- Lesson Details
In this lesson, you will learn to create digital compositions in color. Instructor Chris Legaspi will show you three different ways to apply colors to your artwork in Photoshop. Then, you will practice creating a color comp from a photo reference.
This lesson belongs to the course Introduction to Photoshop. During this 9-week course, Chris Legaspi teaches you the fundamentals of Photoshop. You will learn through valuable lessons with in-depth demonstrations and beneficial assignments. After completing the course, you will be able to edit photo references and photos of your artwork. You will also be proficient at sketching, painting from scratch, and creating color comp by mastering the basic tools of Photoshop.
Throughout this course, you’ll have access to the NMA community for feedback and critiques to improve your work as you progress.
basically going to learn how to paint directly in Photoshop
using color, using a variety of techniques. I'm going to show
you some of my favorite techniques, some of the most
simplest and most powerful ways we can use the software
to paint and color, either directly or using some of the
tips and tricks that I'm going to show you. We're going to
learn how to make a color comp. So we're going to take Comp. So we're going to take
what we know as artists, we're going to make our own comps
for our own drawings and paintings. And this one is
going to be all in color. So we're going to make a color comp
and I want to show you how I would do it, how I would make my
own comps using Photoshop. Let's not wait anymore. Let's
Transcription not available.
Transcription not available.
review the previous lesson, the drawing and the toning. There's a lot
of important stuff that we're going to be using in this
lesson as well and I always want to review because I know
some of you this may be the first time you're using these
tools and these concepts. So you got to have a lot of repetition
before this becomes very familiar and comfortable. So
let's quickly review some of the the tools from the
Okay, so I'm going to just quickly open a new document. One
of the things we did
in the previous lesson was to
create thumbnails using masks and frames. So remember one way
we can make a thumbnail
is by -
or making a series of thumbnails -
is by making a series of frames. So I like to either
make a circle using the marquee or an object, a vector shape.
Here I'm just going to make just a nice - we're gonna make a
couple of nice -
well, let me do a -
let me do square. Square's easy.
I kind of like square compositions. So I just made a
then I duplicated it using
tool. If I hold shift and ALT remember you can duplicate a
layer or and I'm going to merge it with control E or you can hit
command J, which is a shortcut for duplicating the layer. It's
also click and drag here and then just now bring it down.
Now I have nice, you know four even little little boxes.
And what I could do is
make a new layer,
fill that layer let's say with the black. Select my boxes and
now with the selection active -
and to quickly select boxes remember you can hold or whatever
is on a layer you hold command and then click and it'll draw a
selection for you, command and click, come back to the layer
where I want to use as a mask. Right now it's opaque black
layer. So with the selection active I can click this alpha
button, layer mask button. Boom. It cuts out the holes, but this
one has to be inverted. Right now if I try to underneath it
just make a new layer and try to draw underneath it you
can't see it because the mask is inverted.
So I'm going to select the mask, click on the mask. Make sure
that white frame is around it, this white box, these corners.
And hit command I. It's also image inverse select inverse up
top, and now we're good to go. So now we can draw
here and I can draw here. So on number three, number four, and you know,
now I have this mask covering up, creating some nice frame.
So just one way to make a mask and I like to put these things
in a layer.
The other way would be to
an actual black border. So one way I like to do that is just same
as before, draw a rectangle. Remember fill unlike opacity remember Phil unlike opacity.
it just hides what the shape is filled. So if the fill is 0,
whatever the shape is filled in, this case a square, becomes zero.
But because the opacity is still 100
now we can add a stroke, so this is layer effects the layer effects
and then add the stroke. I like inner stroke and you can see it
here, inside - you can see it being previewed live so you can
see how can adjust the stroke remember inside gives you that
hard crisp edge, if you go outside you get this rounded
corner. I don't like that. So I always like to keep it inside.
