Illustration and art

Colouring tricks for inked artwork

Tim McDonagh looks at how Photoshop can be used to add colour and depth to all your inked artwork.

Colour a beautifully feminine portrait

Australia-based artist Emma Leonard’s portrait artworks are simply beautiful. Her linework and texture is largely hand-drawn using a selection of pencils, with Photoshop used to add colour and subtle lighting effects that help bring out the soft femininity at the heart of much of her work.

Here Emma takes you through the digital part of her creative process. Starting with a carefully rendered drawing, she details how she colours it by employing simple techniques such as multiplying layers, altering opacities and adding swatches of watercolour in a restricted palette to achieve a soft and ethereal illustration.

Combine real and digital brushes

In this tutorial, Adi Gilbert explains how he produces beautifully-crafted illustrations using a blend of traditional brushwork, and digital techniques with a tablet, stylus and Photoshop.

By using traditional drawing techniques and textures, you can create a tactile, imperfect piece that can then be coloured and enhanced with editable, digital layering. This technique gives you the best of both worlds, especially when working to deadlines or changing requirements.

Create a beautiful bird artwork

This swan illustration by Andrew Lyons is one of a series of birds he created for a client packaging project.

This tutorial will demonstrate how effective use of textures and shading can bring a sense of depth and complexity to relatively simple forms – techniques that can be applied to any illustration subject.

Digital colour tricks for pencil-drawn art

Recently, French illustrator Marguerite Sauvage created a series of portraits called Flower Women, which she describes as “fashionable, traditional-looking, very feminine”. Here she takes us through the development of one of them, Sylvie.

Give an artwork a 1980s tropical feel

Illustrator Chris Malbon takes you through the process of creating a bold artwork with an 80s retro tropical theme – drawing on the glamour of shows like Miami Vice. He says the secret to his striking style is using abstract shapes and negative space.

He also shares some techniques for ensuring there’s a base of photorealism underpinning an abstract piece. By using photos as a starting point, then tracing them in a simplified way, the illustration has a good contrast that feels both handmade and digital.

Create a digital collage from hand-drawn elements

Here, illustrator Sandra Dieckmann guides you through how she creates her work, which combines the emotional depth of the hand-made with the boldness of graphics.

Handmade textures and shading effects

Dominique Byron explains how to add textures to your work to give it a handmade feel, and how to combine these with shading and highlights to provide extra detail to your image. 

Adding subtle textures to digital work makes it more interesting and can introduce depth to an image that looks quite flat. It also makes the piece appear less computer generated, adding a bit of mystery as to how it was created. This allows Dominique to add an organic flavour to her work’s geometric base.

New tricks for vector portraits

Spanish artist Daniel Caballero explains how he creates his vector artworks from photo references in Photoshop. He details how he combines elements from different sources, and adds in graphic elements to create a detailed illustration, including tattoos, clothing, shadows and lighting.

You’ll learn to use the Photoshop’s Pen Tool to create clear shapes and lines, and then stylise them using Daniel’s signature style. He also explains how to add and change details and elements to give the piece a hand-drawn look.

Trace photos for beautiful line art

Recently, illustrator Stephen Chan produced a series of illustrations for a travel feature in the US edition of Esquire magazine, which melded his geometric line-art landscapes with high-end fashion photography. Here Stephen takes you through how he creates such a scene, set in Venice, using stock photography to avoid the expense of having to fly out there – which is especially great as none of the location photography will be visible in the final piece.

Stephen explains how to make a perfect and realistic composition using photo montage, which you will then trace to create a stylised line-art effect. You will learn important skills and processes involved in composition, tracing imagery, and being organised.

Digital tricks for 'hand-drawn' colour

Here Grzegorz Domaradzki – aka Gabz – details how to create an image with vivid colours from a pencil drawing. You’ll learn colouring and selecting techniques, how to use motion blur and other effects and finally how to use Adjustment layers.

Smarter ways to use colour in your art

Jessica Fortner creates all her illustrations using a combination of hand-drawn art and Photoshop-applied colour. In this tutorial she demonstrates how to take a beautiful drawing through to final rendering.

Read on >> Photography tutorials for Photoshop