icecream man.psd is the main
target and texture specific image areas using Photoshop gradient maps too, as well as how to detail image working file. Cutout is an editable
elements using Shape toolsets and the Pen Path Stroke command. Photoshop process application,
created for quickly keying out white
In its entirety this workshop offers the essential skills for a super-fast workflow for grunge-based from textures. Texture.jpg is the
illustrative styles. Once youve completed this image, why not try creating a piece based on another season? texture applied to this piece.

WORK IN ADD DEPTH TO ILLUSTRATIONS


PROGRESS LETS TURN SOMETHING FLAT INTO AN AMAZING ARTWORK
BUILDING UP OUR

01
COLOURFUL DESIGN OPEN UP THE SOURCE FILES
Load the source files from the CD. Open
Icecream man.psd. The image is looking flat and
02 INSTALL THE PROCESS APP
From the disc drag the Cutout icon into
Photoshop (Applications>Photoshop>Plug-Ins).
missing a couple of elements. Were going to Mac users can also place this on their desktop to
create said elements and then texture all within an quickly drag textures as needed. This will become
inch of its life, using a single scanned image of a quick way of keying out white from textures, in
some old paint on glass (also supplied on the disc). order to keep them as easily editable solid layers.

Step 1: Start out with the flat image

Step 8: Add more elements


03 CREATE A CUBE
To start were going to make
a cube shape, which is an excellent
building block for most of this
images forms. Create a new layer
and draw a square with the Marquee
tool (M) or the Rectangle tool (U). A
simple yellow square can quickly be
skewed, duplicated, flipped and
re-coloured to form a cube, using
Step 11: Work up the textures the Edit>Transform options.

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04 CONSTRUCT A SANDCASTLE
Sandcastles and sand staircases can then be made quickly and easily in Photoshop, by duplicating
(Cmd/Ctrl+J) and resizing cubes using Transform>Scale. Using these as the basis for the image gives it a
QUICK TIP
A good texture library
is key to creating good
authentic grunge styles.
strong sense of composition and perspective, serving as guides when creating other elements. Their strong Get off the computer and
play around with inks,
uniform lines can really tie a scene together even when scattered. Try creating some elements of your own paints, old paper and
using this same process. anything you can think of.
Scan them in, then name
and file them so you can
quickly locate them in
the future.

05 BUILD BESPOKE SHAPES


The summery ice lollies are created using
the Rounded Rectangle tool (U). Taper the shape
using Edit>Transform>Distort to get a realistic
shape. Stripes are then added and the shape is
skewed, keeping it in line with the perspective of
other elements, using Distort again. This can be
duplicated, nudged down and darkened using
Brightness/Contrast to create a 3D effect. You can
decorate your lollies however you like, but it should
complement the overall colour scheme.

06 MAKE A LOLLY STICK


Lolly stick shapes are also made using
the Rounded Rectangle tool. Detail lines such as
the grain of the wood are drawn with the Pen Path
tool (P) on a separate layer by eye. Next set the
Brush tool to the required colour, sized at around
3px and with Hardness pushed to 100%, then Cmd/
Ctrl-click your wood grain layer thumbnail, selecting
Stroke Path. The Pen tool in Photoshop works
exactly the same way it does within Illustrator but
by keeping the whole process in Photoshop, we can
ultimately speed up the workflow.

07 ADD SPRINKLES
The paths can now be deleted. Once
the line layer and shape layer are merged (select
08 FILL OUT THE
COMPOSITION
Now weve got some of the
both and hit Cmd/Ctrl+E), the stick can then be more fundamental
treated as per other elements to give it a 3D elements created we can
perspective. Decorative sprinkles add more realism easily duplicate these to
and we utilise the Rounded Rectangle tool once begin fleshing out the
again, quickly duplicating (Opt/Alt then click and composition. Using uniform
drag), re-colouring and rotating sprinkles to cover angles and perspective in
the top portion of the lolly. this way means that
compositions and repeat
patterns can be executed
really quickly and to
maximum effect. Use some
of the elements
symmetrically and others
placed randomly to create
greater visual diversity.
Have a look at our
screenshot to get a good
idea of placement.

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APPLY TEXTURES Using uniform angles


USE ADJUSTMENT OPTIONS TO TARGET IMAGE AREAS and perspective in this
way means that
09 CREATE A TEXTURE
Drag the Texture.psd onto the Cutout application icon and watch the magic happen. As you can see, compositions and
it has automatically opened in Photoshop, selecting and separating all black colour value. This will work with
any image you use, but it specifically caters to creating textures. It always works best if your texture image is
repeat patterns
greyscale, with a high contrast. can be filled out
really quickly

10 ADD TEXTURE TO
THE BACKGROUND
Copy and paste the selected texture area into the
Icecream man main image. Place the new layer
between the Icecream man layer and the
Background layer. Colour it however you want
using colour overlays; experiment until you get
something that you are happy with. For the texture
on the background weve used white, then
duplicated it, rotated it 180 degrees and changed
the colour to a dark blue.

11 CREATE A TONAL MAP


Were now going to add a little texture to the
main elements. Duplicate the texture layer that you
12 TEXTURE INDIVIDUAL TONES
Click on the gradient swatch to bring up the
Gradient Editor, selecting the Black, White style.
13 ADJUST THE COLOURS
You can then repeat the previous step for
the highlights and darker areas, making sure to
used on the background, placing it above the Name the layer Gradient Map, using it to target mix up the position, rotation and scale of each
Icecream man layer this time. Cmd/Ctrl-click the different image tones, texturing them individually. texture layer. We now have separate texture layers
Icecream man layer thumbnail, applying a layer Using the Magic Wand tool (W) with a Tolerance of for each image exposure. Now simply adjust the
mask so that the new texture only affects the 40, select the midtones of the Gradient Map layer, colours of each texture layer using colour
Icecream man layer and not any of the background. duplicating from another texture layer, inversing overlays. Feel free to experiment, but here weve
Duplicate the Icecream man layer and navigate to and deleting any excess. This part of the process kept the colour overlays roughly in line with their
Image>Adjustments>Gradient Map. can be time-consuming but its worth it. respective tones for consistency.

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TECHNIQUES MASTER VECTOR LAYERS IN CS6

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HOW TO USE VECTOR


LAYERS IN CS6
USE CS6S NEW STROKE AND FILL SETTINGS PLUS THE
VECTOR SHAPE TOOLS TO CREATE A VIBRANT ILLUSTRATION
Photoshop CS6 boasts some really cool In this tutorial, we are going to be looking at how to
features, but the one change thats got us use the new vector tools, in addition to throwing in a OUR EXPERT
excited is the introduction of vector layers and few tips for using some of CS6s other great features. GORDON REID
www.middleboop.com
their related tools. While this clearly isnt going to We will be building an infographic-style illustration, Gordon has built up a solid reputation
replace Illustrator (for those of you that use it), if you using a combination of shapes created purely in as a promising and exciting young
want intuitively simple shapes that you can build into Photoshop, lines and photo stock transformed into designer. His client list includes BBC,
Ladbrokes, Halifax, 4AD and Warp.
graphical projects, then Photoshop will do a great job shapes with the Pen tool.
without having to delve into any other packages. You will need to collect together a bunch of stock SOURCE FILES
We have included various vector
Unlike previous versions, we have the option to images before you begin that fit your theme, but the shapes and a colour scheme as a
create and resize vectors without degrading quality, as techniques in this tutorial are the same regardless of PSD file., as well as paper textures
well as adding strokes and fills to shapes in seconds. the images that you choose to use. that you can use in the background.

WORK IN PREPARE THE IMAGE


PROGRESS SET UP THE BACKGROUND AND SOURCE PRELIMINARY VECTORS
FROM SIMPLE DESIGN TO
IN-DEPTH ILLUSTRATION
01 CHANGE THE INTERFACE COLOUR
This is a great new technique to use before
setting up your piece: controlling the colour of the
02 CROP WHAT YOU NEED
Open your first photo asset and then use
the Crop tool to isolate the area that you want to
workspace. Set up your blank canvas, then use use. This helps us when we come to creating a
Shift+F1+fn to go darker and Shift+F2+fn to go shape from the photo, as were not distracted by
lighter when working on a piece like this, darker the excess photography. The new Crop tool has
is best. Now we are going to start importing some some fresh options to play with. First, choose your
photo assets to give us our initial shapes. grid structure and crop as needed.

Step 1: Initial stages

Step 16: Build around focal point

03 MAKE AN ADVANCED CROP


Whats more exciting about the
new Crop tool is that even with your area
selected, you have the ability to move and
rotate the entire image around it to select
another point. This makes for more
customised cropping, meaning you can
now change your desired image so that
Step 24: Line everything up only the area you need is left.

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QUICK TIP
04 PEN TOOL
The Pen tool is
by far the most reliable
Play around with the new
shape layer tools. Youll
find they are really handy to
master and with so many
tool for cutting images new additions they can
out, so once you have really form the basis of a
solid, unique illustration.
your cropped images,
cut the main subjects
out from their
background. This way
you have a series of
isolated elements that
you can come back to at
any time when working
on your composition.
Organisation is key, so
05 MAKE SHAPES FROM PHOTOS
Were now going to turn our isolated photo
stock elements into shapes for use in our artwork.
get as many photos and As we are going in an infographic direction with this
objects together as you piece, we plumped for some mechanical imagery.
might need at this stage Here we are tracing around a spanner using the
before moving on. We Pen tool set to Shapes. This enables us to create a
will now begin to vector shape that we can use the new Fill and
prepare them for use in Stroke options on (more on this later) to colour the
our illustration. elements and add extra effects to them.

06 CREATE A FOCAL POINT


As this illustration is based around
the new Photoshop CS6 options, we feel it
makes sense to have a computer as the
focal point. Find a photo of the type of
computer that you want to use, trace around
it as we have done previously using the Pen
tool method, line it up in the centre of your
canvas and work the illustration outwards
from this point. Having a rough sketch of the
elements you want to use and where they
will go will help at this point.

07 START BLENDING
Bring in your treated photo assets from the
earlier steps we have got various tools, balloons
08 ADD A
BACKGROUND
We have decided that our
and pipes, but go for whatever suits your theme. plain white background
Despite working with a lot of flat colour in this could do with some
piece, its good to spruce up a few bits by using sprucing up to make the
blending options. Take this balloon for instance. We illustration work. Go to the
have added an Inner Shadow layer style, with Gradient tool (G) and select
Distance at 13, Choke at 15 and Size at 46, which two light colours, such as
gives it a slight 3D look and more depth. an off white and a pale
yellow; we have chosen
fbf1d9 and e2e2e2. Select a
Radial Gradient and line up
your cursor with the
middle of the page, then
drag down to nearly the
bottom of the page. The
colours of this gradient will
depend on your overall
colour scheme.

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GET TO GRIPS WITH THE CS6 TOOLS


DEVELOP AN UNDERSTANDING OF NEW VECTOR FEATURES IN PHOTOSHOP

09 LINES AND VECTORS


Our composition has really started to build
up now. One great new addition with CS6 is the
10 FILLS AND SHAPE LAYERS
Select the Ellipse tool (U). Draw a circle and you will notice that in the top header there are some
new options. Selecting a Fill, you can now choose from a number of options including Gradient and Pattern
ability to craft your vectors and lines like never straight away. Choose a bright gradient and then add a stroke.
before, making this kind of style even more
accessible. First off, select the Line tool (U) and
001 002 003
make sure its set to Shape with a Stroke of at least
3pt. Add a gradient fill of contrasting colours to the
stroke, then select the dashed line in the box next to
it and make your line a little fatter. You can use 001 |
Choose a gradient
these while working to connect the elements. from the new top
header, then make
it Linear with an
Angle of around 166

002 |
Try different options
like a Radial
Gradient or
Diamond Gradient.
You will find there is
a lot of potential
with this tool

003 |
The new Stroke

One great new addition option is great fun


to experiment with.

with CS6 is the ability to Add a bold colour


that stands out well
craft your vectors from the gradient

and lines like never


before, making this
kind of style even
more accessible

11 USE A STROKE
Add in a polygon from the Shape tool
options. You will notice in the top-right that there is
12 DASHED LINE
Once you have your stroke, lets move
along to the next box and give it a dashed line of
13 EXPERIMENT WITH STROKES
Now lets experiment even further with the
new options. Draw a new six-sided polygon and fill
now an option to choose how many sides you about 3pt. Experiment with this tool, as there are it and give it a Stroke of 3pt, selecting the circular
would like on your polygon. For this pick 6 and some great outcomes you can get. Increase the dotted line. Try changing the Caps to Round and
add a stroke as before. You can fill the stroke with point size to over 20 and you get some really Corners to Bevel, then click the More Options
a gradient, pattern or block colour and theres even interesting patterns. Whats more, if you increase button at the bottom of the dialog. Add Dash: 0,
a tab of your recently used colours. Try this effect the size of the polygon, the stroke will realign itself Gap: 2, Dash: 2. There is a lot of room for
with different shapes to see how it works. automatically, which can be a real timesaver. experimentation to achieve different effects here.

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VECTOR SHAPES CHOOSE COLOUR WISELY


BLEND NEW TOOLS WITH FAVOURED TECHNIQUES As you
progress in

14 15
your work,
ADJUST THE BACKGROUND CREATE MORE ELEMENTS remember your
This is always a nice effect to use on an Keep a copy of your pattern, as this will be colour palette
image like this. Use the Ellipse tool again (U), useful going forward. For instance, using the is one of the
most important
making sure its set to Shape. Create a small circle original copy, take the Pen tool, set it to Paths and tools you have
and then, holding down Opt/Alt, drag and copy the cut out interesting segments, such as the clouds when creating
an illustration
circle. Use guides to line and space the circles we have created here. Once you have your shape, like this. With a free brief and a big illustration, its always
properly. Once you have done a few, group them Ctrl/right-click and choose Make a Selection, tempting to fly off and create a piece with hundreds of
and do the same again until you have a big pattern. ensuring that the Feather Radius is set to 0 and colours. But really, an even more exciting challenge is
limiting yourself and being more creative with a certain
Resize and stick it behind the computer screen. Anti Alias is checked, then cut out your shapes. amount of colour. For this piece, we have only used the
core colours that you can see in the triangle.

QUICK TIP
We will be duplicating many
layers in this tutorial, so its
lucky that this process is even
easier to do with CS6, all thanks
to the new ability to duplicate
layer groups. Simply highlight
your group, then hit Cmd/Ctrl+J
to copy.

16 OPTIONAL ILLUSTRATOR WORK


Now well want to bring out these vectors
even more to really make the design stand out. For
17 VECTOR SHAPES
Now, as this illustration is being designed
in an infographic-influenced style, its good at this
this, move over to Illustrator if you have it, make a point to start building up a library of shapes and
triangle and add it as a new brush. Keep the Scale layers. Use the Polygon tool (U) and experiment
at Fixed and change the Minimum to anywhere with different shapes. In this instance we will use
from 9% to 35% depending on the effect you want a three-sided polygon. Give it a fill with no stroke
to achieve. Change Spacing to 100% and keep and, while holding Opt/Alt, drag your cursor and
Colourization at 0. Then create an ellipse with no you will find your shape has been replicated.
fill, add the Triangle brush as a stroke and bring it Continue this process a number of times and use
back into Photoshop. guides to line your shapes up properly.

18 SELECTIVE COLOUR
This may be a bit of an old trick, but its
always a good one to harness. Take the selection
of shapes we have just created, select part of the
shape, then create a Solid Color adjustment layer
and choose a corresponding colour. This will create
a new layer over the top of the old so you can
delete the layer underneath.

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19 DUPLICATE LAYERS
Included with the many new features in
Photoshop CS6 are the new additions to the Layers
20 CONVERT TYPE TO SHAPE
Now that the illustration is really starting to
take shape, its time to add some type. Seeing as
QUICK TIP
The joy of abstract pieces is
that you can reuse elements
again and again, so make
palette, which are similar to those of Adobe After this is an illustration to celebrate the new features sure that you label and
group layers so that you can
Effects. You can now alter the blending mode, of CS6, we felt it only right to blend its name into the find elements again. In CS6
Opacity and Fill options for multiple layers in one piece. Lets pick a nice bold type such as you can search and filter
go. This is a really handy little trick to use when BaseTwelveSans Bold and work out ways of layers, so its even easier to
find what you need.
dealing with multiple layers. You can now also filter incorporating the type into the piece. A great little
through various effects by typing the required tool to aid in resizing is Convert to Shape. Go to
name into the new CS6 Search bar. Type>Convert To Shape to edit the type more easily.

21 CREATE A TEXTURE
Now that we are nearing the completion of
this piece, its time to work in more detail to really
bring the image to life. First of all, we need to
create some texture. Open a duplicate layer of the
original background gradient and go to
Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Set the Noise at around
12%, ticking Gaussian and Monochromatic at the
same time. Now set it to Multiply and change the
Opacity to around 34%.

22 ADD IN SOME FURTHER


STOCK IMAGES
Lets continue adding to the image by
using a stock image to really bring out
the illustration. For this we will use
Shutterstocks 89076808 image as a
starting point, which is an old vintage
paper texture. First desaturate the image
by hitting Cmd/Ctrl+U and dragging the
Saturation right down to 0. Edit the
Lightness by hitting Cmd/Ctrl+L and
bringing out the whites and blacks.

23 FURTHER CURVES
There are some really great new
photo-editing tools with CS6 and with the new
24 FINISH
Select the layer
on top of your image
interface its even easier to really bring out a and set it to Overlay.
vibrant photo. In this case go to Adjustments and You dont want it to
then Curves. Use the graph to experiment and impede too much on
make the image have a real impact, bringing out your illustration, so
the threads and grains of the paper. take the Opacity right
down to around 34%.
Now well bring out the
background layer just a
little bit more. Use a
large soft-edged brush
on a new layer behind
the illustration, set it to
f2ead3 then go around
the laptop and main
pink triangles a bit
more to add to the
original gradient.

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DESIGN ABSTRACT
GRAPHICS
LEARN HOW TO CREATE A DYNAMIC, VIBRANT AND APPEALING
ABSTRACT COMPOSITION USING SHAPES AND LIGHTING EFFECTS
OUR EXPERTS
In this tutorial we will create an abstract composition using tools exclusive to Photoshop. We will ANTHONY GIACOMINO AND
cover how to compose the image using two-dimensional and 3D geometric shapes, adding
HOWARD WINTERSON
http://agiaco.net and http://
additional unique elements to the scene and finishing it off with dynamic light effects. strangeprogram.deviantart.com
This tutorial is meant for Photoshop users with an intermediate knowledge. Its important for us to Anthony is a self-taught illustrator
familiarise ourselves with blending modes and practise using ones such as Screen, Color Dodge and and designer currently working in
the world of advertising. Howard
Overlay to see how they interact. Many shapes and light effects we will be using need specific modes in currently attends university and
order to blend properly with the surrounding elements and background. In this case, blending and creating enjoys experimenting with digital art
unity in the piece is vital. Understanding the techniques provided and experimenting with them even further in his spare time.
will yield more original and interesting results. SOURCE FILES
Photoshop enables us to create all of the effects and manipulate with ease. We can use the piece for just There are no files on the disc. You will
need to download two free stock
about anything, and it works as a great background or piece of artwork. In a collaborative effort we also aim images from sxc.hu, image
to give some insight into working with someone, as its important to find a partner who shares your style. numbers 5496 and 921435.

WORK IN GET STARTED WITH BASIC SHAPES


PROGRESS BUILD THE BACKGROUND AND THE BARE BONES OF THE COMPOSITION
ARTWORK DEVELOPMENT
01 FORM A BACKGROUND
Fill the Background with black and, on a
new layer, choose colour #400b76, drag a Radial
02 CREATE A GEOMETRIC SHAPE
Draw out a rough selection using the
Polygonal Lasso tool. Now select a linear gradient
gradient out from the centre of the canvas and and, using tones #e31f6a and #2a04e7, drag the
lower the Opacity to 60%. Select a grey hue and gradient to fill the selection. In order to add interest,
add a smaller radial glow emitting from the middle draw out more shapes above the main one and
and set the blending mode to Color Dodge. Add a use Cmd/Ctrl+G to create a clipping mask. Vary the
final smaller white glow. colour tones and be sure to add some white.
Step 3: Basic background layout

Step 7: Detail the scene

03 ADD MORE PRIMARY SHAPES


Using the same technique, we added two
more shapes to complement the first one. In order
to blend the inner shapes more we experimented
with blending modes such as Screen and Overlay
to give them some interest and dimension. The
placement is rather rough, but secondary elements
will aid in the composition. Be sure to pay close
Step 13: Make final touches attention to these shapes so they look detailed.

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04 THE FIRST HINT OF LIGHT


Using the Rectangular Marquee tool, draw out a large selection and Ctrl/right-click>Fill the
selection with black on a new layer. Navigate to Filter>Render>Lens Flare and select one to use. Set the
QUICK TIP
When choosing a person to collaborate
with, be familiar with their style and
talk to them. Identify your strengths
blending mode to Color Dodge and place it around the geometric shapes. Experiment with the Spherize and and compare them to theirs. Find
out the differences and similarities
Polar Co-ordinates filters on the Lens Flare layer, but be wary of using too many.
between your work ethics and creative
processes. A good collaboration has
both artists complementing each
other in some way.

05 CHECKER SHAPE
In order to make the checkerboard shape
to the right of the image, we make a marquee
outline for a circle then use Fill Pattern to fill in a
shaded checkerboard pattern that we create in
Photoshop. Refer to tutorials online to create a
simple checker pattern. We Filter>Spherize the
pattern and use the Warp tool to craft it into a
desirable shape. We then shade it with linear light
and darks on the edges and inside to give a sense
of depth. Try creating a clipping mask layer and
using a soft brush at low opacity to shade. Add a
reflection of the checker in a clipping mask to the
nearby crystal and set it to Soft Light.

06 ADD BUILDING SHAPES


Render a stock picture of the London
Lloyds buildings (from sxc.hu, image number:
5496) and rotate it. Use Filter>Polar Co-ordinates
on it to give it a spiral look. Experiment with this
concept by rotating the shape and applying the
Polar distortion to create all sorts of variants. The
shape is very friendly with shading so take many
approaches to this step. Use a soft brush around
the sides with modes such as Screen, Linear Light
or Soft Light. Once we generate a few curly
shapes, place them around the primary shapes.