And then you can adjust the frame as big or as wide
as you want. As long as the fill is to 0 and you have the stroke
on layer effects, you can change the size as much as you
want. So now
I can draw it here and this is my thumbnail number one or
whatever, right? Then I could just like before duplicate this,
drag it down, and on another layer so
we put a thumbnail number two.
So that's creating frames and this is if you want to have -
obviously if you want to have a nice,
you know, if you want to have like a contact sheet what is
now basically a page of thumbnails. This is the really
one of the best ways to work is making a page of thumbnails. I
like to do these in advance. You know, I have a Photoshop
file full of these little squares
ready to go and I know many professional illustrators and
storyboardists also work the same way, so it's good
practice. So that's the advantage of using frames like
this in Photoshop, quickly gives you a nice clean format.
And next remember,
we also created various brush types for drawing and shading
and toning. Remember that
you want -
you want a hard edge brush
a hundred percent opacity. No spacing and no transfer. This
is great for detailing and also great for editing your masks.
And you want a big brush for filling in the
the big shapes. The big mass is shapes.
You also want -
I like to have some sketching brushes. So smaller brushes
some have like a pencil like texture and these you can add
texture or you can play with the spacing, see has a little bit
of spacing, just to give it some texture. Makes it feel like
pen and paper.
And then you want to airbrush, just a soft air brush for
blending and soft edges and then some texture. So these are
some textures that are built into Photoshop and here's a
texture brush I made and you can download and
find texture brushes online or make your own. Remember in the
previous video we covered brushes in a full lesson.
That's a type of brushes that you want. And finally we talked
about toning. So one way to tone
is by using -
tone large masses - is to use marquees. Let's say I wanted to
make this area
and just use marquee paint bucket. You can use also the
gradient tool if you want to add some variation.
And remember I usually like
the gradient tool that alpha which is the second box. You
can - remember you can click on the gradient bar to access it
here in the second box, which is basically foreground color
to alpha, which is transparent.
So you can use the gradient tool marquee and remember the
clipping mask to give us the big spaces. So that's one way
to fill big spaces and you could also
use your large brush. This brush is isn't that big but,
you know, I can also expand it.
I want to add my own texture.
But as long as I have a marquee around it I can
right, I can get -
feel the large shape but have a clean crisp edge, which is
exactly what I want and clipping mask also helps with
And then finally we can use lasso
if we want to do details and smaller shapes.
So lasso either freeform lasso like this.
Create these random small shapes, fill it with paint
Or you can use a polygon lasso.
Here I activate it using alt and polygon lasso gives us
really tight control but the edges are hard. So you have
to compensate for that and you could also combine it with
brush techniques to get texture and really tight edge. So lots
of different things you could do with marquees and small
So that's what I would do for for toning. You know, let's say
you want to get the pupil and really detail the pupil or
pattern on your painting, on some piece of
fabric. You can use the lasso tool and the masks for that and
also you can -
remember too you can use
layer opacity to make things more subtle.
Use a clip mask here for the small shape, add some black and
then you can use layer opacity.
And that's just one of the brush techniques. So let's say
I have this shape here.
Let's say I draw like a marshmallow looking thing
and I fill it
with the color
and if I want to add some white
to the top
I can either
go to full opacity with the brush, which is typically what
use the layer opacity to make it more subtle.
Or you could also
go full opacity with the brush and say wanna do this highlight.
Right there in the corner that little mushroom thing or
marshmallow thing that I'm making.
Let's say this thing's kind of beveled, has a little bit of a
lip to it. Let's say I want to do a highlight I can use also do
image adjustments. This one is you saturation to play with the
value. So any mark you put down you can change the value. So
that's a beautiful thing about toning and well, we'll explore
that more as well because it's equally effective when we get
into color, but just a quick review of the previous lesson.
