Intro

One of the hardest parts of Photoshop art – or indeed much other art – is creating subtle, detailed shading. However, layer masks make the process much easier, allowing you to select and modify certain areas without affecting the rest of your canvas.

In this tutorial, Yuta Onoda shows how you can transform a pencil sketch into a gorgeous, textured digital artwork using layer masks and blending modes. You’ll also learn how to add realism to your artwork by faking print offsets and paint spatters.

You can use any sketch for this tutorial, although you may find it easier to follow some of the steps if you use one that’s as detailed as Onoda’s. Note how in Onoda’s sketch the face has a fair amount of subtle shading, while the hair and the elements in the hair are made up of straightforward linework.

Project files

The files for this tutorial can be downloaded from here.