07 USE SUBTLE SHAPES


In order to add some visual interest we
need to create some shapes and elements that
08 STROKED PATH
The smooth, thin line
created in the middle of the
fade more in the background. Using the Shape tool, piece was made with the Pen
we select the Rounded Rectangle and change the tool. In order to create lines
Radius to 20cm. Pick a purple tone a bit lighter like this, simply use the Pen
than the background and draw some small pill tool to draw out a basic, wavy
shapes. Use a layer mask and soft brush to blend, line. You can then use Stroke
also add a slightly white stroke around it set to Path on it, select Brush and
Overlay blending mode. Try adding some dotted check off Simulate Pressure.
lines or adding a stroke to existing shapes. The Pen tool will then register
whatever colour and brush
you currently have selected
into that Pen tool path. You
can experiment with lots of
types of brushes here. Try to
use techniques like this to
complement your
compositions and improve
the abstract pieces overall
flow and mood.

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FINAL EFFECTS BLENDING MODES


UTILISE MORE LIGHTING AND FURTHER ABSTRACT ELEMENTS As mentioned, blending
modes are integral for
creating desired lighting

09 INCLUDE BUBBLES AND MORE


Bubbles, like the ones in this piece, are a good way to add some more atmosphere to your work. To
create these bubbles, use a Circle Marquee to create a selection circle in the size we want. Next, simply soft
effects. We find that Color
Dodge works great for vivid
lighting effects. Overlay
is a good blending mode
brush around the circumference of the circle while keeping the inside transparent. Add a soft brush tint in for more secondary,
complementary lighting
the centre. We can create several bubbles and define depth by altering their Size, Clarity and Brightness. The effects. The look is
purple rectangular prisms added here also serve a similar purpose and were made using the Pen tool. subtler and works well when blending shapes into a
background. Screen works very well when we want
to isolate the light parts of an image from the dark.
Its important to balance your lightning and blend
your elements without overextending your vision.
Experiment with levels to remove unwanted areas
when using Screen blending.

10 BACKGROUND LIGHTS
The lights in the background can be made
very quickly and efficiently. Decide on the
placement of these lights and dot them out with
large, subtle soft brush marks. Use the Eyedropper
to select common hues in the piece. We then put
the brush blending mode on Linear Dodge and
begin to brush in smaller, brighter lights. A
graphics tablet helps for this step, but a mouse
works fine as well. Finally we spherised the layer
of brushing at -100 to make it more appealing.

When deciding on what to detail your


composition with, try to think of shapes
that will fit appropriately with the
piece, in both a compositional and
thematic sense

11 PROMOTE HINTS OF COLOUR


After analysing the image, it seems the
cool blues and purple tones need something more
12 FOCUS ON THE DETAILS
Working on the miniscule elements, we try
to make small subtle objects that can fill the space
13 FINAL ADJUSTMENT LAYERS
Since the piece feels too purple, we add a
selective Color adjustment layer and play with the
to spice them up. Using the technique from Step 2, and give the piece more character. Basic geometric settings for each tone. Adjust the Magenta tab to
create some new small shapes, but this time fill shapes like pyramids, prisms and spheres can become desaturated and blue. Once you find a
them with a green-to-yellow gradient. Place a few spice up an abstract piece. When deciding on what good look for the tones, add a Vibrance layer at +15
around the primary elements. We add a couple of to detail your composition with, try to think of to boost the mids and also a Saturation layer at +5
green glows and additional shapes to give a hint of shapes that will fit appropriately with the piece, in to give that burst of colour. At this point you should
colour. Sometimes the smallest touches of colour both a compositional and thematic sense. Avoid add your own final touches, as this is a step that
can make a bold statement in an abstract work. any empty or surplus elements. can take it above and beyond the rest.

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PAINTING
PHOTOREAL
OUR EXPERT
MIRKO SANTANGELO
www.mirkosantangelo.com
Mirko is an award-winning visual

ICONS
designer and Adobe Certified Expert
from Italy. He is passionate about
learning and teaching Adobe
Soware and discovering new
techniques for his graphic works.

SOURCE FILES
CREATE ILLUSTRATED ICONS USING PHOTOSHOPS You dont need any files to complete
this tutorial, as we will be creating
SHAPE, GRADIENT AND BRUSH TOOLS everything in Photoshop.

WORK IN Icons are fascinating graphic symbols. They graphical user interfaces. The criteria for design
PROGRESS represent the synthesis of a concept or an changes according to the specifications of
FROM BASIC SHAPES idea, but they differ from standard logos manufacturers, mobile devices or operating
TO FINAL RENDERING due to the amount of detail that is represented systems. These specifications need to be taken into
within them. In a certain sense they are somewhere account by the designers, as they depend on the
between illustration and logos. One of the most correct display of a finished work.
beautiful things about their design is the extreme There are many ways to approach icon design,
attention to detail of each item, replicating realism but those we will be using in this tutorial are based
through factors such as perspective and the design mostly on digital painting and masking. A cool
of material surfaces. Photoshop feature to apply to these projects is the
Icons are optimised to be viewable at different Gradient tool, which we will also explore and show
resolutions and sizes. They are created to simplify you how this enables you to create very special
Step 2: Basic shapes access to the functions of digital devices on effects, simply using the right styles.

Icons are optimised to be viewable at different resolutions and


sizes. They are created to simplify access to the functions of
digital devices on graphical user interfaces. The criteria
for design changes according to the specifications of
Step 5: Lighting and reflections
manufacturers, mobile devices or operating systems

STATIONERY POT ICON DESIGN


CREATE A STYLISH ICON USING VECTOR SHAPES AND GRADIENTS

01 CANVAS AND BASIC SHAPES


Open your template at 1,024 x 1,024px,
applying an area of 512 x 512 through
Step 15: Add the objects View>Rulers>Guides, which is one of the highest
resolutions supported by operating systems. Set a
grey colour background, drawing a shape with the
Rounded Rectangle tool (U), setting the most
suitable Radius properties to get curved edges.
Using the Transform tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T) alter the
previous shape using Perspective mode, Ctrl/
right-click on the canvas while the Transform
Controls are activated. Add two ellipse shapes at
the top and bottom using the Ellipse shape tool (U).

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03 MASKING AND REFLECTIONS


Use the same method to add lights and shadows to the rim shape and add a
sleek border effect by creating a new blank layer and making a rim shape selection.
Fill this with white, pressing the up arrow key twice, pressing Backspace to delete
part of the layer while maintaining the border. Refine with a mask, setting blending
mode to Overlay. Add a shiny plastic look to the pot surface by drawing Solid White
Pen shapes to its front and apply a layer mask to each.

02 DEFINE THE POT


Add a rim to the top part of the pot, by drawing two ellipse shapes,
using the second to erase the shape centre with the Subtract option set
(Option bar). Cmd/Ctrl+Shift and click the main pot shape layer thumbnail.
Create a new group and add a layer mask from the active selection. In
separate group layers paint light (white) and shadow (black) using a 20%
Opacity Soft brush, instantly isolating application to your masked area. Try
different blending modes too like Soft Light and Overlay.

QUICK TIP
Duplicate the crayon, convert
the group into a Smart Object
and apply a Hue/Saturation
layer adjustment through a
Clipping Mask, altering crayon
colour. Do the same for the
brush; apply a layer mask to the
Smart Object to alter the
bristles shape.

05 BRISTLES AND CRAYON


The tip of our brush is made from a hard-edged
shape with an attached layer mask from which you
need to erase with a Small Hard Round brush to
simulate bristled edges. On a new Overlay blending
mode layer, activate the Dispersion option in the Brush
palette and paint bristle texture with small white and
black brushes, building up the desired effect. Repeat the
lighting method as in Step 2, again in separate layers.
Next, begin to build your crayon shape from the effects
weve shown you, repeating lighting the processes to
separate parts.

04 BRUSHES
Integrate white shapes using a black foreground set to Transparent Linear mode with the Gradient
tool, applying this to the shape layer mask. Set layer blending modes to Overlay. Draw a shape for the
metal part, adding a new layer set as a clipping mask and paint it to a Foreground set to Transparent
Reflected mode with the Gradient tool set to 40% Opacity. Alternate white and black foreground colours.

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Icons are optimised to be viewable at different resolutions


and sizes. They are created to simplify access to the
functions of digital devices on graphical user interfaces.
The criteria for design changes according to the
specifications of manufacturers, mobile devices or
operating systems

07 FELT TIP
The felt tips
are cylinder shapes,
between each of
which is a rim shape,
set with a white Inner
Shadow Layer Style
set to Overlay,
Distance at 0px, Size
at 5px and Choke at

06 PENCIL
The label is created with a simple black shape,
masking away the top parts to create a strip effect.
20%. Apply highlights
and create sharp
reflections with drawn
The pencil is constructed in the same way as the Rectangular Marquee
crayon, through individually drawn flat colour shape tool (M) strips. Fill
layers, adding the lights and shadows with the brush with solid white and
through your groups active selection layer mask. set to Overlay
Next Import a wood texture - weve used a sample blending. The ruler
from www.jammurch.deviantart.com applying it as starts as a rectangle
a clipping mask to the top of the pencil shape. Set an shape, with lighting
80% Opacity Overlay blending mode. Using a mask, using the Rectangle
blend the graphite with the wood parts to achieve Marquee tool in
smooth transition. separate layers.

09 FINAL TOUCHES
In a new layer add a gradient shadow, from the bottom part of the
pots hole. The metal parts of the brushes should reflect neighbouring objects.
Replicate this effect by creating a new Color blending mode layer, using a Soft
brush at a low opacity to paint corresponding colours where the objects
should be reflected. Using a Hue/Saturation layer adjustment, add a light
purple colour to the Background and input a shadow below the pot.

08 RULER
Draw a thin line with the Pencil tool (B) in a new layer, applying an Inner Bevel
and Emboss Layer Style at 1% Depth, 0px Size and 0% Shadow Opacity. Duplicate and
place this layer along the ruler, and finally add the numbers. Place all objects inside a
Group and add a layer mask to this, using this mask to hide unseen parts of the
stationery. In a new layer select a Soft brush at 20% Opacity and paint the shadows of
the objects inside.

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BLEND GRAPHICS
AND PHOTOS
LEARN HOW TO COMBINE ILLUSTRATIVE, PAINTERLY
ELEMENTS WITH AN ENERGETIC PHOTO
OUR EXPERT
In this tutorial we will learn how to combine illustrative elements, such as paint-based textures and
traditional linework, with a highly energetic photo, creating a powerful, artful illustration. We dont MIKE HARRISON
www.destill.net
need to do any real preparation with this style of image. Just dive straight in because, like working
Mike is a multi-disciplinary freelance
with paint, the creation process needs to flow from start to finish. art director and designer based in
Inspiration for this kind of work comes initially from the photo itself, namely the high energy that it gives London. He uses an eclectic mix of
mediums and styles for global clients.
off. This should make us want to start playing around with effects such as paint-based textures and
traditional elements, which are a sure-fire combination for success. No wonder its a popular treatment for SOURCE FILES
On the disc you will find a
a lot of sports-related illustration. background texture and some
Photoshop is definitely the application of choice for this tutorial due to its flexibility, editing options and custom brushes. The start photo
used here is from Dreamstime,
the speed with which we can start seeing results. Well also be using a number of custom brushes that are
image number 18369570.
essential for working efficiently.

WORK IN PREPARATION AND ADJUSTMENTS


PROGRESS LETS GET STARTED WITH THE BASE MODEL
THREE IMPORTANT
STAGES OF THE PROCESS
01 CUT OUT THE IMAGE
Open your image in Photoshop and, using
the Pen tool, begin cutting around the subjects
02 CREATE A NEW DOCUMENT
Create a new document at 235 x 302mm.
Fill the background with black, then drag your
body. Hit A for the Path Selection tool and, with cut-out stock image onto the canvas. If its too
your path selected, Ctrl/right-click and choose large, Ctrl/right-click on the vector mask, select
Create Vector Mask. Now hold down Cmd/Ctrl and Rasterize Vector Mask, then Ctrl/right-click again
click to select the Direct Selection tool, then go in and Apply Layer Mask. Scale the image to around
and adjust the anchor points to clean it up. 80% and position the subject roughly in the centre.
Step 4: Place adjustment layers

Step 9: The base layer of paint texture

Step 16: Its all in the details

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03 APPLY HIGHLIGHTS, SHADOWS AND


ADJUSTMENTS
Create two Curves adjustment layers and then clip them
QUICK TIP
When cutting out an
image with the Pen
tool dont worry about
to the subject layer with a clipping mask, with one for being too accurate as
highlights and one for shadows. Move the slider to the you can go in with the
Direct Selection tool
extreme for each then fill the mask with black. Using a afterwards to clean
white brush at varying sizes, with the flow and opacity set up any slight errors.
While doing this, swap
low, brush onto the mask to reveal lighter and darker
between white and
areas of the subject. black backgrounds to
get an accurate cutout.

04 INCLUDE MORE LAYER


OPTIONS
05 APPLY ILLUSTRATIVE LINEWORK
Now well focus on the illustrative part of the
process. Were using a Wacom Intuos4 tablet for this,
We still need to add more adjustment
but you can use the Pen tool and then add a stroke to
layers. Create one each for Brightness/
the path. Using one of these methods, we want to add
Contrast, Levels, Color Balance, Hue/
linework around the subjects body with a small
Saturation and another Curves. First
hard-edged brush. This will define the figure more and
increase the contrast, then darken the
is the first step to a traditional treatment for this
subject overall with the Curves. Lower the
illustration. Place this layer above the subject layer.
saturation slightly, boost the lights and
darks a little with the Levels and add a little
more blue, cyan and yellow with the Color
Balance option.

06 INSERT A TEXTURE TO THE


BACKGROUND
We need a slightly textured background
so that all of our elements sit nicely
against it. Open up background_texture.
jpg from the disc, place it underneath all
other layers, then scale it up a little so it
fills the canvas. Its currently too light, so
go to Layer>New Adjustment
Layer>Levels and put in the value 45 for
the Black Input level. This will darken it
nicely, while keeping it subtle.

07 INITIAL WATERCOLOUR TEXTURE


Were now going to add the first dose of
watercolour texture (we used one from www.
08 ADD A MASK
Apply a white Color
Overlay to this layer, bring it
unsigneddesign.com/watercolor textures, number into our main document,
25). Open it up and hit Cmd/Ctrl+L to bring up the scale, rotate and position it.
Levels adjustment. Boost the white to get rid of From the disc, load WG_
any darker paper texture left over from the scan. Watercolor_1.abr brushes
Now go to Select>Color Range and, using the into Photoshop. Apply a layer
Eyedropper, select white at 200 Fuzziness. Now mask to the watercolour
double-click the layer to unlock it and hit Delete. texture we just brought in
and fill it with black, then use
a number of different
white-coloured brushes to
bring in parts of the texture
around the subject. Using
the same brushes, create
new layers and apply more
white watercolour with
masks until you achieve a
nice balance.

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INTRODUCE MORE COLOUR


USE COLOUR EFFECTS TO BRING ACTION TO THE IMAGE

09 SELECT WATERCOLOUR OPTIONS


Choose two colours that you like and that go well together. Load up destill_watercolour_brushes.
abr from the disc and, underneath the white watercolour layers weve created, create a new group for some
10 BACKGROUND PAINT SPLATTERS
To make the illustration more dynamic,
energised and painterly, were going to add a
similar elements. Start adding in a variety of differently coloured brushstrokes around the subject. Keep combination of paint splatters. Source some
applying to build up detail until you have a nice balance of colour and paint effects. Dont forget to attach high-res splatter brushes online there are tons
masks to some layers, modifying the appearance of the layer to suit its position on the canvas and relation out there and a quick Google search will find you
to the subjects body. some. On a number of different layers underneath
the watercolour we created in the last step,
place some splatters, but try and keep them
subtle so they dont distract too much attention
away from your figure.

To make the illustration


more dynamic, energised
and painterly, were
going to add a
combination of
paint splatters

11 FOREGROUND
PAINT
SPLATTERS
To start blending the
subject in with the paint
effects weve already
added, create a new
group above the subject
layer and again, on a
number of different
layers, brush in some
white splatters. What
were trying to achieve
with these is to position
them around the contours
of the figures body. You
can also try and lower the
opacity of some of the
layers in case the effect is
too strong in areas.
Repeat until you achieve
relatively good coverage.

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12 PLACE THE
WATERCOLOUR
EFFECTS
13 DRAW SHAPES FOR MOVEMENT
Now that we have a nice base of painterly effects, we can build
in more flow and energy by drawing some custom shapes. Create a
To blend the subject in with new document the same size as our main document and fill the
the painterly effects further, background with black. Creating new layers for each, start drawing
we need to apply shapes suitable to your subjects pose. Weve used a graphics tablet
watercolour texture over to draw them, but the Pen tool is also fine. Mix things up by changing
the top of it. Using a their colour and also by having some just as linework with no fill.
combination of brushes that
we used from the set we
loaded in Step 9, start
adding in paint to fit the
contours of your subject.
You will need to apply a
Warp transformation to
some layers by going to
Edit>Transform>Warp and
moving the anchor points to
fit. Continue building up
layers until youve covered a
decent amount of the figure.

FINISH UP THE ILLUSTRATION


ADD MORE FLOW AND DETAIL FOR REAL VIBRANCY

14 INTEGRATE THE SHAPES


Drag in all the layers, grouping or
merging them first if you havent already, and
15 PAINT EFFECTS
FOR THE
SHAPES
place them just above the illustrative linework The shapes weve created
layer we made in Step 5. Position, scale and all have crisp, clean
rotate them to enhance the flow of the image. edges, so to blend parts
Duplicate them twice and repeat, but of them in well add some
positioning on a different part of the subject. paint. Create a new layer
Move around some individual layers with the above our shapes and,
group for variety. using the brushes we
loaded in from Step 9,
brush onto the layer. Now
scale, rotate and warp
this layer to position it
nicely along one of our
filled shapes. Repeat this
a few times with different
colours and spread it out
over the canvas.

QUICK TIP
When working with
painterly textures the
possibilities are endless
and every piece can have
a unique look and feel by
modifying each layer with
a combination of masks,
warps and transforms.
That way the layers where
youve used brushes will
always look different from
one another.

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16 ALTER THE
SHAPES
In Step 13 we drew a
BRING OUT TONES WITH CURVES

number of filled
shapes, but also some
shapes that are just
line art. They are nice
on their own but, to
enhance and bring
parts more attention,
we will add some thin
The photo in an illustration like this, containing an
brushstrokes over athlete, can always benefit from colour adjustment and
them. Repeat the the enhancement of highlights and shadows. This helps
previous step, but give it more impact and drama, similar to a photograph
shot in HDR. This can be started by simply adding two
instead of applying to Curves layers. Move the graph pointer to the extremes
the filled shapes, apply of light and dark for each, then fill the masks in with
to the line art shapes black. Using a So Round brush with varying sized
brush tips and Flow/Opacity, apply to the athlete in the
instead. This step is all light and dark areas to enhance both. Dont forget to
about boosting the zoom in to apply this technique to smaller details; it will
really help boost the effect.
detail in the image.

17 FINER WATERCOLOUR DETAIL


Now we need to finish the colour effects. Create a new layer and clip
it to the model using a clipping mask like we did with the adjustment layers.
Now, using brushes of your choice, apply white to the areas of the subject
where you judge more is needed. Also group the subject layer and all its
adjustment layers and apply a mask to that group. Using a brush with a Flow
of around 30%, erase parts of the figure to let colour show from behind.

18 FINAL LAYERS
The last step is to apply some adjustment layers. Create a new Brightness/
Contrast adjustment layer above all layers and increase the Brightness by around
five and the Contrast by around ten. Depending on your colours here you also may
want to add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and increase the saturation to boost
the vibrancy of the colours. If youre not happy with your colours, you can create a
Selective Color adjustment layer and play around with the sliders until you are.

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Give your message impact
120 The Art of Type 144 Found Objects
Explore the power of form in type design

128 Type Effects


Build a personal font based on objects

150 Collage-Style 164


Blend a 3D render with multiple stock images Make your own collage type with stock

132 Futuristic Type 154 Repouss Tool


Combine futuristic lighting with 3D type Inflate settings for balloon-style type

136 Fluid Type 158 3D Type


Experiment with abstract shapes and textures Integrate 2D scenes with 3D renders

140 Electric Type 164 Type Designs


Create a striking typographic illustration Pen a strong promotional design

140
128

132

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The creative community is
harnessing design software
to create ever more
adventurous and
dynamic letterforms

154

144

158
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Typography

001

001 |
This image was created exclusively for
Advanced Photoshop as a typical
example of Steven Bonners stylish
typography
Illustration by Steven Bonner

002 |
Why Buy a Copy: This was a type
treatment created for Nike, for use
on various apparel. The finished
piece was applied using a retro-style
glitter heat transfer
Luke Lucas

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THE ART OF TYPE


WE EXPLORE THE POWER OF FORM IN CONTEMPORARY TYPEBASED DESIGN AND
POSE THE QUESTION: IS THE WRITING ON THE WALL FOR TRADITIONAL TYPOGRAPHY?
In the past, typography has been informed by graphic design, a meant style shifts have become far more blatant. Another explanation put
sophisticated pairing of art and letterform, wielded by a type art elite. In forward is the expanded access to inspiration from all around the world.
more recent times, however, these styles have trickled into the With this in mind, its perhaps not surprising that designers are exploring new
mainstream. Now designers from varying disciplines, whether that be traditional aesthetic elements at such a rapid rate. In this feature we question artists on the
or digital illustration, or CG design, are signing up to provide their own personal influences behind their expressive type styles. We also ask if traditional
contemporary take on type. rules are supporting or suffocating the evolution of typography, and how the
Many of the artists featured in this article, which explores the reasons behind creative community is harnessing design software to create ever more
the dramatic rise of a more illustrative approach to typography, agree that adventurous and dynamic letterforms, which, as time goes by, seem to have
greater opportunities afforded by digital mediums such as Photoshop have only one boundary: the creators imagination.

