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.

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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.

Time to complete 

9 hours (7 hours drawing, 2 hours in Photoshop)

Tools & Materials

Pencils, watercolours, illustration board, Photoshop CS5 or later

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