Step 11
Now to enhance the shading. Select each area in turn by Ctrl-clicking them and use the airbrush to simulate radiosity by lightly smoothing the edges of the shading. Also using the airbrush, start to add ambient colours, such as a faint blue on the girl’s hair, jacket, and trousers.

Step 12
To make the traffic lights look like they’re made from a different material, paste a stone texture ( and set the blending mode to soft light, then free transform it (CTRL + T) so it only covers the traffic lights.

To remove any excess texture, use the magic wand tool on the ‘Lines’ layer to select the area outside the traffic light, then hit backspace on the texture layer.

Step 13
To add the pattern to the sash, paste in a photo of a swimming pool floor, setting the blending mode to ‘overlay’ then adjust the levels (Ctrl + L). Add a layer mask (the small circle in a square icon at the bottom of the layers palette) using a solid black brush to hide any unneeded details.

Step 14
Press B to select the airbrush. At 60 per cent opacity, paint some clouds to integrate the girl with the picture more. Pick a dark grey colour for the base of the clouds and block in where you’d like to place the clouds. Then pick a series of lighter colours and build them up, using the Alt key to keep colour picking new colour variations.

Remember the contrast of the clouds should be greater the closer they are to the foreground. Use the [ and ] keys respectively to decrease/increase the size of your brush.

Step 15
Finally, make everything look a bit more real and gritty by using a variation of texture brushes at 60 per cent opacity (the excellent artist Thierry Doizon has some you can download at Try to think about what sort of texture would be on each material – textures on the skin would be much more subtle than the jacket, for example. Then take one last look to make sure there aren’t any mistakes, and you’re done.

WHO: David Cousens is an illustrator and shameless self- promoter. Based in the South West of England, David is currently illustrating two books for Kingfisher Publishing.
SOFTWARE: Adobe Photoshop
ON THE CD: All files for this tutorial can be found on the cover CD.