003 002

003 | 004 |
NY Times Dining cover A Penguin: Gold Award-
illustration: This illustration was winning typographic image
created for the Dining section of making a slobbering
The New York Times to go penguin from the letter a
alongside an article on the various for the jacket cover of The
characteristics of wine Art Book
Luke Lucas Steven Bonner

004

Thats the beauty of working with


type the slightest adjustment of a
detail on a letter can transform it
from being masculine to feminine,
aggressive to playful, fun to
serious
Luke Lucas, www.lukelucas.com

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Pictorial lettering. As a term it seems almost a paradox. However, this is a doing so with lines, shading and texture within type in my own time, before
style that has been wholly embraced by the creative and commercial ever being paid to do so. Having had complete freedom to explore led to a
communities alike. This owes a lot to the fact that modern-day illustrators are couple of ideas that seemed fresh to people, which thankfully led to some
now able to tap into an art form once considered exclusive to specialists. This amazing commercial opportunities.
new inclusivity has drawn greater numbers to this discipline, and many see this Stefan Chinof (http://chin2off.prosite.com) shares his view: My own formula
as an extremely exciting time for typography. for success equates to experimenting plus curiosity times patience. Luke
This makes it all the more surprising to discover that many of the creatives Lucas (www.lukelucas.com) also reinforces this need to experiment. Thats
deploying these styles today arent aware of one definitive reason for doing so. the beauty of working with type, he explains to us. The slightest adjustment of
Our group of artists some with a formal art education, some self taught and a detail on a letter can transform it from being masculine to feminine,
others transferring skills from alternative disciplines provide a host of reasons aggressive to playful, fun to serious This can be anything from the shape of
why. Alex Varanese (www.alexvaranese.com) tells us: I spent a pretty big the basic letterform to the integration of more descriptive illustrative elements
chunk of my life in computer science and that left me with an instinct for rigidly within the type. The possibilities are relatively endless.
geometric designs that can be hard to shake sometimes. Orthogonal and This approach couldnt be more apparent than in the work of Steven Bonner
algorithmic thinking can be an asset in the world of type, of course, but theres (http://stevenbonner.com). His own digitally charged pictorial styles use many
so much creative potential to unlock by breaking the grid that I feel continually different techniques to achieve a particular feel, depending on the desired
compelled to try and overcome that reflex. outcome. He explains: In my Believe and You Shall Achieve piece (show on
To put it in one friendly soundbite, the real pleasure this style invokes in the opposite page), I wanted to reference a Path news-style screen title, and
creators and viewers alike is the chance to reinvent visual boundaries. Jordan so used a lot of grain and faux-3D while giving it a modern edge through the
Metcalf (http://jordan-metcalf.com) agrees: We can only ever push such stronger colours in the ribbon type. However, Bonner is looking to push
boundaries by allowing ourselves freedom to experiment. I spent a lot of time boundaries even further, revealing: I really want to take lettering out of the

Smart Object layers are a godsend and


allow me to make small non-destructive
changes on the fly. It means I can get the
tone of a piece right from the outset, but still
make fundamental changes at a later stage
Steven Bonner, http://stevenbonner.com

005 |
Abject Diagonals: An
example of my Metrobloc
typeface. This particular
piece presents the
letterforms as diagonally
hacked-up metal type
Alex Varanese
006
006 |
Eat Drink and Be Merry:
This piece plays homage
to the great typographer,
graphic designer and art
director, Herb Lubalin
Luke Lucas

007 |
Break Fast: Personal
project and first try-out of
Motion Typo. Photoshop
CS3 photomanipulation
was applied to images,
using quick masks and 005 007
brushes Stefan Chinof

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008 PIPE DREAM


WE DISCOVER HOW ILLUSTRATION PLAYS AS BIG A
PART AS TYPOGRAPHY IN ALEX BELTECHIS DESIGNS
Pictorial type artist Alex Beltechi (www.behance.net/alexbeltechi)
describes his exciting Down the Drain image as a meta-project, a
personal project about creating projects. It focuses on lost inspiration
the good ideas that come to us randomly but that never see the light of
day. Creativity is like water, he explains. It gushes out in streams of
consciousness only to later drain through the cracks of time. In order to
prevent that, I try to channel my ideas into individual works like this.
Well versed in expressive type design, as an artist he aims to blur the
lines between what is written and what is depicted by merging the two.
My personal aim is to always balance it midway between readability and
visual complexity. His inclination to treat letters as an image started
when creating typography from scratch. Once you actually draw a letter,
you realise that a [character] is nothing more than a standardised shape,
he says. The distinctions that have been created over the centuries are
just a force of habit. Contemporary typographic illustrators are simply
using the tools freely available to them [to bridge this gulf].
While Beltechi is an artist who endorses CG I tend to create [assets]
rather than use existing content such as stock photos he says our
favourite app is the glue that binds his designs together. Even though I
may use vector or 3D software, my work always ends with Photoshop,
he reveals. At the very least Ill use it to separate my rendered objects
with Alpha channel masks and correct the contrast and colours with
adjustment layers. In Down the Drain, pipes were made by using both
vector and 3D software to generate the characters. The rust, water and
foam were all drawn using a pen tablet in Photoshop. He explains:
When dealing with 3D renders, its easy to make them too clean and
perfect, so they look less real. I like to age them in Photoshop by creating
my own textures. My favourite way to do this is to fill a new blank layer
with 50% Gray, add noise, apply a small amount of Gaussian Blur and
then add an Overlay blending mode over specific sections. This creates a
noise pattern similar to real photographs.

01 EARLY DRAFT
The first draft featured the word
going as part of the layout. I decided
02 LAYOUT
Here is the two-dimensional layout
of the final treatment which I put together in
03 3D RENDER
These are the 3D rendered objects
as portrayed right before applying materials,
that there were too many hoses and not Illustrator. I created all the pipes and hoses calibrating lighting and exporting as a raster
enough articulated plumbing, so in the as paths, which were later turned into file. After this stage, I drew the water and
end I eliminated the first word. splines in CINEMA 4D. By applying a Sweep foam and retouched everything in Photoshop.
NURBS effect, I was able to create the final
objects in exactly the same positions as in
the Illustrator file.

008 |
Down the Drain:
Down the Drain is my
graphic manifesto to
lost inspiration, says
Beltechi. Its about how
every artist needs to
capture and
manipulate their
creativity in order to
use it to its maximum
potential
Alex Beltechi

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processing may seem like minor tweaks compared to the


heavyweight work of vector illustration, photography or 3D
modelling, but theyre utterly essential when it comes to
capturing the kind of look that turns these otherwise raw
materials into something cohesive and striking. Alex Varanese
talks of a natural symbiosis between 2D and 3D: The human
sense of vision evolved to perceive the natural world of light,
shadow, contour and colour that surrounds us in three
dimensions. No matter how much we intellectualise ourselves in
the modern world, those instincts dont switch off when we turn
our attention to a two-dimensional type treatment on a poster,
gallery wall or magazine page. Thats why the same rules apply,
as bizarre as that may seem sometimes, to the abstractions of
letterforms. I like creating pieces that sit somewhere near the
intersection of flat, vector intangibility and the convincing weight
of elaborately rendered 3D scenes.
No doubt modern technology has played a significant role in
the invention and elaboration of present designs. Artists can now
take fanciful ideas and make them seem more real than ever
before, far removed from traditional flat typographic examples.
Bonner appreciates this, saying: Placed in pictures, we can
create realistic 100ft-high letters in a park or curl them around
009 buildings this freedom and ability to make the unreal happen is
really exciting. Its certainly something I want to explore more in
digital realm and start playing with physical materials to create the near future. This has forced artists to shift their paradigm of
type. Right now Im in the middle of several projects including what typographic design is and, indeed, what it could be.
009 | crochet, glass and a set of steps. It could all be really fun stuff, but However, Bonner rarely uses 3D software to achieve his type
No Lies, Just Love:
Personal type well see work. He reveals: I dont really switch between 3D and
experiment. The piece Metcalf, on the other hand, has spent years in both illustrative Photoshop, but use Illustrator and Photoshop in tandem all the
contains lyrics from the and design work, establishing a running visual theme. Focusing time. Smart Object layers are a godsend for me and allow me to
Bright Eyes song of the
same name primarily on using a black and white palette, he loves not just the make small non-destructive changes on the fly. It means I can
Jordan Metcalf aesthetic but also the reductive nature of this monochrome style. get the tone of a piece right from the outset, but still make
010 | I find black and white forced me to consider tone and contrast fundamental changes at a later stage which, in a commercial
Blocklab (White): An more, he says. Ive played a lot with textural linework in my world where clients will make last-minute alts, is crucial.
amorphous cloud of typography, using thin, offset strokes to create texture and CINEMA 4D and similar CG packages certainly have a production
cubic 3D shapes and pattern like in my No Lies, Just Love piece (above) or offset value, but our pictorial typographers seem hesitant to use such
typography fragments,
intersecting with 2D tapered strokes for shading. Ive also played a lot with gradients software exclusively, still adhering to a hands-on approach
streams of different and shading techniques to [develop] form and depth. indicative of more traditional principles. Chinof admits: Ive tried
overlapping letters
Alex Varanese
Colour grading, texture, levels adjustments and cross Xara 3D Maker but I prefer to make [through personal

011 |
Believe and You Shall
Achieve: A promotional 010
image created for
Bonners UK agent, jelly
Steven Bonner

012 |
Idea: A mural design
commissioned by a large
South African financial
institution created to
communicate the core
brand value of creativity
Jordan Metcalf

013 |
Artistic Image: Advertising
agency brand development,
created through extensive
exploration of the Mesh tool
in Illustrator CS3
Stefan Chinof

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TYPE DIRECTORS CLUB


WE LOOK AT THIS GLOBAL ORGANISATION
ENCOURAGING INNOVATION IN TYPOGRAPHY
The dominant goal of the Type Directors Club (TDC) for the past 65
years has been to raise both the quality and the profile of
typography in the graphics and art communities. The TDC runs a
range of creative programmes discussing the letterform both its
design and its usage. The TDC Salon is well known in the industry
for having guest speakers who discuss their typefaces and their
personal experiences using the letterform.
What makes the TDC refreshing is that it appreciates both
traditional and contemporary methods. Executive director, Carol
Wahler, says: Todays world is the world of on-screen art. Typeface
designers have been working on this for many years designing
011 typefaces for the screen. Young children are reading and writing on
handheld tablets and smartphones; theyre the future. The need for
typographic artwork is more important now than ever before.
Unlike some organisations, the TDC also merits the use of
012 Photoshop in the production of typographic design. Although not
considered a dedicated typesetting tool, Photoshop is often called
upon to do just that, says Wahler. Book designers often employ
Photoshop to help create jackets when the need is for something
more illustrative. Similarly, most movie posters are created and
typeset using Photoshop. Effects such as warping, embossing or
extruding type are easy to add now in Photoshop. Also not to be
overlooked are the hundreds of filters and plug-ins that can be
employed to create type that looks like chrome, wood, rust, smoke
or embroidery, etc. Log on to http://tdc.org for more information
and to have your own designs considered for publication.

014 | 015 |
013 Awards: The TDC holds two yearly type
competitions: one for the use of type and the
letterform in design and the other for typeface
design. The winners are reproduced in the TDCs
Typography Annual, which is published by
HarperCollins TDC

015

014

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016 | 017 | application]. Most of my projects are pure Photoshop. Do the


Do the Dew: Type treatment and Solid All The Way Through: Dew (left) is an exception starting as a 3D project as it was to
art direction for Mountain Dew; The first piece in my Urban Cartography
the agency was TracyLocke. It series, which deconstructs the look of San
become a motion graphic. When I sent the initial screens they
was created through applying 3ds Franciscos Mission District into liked it so much that they decided to stick with a static key visual.
Max and Photoshop CS3 cube-shaped city fragments combining Chinof received the 3D letters and then added the destruction and
photomanipulation these with streaks of typography arranged
in the same 3D space Alex Varanese lighting effects personally in Photoshop. The liquid part is a
Stefan Chinof
mixture of pictures and brushes, he adds.
Lucas reinforces Photoshops postproduction power,
explaining: 3D software has its advantages in terms of the ease
016 in a shift of angle and perspective, lighting, changing textures and
colours, for example. But finishing details are often easier to apply
after a render in Photoshop. Youre able to manually enhance a
digital image to a level that the 3D programs cant match on their
own. In terms of working from PS to 3D software, texture, bump
and reflection maps, etc, can be created in Photoshop, and then
imported into a 3D environment and applied to a model, taking an
object from a hyper-synthetic to a hyperreal render.
It seems that 3D applications play a greater role in motion
graphics particularly, and in that area have made a considerable
impact on type design. However, understandably, our artists
creating still designs have adopted the necessary 3D functions
that complement such production, chiefly through the benefit of
cross-platform workflows. Varanese uses one of his own works
as an example: Solid All The Way Through [below], from my
Urban Cartography series (below), is a particularly clear example
of how greatly Photoshop plays in my workflow. The finished
piece was rendered in numerous passes, allowing the suns
shadows, glowing cube fragments and 3D typography to be
merged together with far greater precision as Photoshop layers.
Once compiled into a single piece, some extensive colour
treatment gave the originally neutral scene a harshly yellowed,
sun-bleached finish which was intended to evoke a sense of
wistful nostalgia and hazy memory. However, Varanese is at pains
to point out that, much like their regards to traditional practices,
artists can only adapt digital software to maximise creativity
with the outcome always paramount, technique secondary. That

017

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FLUIDTYPE EXPERIMENT emotional punch, subtle as it may be, was actually more important
to me than all the 3D and digital work that went into
EXPLORE THIS ELEMENTAL-INSPIRED TYPE ART, WHICH the city scene itself, Varanese says.
WAS MADE WITH A COMBINATION OF CG AND PHOTOSHOP Certain creatives still pride themselves on tradition, frowning
BY CREATIVE STUDIO SKYRILL (WWW.SKYRILL.COM) upon Photoshop use, finding it the lazy option that leans more
towards the frivolous side of type design. However, our artists
1. CREATE THE LETTERS believe that traditional and contemporary styles neednt be
We start by creating the letterform in 3ds
Max based on an existing typeface. The synonymous with each other. The strongest typography is that
letter was then extruded to give it a
certain volume, which would be enough
which fundamentally maintains the essence of language, while at
to work as a container for the particles the same time contrasts it with a visually striking execution so
that would re-form the letter. why should present styles be regarded any differently? I think that
creative illustrated type and standard type communicate in very
2. FILL IT UP different ways and serve very different purposes, and I think theyll
The letter was then imported into RealFlow,
and based on the letter, a number of coexist for as long as we have need for design and written
emitters were placed inside to fill it up with language, suggests Metcalf.
particles. The speed of the emitters plays a The two styles, while being perfect in tandem, will always have
key role in the final outcome.
their own place it seems, as Bonner adds: Traditional typography
needs to be legible for communication so type design will always
3. BUILDING PRESSURE need to follow a certain number of rules. Whereas pictorial lettering
Reducing and increasing the gravity and
pressure levels of the particles enabled them is different in that it wants the viewer to have another look and, in
to explode in a more natural way, and create
nice splashes once the original letterform
some cases, have to work to figure out whats being said. They both
object holding it was deactivated. communicate but in very distinct ways.
What our artists seem to be saying is that there are fundamental
4. MESHING laws that govern the legibility of the written word, but they are only
Adding a mesh to the particles was done in as relevant as the level of readability a particular brief demands, ie
RealFlow; a high Blend Factor and a low the grid, baseline and X height. However, typographic design is
Radius Size were crucial to good results. A
number of filters were also used at low predominantly concerned with communicating a message or an
settings such as the Relaxation filter. idea. Metcalf continues: I think the primary reason is that
typographic illustration is being seen more as a viable standalone
5. REFINE THE LETTER illustrative element as opposed to a supportive device for traditional
Using the Clone and Pen tools in Photoshop, illustration or design. This shift towards type being the medium and
new fluid shapes were drawn out in different
sizes and then blended with the original letter the message, as well as the increase in the number of creatives
in order to make the overall look of the final working in lettering and typographic art, has led to it becoming a
letter more natural. far more lateral and experimental movement.
Tone, emotion and personality can all be conveyed through
6. ADJUST LIGHTING treatment and typographic style even without strict letterform
Colour and lighting adjustments were done in
legibility. Most importantly the developments in the world of type
Photoshop using Color Balance, along with
Curves. The final image is made up of different arent putting off or baffling audiences quite the contrary, in fact,
layers put together using various PS blending as illustrated type looks set only to grow in popularity. As Varanese
modes such as Screen, Overlay and So Light.
finally says: The power of implicit form is one of the most
intriguing aspects of typography. Our minds are shockingly adept at
extrapolating entire worlds of detail from the slightest hints of
design, and that gives artists a lot of room to convey ideas in
challenging or even counter-intuitive ways.

Typographic illustration is
being seen more as a viable
standalone illustrative
element as opposed to a
supportive device for
traditional design
Jordan Metcalf, http://jordan-metcalf.com

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STRIKING TYPE
EFFECTS
BLEND A SIMPLE 3D RENDER WITH MULTIPLE STOCK OUR EXPERT
PHOTOS TO CREATE STUNNING ARTWORK BARTON DAMER
www.alreadybeenchewed.tv
In this tutorial we will combine a basic 3D render and composite an entire wildlife scene in Photoshop Barton is a motion designer and digital
artist who creates under his studio brand,
using a variety of royalty-free photos. Your final image will probably look quite different from ours
Already Been Chewed LLC. For over 12
depending on what sort of photos you choose to use, but the steps you take to create your years, he has designed for a variety of
composition will remain the same. Its important to try to match your light source in the pictures you use. Most mediums including print, web and TV.
of the pictures used in this composition were taken on an overcast day where the shadows were very soft. If SOURCE FILES
you are able to find overcast shots, it will free you up to composite the pictures without having to be too There is a stock pack of nature photos
concerned about matching a strong light source and shadows. Photoshop is the weapon of choice and the app included on the disc that you can use to
create your own unique final design. The
where we will spend most of our time. We will also be creating a very basic 3D render of typography using images that we have used are not
Cinema 4D R12, however you can download 3D renders online to work with in your piece. available for the disc.

START THE TEXT


LETS WORK ON CREATING THE BASIC 3D RENDER
WORK IN
PROGRESS
BUILD YOUR
01 CREATE 3D TYPE IN CINEMA4D
Cinema4D allows you to type 3D text live and
update without needing any other software. You can
02 CREATE TREE TEXTURES
Start with a photo of tree bark and use Photoshop
to create a duplicate image that will serve as a bump
TYPE COMPOSITE access the fonts that are active on your system. Within the map. Convert the image to black and white and adjust the
Attributes Manager, you can control the depth of your text Levels so that the darks are very dark and the whites are
along with the size. You will want to create a Fillet Cap very white. This mono version of the bark will be used to
using the Caps tab of the Attributes Manager. You want a displace the textures applied to the type in C4D. Create a
larger Radius than what looks natural because its going new material in C4D and apply the photo of the bark to the
to serve as outer layer of bark on our tree typography. The Color channel and the mono version to the Bump channel.
actual Radius size will vary depending on the font size. Adjust the height of the bump to suit.

Step 5: Basic render

Step 10: Add detail to lettering


03 APPLY TREE TEXTURES
First you will want to make your Motext editable.
You will notice the text is separated into five parts: Cap 1,
Cap 2, Rounding 1, Rounding 2 and P (or the letter you
made editable). Apply your texture to the outside pieces of
your letter leaving the front Cap. Once youve applied the
texture, you will want to adjust the Projection (in the
Attributes Manager) to Cubic and adjust the scale by
choosing the # of Tiles for U and V until the bark is the size
you want it. Create and apply a new texture to the face of
Step 15: Final adjustments the P by repeating Steps 2 and 3.

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GENIUS GUIDE
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Typography

04 LIGHTING YOUR TYPOGRAPHY


The lighting of your typography will largely depend on the photographs you choose to make up the
rest of your composition. It may help to choose these first, but you can at least get started with some basic
QUICK TIP
If creating a bump map for
your texture still does not give
you the desired depth to your
lighting and then refine it later. You can use a plug-in for C4D called Greyscale Gorilla Light Kit to create a bark, you can use Displacement
within the Texture Channels.
seamless white background and help light your scene. Regular lights within C4D will work fine too. The Load the same monochrome
seamless floor is important since you will be using the cast shadow to help composite your scene in PS. photo used on the bump map
into the Displacement channel
and adjust the settings. You will
be able to control Height and
Strength, and by turning on Sub-
Polygon Displacement, you will
get better detail.

05 CREATING WOODEN LOGS


You can outline the shape of a log directly
in C4D using a Bezier Pen tool. After drawing an
imperfect log shape, use Extrude Nurbs to create
the desired length of your log. The Extrude Nurbs
Attributes panel has the exact same options that
the Motext offered. Set your Fillet Caps settings to
be the same or whatever looks best in comparison
to the size of your log shape. Repeat texturing as in
Steps 2 and 3, then place your logs as desired
within a letter or all of your letters.

06 RENDER SETTINGS
The Render Settings in C4D are a key part of
the final output. Before opening this dialog box, add a
Compositing Tag to your text and make sure Object
Buffer is turned on. Then you will be able to add an
Object Buffer to your Multi-Pass settings inside of the
Render Settings box. By including the Object Buffer
as a Multi-Pass image, you will have a separate
render of just the text so that you do not have to cut
out the background in Photoshop. You can also
control the size of the render to be really large for
print or other.

07 BACKGROUND COMPOSITING
Move into Photoshop now. The background
starts to take shape quickly when you have a few
08 COMPOSITING THE 3D TYPE
Open your full render and the Multi-Pass
render you set up in Step 6. The type can be
09 ISOLATE FOLIAGE
Choose a variety of foliage pictures to start
with. Again, think about lighting as you make your
strong photos. Use a soft-edged black brush on a isolated off of the background using the black and selection. Veer.com has a variety of foliage already
layer mask to gently blend the edges of different white alpha channel as a selection. However, you available on a white background. You can use Color
photos together. Your photo selection may require will want a copy of the full render with shadows on Range to make your selection and delete the
you to use the Pen tool and isolate specific objects. a different layer. Set the layer containing the background. In the Color Range palette you can
Youll probably need to adjust the Hue/Saturation shadow to Multiply in the Layers palette. Adjust the choose a Fuzziness setting, which will give you
in order to bring their color temperatures closer in transparency of the layer for darker or lighter more control over how much of that colour to
appearance. shadows to be cast across your field photograph. include in across the entire image.