So I know there was a very short review. So if you haven't
seen the previous lesson on the drawing the black and white
sketching and the toning, please review that because
that's going to be very important in this lesson
because we're going to be doing color. So it's almost the exact
same tools but of course color has its own set of complexities
and I'm going to share some more tips to help make our
color better in the computer. Okay. Now we're going to get
into the meat of the lesson. So actually going to start
painting now, we're going to start painting in color. We're
going to make our own comps, make our own color
sketches. It's going to be great. So
what I want to do for this lesson to help simplify it is I
want to talk about the three major ways to remember my
philosophy is to really simplify this awesome
complexity of the software into
the very few tools that you're actually going to be using you
know, just like we do in drawing we simplify or painting
we simplify our subjects as best as we can in Photoshop.
There's five bazillion trillion ways to color things, five
bazillion trillion squared. I mean, there's literally 50 I
can think of, 50 ways off the top of my head to add color to
something. So what I want to do in this lesson, is only going
to show you three ways, the three ways that I like to add
color and paint in color in Photoshop. And these three
ways we're going to - I'm going to first explore them
separately. We're going to take a look at what they are and
explore them separately and then we'll talk about
really is well,
eventually we want start using them together because that's
when you get the most out of the software. So let's take a
look now at the three ways to add color in Photoshop or to to
color and paint directly in Photoshop. Okay. So in
Photoshop, there's a bunch of ways to color and paint but
essentially there's only two ways - well three
techniques, but there's really two ways. Number one is direct.
So you just take a color, take a brush and blah blah blah blah
blah. Just like a an alla prima painting just like we did with
our previous lesson the drawing and sketching just instead of
using black and white obviously, boom. Take color.
Sketch, draw, use your brushes, have a good time. That's the
other way. Then the second way is to colorize. And colorize
basically means to add the color, use the software to add
the color. So this means you can either bring in your own
black and white drawing black and white photo or you can
start black and white
and then add color later using the software. So whether you're
doing it from scratch or you're bringing in your own artwork,
they both will work. Again remember 50 ways to do one
thing. So you're either going to paint direct or you're going to
colorize. So painting direct is obvious. We're going to explore
that but that's obvious how to do it. Just grab a brush and
have fun. The second way is colorizing. Now, there's two
ways to colorize. That's why I call it the three ways to
colorize paint in Photoshop. The first way to to colorize is
with using modes, blending modes. These are the layers.
The layer modes, remember in the layer lesson, we explored the
layer window, menu window, and and we split a couple of
different ways to use the blending modes. So blending
mode's actually a very powerful and effective way to color in
Photoshop and the second way to colorize
is by using image adjustments. Adjustment layers or image
adjustment, you know, I'm a fan of hue sat, you're going to see
it. You're going to see it. So
we're going to have a lot of fun
using adjustment layers. So those are the three basic ways.
Now, let's explore each one individually and kind of take a
look at them. All right let me demonstrate quickly the direct
method or alla prima. So I'm just going to grab
one way - one thing I love to do is I work exactly like I do
on traditional paper or canvas. Always thinking that way. So I'm
just going to grab a big texture brush, right, just
randomly square texture brush. I'm going to pick like a brown
tend to expand. And
I'm going to kind of tone my canvas. Normally I have more
Just quickly - whoops.
Quickly coloring. So this is kind of how I would work
and dropping the opacity. Remember you can control subtlety with
So just tone my canvas. I would do this at home like take a
burnt sienna and then speaking of burnt sienna, I like to draw
with burnt umber. So I'm just going to kind of make - eyeball
the burnt umber in the color window. Remember HSB we know as
artists that's how we mix colors
and then I'm going to draw a - let's say I draw a still life.
We draw a watermelon, but it's a little complex. Let's draw an
A little lazy. Just draw a little apple.
Right? We know this from the last lesson. Then I'm gonna take a big
and fill my apple with a color. So I'm just going to eyeball a
And then I'm going to
make a clip mask and
let's see. I'm going to add some.
Some spots and whoops variation, you know how apples aren't
really stiff in color. They have a lot of variation.
Like I like to eat a Fujis and I always like green spots.
It's really really pretty color.
