Friday, January 16, 2009

Using Photoshop To Create An Illustration

When I begin an illustration the sketch is the first step in completing the artwork. I place the sketch and scan it with my Canon Lite within the software Photoshop. I cleanup the black lines and lighten up the white areas. The eye dropper tool selected from the Window menu in Photoshop assists me in this task and tells me if my blacks are to light or the whites are to dark.

Once I am satisfied with my sketch I will create another layer above the sketch layer. The sketch is on the bottom layer and I create another layer above for the color layer and select multiply from the modes dropdown menu in the layers palette. This lets me color on this layer and not affect the sketch below.

There are many tricks and tips in photoshop and I recommend that you go down to your local Barnes & Noble and head to the computer books section and read the many books about streamlining using Photoshop. I color areas using the black outline layer as a guide and continue until the illustration meets my satisfaction. My brush selection varies so I can achieve either a flat color effect or an airbrush effect. I use the mode, opacity, flow, and width features that Photoshop supplies to adjust my brushes to fit my needs. You will find these adjustments when I select my brush menu with either the F6 key, select the Window menu and scroll down to brushes, or select the Window menu and save my work space and bring up my selection menus already arranged to work with.

When my illustration is finished I save the file and print it out with my Epson printer. If I like what I see I save the file and flatten all the layers; otherwise I rework until I am satisfied. There are many ways to create your illustrations with Photoshop and I hope my suggestions offer some new insights.

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