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BRINGING THE SCENE TOGETHER You must keep in mind


COMPOSITING YOUR STOCK PHOTOS the large scene youve
already started
10 COMPOSITING
THE FOLIAGE compositing as
Once youve isolated your foliage off
of its background, the rest is simply
well as compare
placing the images around the type the pictures to
where you feel it looks most natural. each other for similarity
You can Scale, Flip, Rotate and adjust
Hue/Saturation to get a large variety in lighting
11
of foliage without feeling to
ISOLATE ANIMALS USING THE
repetitive. Because there is no direct
PEN TOOL
light source overpowering any of the
Often, you will have to rely on the Pen tool to cut
images, you can get away with a lot
certain elements from your photos. While there are
here. Only a handful of foliage photos
many tricks to save time, the Pen tool ends up
are needed to create all of the ones
being a very reliable method to get the results you
you see in the final piece. However,
need. Again, choose the pictures of your animals
the more photos you can use the
keeping the lighting in mind. You must keep in
better your results.
mind the large scene youve already started
compositing as well as compare the pictures to
each other for similarity in lighting. You may need
to adjust the Levels as well as Hue/Saturation to

12 ADD ORGANIC DETAIL


You may want to add more organic-
looking detail to your 3D typography. Try to
get the pictures to composite well together.

find nature objects of interest. The blending of


real wooden limbs or knobs, using layer masks
and brushes, will help quite a bit in the overall
look of the text. Repeat Step 11 to isolate a
portion of your photograph from its original
environment. Again, you may need to adjust the
Hue/Saturation of the image once you paste it
into your composition. Levels may need
adjusting too.

13 REFINING THE COMPOSITION


Look for ways to highlight your typography
from the background. A fog in the environment will
14 DEVELOP THE DEPTH OF
YOUR COMPOSITION
Depth is a basic design principal in this kind of
15 COLOR CORRECTION
You can use adjustment layers over the top
of all your layers to help unify the look of the piece.
help to blend the images being composed and give composition that will definitely help to improve If you want to add warmth to the piece, use a
you an added element that will add interest. your composition. Consider your foreground, Photo Filter adjustment layer. You can choose a
Choose the Brush tool in Photoshop and lightly middleground and background, and think through preset or choose your own colour for tinting the
airbrush a transparent white to create some fog whether or not adding some elements to one of artwork. Combine multiple adjustment layers by
where certain areas of your background need those areas will improve your piece. Using adding a new one for the Levels. Levels allow you
blending or highlighting. Use the Opacity value of Steps 9 or 11, add in new trees or other elements to tweak the tones of your darks, midtones and
the layer and adjust accordingly. as needed. whites with great control.

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FUTURISTIC
TYPOGRAPHY
USE ONLY PHOTOSHOP TOOLS TO COMBINE FUTURISTIC LIGHTING AND 3D TYPE

This tutorial is aimed at creatives who already how to incorporate great-looking lighting effects into any
know their way around Photoshop. artwork through nothing more than the native
Intermediate to advanced users shouldnt have Photoshop options.
a problem completing this tutorial, while for novices it Although the basic shapes of the letters could easily
might prove to be more of a challenge yet ultimately have been made in 3D software, we wanted to show that OUR EXPERT
its achievable with a little patience and perseverance. its just as easy to use Photoshop and that there are
THEO AARTSMA
In this workshop, well show you some techniques even benefits of doing so. The main advantage is that we http://cargocollective.com/
and an in-depth walkthrough on how to create your can keep our artwork more stylistic, achieving an theoaartsma
own 3D letterforms. Once the letters are complete we original look that wouldnt be possible in 3D, with a Theo is a 28-year-old full-time
freelance illustrator and designer from
will focus on the shading and lighting, which will help combination of special effects that use little more than
Holland. He is best known for his
you achieve styles associated with modern sci-fi epics shape layers, brushes and layer masks throwing in typographic illustration work.
such as TRON: Legacy and The Matrix a look that is some Gaussian Blur and blending modes just to make influenced by nature, fashion and
street art.
very popular right now. On top of this well show you the image pop at the end.

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01 CONCEPT LETTERFORMS
We want to create the word virtual, so
we begin by simply sketching out individual
02 STRUCTURE LETTERFORMS
Once we have a nice shape for the
individual characters its time to structure them
QUICK TIP
To make a fast
selection of a layer
03 COMPOSE THE WORD
Create a new document
with the dimensions 25 x 25cm
cutout, hold down
letterforms. This can be done either traditionally so that they look as if they belong together. In Cmd/Ctrl+H, then go at 300dpi, and then copy and
or digitally whichever method you prefer to use. the example you can see the most important to the image thumbnail paste in the individual letter
in the Layers palette.
While sketching, you can start to develop your choices we made to structure the letters using This is very useful shapes. Once all the letters
concept. The idea behind these letters is that they Photoshops Pen Shape tool. Make sure to work when doing brushwork have been imported, you can
all consist of the same two rectangles that can be with a large canvas for this so you can later on masks such as start playing around with their
shading. It can leave an
manipulated to fit each character. rescale your letters as you see fit. ugly edge on your positions, trying to create the
selection, so it helps to best possible composition to fit
expand the selection
the space available. Keep
by 1 pixel (Select>
Modify>Expand). typographical rules like kerning
in mind when doing this.

04 3D TRANSFORMATION
Merge your letter layers and duplicate this layer. Reselect the original layer
beneath and move it right and up, as seen in the screenshot. By doing this, you
05 3D TRANSFORMATION 2
With all sides complete, delete the back side. Now we can start
basic shading. Decide on where the light is coming from; in this image its
create the back side of the letters, using space on the left as a reference for filling in the top-left on the front side. Then give every side a shade, starting with
the gaps. Work up the sides by opening a new layer, selecting sides with the the front side to set a midpoint. Use the Color Overlay layer style and go
Polygonal Lasso tool, and then filling them with a red colour for better distinction. through all the different layers this way.

06 EXTRA BLOCKS
We decide that we
want to have interlinking
We want to create the blocks connecting the letter

word virtual, so we shapes to create a better


sense of flow within the
begin by simply composition. We repeat the
sketching out same process that we used

the letterforms. in Steps 4 and 5 to create


these additional elements.
This can be done Make sure to create them
either traditionally or digitally on a new layer which sits on

whichever method you top of the letter layers as


this will come in handy later
prefer to use on in the tutorial.

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07 ADD DROP SHADOWS


Here we created a few rectangles on a new
background layer so we have a good view of the
08 FINISH THE SHADOWS
Lower the opacity of the drop shadow to taste
and remove the roughness of the shadow edge with
TYPOGRAPHY 101
The part of this
typographic illustration
letterforms and shadows to maintain a more realistic the Eraser tool. Also create a little soft black line that we arent going
perspective. Next you can add another layer in below the letters, then lower its opacity. This adds that into deeply is the basic
theory needed to grasp
between the letters and background onto which you extra touch of realism. Remember that corners are a better understanding
can brush the letterforms shadows pretty roughly always a little bit darker than the objects themselves of the style. This is
with a standard soft brush. because its harder for light to reach these places. knowledge that you
cant teach in a single
tutorial, because it
covers so many
different aspects.
These things can be
learnt over time via experimentation, but its
probably wise to also do some reading and
studying around the subject. Because there is
already so much work done in this field a good
place to start would be The Elements of
Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst. This
book is so well known in the industry that it
oen goes simply by the name: Bringhurst. You
can find copies through various sellers via
Amazon, though not usually new.

09 LETTER SHADING
To add extra shading to the corners,
select the layers holding Cmd/Ctrl+H and click the
relevant thumbnail in the Layers palette. Then, in
a new layer, fill this selection with black and, using
the Eraser tool, remove the centre before
lowering opacity. We did this for all of the letters
planes using a new layer whenever necessary.

Lower the opacity of the


drop shadow to taste
and remove the
roughness of the
shadow edge with
the Eraser tool

10 COLOUR CHANGES
Until now we have done everything with the lights on,
so replace your background with a solid black layer. Make
11 GROUND REFLECTION
For ground reflections make copies of the
front of the letters. Then flip both these copies
12 GROUND REFLECTION 2
Merge the back and sides with the
front layer and apply a large soft eraser to
colour changes to the letters with the Color Picker, darkening using Cmd/Ctrl+T and Flip Vertical. Position one as fade out the reflection. First select the top
tones. To give the letters a little more shine select the front the reflection of the front of the letters and one for letters and, at the bottom left of the
side, create a new layer and apply a 25% Opacity transparent- the back. Use the Polygonal Lasso and Fill tools to selection, hold down the eraser and move
white to fully-transparent Radial gradient starting at the add in the side elements. Then use Color Overlay to it to the right. Once done, repeat this
centre of the letters and fading out to the edges. choose colours for the reflections. process for the letters on the bottom row.

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13 REFLECTION ACCENTS
Next add the bright-coloured accents. Most of these
can be duplicated, moved and flipped to save time, though
15 LIT-UP EDGES 2
Add a new layer under the
Stroke layer and merge the two.
some may need a bit of editing with the Polygonal Lasso tool. Apply a soft eraser to parts of the
To tone down the reflection we use a 40% Opacity eraser to lines. Make a selection from the
brush away some of the brightness. Stroke layer. Create a new layer
(delete the merged layer) and apply a
hard brush to add different colours.
Use the Eyedropper tool to pick tones
from the image.

14 LIT-UP EDGES
Add lines to letter edges so it looks as if light is
almost breaking out of the type. Select all the side parts
of the letters using Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+H on the layer images
in the Layers palette. Then, on a new layer, fill this
selection. Open the Layer Style options, setting Advanced
Blending Fill Opacity to 0%. Next set the Stroke size to
10px and position to Inside within the same set of options.

16 GLOWS
Now its time to add some glows. This
can be achieved by duplicating the lines layer
17 SPOT LIGHTS
Add extra shine to the type by
making a selection of the front side of the
18 ADD MORE ELEMENTS
Here we add a series of 7px
lines and six-sided polygon shapes
from the previous step and adding a letters and adding Select>Modify>Contract in conforming colours on a new
Gaussian Blur. For the second glow we take at 10px. On a new layer, use a soft brush to layer on top of the letters. Use a soft
the standard soft brush and, on a new layer, add large light spots in the upper-left corner eraser to fade parts of the shapes
brush over the bright-coloured blocks. Use of each letter. After creating light spots and ends of the lines. Duplicate the
the Eyedropper tool for a coherent colour lower the opacity to match the scenes layer and use Gaussian Blur again
scheme. After brushing, play with the opacity lighting. Also move the layer a little to the QUICK TIP to give the items a nice glow. The
to control the effects intensity. left and down to better fit the perspective. Isometric 3D is the same technique is also used to
easiest way to
produce 3D on a 2D create the little glowing lines in the
plane. Its easier ground reflections.
because of how the
perspective lines
work. Theyre always
parallel to each other
and have the same
angle on the X and Y
axes. Isometric 3D is
used a lot in pixel art
so this is a good area
to look for a little
inspiration. For more
examples, check out
www.drububu.com
/tutorial.

19 INTENSE
HIGHLIGHTS
Finally we need to focus on
Add extra shine making the light effects
to the type by really pop. Achieve this by
making a adding a new layer at the
top of the layer stack. With
selection of a soft white brush in
the front side various sizes add spots

of the letters to the brightest places. Use


the light spots from Step
and adding Select> 17 as a reference. As a last
Modify> Contract at 10px. step we set this layer to

On a new layer, use a soft the Overlay blending mode


and play with the opacity to
brush to add light spots get the best intensity.

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DESIGN FLUID TYPE


WITH ADDED POP
BE BOLD AND EXPERIMENT WITH NEW WAYS OF ILLUSTRATING
TYPOGRAPHY WITH ABSTRACT SHAPES AND TEXTURES
How often do you find yourself wondering how to carry out a client brief or personal project? You OUR EXPERT
could take a collage approach, maybe mixed media, or even 3D. All of these options can be tried and RADIM MALINIC
tested within an hour, without getting your hands dirty or messing up your studio. Thats the great www.brandnu.co.uk
thing about digital art; but breaking the design rules can be even more exciting. Radim, aka Brand Nu, provides
practical knowledge and working
Custom typography can also be approached in many different ways, usually by butchering an existing font, tips on how to make abstract
tweaking the shapes until we like what we see. But how about pushing the envelope a bit further? Does the typography with fluid textures.
type need to be instantly legible? Since were not creating a headline or logo, we can really let loose and, for
SOURCE FILES
once, consider style over substance. In this tutorial, well design the word Fizz from abstract fluid shapes. There are no files on the CD for this,
Feel free to experiment with every step to personalise results. We will only be using basic Photoshop tools but you can get the original AI file
from www.advancedphotoshop.
giving you the freedom to deviate from this workshop if you so wish. Pay close attention to steps using
co.uk/tutorials.php.
Shape Layers and Smart Objects, but as for the rest, just let your imagination lead the way.

WORK IN KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY


PROGRESS GET TO GRIPS WITH PHOTOSHOPS SIBLING: ILLUSTRATOR
BREWING UP OUR

01
BUBBLY TEXT DESIGN FROM A TO B
Many PS users dont get Illustrator. For
some reason, they cant get their head around the
02 FILL THE CANVAS
You should have a surplus of swooshes
that can be used to fill the space around our type.
app. The beauty is most often in its simplicity so The main idea is to complement the movement of
lets start in that vein. Draw simple swoosh shapes the central message. We are trying to re-create the
and adjust curves for a smoother look. Arrange bubbly feel of champagne in vector form. Although
these shapes to create the word Fizz. it is abstract, focus on the fluidity of the design.

Step 1: Create flowing shapes

Step 5: Supersize your canvas


03 COLOUR BLENDS
Now each of the objects will need to be split
into two curves to give us the option to make stroke
blends. This can be tedious, so lets use a system that
will also give our keyboard fingers a little workout.
Swap Fill Color to Stroke (X), copy the shape (Cmd/
Ctrl+C), hit A to highlight one half, Delete to remove
the curve, lock the result (Cmd/Ctrl+2), Paste in Place
(Cmd/Ctrl+F), remove the other part and unlock
(Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+2). Then select both and make the
Step 13: Work in some depth blend (Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+B).

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04 FINAL PREPARATIONS
Now we have the type and colour spectrum to work with, we need to build up some bubbles. There
are one or two methods we will use in Photoshop to cut down on time and the number of layers, but it
QUICK TIP
While were creating a fun design
that works well as an exercise
in typography, if you were
would be a shame not to prepare a few more elements in Illustrator while were here! Simple circles can be creating something similar for
a commercial project then you
given extra dimension via the Gradient Mesh tool (U) and adding lighter colour tones. Also make a couple of would need to ensure that the
copies of the main type element to use later in the main PS layout. typography is clearly legible.
Consider making the letters a
shade darker or lighter so that
they stand out better.

05 SUPERSIZE YOUR CANVAS


Why not work in an oversized canvas of A4
or even A3? You never know when you may want
to print your work as a poster etc. Copy and paste
in the main swoosh artwork as a Smart Vector
Object, apply Quick Mask (Q) and fill it with 30%
black to knock everything back other than the
main type which should stay at 100%. You can
achieve this by pasting only the Fizz type and
creating an active selection. Then select the
swoosh layer and fill it with white.

06 SHAPE OR VECTOR?
When pasting elements from Illustrator into
Photoshop you are always presented with four
options. However, for a non-destructive and
ultra-flexible way of working, we would recommend
always selecting either the Smart Object or Shape
Layer options. Both of these will retain the original
vector information, which means they can be scaled
and edited without most importantly losing any of
the quality. In this step, bring in just the flat vector
swooshes group as a Shape Layer and place it at the
top of your layer stack.

07 SHINY FLUID EFFECTS


Working with the same layer as Step 6, go
to the Blending Options dialog. Adjust Fill to 0%
08 GLOW OUTLINE
From the Illustrator assets, bring in the
Fizz outline with a white stroke and add on top of
09 FOREVER FLOWING BUBBLES
Although at first they seem a little out of
place, the green circles will work great in our
and Opacity to 60%; this will hide all colour content the main layer. Apply an Outer Glow layer style. champagne scene. Add one into the main canvas
of the shape but will let any effect added show Brush out some of the corners and edges via a as a Smart Object and set its blending to Linear
through. Jump to Bevel and Emboss to work up a Quick Mask (Q) selection. For best effect, be sure Dodge (Add). This will work perfectly against the
nice shine across the canvas. Use an Inner Bevel to turn the layer into a group and add the mask to background, with its subtle 3D effect. Hold Opt/Alt
style with a Smooth technique to add a 3D-like that. Effects tend to interact with the current state, to copy the object, filling in gaps between the type
finish. Experiment with the Size and Smooth which doesnt always work well; using a layer and outer shapes. Repeat until the whole
parameters to see what effect you like. mask means we can tidy up and tweak afterwards. document is looking busy but balanced.

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GOING IN CIRCLES The most efficient


ADDING IN THAT EXTRA POP workflow is to stay in
10 FILL THE GAPS
Step 9 added many extra layers, so put them in one group for easy navigation. Now, we will fill the
extra space around the graphic bubbles using a hard round brush. Adjust Foreground Color to CMYK 5,6,25,0,
one area and use
various brush sizes
using the square bracket keys to increase/decrease brush size. The most efficient workflow is to stay in one to fill the space,
area and use various brush sizes to fill the space, before moving on to the next and repeating. before moving on
to the next and repeating

11 KEEP ON ADDING
On top of some of the circles we just made,
add orange dots around 75% in size of the
originals to create a button effect. You will not
need too many of these leave some space for
later. Next create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N)
and name it Top Bubbles. Hit B to call up the
Brush tool and press F5 for options. Enable Shape
Dynamics and Scattering, drastically decrease the
tip size and brush over the type and its immediate
vicinity in very small circles.

12 EYE-POPPING BUBBLES
From the AI file, import 3D spheres as
Smart Objects. As earlier, hold Opt/Alt to copy
14 THE YELLOW STAGES
During the process we have grown
accustomed to our colour spectrum. The question
shapes to speed up your process. The idea here is to ask come the end is: are the colours as strong
to emphasise the Fizz type with some bubble-like as they can be? The yellow tones might be okay in
effects. Once happy with the positioning, select one print, but we want them to really sing. So via a
of these spheres and attach a Drop Shadow style. Selective Color adjustment layer, under the Yellows
The shadow colour works best as a brownish tone, channel, we set Magenta to +5 and Yellow to +10.
for better blending. Copy the layer style and paste Next, on a Hue/Saturation layer, we bump up
onto all other spheres for consistency. Saturation to +15 and lower Lightness to -5.

13 WORK ON PERSPECTIVE
Next up, we will add a bit more depth to the
main type, once again to place more emphasis on
this focal point. Since our main shape is
transparent, put all spheres into one group below
the main type layer and make a selection from the
type only; now apply a Quick Mask (Q) to this
group. This will hide anything behind the type and
leave a number of spheres/bubbles peeking out
around the edges of the letters.

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MASTER ELECTRIC
TYPOGRAPHY
LEARN HOW TO CREATE A STRIKING
TYPOGRAPHY ILLUSTRATION IN PHOTOSHOP
In this tutorial you will learn how to apply lighting effects to typography in Photoshop. This effect
could be used for a band logo, poster or album cover. We have chosen to start with the typeface
Museo Sans, modifying certain letters to create a logo-type. We will then build up layers of detail,
and bring in some perspective, reflections and shadows to give a 3D brushed metal effect.
By using mostly vector layer shapes we will keep all the flexibility of Adobe Illustrator, while utilising OUR EXPERT
some great lighting effects in Photoshop. Starting in black and white values, the basic principle will be to CHRISTOPHER HAINES
create layer shapes and apply Gradient Overlay layer styles, which will remain editable throughout the www.neondreams.com.au
I am a freelance designer
process. This enables you to edit parts of the illustration as you go, which would be difficult using standard from Perth, Australia. With
pixel layers. The techniques shown can be used to create whatever shapes you like around the typography. ten years experience in digital
media, my aim is to create
As a final effect we will be adding colour to the image and painting in some neon lights and reflections to striking and unique designs.
bring the illustration to life. If you dont have the typeface then dont worry, you can find vector text as a
starting point for this illustration online at http://blog.advancedphotoshop.co.uk/tutorial-files.

WORK IN BASE ILLUSTRATION


PROGRESS TAKE THE FILE SUPPLIED ONLINE AND BUILD THE BASE OF THE ILLUSTRATION
BUILDING UP THE IMAGE
01 GET A TYPOGRAPHY BASE
Create a new 235 x 302mm document, and
fill the Background layer with black. Place the
02 USE BEVELS
Create a new layer and, starting with the
letter R, use the Pen tool to draw a trapezoid shape
supplied base typography.eps file into the on the left side, just in from the white stroke.
document (File>Place). Rasterise the layer and Convert this to a selection and draw in a horizontal
separate each word, then apply Layer>Layer gradient using a simple black-to-white setting.
Style>Gradient Overlay to them. Click the gradient Vertically make it dark grey at the bottom to white
to edit it and use settings similar to the screenshot. at the top. Repeat this around the letter R, drawing
Step 3: Create the base plate Insert a white Stroke layer style, set to 5px. the gradient in different directions.

Step 6: Add in objects

03 CREATE A BASE PLATE


Using the Pen tool (P) with the
setting on Shape Layers, draw an
upside-down pyramid shape and apply the
same Gradient Overlay layer style as the
typography, with the black sitting right
under the words acting as a shadow.
Duplicate this layer and move it down three
Step 13: Boost light effects times to create some levels.

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04 MAKE PYRAMIDS AND DIAMONDS


Duplicate the pyramid shapes and flip
them vertically, then move to the top. Scale down
QUICK TIP
To copy a layer style
that is being applied
to a layer, to another
to the size of the word Electric, then apply a soft layer, Alt-click and drag
the layer style onto the
drop shadow to each of the shapes to help
desired layer. This keeps
separate them. At the peak, create a new diamond the existing layer style
shape layer as before and apply a Gradient Overlay intact while also copying
it to the new layer.
layer style. Duplicate the layer four times and scale
down into quarters. Scale down again to create a
slight bevel edge, changing the gradient to solid
black. Duplicate all of these layers then scale down
again and add a drop shadow to the bottom layer.

Behind the sphere and 05 SHAPE TUBES


Make a new layer using the Ellipse tool

diamond shapes, use a (U) set to Paths create an oval, then add a
rectangle the same width to form a tube. Convert
large soft brush set this to a selection and draw a reflective horizontal
to white and low gradient. Create a new layer and draw another oval
to cap off the tube, then merge the layer. Duplicate,
opacity to paint a scale and move them to create an interesting pillar
slight glow in shape. Create a new ellipse layer shape above the
behind the object pillar and apply a Radial Gradient Overlay.

06 ADD OBJECTS
Duplicate your pillar shape and move a
couple around on the base plate to add some more
interest to the composition. Also put some pillars
in between each corner of the lower pyramids to
add to the structure. Repeat this process with your
sphere and diamond shapes throughout the
image. Behind the sphere and diamond shapes,
use a large soft brush set to white and low opacity
to paint a slight glow in behind the object. On
another layer paint in some soft shadows
underneath the objects in black.

07 INCLUDE TECH SHAPES


Create a new layer and then use the
Rectangle tool (U) to create a small grid of boxes
08 INPUTS
On the letter N,
create a new layer and
on the letter R. Use the Pen tool to draw some draw a small circle with
technical shapes on the surface. To create a stroke the Ellipse tool (U),
along a path, set your brush size to 3px then, with holding Shift to keep it
the Brush tool selected (B), hit Enter. Continue uniform. Duplicate and
adding details in solid black and white, depending scale down then change
on which has the best contrast against the gradient the gradient so the black
background of the letter. sits lower towards the
bottom. Add a soft drop
shadow to each layer.
Duplicate a circle, scale
it down and remove all
layer styles so the shape
is just black. Move all of
these layers into a folder
and name it Input.
Duplicate this folder and
place at points around
the composition.

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TURN UP THE GLOW ELECTRIC RAIN


The last effects
MAKE THE LAST STYLISTIC APPLICATIONS TO YOUR PIECE needed to add a

09
finishing touch
TURN UP THE HIGHLIGHTS to the image are
On a new layer, use the Ellipse tool to draw a small white oval over one of the letter edges. Ctrl/ some flashing
neon lights, or
right-click the layer and rasterise it. Go to Filter>Gaussian Blur and set it to 4px. Add an Outer Glow layer electric rain.
style, set the Opacity to 65% and the Size to 24px. Duplicate this layer and arrange the copies around the Create a new folder just above the Background layer
edges of the letters to create some highlights. called Rain. Create a new layer and make a tall oval
selection using the Ellipse tool, with a light blue-to-
white gradient (white in the centre, blue on the outside).
Transform this layer (Cmd/Ctrl+T) so it becomes a very
thin oval. Go to Filter>Motion blur and experiment to
get the effect you want. Rotate this about 65-degrees,
duplicate and arrange throughout the image.

10 PLACE REFLECTIONS
To add some reflection to the base plate, we
need to duplicate all of the layers for the word Rain,
as well as the pillars and other shapes. Merge
these layers and select Edit>Transform>Flip
Vertical. Set the layer style to Overlay and Opacity
to 70%. Select Filter>Gaussian Blur and set to 4px.
Add a layer mask and paint out where the
reflection goes over the base plate. Continue to
repeat this process for any other objects sitting on
the base plate.

To add some reflection to the base plate, we need to


duplicate all of the layers for the word Rain, as well as
the pillars and other shapes. Merge these layers
and select Edit>Transform>Flip Vertical

11 IMPROVE BACKGROUND GLOW


Just above the Background layer, create a
new layer called Glow. Fill this with a light blue set
12 BRING FURTHER COLOUR
Select all the main steel objects and turn off
any drop shadows. Duplicate and merge these
13 BOOST LIGHT EFFECTS
Add a new Levels adjustment layer and
move the middle slider to about 0.58. This will help
to 50%. Add a layer mask and draw a large radial layers then Cmd/Ctrl-click on the thumbnail of the to darken the darker areas of the image, adding
gradient out from the centre, white in the middle to layer to make a selection. Apply this to a folder some contrast and helping the image to pop. Add a
black on the outside. As the centre is now too layer mask and call this Adjustments. Select a new layer set to Color Dodge. Select a neon blue
bright, use a soft black brush with low opacity to purple radial gradient and apply to the locked layer, colour and, using a soft brush, paint some blue
paint out some of the centre to make it darker. This set to Overlay. Create a new layer and fill with highlights over the steel shapes. This extra detail
adds glow to the outer areas while still giving the black. Go to Filter>Noise and set it to 100%. Set the helps to add variety in the colour and values of the
letters enough contrast off the background. Blend Mode to Soft Light at 50% Opacity. metal surface.

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FOUND OBJECT
TYPOGRAPHY
CREATE A FONT UNIQUE TO YOUR PERSONALITY BY WORK IN
BASING IT ON A COLLECTION OF THEMED ITEMS PROGRESS
TRANSFORM JUNK
Sometimes we keep things just time letting me keep a balance between the OUR EXPERT INTO TYPOGRAPHY
because they might be useful. haphazard nature of the scraps that GEMMA HART
When clearing out a shed, I found appealed in the first place, and the uniformity www.rockgem.deviantart.com
some rusty old odds and ends; I took a closer needed for a set of letters. Digital artist Gemma explains the
look and began to see that these objects and Mixing traditional collage with objects and techniques behind their amazing
artwork Im a Wolverhampton uni
shapes still had something to offer, and with digital technology offered more practicality graduate with a passion for
a little imagination might fit together to make with the font, creating more uses and not creating; keen on combining
lettering and images. I tried forming basic limiting the number of times a shape or letter traditional media like collage with
digital effects in Photoshop. When
words and letter shapes, which quickly could be created and used, or restricting the creating pieces, I oen recycle the
developed into trying out the whole alphabet size of a letter. It also allowed development old into something new.
in both upper and lower case. From these with other images and textures without losing
rather crude beginnings, the Any Old Iron the original appeal. Step 4: Planning
lettering was born!
When clearing out a shed, I found some
I documented the found 3D objects with a
digital camera, which gave me more scope
rusty old odds and ends; I took a closer
and let me use some interesting scrap-
look and began to see that these
shapes many times. This helped tie the
objects and shapes still had
lettering together, so they were more of a set.
Putting the shapes into Photoshop pulled
something to offer, and with a little
things together even more, allowing slight
imagination might fit together
colour edits and resizing, but at the same

RECYCLING WITH A TWIST Step 12: Erase background


FIND SOME SUITABLE OBJECTS

01 FIND SOME OBJECTS


The process begins
away from the computer and
03 BASIC LETTER
SHAPES
Open a blank document in
Step 22: Hue and Saturation

very much in finding the right Photoshop with a white


objects to use. In this instance, I background, then add a second
use miscellaneous junk items -
things that could easily be
bought from a hardware store -
02 BE SELECTIVE
Not all the pieces of scraps found are
useful. Whittle down the selection to more
layer using the Text tool to type
out the alphabet in capitals;
make this layer 30%
but I chose to use odds and ends interesting shapes or shapes that are useful and Transparency. These letters are
that I found when clearing out a better suited to your needs. The key is to find things only a guide. ou can do this
shed to give more character to that already hind at letter shapes or that might be either one letter at a time or all
the letters. used for multiple letter shapes. 26 in one go. Step 29: Numbers

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TRANSFORM JUNK INTO TYPOGRAPHY


START LOOKING FOR SOME STUFF TO USE

05 MAKE NOTES

04 PLANNING YOUR LETERING The thumbnails do not have to be that accurate, but when referring back to
Add a third layer and select a 5px Brush tool at 50% Transparency. them on a printout sometimes it can be be unclear what some of the sketchy lines
Using the shapes you have found in your scraps, begin to draw over the represent. I find it really helps to open a notepad document and jot down which
basic lettering shapes to create the thumbnails of how you might like each pieces of scrap you intend to use for each letter.
of the letters to look.

07 DECISIONS
Decisions can always be changed. If you find a shape that might be a better

06 ASSEMBLE YOUR LETTERS


With a printout of your thumbs to hand, begn to piece together your
basic letter shapes. It doesnt matter if they are a little crooked - the idea of
fit than in your first plan or is more practical, then go for it. There is no right or wrong
way, although it helps to try and keep the letters a similar size.

the typography is that its made from junk; but try not to over-complicate the
shapes, otherwise the letter shapes start to become lost.

QUICK TIP
If you dont want to spend time
creating all 26 letters, obviously
some of them can be used more
than once. The letter N rotated 90
degrees right can become the
letter Z, or the letter V can be
duplicated and used to create a
W, which in turn could be rotated
180 degrees to create the M!

08 RECOGNISING AND REUSING


To tie the letters together, its handy to use the
same pieces for multiple letters. Working with found 09 LUCK
Do not always go for the obvious choice, although with some
objects has a certain quirkiness, especially when it of the letters this is unavoidable. Go with your instinct and visual
comes to recognisable shapes. As well as nuts and appeal; choose what you feel stands out as the better option. On
bolts, other things included were a handcuff-shaped occasion, with luck, you might find an object that will fit the letter you
key ring and a zip tab. want perfectly.

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10 PHOTOGRAPHING THE LETTERS


Position your found objects as you want them on a flat
white background and photgraph them. Its a longer process,
but I found it easier to photograph one letter at a time. Load the
images onto the computer and use the Photoshop Crop tool to
resize. I made mine 25 centimetres by 25 centimetres.

11 ENHANCE
I began the process with found objects that were rusted. They were the ideal way of
giving the old iron feel to the font - but this rusted look can be enhanced using the Photoshop
Variation tool, adding a little more red and yellow to the midtones.

12 ERASE THE BACKGROUND


The letter is the importamt shape you want here. The
background of the photograph is surplus to requirements, so
13 NARROW DOWN THE NUMBER OF DOCUMENTS
Having 26 individual Photoshop documents can be confusing - creating a larger new
document and copy/pasting the letters into it helped me keep track of them far more easily. To
erase it with the Magic Eraser tool. It can be a little fiddly, but if cut down on the number of layers, I saved this as a PNG document, you dont have to, but I
you use oddments such as chains or objects with holes in them, found it helped.

16
remember to erase the little pieces of background in the gaps.
MAKE FEWER LAYERS AND
DOCUMENTS
Too many layers and documents open at any one
time can get confusing, so reduce them if you can
and put all your letters in one document. It helps
keep track of them far better with one document to
hand instead of 26 or more.

14 PLANNING THE LOWER CASE


With the optional lower case, not all
the letters need to be considered - just the
15 USE SOME OF THE UPPERCASE
Some of the letters can be created from the
upper case letters by resizing. I made the lower case
ones that differ greatly from their upper 17 centimetres by 17 centimetres unless they were
case counterparts. If it helps, plot the taller letters or letters with tails. I made those 17
remainder out in thumbnails in Photoshop. centimetres wide by 25 centimetres high.

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PUT THE LETTERING TO USE


AS EASY AS A, B, C...

17 ASSEMBLING THE WORDS


Create a fresh Photoshop document in the size you desire; I have a habit of working on
one thats a little larger than I need it to be and resizing at a later stage. Use the Select tool to
18 EXCLAMATION POINT
Punctuation in this found object lettering is easy
enough. The lower case letter i can be dismantled - the cog
select letters and copy/paste them into the fresh document, resizing them as you see fit to shape used for the dot on the top easily becoming a full stop.
begin to build up words. Likewise, the entire letter can be easily rotated 180 degrees to

19 NEATNESS give the exclamation point.


Dont worry if some of the letters are a little crooked
- it adds to the character of the typography. The letters are
made from junk, so being a little out of line adds to it.

20 MORE PHOTOGRAPHS
Photoshop does have various crackle
effect filters, but as this typography is about
found objects, its only apt to continue with the
theme. As the lettering is made from scraps and
21 DEVELOPING THE
BACKGROUND
The background is something that can be
rusted metal and the font very much mixed experimented with. It could be left quite
media, I moved toward looking for found plain, but in order to fit in with the old iron
textures of rust and peeling paints that could be tehme aand effect of the lettering, I decided
adapted to be a background. to try and incorporate some paint and rust.

23 ADD A BIT MORE DETAIL


I used the Photoshop Burn tool set to a 300px soft
round brush at 50% Pressure to randomly darken areas
such as in the corners and background almost
haphazardly, to add a little more detail and depth.

22 HUE AND SATURATION


Use the Hue and Saturation tools in Photoshop to remove some of the colour and make
the rust texture for the background lighter and look slightly washed-out. If needed, resize before
using the Blur More filter to soften some of the lines.

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24 ENHANCE THE LETTERS


Bring back the file of your lettering, then use the
Photoshop Brightness and Contrast tools just a little to
make the shapes a bit bolder. Dont overdo it, or else youll
lose a lot of the detail in the lettering shapes, and in turn,
their character.

25 PUT THE TWO TOGETHER


Possibly the easiest stage! Copy your text
layer and paste it onto your background layer. Make
26 MERGE AND RESIZE
Copy the merged layers so you have
just one, then check the size; if the image is a
sure the two work together and that the fractional larger you can either resize or crop
background wont overpower the text - only down to the size you need. With this done,
enhance it. If necessary, tweak a little more with select an area around the edge of the image
the Hue and Saturation tools. about one centimetre wide.

27 ADDING A BORDER
Using the Burn tool again set to a 300px soft round brush at 50% Pressure, go over
the selected area haphazardly and slightly unevenly, just to darken it enough to hint at a
border around the piece.

28 FINAL DETAILS
Using some of the photos rejected from creating the
initial letter shapes, add a scattering of a few nuts and cogs near
the edges. They can help frame the typography, almost as if
theyve rolled away from the main text.

QUICK TIP
This typography can work well in a
range of different colours - although I
chose to stick to the more natural rust
tones of the original found objects
used to create the typography. Dont
be tempted to oversaturate. Keep the
colours quite muted to prevent the
image from looking too garish.

29 NUMBERS
After creating the all lettering, I decided to sneak
the date into the corner. A few more found objects later,
30 LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Check over the final image. Make any minor
adjustments to the brightness and contrast or the hue
and numbers 1 to 9 are assembled - the zero adapted and saturation to suit your personal taste. Remember,
from the letter O, and the 6 and 9 being interchangeable. this typography is supposed to look worn-out.

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CREATE
COLLAGESTYLE
OUR EXPERT
LUCA MOLNAR
www.lucamolnar.com
Luca is a freelancer from
Hungary. She has recently

TYPOGRAPHY
launched her own T-shirt
brand, Miss Future.

SOURCE FILES
On the disc is stock photography
and Lucas own illustrations that
she used for the typography.
These illustrations are copyright
IN THIS TUTORIAL WE WILL BE CREATING PERSONALISED to Luca and can only be used for
completing the tutorial.
COLLAGESTYLE TYPE USING ILLUSTRATIONS AND STOCK

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In this tutorial, we will be creating three net/senongo). We are looking to create a similar style, WORK IN
collage-style letters and then organising the but using only the tools in Photoshop. PROGRESS
letters into a single layout in order to create a You will need to have a good knowledge of BUILDING UP ONE
final composition. For the letters, we will use our own Photoshop in order to get through this tutorial. LETTER AT A TIME
previously created illustrations and also some stock Another great thing about this style of typography is
photographs to make the typography even more the fact that we can make it very quickly. We will finish
varied and exciting. one letter in about an hour, which means that we can
This collage style of lettering is undergoing then finish the whole typographic illustration in three
somewhat of a resurgence, thanks to the popularity of to four hours.
the Mixel app for iPad (http://mixel.cc), which enables Photoshop is without doubt the best software to
users to build simple collages from their photos. There create a piece like this. All the tools youll need are laid
are some great examples of Mixel typography out out for you, so this is exactly the kind of project the
there, notably from Senongo Akpem (www.behance. program excels with. Step 5: Work with stock photos

We will finish one letter in about an hour, which means that


we can finish the whole typographic illustration in three to
four hours. Photoshop is without doubt the best
software to create a piece like this its exactly the kind Step 6: Finish the first letter
of project the program excels with

BUILD THE BASIC LETTERING


GET YOUR FONT RIGHT AND ADD PATTERNS

01 MAKE A NEW DOCUMENT


We will be creating the three letters (A, B, C) separately.
First make a new document of 2,500 x 3,000px at 300dpi. This is
Step 9: Final touches

a pretty big document, which is always useful because it


enables us to work on the details. Now we select a light grey for
the background. After that we add a new layer, select a big, soft
brush (700px), set the colour to white and paint a little on the
centre of the document. Go to Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur and
set Radius to 250px.

02 SHAPE THE BASIC LETTER TYPE


Choose the Type tool and select the Abadi MT Condensed Extra Bold font, set the Size
to 700pt and simply write A. This letter will be like a guide to us and it will help build our
collage. Naturally you can choose any kind of typeface, anything that you think looks cool.
After this stage, we will be rasterising (Ctrl/right-click and Layer>Rasterize Type) our type
layer. This will make it easier to alter the A if needed.

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QUICK TIP
Play with layer styles as
much as you can in order
03 ADD PATTERNS
Now for the fun part. Choose three or four
of your favourite illustrations, its best if you
to put some light in your
piece. There are so many choose works with the same or a very similar
of them, and different colour scheme. Open the first illustration and
layer styles can make
some interesting light drop it on the main document. Set the Opacity to
effects, taking your around 50% so we are able to see the letter
artwork to the next level.
under the illustration, which can make working
Were sure you will have
quite a few happy with it easier. You can resize the illustration we
accidents! just dropped on the main document if needed.

There are so many


different layer styles,
and some styles
can make
interesting light
effects, taking
your artwork to the next
level. Were sure you will
have quite a few happy
accidents!

05 SPICE UP
THE TYPE
Our first letter looks
pretty cool already.
However, we can still
add some smooth
details. Open one of
the flower stock
images supplied,
select the Pen tool
and cut out the first
flower. Ctrl/right-
click, choose Make
Selection, then select
the Rectangle
Marquee tool, go
above our selection
and Ctrl/right-click,
selecting Layer via
Copy. After that
continue to cut out
three more flowers

04 CUT OUT YOUR TYPE


Select the amazing Pen tool and make a random shape
with it, then Ctrl/right-click and choose Make Selection. Now select
and a beautiful frog.
Now all we have to do
is to drop our flowers
the Rectangle Marquee tool, go above our selection, Ctrl/right-click into the main file and
and pick Layer via Copy. You just copied your first pattern! You can duplicate (Ctrl/
see that we have it on a separate layer. Now move it on the letter A right-click on the
and place it somewhere where you judge it looks best. After this we layer and hit
have to repeat this step several times with all of our chosen Duplicate Layer) a
illustrations until our letter is completely covered with patterns. few times.

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06 MAKE A MOVE
The letter is a little too
static. We set the background
layers (first three layers) to
non-visible, Ctrl/right-click on a
visible layer and choose Merge
Visible. After this, Ctrl/right-click
on the merged layer and select
Duplicate Layer. Now place the
new layer above the others. Go
to Filters>Blur>Motion Blur, set
the Angle to 0 and the Distance
to 139. Select the Eraser tool,
choose a large soft brush and
delete some parts of the blurred
image until it starts looking nice.

07 LIGHT IT UP
We are going to add some
sparkling light to our work. First we add a
new layer and set the blending mode to
Overlay, which is a very good option if you
want to add some natural-looking light to
your work. Ideally youll have some
downloaded light brushes, but if you dont
have any then just choose a medium-sized
white brush. Click parts of the work that you
want to highlight.

08 REPEAT FOR B AND C


After finishing the letter A, well be creating two more letters
(B and C). Simply repeat the previous steps. You can choose to use
different illustrations for each letter or use the same ones. However, if
you decide to use different illustrations and stock images for each
letter, then we suggest using varying colour schemes for the letters.
This way all of your letters will be individual and more fun to look at.

09 BRING ALL THE DIFFERENT ELEMENTS TOGETHER


Create a new document of 2,776 x 2,404px at 300dpi. Drop all three letters into this
document without their grey background and place them in a pyramid formation. Select the
Pen tool, set the brush size to 7pt and the colour to white, then add a new layer above all
other layers. Next create a similar path with the Pen tool to the one shown above, Ctrl/
right-click and select Stroke Path.

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USE THE
REPOUSS TOOL
OUR EXPERT
NIK AINLEY
www.shinybinary.com

FOR 3D TYPE
Nik Ainley is a digital illustrator
based in the UK. He has been
producing personal and
commissioned illustrations for an
array of clients for over a decade.

SOURCE FILES
The environmental HDR files used for
image reflections in this tutorial can
be purchased from www.aversis.
USE THE INFLATE SETTINGS OF THE REPOUSS TOOL TO be/hdri/hdri-collections.htm, or for
free for non-commercial projects at
CREATE BALLOONSTYLE LETTERING www.hdrlabs.com/sibl/archive.

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In this tutorial youll use the Repouss tool Photoshop enables very quick, interactive editing WORK IN
(CS5 Extended) to produce 3D lettering that of 3D scenes compared to the process in other 3D PROGRESS
mimics the look of glossy helium balloons. applications. That usually involves editing without FROM FLAT TEXT
The bloated effect produced by the Inflate option being able to see the end result, rendering the TO FINISHED EFFECT
within Repouss, combined with the advanced image and then going back to editing, repeating
reflections the 3D system enables, work together until done. Photoshop enables you to edit
perfectly to achieve this cool look. The end result is parameters directly and see the results instantly,
something that couldnt be achieved at the same resulting in a much smoother workflow.
level of refinement without using this Photoshop 3D A decent level of understanding of some of
option set. Working with 3D in Photoshop has Photoshops more basic functions, such as layers
several advantages over dedicated 3D programs. and selections, will be essential in order to
One of these is familiarity with the way Photoshop complete this tutorial. Any experience with full 3D
works. 3D software can have a steep learning curve software or the concepts used in 3D graphics could Step 1: Start with flat type
and be daunting for beginners. also help, but isnt essential.

The bloated effect produced by the Inflate option within


Repouss, combined with the advanced reflections the 3D
system enables, work together perfectly to achieve this
look. The end result is something that couldnt be Step 6: Type in position, with reflections
achieved without using this Photoshop 3D option set

LAY OUT THE TEXT AND MAKE IT 3D


TYPE THE WORDS TO START YOUR PIECE

01 MAKE YOUR TYPE


The first step involves getting the basic letters right. Choose a font that suits
being made into 3D balloon shapes. The letters should have a decent amount of
Step 8: Finished image with background

curvature you dont want them looking overly angular. Youll actually only be
dealing with the front of the letters, not extruded sides, so the letters need to be
substantial. Here we have used a font called EFF Albert (http://thefonts.com/M/
PageFr/Albert.htm).

02 USE THE REPOUSS OPTION


Turn flat lettering into 3D shapes by using the 3D panel, choosing
Repouss, then Text Layer. Set the Depth of Extrude to 0, Inflate Strength
and Angle to 0.4 at 90 degrees respectively. Also set the Mesh Quality to
Best since youre dealing with curved shapes. For the material set the colour
to grey and use the lighting to add more tone. Change the colours of the
lights in the 3D panel to what you feel looks good, in this case a mixture of
greens and blues. You can also increase the Gloss and Shine values to get a
plastic look.

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03 ARRANGE THE LETTERS QUICK TIP


To produce selections of
Youll need to move the letters around while keeping individual letters, you can turn
them in the same 3D layer so that they interact via reflections off the visibilities of the meshes
you dont want selected. This
and shadows. To do this choose 3D>Repouss>Split Repouss can be done in the Filter by:
Meshes. In the 3D panel you can then select Filter by: Meshes to Meshes section in the 3D panel.
see the letters have been separated. Selecting each letter Once this is done you can
Cmd/Ctrl-click on the layers
individually, move them into place using the Mesh Transform thumbnail. You now have a
tools (not the Object Transform tools). Spend some time getting selection based on the letter or
the positioning right as once you progress it will become difficult letters that are still visible.

to move them again.

04 CREATE CREASES
To add the dimples with helium balloon
surfaces, use bump maps. Here, black
represents low areas and white represents
high. Since youve split the meshes, you have to
treat letters individually. For each letter, create
an image that is basically just the flat letter in
white and draw in small shapes in black that
will become the dimples. Load these with Edit
the Bump Texture in the 3D Material panel,
adjusting the value to whatever looks best. The
U Scale in the Edit Properties of the map might
need to be adjusted so that the map aligns with
the letters properly. This value depends on the
size of the word, but weve set it at 5.

05 RENDER
YOUR 3D
Up until now youll
have been working
with the 3D render
settings quality set to
Interactive. This is
fast, but not suitable
for the final image.
You need to set the
quality to Ray Traced
Final. This will
produce the correct
reflections,
anti-aliasing the
letters. The process
of rendering can take
quite a while
depending on how big
your scene and how
fast your computer is,
up to hours at a time.
Youll see blue
squares appear over
your image while
rendering, which will
disappear when the
process has finished.

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06 ADD REFLECTIONS
What this achieves is letters that reflect each other,
but nothing else. You need to add a texture to the material.
Environmental HDR images are best as these give a full
360-degree image to reflect. To have better control of the
reflections, add them on their own layers. Duplicate the
letters layer, setting their materials Diffuse colour to black,
adding environment texture. Reduce Gloss and Shine to 0 and
set Reflection to 85%. Change the blending mode to Screen.

Environmental
HDR images are
07 REFLECTION
FALLOFF
To affect the relative
best as strengths of the

these give reflection in different


parts of the letters, you
a full can use textures just
360-degree like a bump map. Here

image to reflect. To have white represents


reflection and
better control of the vice-versa for black.
reflections, add them on You can produce a map
like this by simply using
their own layers. a copy of the original
Duplicate the letters flat text layer, adding an
layer, setting their Inner Glow Layer Style
(fx). Using Gaussian
materials Diffuse colour Blur to repeatedly
to black, adding blend two tones

environment texture together produces a far


more smooth result.

08 LAYER THE REFLECTIONS


Adding further reflections can create a richer effect. Duplicate
the reflection layer and change the environmental texture. Choose one
that complements the existing reflections, setting the blending mode
to Soft Light. You can further control the blending of reflection layers
by using the Blend If controls from the Layer Style panel (fx). By
blending away the darker tones you can prevent the reflections
becoming too heavy.

09 CHANGE THE COLOURS


Having the balloons all the same colour is a bit boring so you should use
adjustment layers to fix this. Gradient Map layers set to Soft Light are a good way to achieve
effects. For more radical recolouring, start off with a Gradient Map in a Normal blending
mode. Building more adjustment layers on top, you can control the exact balance of colours
and light on each letter. Using contrasting tones for neighbouring letters increases legibility.

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WORK WITH
3D TYPE
CREATE BASIC 3D RENDERS IN CINEMA
4D AND INTEGRATE INTO A 2D SCENE
In this tutorial we will combine basic 3D renders along with photography from all different
royalty-free sites including iStockphoto, Wikipedia Commons and the Library of Congress online
archives. Your final image will probably look quite different from ours, as youll be using your own OUR EXPERT
images, but the steps you take to create your composition will remain the same. BARTON DAMER
Compositing images from different sources can often be complicated, but it doesnt have to be. Whether www.alreadybeenchewed.tv
Barton is a motion designer and
you are trying to match the light source across multiple photos or struggling with consistent hue and digital artist with 12 years experience
temperature values, a treated look to your image will help to unify your composition. Ensure you have the who creates under his studio brand,
Creative Suite we will be using CS5.5. Photoshop will be our weapon of choice. We will also be creating Already Been Chewed, LLC.
some very basic 3D renders using CINEMA 4D and Illustrator. If you have yet to incorporate a 3D program SOURCE FILES
into your design process, this exercise will be a great starting point. We are using basic geometric shapes Included on the disc is a CINEMA 4D
file with the main Spline Wrap active
and a deformer called Spline Wrap to create the typographic rollercoaster, our focus. Then we will build the so you can learn from some of the
rest of our scene in Photoshop by combining several photos and adding a vintage look. adjustments made in the tutorial.

WORK IN PREPARING THE TYPE


PROGRESS TAKE AN ILLUSTRATOR SKETCH INTO CINEMA 4D
FROM 3D TYPE TO
FINISHED ARTWORK
01 CREATE A VECTOR PATH
Using Illustrator, we will draw a vector
path that acts as the spline for our 3D
typography. For this concept, we should
choose a font that will work well as one line
connected between all the letters and is still
legible, we chose to use Cursive. Use the Pen
tool to draw the spline and save as an
Step 1: Illustrator sketch Illustrator 8 file. Note: we will not be able to
import into C4D if we save as any other legacy.

02 ADJUST PATH
Within CINEMA
4D, we Merge (File>Merge)
the path we created in
Illustrator. Then we can
select a specific point from
Step 8: CINEMA 4D render
the path and adjust it
forwards or backwards in
Z space. This gives our
spline depth and prevents
our text from intersecting
with itself later. Each point
of the vector path contains
handles that we can pull to
smooth our path as we
move the vector points.
Step 14: Unify the image

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03 BASIC CYLINDERS QUICK TIP


We can use photographs of real
Use three basic cylinders within C4D and metal or even rusty metal to
rotate them to lie horizontal, making a base for our texture our rollercoaster track.
For even more realism, we can
rollercoaster track. Because we are going to wrap apply bump maps to our texture.
them around the path we imported from Illustrator, Simply Greyscale the image and
adjust the Levels in Photoshop
we need to increase the number of segments in the
for more contrast between the
height of each cylinder. We can crank the number white and blacks of the greyscale
of height segments way up for now, making the image. The bump map gives real
depth to your texture based on
Spline Wrap smoother once weve applied it. the black and white points.

04 BEZIER TOOL MODELLING


Before we work on applying the Spline Wrap, its
important to finish modelling our rollercoaster track. 05 THE MOGRAPH CLONER
The Mograph Cloner enables us to make
That way we only have to apply it once rather than to copies of our Extrude Nurb object. In the Settings
each object that makes up the track. With that in mind, we can offset, rotate and scale along with many
we can either finish drawing the track with the Bezier other options. For this we want to choose a lot of
tool inside of CINEMA 4D or we can jump back into copies and space them out to be the length of our
Illustrator and export another path. Draw the last part of cylinders we created earlier. In the Attributes
the track in Illustrator if you are more comfortable that Manager of our Cloner, we can choose to space it
way and export for C4D (as we did in Step 1). Merge it out along the X, Y or Z axis. By default, the Cloner is
into C4D (just like Step 2). Then drag the vector path Linear so we dont need to change that, but it could
underneath an Extrude Nurb and adjust the settings easily be used as Radial, Object or Grid Array for
until you get the desired effect. various uses.

06 APPLY THE SPLINE WRAP


Now the moment weve been waiting for!
Were ready to apply the Spline Wrap to our entire
rollercoaster track. First we need to group the three
Cylinders with our Cloner Object. Then applying the
Spline Wrap will transform everything inside of the
group. If you get some odd results, its probably
because the axis of the Spline Wrap needs to be
changed to X, Y, or Z depending on the position and
rotation of your centre point. Now go into the Spline
Wrap settings and adjust the Rotation of our track to
look better based on how it reacts within each letter.

07 LIGHTING
As we will be compositing images from
different sources and lighting, make note of the
08 TEXTURE
The textures we need
to create for this project are
light source in the images and see if you can come very basic, which is why this
close to matching them. Focus on the direction of tutorial is a nice introduction
the light and the types of shadows being cast. Will to 3D. The Material Editor
we be compositing into another picture that has enables us to customise all
strong daylight and hard shadows? Or more sorts of options. We simply
overcast and softer shadows? However, the need a bright colour for our
vintage treatment will help to unify everything. track since a lot of
rollercoasters are painted a
bright primary colour. By
default, the Specular is turned
on and we should leave it that
way unless we decide
otherwise. We dont want
reflections on our
rollercoaster track, so a basic
hue adjustment should be fine
for our purposes.

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WORK ON THE DETAILS


ADD DETAIL AND SHADOW IN CINEMA 4D

09 MODELLING THE
DETAILS
We can add details to our
typography by using basic shapes
within C4D, such as cylinders for
the legs and cylinders inside of an
Array for the bolts around the legs.
Just like Step 8, we can create a
new texture, choosing a colour that
will not compete with the
rollercoaster track so the two arent
confused. Once youve created one
set of legs, copy, paste and
reposition them around the type.

Choosing
photos that
have
softer
shadows
and a
light source that is
evenly lit will help us
to combine a variety
of images from
different sources

10 RENDER ALPHA CHANNELS


CINEMA 4D enables us to render out the track in high
resolution for print. We can also create alpha channels
around just the rollercoaster so that we dont have to trace
and cut out the background from CINEMA 4D inside of
Photoshop. Simply apply a Compositing tag from the Objects
window and enable Object Buffer. In render settings, turn on
Multi-Pass and choose Object Buffer, then select a location
to save the fully rendered image with the Object Buffer.

11 RENDERING SHADOWS
One thing to note about our Render Settings is the Ambient Occlusion feature. When you
enable Ambient Occlusion in the Render Settings, it renders more realistic shadows than if you were
to leave it off. It takes a little bit longer to render but the added detail is worth it. Since this is a print
piece, the render time really doesnt matter as if it were motion. Under Multi-Pass, in our Render
settings, we can enable Shadows and it will render them separately on its own layer. That way you
have some flexibility when compositing in Photoshop to darken your shadows as needed.

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12 CHOOSE PHOTOS
One of the challenges in choosing photos to support our
typography is the variety of sources that have to be combined. Its
best to look for photographs that have similar lighting, if at all
possible. Choosing photos that have softer shadows and a light
source that is evenly lit will help us to combine a variety of images
from different sources. Look for all daylight, or all nighttime pictures
for instance. Alternatively, look for photos where the position of the
sun is very similar, or in the case of a nighttime shot, the position
and intensity of the moon.

13 PLACE AND CUT OUT IMAGES


Once we find images to help finish our composition, we can begin to lay them out
and isolate them from their background in Photoshop. There are various methods we can
use but we would suggest the Pen tool for non-organic objects. Some objects require using
a different method, which we will look at. Your decision will vary with the background of the
image you need to cut out, though combining methods works well.

BUILDING THE SCENE


BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER

14 MATCH VALUES
Begin matching the values of all the pictures by
adjusting the Hue/Saturation, bringing down the saturation of
QUICK TIP
There are different
Effectors that can be
applied to Mograph Cloner
each object, whilst not completely desaturating the images. objects within C4D. A
Random Effector can be
Adjusting the Levels will help as well. Try to increase the
applied to give variation
darks and brighten the whites until the images look similarly in the size, rotation and
toned. Next, use an adjustment layer over the entire canvas to position of the bubbles
used. This makes it very
decrease Saturation. easy to create a unique
cluster of water bubbles in
just a few clicks.

15 COLOUR TINT
We can now add some colour tinting on new layers and really
start to unify our piece. Using the Airbrush tool, choose a large brush,
a warm colour (brown) and paint over certain areas of the image.
Blending modes will do all the work for you. Try Soft Light or Overlay
and adjust the Opacity. Use multiple layers with a variety of colours
over select areas of the composition.

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16 MAKE A SPLASH!
Using Color Range to make a
selection, we isolate just the white caps
BUBBLE REFLECTIONS
When creating a custom texture for the water bubbles,
youll want to use Transparency and add Refraction to
the settings. Reflection will help with realism as well.
of the waves. The Fuzziness enables you
In order to get some interesting reflections in the water
to control a range of values in the waves bubbles, youll need to add some sort of an environment.
you want to include. We can then copy, We can create a custom sky or background image or
use a third-party product called GSG Light Kit Pro (www.
paste, flip, rotate and reposition the greyscalegorilla.com). This plug-in for CINEMA 4D
same waves to create a group of them. comes with presets that include gradient backgrounds or
Or we can use several different photos studio backgrounds among others. Its a great way to get
some really nice reflections by simply dropping in one of
of waves to customise the direction the the gradient environments that come with the product.
waves are crashing in our scene.

17 SCREEN MODE
We can also add detail to our water and
bubbles by using photographs set to Screen mode.
There are a lot of great stock images available
including video clips online. Often, the stock video
clips are shot at 1,080p, which is a high enough res
for our needs. The water bubbles are pretty small
in the composition so a still grab from the video
works just fine. Desaturate your image and adjust
the Levels so that the darks are completely black
and dont show when the layer is set to Screen.

18 CUSTOM WATER BUBBLES


We can customise our own water bubbles by blending in
some renders from C4D. By using the Cloner Object (Step 5) and
creating a new texture (Step 8), we can create a stream of bubbles
with various camera angles. A Random Effector can be applied to the
Cloner Object as well to give the bubbles variation in size, rotation and
position. We render with an alpha channel (see Step 10) and place
into our composition. Try these bubbles at Normal, Screen or Overlay
blending mode.

19 ADD THE VINTAGE TREATMENT


Using a stock image of paper that has a consistent texture to it, we can add layers of
grain that will affect the darks and lights of the artwork. Setting the paper layer to Soft Light
will give you some nice grain. For more control, we can duplicate our layer of paper and be
able to set it to Screen mode. The layer set to Screen will enable us to add a lot of grain to
the darks of our artwork, making it feel vintage. Adjust the Levels and Opacity of the layers
to achieve the desired effect.

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TYPOGRAPHIC
DESIGNS
OUR EXPERT
LUCA MOLNAR
http://lucamolnar.com
Luca is a 20-year-old digital artist
from Hungary. In the past few years
she has worked for MTV Networks,
Ogilvy Group and Universal Music,
COMBINE THE PEN TOOL WITH SOME INSPIRING WORDS TO CREATE among others.

A STRONG PROMOTIONAL DESIGN SOURCE FILES


On the CD is a Word document with
In this tutorial you can learn how to create When we started on this piece, we had so many ideas with links to three SXC files that were
typography within the boundaries of an everyday this concept as it was possible to go in so many directions. used to complete this illustration.
object in this case, a trainer. To recreate this We finally decided to use the shape of a sneaker; first,
illustration you dont have to be a Photoshop professional, because we have an obsession with them and, second,
as it really isnt difficult to make, but it looks very cool because we know many of you feel the same way!
nonetheless and you can adapt the illustration to other ideas The text part was a bit trickier, but we decided to write
relatively easily. some lines about art and creativity. You can write anything
You will need a scanner or a camera for the drawing part you want to share with the world. Its a great way to get a
and you will need some water splash stock as well, if you message across if you are the type of artist who likes to
decide to create a fresh background for the main work. express themselves via words as well as design.

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01 DRAW
THE
LETTERS
02 CREATE THE LETTERS
Select the Pen tool and start redoing the letters. Choose a fun colour
and then Ctrl/right-click>Fill Path. Try to have a new layer for every letter, in
Often when case you want to change something on the type later. Play with the boldness
creating an and size of the letters to give them more character.
illustration, it is
best to start with
drawing out the
initial composition.
First we did a
quick outline of
the shoe with the
Pen tool in
Photoshop, then
printed it and
started drawing.
Try to figure out an
overall inspiring
message to get
across in the work.

QUICK TIP
When adding lighting to your
illustration always try to play
03 CHOOSE MORE COLOURS
We want to make it very vivid;
to achieve this choose three bright
with blending modes.
Choosing the right mode colours. We opt for pink, purple and
(usually Overlay or Screen) light blue, but you can select any
can be the key to a great piece.
However, be careful; if you add shades you want. Now keep creating
too many lights, it can turn the letters using the pencil sketch as a
your artwork into a disaster. template; be patient there are lots!

05 ADD HIGHLIGHTS
Merge a few layers to have one word or line
per layer, then go to Select>Load Selection and add a
new layer. Choose a lighter tone to the words colour,
select a large soft brush and start painting highlights.

04 HANDWRITTEN WORDS
You may choose to create some handwritten-looking words. Using the Pen tool, simply draw
the shape of the letters, then select a small brush (5px), plus the Pen tool again, and Ctrl/right-
click>Stroke Path. Experiment with settings to make the letters look as natural as possible.

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Typography

06 WRAP UP THE
WORDS
Finally, its time to finish
07 ITS A SHOE-IN
Lets start putting together the sneaker now. Use
the Pen tool, choose white, redraw the shape of the shoe
the rest of the typography. and then Ctrl/right-click>Fill Path. Next Ctrl/right-click
Draw all the letters with the layer and choose Blending Options, go to Stroke,
the Pen tool and dont select a dark grey and set the Size to 8px.
forget to add some
highlights to each word to
make them consistent.
After youve finished the
words, read them a few
times to make sure you
dont have any typos.

Draw all the letters with the


Pen tool and dont forget to
add some highlights
to each word to make
them consistent. After
youve finished the
words, read check them for typos

08 ALL IN THE DETAILS


We have to add details to the sneaker to make it
look more real. Use the Pen tool again to draw the
different parts of the shoe; keep every new shape on a
new layer. Then Ctrl/right-click on the layer, choose
Blending Options and add a grey stroke, paler than the
main shoe outline. This will help to distinguish the
various areas of the trainer.

09 ADD SOME DARKNESS


Choose the parts of the shoe we just made in the previous step and go to
Select>Load Selection. Add a new layer, selecting a big soft brush and light grey as
the colour. Now start painting the edges of the sneaker elements; you will
immediately see that they look more realistic.

10 BACKGROUND
Now that weve finished the typography and the shoe, the only
thing left to do is to put together a background. Select the Gradient tool
and choose two colours (white and light grey) set at 100% Opacity.
Choose the Radial gradient and apply it to a new layer, which is placed
under all of the other layers.

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KEEP ON DRAWING
Dont get scared, were not suggesting that
you learn to draw like Da Vinci! However, it
11 GET EDGY
It all looks a little flat
now; to make the
can be very helpful to plan your illustration background look more
on paper, especially if you want to produce
dramatic, lets work up
a more detailed piece. Draw a sketch, scan
it, open it in Photoshop and then start edges. Add a new layer
working it up with the Pen tool. This can above the background,
help a lot, ensuring you dont get lost amid
all the possibilities in Photoshop and you select a 2,500px soft brush
can stay focused on the task at hand. This (dark grey) and then click
method can really save the day if you are on the shoe edges. If it
creating a detailed piece with lots of
different objects (flowers, animals and doesnt look right, try
flying lines) or if trying to fit a lot of text into using Filters>Blur>
an awkwardly shaped object, etc.
Gaussian Blur.

12 SPLASH OUT
We will now
add some water
splashes to the
background. First open
a splash image (see
the links on the disc for
the free stock images
that we used) and use
the Pen tool to cut
them out. Do your best
to cut edges as neatly
as you can. Now drop
the splashes into the
work, place under the
sneaker and duplicate
several times to taste.

13 MAKE IT SHINE
We have to add some lights to make the water more dynamic.
Add a new layer above the splashes, set the layer style to Overlay and
then select a soft brush, or any other brushes you use for adding
lights. Start applying accents to parts of the water, keeping a light
source in mind.

14 SEEING STARS
Only do this if you feel you need some more lights. Download a star brush; there
are plenty of these available for free online. Add it to your Brushes menu, add a new layer
and place some shiny stars. Be careful here though; add too many and the work could end
up looking tacky.

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Mixed Media
Seamlessly integrate elements
170 Applying Mixed Media

198
Explore the popularity of mixed media

180 Digital Collage


Make a digital montage with impact

184 Paint Textures


Incorporate paint textures effectively

188 Freshy Style


Reproduce an ultra-contemporay style

192 Event Design


Create a vibrant cinema poster

198 Type and photos


Integrate bold type and kinetic photos

202 Creative Design


Build a mechanical bug from stock

208 Surreal Illustration


Use focal points for complex pieces

212 Photo-Illustration
Add illustration to photographed scenes

218 Advanced Selections


Develop an energetic composite

188

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208

202

218

192
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Mixed Media

APPLYING
MIXED
MEDIA
ITS RAW, ITS REAL AND IT CAN BE
ROUGH, BUT MIXED MEDIA ART IS
BECOMING INCREASINGLY POPULAR.
POZ WATSON INVESTIGATES
Mixed media illustrations are nothing new. In QUICK TIPS
the last few years, however, a wave of artists A graphics tablet is highly recommended
have brought to them a new level of for this type of technical illustration.
Whether youre painting the exterior
sophistication as well as a grounding of genuine artistic of your car or ghosting in its components,
talent. Whereas they were once thought of as a slightly the tablets pressure sensitivity cant be
beaten. Hit F5 to go into your Brush menu,
amateurish mishmash of elements the epitome of and turn on Pen Pressure for the Size and
the try-too-hard student or the over-eager Opacity controls.
photographer theyve now become a style thats a
force to be reckoned with, even competing with the Ink is the key visual signifier in the new
mixed media arsenal. Keep it washy and
ubiquitous slick vector look in its commercial appeal. spontaneous if youre scanning in inked art,
The inky, arty look has reached new heights as skilful or experiment with digital brushes.
artists from around the world have mastered blending
Texture is an instant signifier that the image
digital and non-digital elements, and mixed media has
has been created on or with real media,
been reborn. even if it hasnt. Several painting packages
According to Alexander Ovchinnikov who by day is will allow you to import and use a texture
effectively. Remember to lower the opacity
creative director of the Moscow-based creative agency of layers so it doesnt show through.
MILK this style has been around in its current form
for only two or three years. His personal work used to Found patterns add a nice touch to hybrid
focus on black and white comics, which has segued illustrations. Use them on layers set to
Multiply to darken them and make them
nicely into what he is now producing. And another more transparent. This will give you a
adherent of the style, Florian Nicolle whose 2009 fantastic silkscreen or lithograph look like
a traditional print.
image Goldfish graces this very page explains that: I
call this technique the Tradigital because it mixes
traditional art with digital art. It is characterised, in my 001 |
opinion, by the confrontation between two different Goldfish, 2009
worlds that of the real (paper, brush, ink) and the An example of combining digital
textures with typography and inking to
virtual (soware, graphics tablet), and the gathering of create a digital/traditional hybrid.
two different eras. Florian Nicolle.
001

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Mixed Media

002 003

002 |
Nebula, 2009, Photoshop
This Indian ink/Photoshop piece was created by Lotie for the So Natural exhibition at
le Cube, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France
Lotie
003 |
Butterflies, 2009, mixed media.
A combination of pencils, coloured pencils and inks with varying digital techniques
produces an organic look.
L Filipe dos Santos

As Raphal Vicenzi puts it, this style is: The bridge between the
hand-made approach and the benefits of digital tools. I think its where
the boundaries are blurred that makes it difficult to tell what is computer
generated and what is not. And as Portuguese artist L Filipe dos Santos
(aka Corcoise) sees it: I think I wouldnt call this a style but a technique, a
making-process. I know too many different styles made in this way to call
it a style. Anyway, if I had to come up with a name for it, maybe
organic-digital, binary-mess I truly dont know, nothing decent comes to
mind.

Rather than a style then, this new mixed media approach is more a way
of thinking about digital art. Its just art again, with different tools and
methods, sure, but the end result is what matters, rather than the
technological way it was produced. For Vicenzi, it is all about being
inspired. He lists graffiti artists, street art and collages as things he has
drawn from, noting that: I decided I might as well borrow from all the
genres I liked and put them all on the same canvas while adding a more
feminine element into it. For dos Santos, there was a more specific
light-bulb moment that led him down the mixed media path. He says: I
was a teenager when I first saw Dave McKeans work, and it definitely
pressed some buttons inside me I didnt know I had.
For Lotie, however, there never needed to be anything to kick-start her
interest in the mixed media world, since she has worked in this style since
the beginning of her career. She explains: I began by drawing only with
Indian ink. I scanned these drawings and I did colours in Photoshop. But

QUICK TIP
Create your own watercolours, doodles and drips, and keep a large library of
them available. If inspiration goes stale, you can make new stock images for
yourself. One single drawn element can liven up an entire illustration.

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004 005

004 |
It is interesting to catch any situation - a scene, a pose of a Sit Down, 2010, Photoshop and Illustrator.

random passer-by - and transform the image into an artwork Her mix of vectors and photomanipulation has fused in
a very unique way
Jana Jelovac

gradually I looked for materials, for elements in the artwork. Its a part of my creative experiment. 005 |
photographs of magazines. Soon I made my own Erik Schumacher, who works in this mixed media Broken-hearted Heroes, 2010, Photoshop.
photos, to which I added textures and shapes mixes style but also produces straight digital paintings of epic The variety of styles and mediums on here is what
builds to give this piece of personal work strength.
to be made with my drawings. landscapes, does use stock photos for his work, and JRaphael Vicenzi
It is a similar jumping-off point for Ovchinnikov, who sees them as being no less creative. For his image
says that: If I work with photos I always use my own Crucifixion;, he searched for: A face that showed a
pictures (never from photo banks or libraries). He goes wicked, inscrutable expression that would catch the
on to explain that its the real world that he wants to viewers attention immediately. Aer that I enhanced
take into his illustration work, calling them, Photos the background of the portrait with some rough
without production, street photos, which I take on linework, and also overpainted the face for an artistic
Moscow streets or while travelling. It is interesting to and painted look. Corel Painter comes in useful while
me to catch any situation a scene, a pose of a random experimenting with various brushes and painting
passer-by and then transform the image into an styles. In the final steps I added splatter and textures to

INTERVIEW:
ERIK SCHUMACHER
Erik used this image to experiment with new
WEB: www.xkire.de SOFTWARE: Photoshop CS2, Painter X techniques in Painter

WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS OF THIS STYLE? WHAT ARE ITS WEAKNESSES?
I can tell stories with my art, express my feelings. Using stock Having recourse to stock images is still important for the creation
photos instead of pure digital painting also saves a lot of time of this kind of work. The fact that this style is fairly easy to realise
Additionally, the techniques are very easy to learn, even for proves disadvantageous at the same time. Artists have to be
newbie painters, yet the result looks great most of the time. original in subject and concept in order to stand out.

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Mixed Media

Mixed
Media

BRUSHING IT TOGETHER WILD ANIMALS BACK TO BASICS


The striped elements were created in Illustrator, and The zebra came from a source book, and Raphael This is a stock image of some old paper that
Raphael also turned them into brushes so they could explains that: It made me think of savannas, heat Raphael used to give the whole piece more
be reused again for future projects. and the sun - which gave me ideas for the colours. depth and coherence.

WILD MOTHER
ARTIST: Raphael Vicenzi SOFTWARE: Photoshop YEAR: 2010
This piece, combining female elegance with animal that directed the image. He explains: The title and
power, was loosely inspired by the book Women typography came aerwards, while I just tried to
Who Run with the Wolves by Clasissa Pinkola Ests. keep the idea of wild animals and a feminine
Brussels-based illustrator Raphal Vicenzi explains: creative force. His work involves a lot of trial and
This is about the wild creative principle animating error adding layers, removing parts, playing with
living things. Its also about the wild things inside us, colours until it has depth. Its through this process
either prey or predator. that Raphal feels out just what an image is
The image wasnt carefully planned out before supposed to be and achieve: Sometimes it doesnt
Raphal began work on it, however. Rather, the end make sense until one element gives it a meaning I
product is the result of a few external impressions hadnt thought about.

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QUICK TIP
006 Images in this style tend to be 007
roughly composed, almost sketchy.
Pieces are more atmospheric if not
entirely planned out.

d
a 006 |
Deer, 2008. Photoshop.
With this image, the clarity that mixed
media can achieve is clear
Tetsuya Toshima

007 |
Luna, 2010, Photoshop, Illustrator.
This required a ballpoint pen, coloured
ink, china ink and brush work before it
reached digital realms
Florian Nicolle

I try to keep the my composition to give the piece a rough and dirty
look, with action and a nice amount of detail.
but reveals: I always use my own brushes
and never the ready ones. Which is perhaps the
whole thing close to For Vicenzis image Despite All This Confusion, he perfect encapsulation of just what the whole mixed
what Id too started with the image of a woman, although this media approach is about.

achieve if I one was drawn. From there, he says: I slowly built up


the textures and layers, playing with masks to define On a more practical note, mixed media finds another
were not new shapes and changing the colours of the elements. strength in versatility, with dos Santos commenting
using a I try to keep the whole thing close to what I would
achieve if I were not using a computer, because I aim to
that it offers the artist the possibility of experimenting
with various different solutions by using only one
computer; I aim to express emotions and ideas without using too much image. That saves time, hard hand-work, and you can
express ideas without technique and eye-candy. come up with something that you would never even
using too much As Alexander Ovchinnikov puts it: It is very
important for me that the computer remains only an
dream about.
But perhaps more importantly, the hand-made side
technique instrument for compilation of elements and their of things means it appeals to the real artist within. It
editing. And this embracing of technology but only as adds a hand-made feel that is dynamic and warmer,
008 | a means to an end seems to unite those who work in which helps to convey emotions more easily, says
Walking With a Beast, 2009, Photoshop.
a mixed media style. For Ovchinnikov, this means that Vicenzi. You are mixing things up. The sum of all the
Alexander says: I use objects that arent
meant to be brushes, eg stones all his lines are drawn by hand first, and then edited on parts will make it more interesting visually since it is
Alexander Ovchinnikov the computer. He uses Photoshop brushes a lot, not easily defined, because depending on the artist it
will borrow more from one style than the other.
For Japanese artist Tetsuya Toshima, the personal
touch gives mixed media the ability to create works
full of originality that dont give a sense of dj vu to
those who look at them.
For Lotie, the mixed media approach allows her to
produce something that lies somewhere between
tradition and modernity. She says: The traditional
drawing gives a traditional and classy dimension, and
the digital anchors it in the modernity. The clients
generally appreciate this style of drawing in the ancient
style, like engravings, but they also like the global

008 trendy aspect.


The freedom of the mixed media approach its

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Mixed Media

009 010

010 |
Artists are free to concentrate on their art rather than Sis, 2010. Photoshop.

worrying about the latest clever techniques or the hottest I dont have a specific way of doing things. I prefer
to let subconscious impressions guide me
piece of kit Raphal Vicenzi

fusion of hand-made passion and digital convenience design updated with the digital. And the feeling is the
009 |
Bathroom, 2008. Photoshop.
means that the artists operating within it are free to same for all these artists. Working in a flexible way, using
Floating-in colour is a technique from concentrate on their art rather than worrying about the whatever elements interest them and ignoring those that
watercolour and inking, but you can latest clever techniques or the hottest piece of kit. dont, is less a deliberate choice and more like the obvious
use it with digital brushes too.
Schumacher explains that, for him: It is a very creative and natural way that an artist should work.
L Filipe dos Santos
style which gives you the opportunity to create sketchy For Lotie, it allows her to work on subjects shes
or even abstract pieces with a special traditional feel to interested in: I always liked taking photos of nature. Soon
011 | them, although they are entirely digitally made. And for I wanted to incorporate my drawings into these photos, to
Foreteller, 2009. Photoshop.
Nicolle: I think this technique has become popular intertwine the whole. Nature inspired my drawing, and
This images owes more of its visual
look to artisan printing techniques. because it opens doors to many new possibilities. therefore it was natural to incorporate her into my
Alexander Ovchinnikov There could be a return to the fashion of traditional drawings. And its the organic part of the compositions
that can make them so special. Nicolle says: This
technique can give a lot of expression and liveliness to a
011 composition, because it retains the richness of traditional
painting colours, gestures, accidents.
Jana Jelovac is another artist who creates work that
feels very natural. She says: Artworks I present are not
made to be pretty or ugly. In the process of developing an
artwork, Im not thinking Are people going to like it? I
just let it go and do everything that goes through my mind
in that particular moment. They are all spontaneous and
closely related to music.

But of course, there are disadvantages to the mixed


media way of working, not least that you have to generate
or find a lot of elements before you can begin work it
isnt just you and your computer against the world. And if
you arent a photographer this probably does mean using

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INTERVIEW:
ALEXANDER OVCHINNIKOV
WEB: www.not-for-sale.ru
SOFTWARE: Photoshop
What inspired you to work in this style?
Im inspired by Frank Miller and Peter Maxs
012 works, as well as film and musical posters of
the Seventies, classic American comics, and
films by Tim Burton and Alfred Hitchcock. In
012 | classical painting I like Pablo Picasso,
stock images at least sometimes, which as well as My Nature, 2008. , Photoshop.
Hieronimus Bosch and Egon Schiele.
potentially restraining your creative impulses, can also Hand-drawn stuff is essential, but digital tools are also
unavoidable because of the wonders they can create
be expensive.
L Filipe dos Santos Will this style continue to develop, do you
Its also a style that results in very big images, which
think? Im certain this graphic design style will
can be a hindrance, albeit not one that should put an QUICK TIP continue developing. Nowadays many young
artist off. And while dos Santos points out that its most Hand-drawn elements can sometimes digital artists are turning to the use of various
dangerous weakness is the risk of an artist becoming come off too clean, so use Photoshop to
combine them with photographic live textures and elements and their
used to some kind of pre-formatted way of working, he textures and add realistic details. compilations in their works, so this style will
also notes that it can happen with any style or Blending modes like So Light, Overlay grow and develop.
technique. or Hard Light oen come in useful.
In artistic terms, working with mixed media seems
Are there any particular artists working in
to be all about the upside. Jana notes: This is the first 013 this style that you admire? I like to observe
time Im thinking about my styles weaknesses, and
what is happening in all the visual arts every
maybe it could be the bareness that it has, because all
day there are new artists rising up, changing
my artworks are very personal so that people can see
and improving the existing styles. I cannot
my exposed vulnerability.
name anyone in particular, but there are many
And as the slick vector machine has rolled on
of them in the world now.
without really producing anything new, the mixed
media look has become more and more popular with
clients as well as artists. As Lotie notes, it is perfect for
advertising because its tendrils can be wrapped around
a product, but its used in many other ways too. Nicolle
comments that it is popular because it is alive, while
Toshima reports that clients oen say that they have
never seen this kind of work. Vicenzi agrees that
clients want something striking, but also points out that
its unpredictability can be a downside. But if theres
anything that deserves to be unpredictable, then its art,
so perhaps this isnt really a downside at all.
013 |
So what does the future hold for the mixed media
F-Spirit, 2008. Photoshop. This image demonstrates the soness
artist? Erik Schumacher thinks there will be more and that mixing the analog and the digital can achieve.
more crossover between styles and techniques and Tetsuya Toshima

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CASE STUDY WITH LOTIE


WEB: www.lotie.com SOFTWARE: Photoshop

Mixed media guru Lotie has been added it to the photograph of the bottle.
combining her hand drawings with a From there, she worked on the colours
variety of digital elements since she in Photoshop.
graduated and began her career in 2003. For Paris-based Lotie, the beauty of
She finds that her floaty, dream-like take this approach is that it allows her images
on the mixed media technique is popular to be more organic and more real than
in particular with advertising clients, they would be if they were created purely
because its the perfect way to encase a digitally. She does work for clothing labels
product within a particular illustration. As such as Triiad and Undiz, as well as for
Lotie explains to us: A photograph or a magazines and advertising clients, and
video of the product in movement, the she sees no reason for her style to
whole surrounded with drawings, is change any time soon.
rather effective. As she points out: The mixed media
In the case of a print advert for look has always existed since the
Raspberry Absolut Vodka that Lotie beginning of the advertising industry. I
created in 2006, she traced the image on dont think that its out of date. The style of
paper first, and then drew the basics of the drawn environment can change
her illustration around this. Then Lotie according to the fashions, but I think, not
scanned the lot into the computer and this technique.

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014

014 |
I think the final result is the Unicorn, 2010. Photoshop.
most important Here Alexander has used ink marks in a less traditional way
thing, no matter rather than exploiting the classic inky look.
Alexander Ovchinnikov
QUICK TIP what process was
Even when youve found a style that suits you, its good to keep involved in its
trying new styles and ways of working, even if its just in
personal projects
making
sources: These days it is almost mandatory to remain popular, but he also notes that: The scene
draw on other media to finish projects. Among has to develop to survive in the long term. The
matte painters the use of 3D programs such as quality of images is steadily improving, and also
3D Max or landscape generators like Terragen clients will expect more from artists. People have
is very popular. In manipulations and paintings, to come up with new techniques to refresh this
fractals from Apophysis are used frequently. style once in a while.
Erik tells us hes sure the style is going to
Lotie is one of many illustrators would like to see
015 the mixed media approach produce: More
intricacies between the media, more harmony,
more meeting between the reality and
imagination. She adds that mixed media has
always been around in some form or another: The
style of the drawn environment can change
according to the fashions, but I think, not this
technique. Jana Jelovac doesnt worry that the
style has an expiration date either, because she
says that she simply isnt interested in: So-called
trendy graphic design, and for me it really doesnt
matter what is selling on the market. Also, my style
is constantly changing, so I think something new
and fresh will always come from me.
Ultimately, the current passion for mixed media
does seem to be less of a trend and more a return
to art basics. As dos Santos sees it, people have
got too hyped up by what a computer can do:
Innovative soware was appearing everywhere,
and that was reflected in the pictures made back in
the Nineties. But then the fascination with what a
machine could do started fading to a more
balanced level, and finally the novelty is no longer a
novelty. Nowadays I think that the final result, the
015 |
Car, 2009. ink/Photoshop. final illustration, is the most important thing, no
Florian Nicolle matter what process was involved in its making.

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Layers play an integral role


in this workshop and the
layer effects, along
with masks, make
blending elements
together seamless

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MIXED MEDIA
DIGITAL COLLAGE
Mix your creative processes together to create stunning
digital montages with impact
Digital collage has been a popular art-form for professionals and amateurs alike for many years. Its
a lively, vivid way to express your creativity and great for amalgamating spare elements or for giving
OUR EXPERT
commissioned work a hand-made feel.
DANIELLE DIXON
All of the starting files are provided on this issues disc so begin by opening these in Photoshop. We are www.photoshopcreative.co.uk/user/
using Photoshop CS2 in this tutorial but the techniques used can be re-created in newer versions. Of all Dani Taylor
creative programs, Photoshop offers the most freedom when producing art such as this. Layers play an Aer graduating in Illustration, Dani
has been working in the publishing
integral role in this workshop and the layer effects, along with masks, make blending elements together
industry sampling many digital
seamless. Mixed media collages always look more complex than they really are as the same techniques and drawing programs. Photoshop is still
elements can be re-used throughout the artwork. her favourite for the high degree of
creativity it offers artists
We kick off the tutorial by running through correct scanning procedures so, if you did want to start the
illustration with your own resources, get your scanner warmed up. We then move on to the main bulk of this SOURCE FILES
There is a whole stack of files on this
step-by-step: creating the collage in Photoshop. The main tools well be using are blending modes and months free disc, ranging from
masks the must-know features for collage creation as well as considering how to use layers effectively. hand-drawn flowers to paint splatters and
ripped paper in fact, everything you need
to re-create this illustration.

CREATE A PRINT/DIGITAL COLLAGE


LEARN TO INTEGRATE DIFFERENT SOURCES OF MEDIA

01 SET UP YOUR SCANNER


Switch on your scanner and open
Photoshop. Go to File>Import and select
02 HIGH RESOLUTION
Set the resolution to 300dpi or above;
using a lower dpi will result in the scan being
03 PREVIEW
In your scanner menu there will be a preview
option. Always preview before actually scanning your
your scanner. If it doesnt appear here then too small to use. In collage work, you want image, as this way you will know if your document
use your scanner program in Applications massive starting images so that you can resize settings are correct (eg we used the photograph option
instead. The scan software will show an and crop however you wish. Keep scanning in for paint splats). On a less technical note, you can also
option box; these options differ between textures and drawings as a personal stock check if the placement on the scanner bed is accurate.
models but the basics are the same. library will save you a lot of effort in future. Once happy with the settings and positioning scan the
item and the image will open in Photoshop.

04 SAVE YOUR ART


Save all of your images with related titles,
eg Green smudge. This way you can scan
through your artwork library and pick pieces
precisely and quickly. Create a new canvas in
Photoshop; we are working on the dimensions 23
x 30cm. Now open the images from the disc,
some of your own or a combination of the two.

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05 DRAG AND DROP


Drag all of your opened scans into your
new canvas. When theyre all there make
06 MASK AWAY UNWANTED AREAS
Make the flowers invisible for now and select the top ripped
paper piece in the layer stack. Add a mask (found at the base of the
SCAN OPTIONS
Scanning option menus will vary
them invisible (press the eye icons in the Layers palette) and make sure the colours in your toolbar are set to between makes and models but all
Layers palette). Position the ripped paper Foreground: Black and Background: White. Pick a large hard-edged offer roughly the same functions.
You will be able to select the type of
pieces and make sure the flowers are visible. brush set to100% Opacity and then erase the unwanted white area of
document you are scanning, the
Well start off with the main structure of the this layer.
content of what you are scanning
piece, as finalising this will help us build the and a range of colour options. Play
composition around it. around with these settings as, when
scanning hand-drawn and
household items, the effects can
need tweaking. The flower example
here worked best when scanned in
as a document. As a photo, the
colours were more washed out and
some of the hand-drawn marks lost.

07 MASKS CONTINUED
Decrease the brush size and Opacity to 30% as you work
along the ripped paper line. If you want to repair some of the
08 FLOWERS
Make the main flower visible and
position it where you want it. Select the Lasso
mask, simply switch the Foreground/Background colours to tool and make a loose selection around the
White/Black. Using masks to hide unwanted areas is a key flower. Add a mask to the flower layer and the
mixed media technique. By using masks nothing is permanently unwanted white background will disappear. If
erased. You can precisely cut around items with the Pen tool and the wrong part of the selection vanishes, press
delete onto a mask or use the Brush or Lasso tools. Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert the mask. Repeat this
process for the other lily.

09 PEN TOOL SHAPES


Select the Pen tool set to Shape
layers and the colour white. Draw around
QUICK TIP
Make sure you clean
off the glass in the
10 ADD THE COLOUR
Feel free to add whatever textures you desire, but if youre following this tutorial,
switch on the Main background smudge already dropped into your canvas. Set the blending
scanner before
the flower leaving a few millimetres so it starting this work. mode to Multiply and lower its Opacity to 65%. Next make the Orange texture layer visible,
sits on a white cut-out shape. Dont be setting it to Multiply, 100% Opacity.
If you are scanning
too neat as were looking to achieve a a lot of mixed media
hand-drawn effect. When finished, elements, then
Shift-click this layer and the flower layer transfer will pass
from piece to piece.
in the Layers palette and hit Cmd/Ctrl+G To resolve this, use a
to group. Repeat for the other flower. very small amount
of glass cleaner on
some kitchen towel
and avoid fluffy
fabrics such as
dusters as this will
make it worse.

You might be
suprised how the
tiniest specks/fibres
which the scanners
are able to pick up.

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11 CREATIVE MASK PAINTING


Some of the orange backgrounds are a bit heavy in places so we want to mask these off,
but set your brush up so it replicates the original brush marks. Add a mask to the layer, select the
12 BUILD UP THE
COMPOSITION
Paint onto the mask layer erasing
QUICK TIP
Grouping and
labelling layers is
vital when working
Brush tool at 70% Opacity and bring up the Brushes menu. Under Brush Tip Shape select an oil areas that you find unnecessary. with a collage. It will
pastel brush and increase the brushs Spacing for greater texture. Continue working through all of the make it easier to find
things and, when
layers, turning them on and off, you are picking and
seeing where they work best. Its moving layers
around on the
best to be brutal; if theyre not
canvas, it makes the
working, hide them and move on process a lot
dont feel you have to include quicker. Grouping
items also helps if
everything. We have used the files you need to resize
Paint blobs and Green smudge to elements, which is
add more colour. something youre
likely to do a lot
during this type of
creative process.

13 ADD SOME DEPTH


Make scan flower 1 visible, position it in the
top left corner, then add a mask to erase the
14 VECTOR COLOURS
Select the Pen tool, set to Shape
layers in the Options bar. Pick a bright
15 LAYER STRUCTURE
We are working with many layers in this project.
Moving them around can result in some powerful effects. As
background and set to Multiply. Select the Brush tool yellow and draw a triangle so it sits you can see from the layer order in our screenshot, the
set to Multiply and 50% Opacity, select a dark brown underneath the flower and shadow texture layers are woven in among the vectors, hiding some
colour and add a new layer under the flowers in the layers. Click a point to start the shape areas, adding depth and complexity.
Layers palette. Now paint in some shadows so the and end it in the same place. Repeat this
image doesnt look so flat. process with various bold colours/
shapes you might want to make
changes to your composition too.

16 FINAL EMBELLISHMENTS
Use the Pen tool to trace some leaf shapes and
the Ellipse tool to create some circles. To finish the
The texture layers are woven in
among the vectors, hiding
circles, we decrease the shapes Fill to 0% and add a some areas, adding depth
Stroke, which can be found in the Add a layer style and complexity
menu at the bottom of the Layers palette. Nothing is
fixed, so you can play with the composition until youre
happy with it.

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USING PAINT
TEXTURES
Josh Overton breaks down his popular Stoop to Conquer image
to show us how to use paint textures effectively
Digital painting and illustration has come a long way over the last ten years. It keeps becoming more and OUR EXPERT
more accessible to the public through the use of software such as the Adobe Creative Suite and Photoshop JOSH OVERTON
www.overtongraphics.com
CS5 in particular. It has reached the stage, with so many artists out there, that ideas come easily, but its
down to us to try and push our imaginations to come up with something novel as opposed to recreating styles that Josh is a graphic designer based in
the UK. He focuses mainly on digital
already exist. and print illustration and has worked
We are all aware that the majority of designs using paint splatters as the main element tend to consist of a person with a number of high-profile clients.
jumping in mid-air and either having paint thrown over them or becoming part of them. This can lead to a lot of
SOURCE FILES
portfolios comprising very similar work and if possible we need to avoid this. We need to fire up our passion for Included on this months disc is the
original design and encourage artists to have the confidence to set trends rather than simply follow them. Photoshop file of Stoop to Conquer at a
smaller resolution. Also supplied are the
This tutorial takes a look at just what can be achieved if we move away from traditional human subjects and various paint splatter textures which were
transform the paint splatter textures into something more tangible and integral to the work. used in the tutorial.

ILLUSTRATE WITH BESPOKE TEXTURES


COMBINE AN EAGLE-EYE FOR DETAIL WITH PAINTED MEDIA

01 SET UP A PRINT-READY FILE


The first step is to establish the file size we will be
working with. Set your document to the International Paper
02 TEXTURED BACKGROUND
Next we find a backdrop. Were using a
textured background (supplied in the main image
03 PAINT SPLATTERS
Using the supplied paint splatter
images, we cut around each one, simply
Size A3, at 300dpi. This is ideal because you can print up to A2 document: low res Stoop to Conquer.psd); using the Magic Wand tool with a Tolerance
posters with this document size at no loss of quality, while however any image will do. Remember of about 5-20. For this tutorial we have
saving a few megabytes on your computer. everything here is only a guide to you creating made all the paint splats look like shapes
something special of your own. based loosely on wings.

We need to get back to our


passion for design and
04 ADJUST THE WINGS COLOUR
Now we have our chosen shape, we
merge all the paint splatter layers and then
encourage artists to desaturate the image using Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+U.

have the confidence to Next, we access the Hue/Saturation tool in


Image>Adjustments. Here we tick Colorize and
set trends rather than then choose a colour for our linked paint
follow them splatters using the sliders. Make sure the
blending mode is set to Multiply for all wings.

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05 ROTATE AND MOVE


Having established our basic structure,
we duplicate the layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and then
06 RINSE AND REPEAT
All we do now is repeat the
duplications (Cmd/Ctrl+J), the transformations
07 MERGE AND FLIP
At this stage we select all the wing
layers by holding down Cmd/Ctrl and
rotate and reposition it. Using our colour slider (via Cmd/Ctrl+T) and re-colourisations until we clicking on each layer in the Layers tab.
again (Cmd/Ctrl+U), we transform the colour have a nice big wing span as shown in the Now we duplicate them all, flip them with
completely. The result should be close to what is image. All of a sudden the main structure of Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal and rotate
shown in the image below. Again make sure that our image is really coming together. From this them so that they look as if they could be
the blending mode is set to Multiply. point we could go on to create a range of the tail feathers of the bird.
designs, but this time we will focus on making
the bald eagle.

PHOTOGRAPHING PAINT
Its not that difficult to photograph your own
08 PREDATOR
For the purposes of this tutorial, we
are using a stock image of a bald eagle, but any
09 HEY PRESTO
The image should look fairly
complete, except that the eagles body in its
paint textures, and they come in handy for other bird of your choosing will suffice and natural state doesnt really fit with the
many kinds of projects. Get your hands on this choice can really affect the overall dynamic. extravagant wings. Now begins the fairly
some paint and splash it on white paper Carefully cut around the stock image using the detailed process of getting his body to blend
(which makes extraction easier when you
Magic Wand, Pen and Eraser tools. Work in with his wings. This involves a mash-up
bring the image to Photoshop). Get creative
particularly carefully around the head and body, of the wings over the black/brown body
with as many shapes as you can, then grab
your camera. Try to shoot in neutral lighting but dont worry about individual feathers. which we then blend.
and avoid shadows of yourself or the
camera on your paper surface. Set your
camera to its Macro focus mode to pick up
the detail at a close range and snap away. It
may take a few attempts to get exposure
and focus right, but building up a personal
stock library can really pay dividends.

10 MASH-UP
First make about three or four copies of
the eagle layer that we have cut out. Hide all bar
Shoot in neutral
lighting and avoid
one and set the blending mode of this to Overlay. shadows of
This should all-but look like the final image now. yourself or the
Now reveal another eagle layer (above the Overlay
layer) and cut off the dark body of the eagle,
camera on
leaving only the head and feet looking natural. your paper

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11 EAGLE DRUMSTICKS
Feel free to darken the Overlay layer
with the Burn tool (use the O key). Work
12 GREEN BODY WINGS
For this step, we need to duplicate some wing
layers and then colour them in a faded green before
13 ONE LAST BODY PART
Here we simply repeat the previous step,
but this time creating a pink wing layer on the
around the legs and the neck as in the applying a Multiply blending mode. We can then begin body. Additionally, we have aligned this layer with
image for this step so it appears attached to using the Eraser tool in order to get this layer to fit within the legs in order to add some colour to this
the untouched head and feet. All thats left the eagles body shape. Show the eagle layers again to otherwise fairly bare area. All thats left for us to
to do is to add some of the paint splatters help with this step; we have just hidden the layers do now is show all the layers and apply the
from the wings. temporarily for the sake of the tutorial. finishing touches.

Use a simple brush to


add a nice glow effect
to each wing to
provide some
further depth
14 ADD SOME GLOW
To add another dimension we can use
the Pen tool and colour match each wing. Use a
and texture
simple brush to add a nice glow effect to each
wing to provide some further depth and texture.
First go to the Brushes panel and choose the
16 THE EAGLE HAS LANDED
Make sure that the line made is set to
Multiply or another blending mode that suits the
default round brush sized around 70px. line. Then repeat the process for each wing,
matching the colours for best effect. And there

15 PEN TOOL
On a separate layer, using the Pen tool, click at the base of the first wing, then click and hold at the tip of
the wing and bend the line to align with the wing shape. In the Paths tab, we right-click the path and click
we have it a manipulated image using paint
splatters that doesnt involve someone jumping
through paint. Let your imagination soar, and see
Stroke Path, then select Brush from the dropdown menu and, lastly, enable Simulate Pressure. what you can create!

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FRESH STYLE
FOR SPORTS
We show you how to reproduce this ultra-contemporary style, using
photo stock, Photoshop effects and your own illustrated elements
Andy Potts, Darren Hopes and Paul Holland are just a few of the commercial artists currently producing a
very distinct mixed-media illustration style, with photo stock playing an integral role in creating these
OUR EXPERT
visions, used as both a guide and as a medium unto itself, alongside art-worked elements.
ADAM SMITH
www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk/user/Adam
Such an immediate style has no right or wrong outcome, and is ultimately open to both approach and
application. However, there are a few techniques that will give you a strong starting point to realise an authentic With a BA Hons in Illustration, APs
reviews editor Adam Smith looks
interpretation, and this is what we set out to show you here. forward to a digital renaissance in
This step-by-step reveals many solutions, taken from both inside and outside our favourite image-editing app. style, and sets out to see if he still has
some illustrative flair to share...
Traditional textures and scanned sketch images meet PS blending modes for maximum diversity. We also reveal
how to apply intuitive blending and layer style options for rich tones to make your image pop, while layer masks
SOURCE FILES
help tie visuals together. But the real bonus of this style is that you dont need to be a pro you can really fly into This tutorial provides a host of sketch textures free
this with gusto and adapt the methods to meet your own needs. to apply in your own artwork. Building and cloud
photo stock, as well as the sign.psd image used to
produce the backdrop are included. The model
image is provided by iStockphoto, and there are
links to several other free stock images.

CREATE A FRESH ILLUSTRATIVE STYLE


ADD ENERGY AND IMPACT TO SPORTS SCENES VIA MIXED MEDIA

01 BASICS
Begin by opening your
document (235 x 302mm,
02 MODEL SELECTIONS
Cut out your model by tracing edges using the Pen Path tool, selecting the Paths
palette and Cmd/Ctrl-clicking the Path layer. Copy and paste the model layer into your
300dpi). Copy and paste a image document. Using the same process, select your models shorts and shirt, and
crumpled paper texture into import onto separate layers (Cmd/Ctrl+J).
your document, resize if
necessary, then decrease the
Fill value to around 40%.
Duplicate several times,
experimenting with Levels on
each layer to get the contours
and exposure to taste, before
opening the model image
(iStockphotos Runner).

03 COLOURED
SILHOUETTE
Cmd/Ctrl-click your model layer
thumbnail, making an active
selection. Select Solid Color from the
Create new fill or adjustment drop
The real bonus of this style is that you
options at the base of the Layers dont need to be a pro you can really fly
palette. Weve applied an orange
tone. Now duplicate your model
into this with gusto and adapt the
layer, place above your orange fill methods to meet your own needs
and decrease to 10% Opacity. Mask
out any facial detail.

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04 COLOURED EXPOSURE
Duplicate your model copy layer,
place this at the top of the stack and set a
05 COLOURED EXPOSURE 2
Use the attached layer mask to erase and let through softer
orange tones from the model copy/Fill layers beneath, preserving only
06 DETAILS
This process will wash out a lot
of detail. To bring a bit back into our
Screen blending mode. Hide all layers bar the highlighted areas. Duplicate your new merged layer, delete the layer foreground leg, accentuating motion,
Fill and model copy types. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/ mask and change tones to purple using Hue/Saturation sliders. simply duplicate your original model,
Alt+Shift+E to create a new merged layer. Use Applying a new layer mask, erase highlighted edges and preserve place this above your purple model
Levels to boost exposure and get richer colours shadowed areas. layer, and integrate tones using Hue/
with Image>Adjustments>Variations>More Saturation and Variations options. Apply
Red. Apply a Soft Light blending mode to this a layer mask, and softly erase all detail
new merged layer. Delete/hide your second except the knee area and surrounding
model copy layer. muscle tension.

MIXEDMEDIA
DISTRIBUTION
By this stage you will have the
basic style established,
determining the form and focal
points of your image. Now you can
apply mixed-media textures freely
be expressive and dont be too

07 DETAILS 2
Merge all related model layers as in
Step 4. Select the shorts layer, Cmd/Ctrl+I,
08 MIXED-MEDIA SELECTIONS
Now resize this layer smaller and
place to the right. Apply a layer mask.
QUICK TIP
With all good
illustration, no matter
fussy. Experiment when applying
these with Overlay, Screen,
Multiply, Linear Light and Color
Dodge blending modes to shade
applying a Red Color Overlay from the Layer Open SXCs Canvas Texture 1 image, the style, it must have
context. Themes and and highlight certain areas.
Style options; set blending to Multiply. Cmd/ selecting painted elements with the However, when applying textures,
topics of inspiration
Ctrl-click the shirt layer thumbnail, activate your Magic Wand tool, then pasting into your will dictate and inspire try to find natural edges that
newly merged layer, Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+I and image. Place over your models lower iconography and complement form and movement.
image visuals applied.
apply a layer mask. Combine your merged leg, Cmd/Ctrl-click the layer thumbnail, This helps create We recommend focusing on
model layer and shorts layer together into a then erase from your merged model interesting visual cues re-creating existing structure in
new layer. Now hide all others bar this one. layer mask with an 80% Opacity black instead of less relevant areas such as clothing, anatomy
elements, perhaps and hair; essentially this lends an
chalk brush. associated with more
surreal digital genres. air of seamless flow to your work.

When applying textures, try 09 VISUAL VALUES


The top cutout looks hollow, so duplicate

to find natural edges your model, match the scale of your merged
model, and select Image>Adjustments> Hue/
that complement Saturation>Colorize, tweaking sliders to give your
form and movement duplicate model layer an all-over green tone. Set

such as clothing Opacity to 20% and apply a layer mask, erasing


from the torso to leave only the T-shirt.

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10 MIXED-MEDIA EFFECT
See boxout to better understand how
to apply mixed media. Weve applied SXCs
11 GO APE
Create a stronger shadow by duplicating your previous merged
model layer, and resize and position using Transform>Distort. Press Cmd/
12 GO APE 2
Weve created the rest of the
ape using the Pen Shape tool, layering
Palette 10 acrylic texture rescaled and Ctrl+U, dropping Saturation and Lightness to -100, and set the blending one arm above the head layer and
oriented to the shorts with Screen blending, mode to Vivid Light. Now open the Baby Gorilla Walking and Clapping image applying mixed-media textures for
to the hind leg with Multiply, and to the head from SXC. Use selection tools to copy and paste into your main document, interest. We use the same Pen settings
and shoulders with Vivid Light, Linear Light duplicating, rescaling and positioning, as in the example. Also apply Hue/ to create the ribbons, making it look as
and Color Dodge. Weve added SXCs Saturation>Colorize to enhance blue tones. if our ape is holding back our runner
Untitled splat texture too, set to Luminosity, as he breaks through symbolic of
to imitate mud splats off our models foot. getting that monkey off your back.

13 BACKDROP DETAILS
Open the TudorHouse Single.tif
image, select and erase the sky, then place into
14 SKY EXPOSURE
Reposition and distort as you like,
then merge these two layers into a new
QUICK TIP
Typography can really add to
an Illustrative Image of this
15 SKY EXPOSURE 2
Create a new layer on top
with an orange-to-transparent
style. Experiment with font
your scene. Cmd/Ctrl-click this layers separate layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+Shift+E). types to add a unique gradient, from the top-right to the
thumbnail, making a selection. Create a new Weve integrated the bottom building edge aesthetic appeal - that runners left shoulder. Set an Overlay
complements shape and
layer, place behind your building layer and fill using a mask with a Linear Burn blending form or accentuates
blending mode and duplicate. You
with a grey-blue. Set Soft Light blending to the mode. Create a new layer on top, set the direction. Numbers and can create complementary texture
symbols can also be used effects by applying Screen, Hard Light
building layer (30% Opacity), invert, then select blending mode to Multiply and apply a 60%
as a form of iconography,
and erase white wall elements. For subtler dark grey-to-transparent gradient from the relating to running and Linear Light blending modes.
effects, boost Hue/Saturation>Lightness. top-left corner to your models right shoulder. metaphors or other themes. Weve used our own and SXCs
Untitled, psychedelic nature 12 and
painted wall 1 examples.

Weve created Pen Shape layers,


set to Multiply blending, in
order to juxtapose textures

16 FINAL ADDITIONS
Weve created Pen Shape layers, set to Multiply blending, in order
to juxtapose textures. Apply more line layers and sketch textures. The
cloud is added as a crude cutout, set to 76% Hard Light and the light
falling on our model is a solid shape set to Screen, with masking. Import
sign.psd from the CD onto its own layer, position and scale.

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Mixed Media

STRIKING EVENT
DESIGN
USE PHOTOSHOP SELECTION TOOLS AND FILTERS
TO CREATE A VIBRANT MOVIELIKE POSTER
This tutorial looks at how to apply both template-based and creative skills to a movie poster design OUR EXPERT
including composition and type treatment. Above all it demonstrates just how imperative Photoshop
GRZEGORZ DOMARADZKI
is in creating highly detailed and precise photo-based portraits, in Domaradzkis signature vexel style, www.iamgabz.com
primarily using the Lasso tool. Lighting effects also feature heavily, showing you how to specifically apply the 32-year-old freelance illustrator and
Motion Blur filter and various layer styles to achieve energised effects. Deselect (Cmd/Ctrl+D) will be used graphic designer Grzegorz works in
frequently in this process; each time you fill the shapes created with the Lasso tool, youll need to use this Pozna, Poland. He specialises in
everything from portraiture to
shortcut to make your workflow smoother and more efficient. snowboard art and T-shirt designs.
Finding the right photo reference for the poster is fairly easy its much harder to find the right title. As this
is a fictional movie poster, weve come up with fictional credits and a real quote that fits the themes of the
SOURCE FILES
On the CD is a Small version of the
final piece. Before approaching this tutorial or indeed any type of design we encourage you to make at model from iStockphoto. There are
least a rough sketch of the general composition so youve got something to work towards from the off. also links to other stock used.

WORK IN GENERAL COMPOSITION


PROGRESS LASSO YOURSELF A PRECISE AND EYECATCHING PORTRAIT
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
MAKE A FILM POSTER!
01 BACKGROUND/PHOTO
Create a new file and fill the background
with blue (#3b4c86). Open up the iStockphoto file
on this issues disc named 13785293Small.jpg
and place it in the centre of your canvas. We will
be using it as a reference for the main portrait.
Desaturate the photo by pressing Cmd/
Ctrl+Shift+U and lower the Opacity to 70%.

Step 6: Hair extensions 02 HEADS UP


Create a new layer and, using the Lasso
tool, make a precise selection of the head, hair and
neck; you will have to add some hair at the top and
bottom of the photo since the original is cropped.
Fill the selection with a light grey colour. Create a
clipping mask of the desaturated photo layer for an
easier shading process in the next few steps.

Step 12: Get things in motion

Step 17: Make some noise

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Courtesy of
iStockphoto

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Mixed Media

03 SHADING
Edit the photo
Opacity to 30%, then
create a new layer,
applying a clipping mask
to the main shape layer.
Start with blacks for the
darkest parts of the photo
and whites for the
brightest areas. Zoom in at
200% when creating each
of the Lasso tool shapes
and fill with the same
colour youre working on.
Remember that holding
Shift will add to a
selection, while holding
Opt/Alt will delete from it.

04 SHADING 2
With the specular
extremes now covered, its time to
QUICK TIP
Dont be afraid of using too
many adjustment layers,
erasing parts of them and/
turn our attention to the images or changing their layer
modes later on. It may
midtones. We dont want to use surprise you how many
more than six colours including the great effects they can
main shape, so create a new layer produce along the way.
underneath the black and white
layer, choose a dark grey and, using
the Lasso tool once more, fill all the
midtone areas where they appear
on the reference photo. Remember
that you can switch off the photo
layer from time to time to better
see how the work is progressing.

05 SHADING 3
Below the previous layers created in Steps 3 and 4,
create two new ones: these will be for two further grey tones
06 THINGS ARE
STARTING TO
GET HAIRY...
that you will be applying via several more Lasso tool shapes. Create a new
The variation in greys is crucial to building up depth in the non-clipped masked
models face. Place a lighter shade of grey above the main layer on top of all the
head shape. The other one should be tonally somewhere previous layers and add
between layers that are below and above it. Your character some extra thin flyaway
portrait is almost finished now however, do not delete the hair shapes to give a
photo layer, as we will be using it later on. more natural look; fill
these with the same
grey colour that was
used on the main head
shape. Note, they look
particularly good in
darker areas. From now
on, when using head
selections, dont forget
to add the selection
(Cmd/Ctrl+Shift-click on
the thumbnail) of these
extra hair elements.

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07 SHOULDERS
AND SKY
Our main character
needs some shoulders.
Use the Pen tool to create
a path and, after, make a
selection (Cmd/Ctrl+
Shift-click on the path)
and fill with white. Now
open the Skies0220
image from www.
cgtextures.com, placing

Use the Eyedropper tool and a hard


it just above the
background. Apply an
Overlay blending mode
08 A TOUCH OF VIOLET
Create a Levels adjustment layer, resetting the
Midtones slider to -0,87; this will make your digital sketch
round brush to apply more colour and reset Opacity to 40%. that bit darker. Now create a new layer and fill it with violet
marks randomly over the image. Then, add a new layer
mask and use black
(#a791c5). Change the layers Opacity to 70% and apply a
Hard Light blend mode. Add a layer mask and apply a soft
The colour of each mark should soft-edged brushes to black brush to a selection of the head, shoulders and extra
match the colours beneath it erase the entire lower hair erasing parts of the face and background on the
edge of the texture. right-hand side.

FILL THE IMAGE WITH LIGHT


APPLYING LIGHTING EFFECTS WITH ROUND BRUSHES AND MOTION BLUR

09 MEDIAN FILTER
Lets go back to the photo we
used as reference. Switch it back on and
11 MOTION BLUR
Create a new layer, using a hard round
brush, graphics tablet and a light blue colour
move to the top of the layer stack. Apply (#44b3e6) to make a series of spontaneous marks
the Median filter with the Radius at 6px. over the head. Apply a Motion Blur with Distance
Change the blending mode to Soft Light pushed to its maximum and Angle to 90 degrees.
at 50% Opacity. Create a layer mask and Also switch to Hard Light blending mode. On
remove the hair and whole background, another layer make the same type of brushmarks,
so youre left with just the face. On but this time use a white colour, covering the
another layer, use a Linear white-to- shoulders and the added-in Lasso shapes. Apply a
transparent gradient, applying it left to 90-degree Motion Blur at 376px Distance to these.
right. Use a soft brush and layer mask to
remove it entirely from the background
and some parts of the face, then wrap
up with an Overlay blending mode.

10 IN THE PINK
On a new layer, add a Radial gradient with a pink colour
(#f05fa5) in the top-right corner with Overlay blending. Use a
soft brush and layer mask to remove it from the background
entirely, isolating it to the models head. Now lets add a Hue/