Okay, that's just some some variation there.
And then we know we can add shading, you know.
Let's see. I'm just going to pick color pick my apple. Pick a
darker and cooler version.
Exactly like I would paint in real life and here I'm using a
lowered opacity to give myself a little bit of shadow.
That's just a really quick
And of course bringing up hue sat kind of cheating and said kind of cheating and
jumping ahead. But this is my friend here, me and my friend we
go a long way back, me and my friend hue sat.
Okay, so that's basically a quick and direct little mini
thing. We'll explore this more when we get into the
Next is using the modes. Let me open a -
let me open a drawing here.
This one's good.
So we looked at this in the last lesson.
So one thing we could do
I'm going to
add some grey tones around her. I used a lasso tool.
Try to use the lasso tool to do a quick selection, but it's not
So I'm just gonna draw a quick lasso because need this shape.
And I'll show you why in a minute.
And we'll do this black and white. So what I want to do is
show you guys
the blending modes.
So first remember, we can turn a drawing into multiply.
And it'll hide the white but still keep the black visible,
which is what I want here.
Make sure I have the right right color.
Wrong brush there -
oops wrong layer.
Okay. I'm in the right layer. Just wanted to make my mask a little want to make my mask a little
Wait, let's say
you have this drawing,
you really like the drawing,
and here I toned it using Photoshop, but you know, you
can easily have scanned in a complete drawing. I just didn't
have one on hand here.
Okay, that should be good enough for this demonstration anyway,
just want to do a quick demonstration of the modes.
Okay, so I have
this is what you just saw was we did a lot in the previous
lesson of shading and toning. So now let's say I have this.
I'm going to merge these two, going to put a mask on her.
Okay good. So now I have - I turned off the background. So
now I have basically a nice finished tone drawing. What if
I want to color it? Well now we can use mode so I'm going to
start by dropping a color.
What would be a good color to start with?
Well, flesh tone is an obvious one. It's one I can think of.
I'm imagining this blouse to be - or her her outfit to be more
of a like a beigey like a potato sack color, not too
So let's just start with a like a nice a like a nice.
flesh tone. Now it's clipped so it,
right, doesn't go outside the boundary. We know about
clipping mask. Now right now it's normal so it's basically
hiding the drawing hiding what's underneath. So now What's underneath. I'll so now
I'm going to change it from normal to overlay. Wow. Look at
that. Pretty cool, huh? Then I can go from - try soft
light. Okay good. So soft light gave us a nice -
a nice warm beige tone to start with and I'm going to
turn up the saturation a little bit.
That's pretty cool. And then
so that layer's on - so I'm going to write it here. Soft light.
And now this one I'm going to use, maybe add a little bit of a
cool color. Let's see. Add a cool color at the bottom, going
This one's on normal right now. I'm going to change it to
multiply. Multiply not only works with value, but it also
adds color. It darkens things. It takes out the lightness of
things but also adds color.
So right now it's kind of like glazing almost like a
watercolor effect. That's what's cool about modes, very
similar to like a watercolor or a marker rendering almost.
And then finally let's just add a nice golden
color to her face. Let's try that.
Let's use what kind of mode, let's try overlay. Typically I try
all of them. But the ones I like most are overlay, soft
And this one needs a little bit
That's good. I'm going to erase that part around her eye.
And then finally going to add some - I'm just going to straight up
brush some pink on her lips there, maybe on her nose and
the cheeks a little bit on her hands
and the pink isn't right. So I'm going to - should be more of
And then I can use a mode let's try soft light. Okay, see some
of it didn't show through, let's try overlay.
Okay, that works. Let's try multiply,
I like that the best.
Let's make it more subtle. So that's just the beginning
of using modes, I can keep going up and up and up. Every
time I add a new color, all I have to do is adjust the mode
and adjust the color. So that's one way to use blending modes
And we'll explore that more.
And the final way is to use adjustment layer. So adjustment
layers are very powerful and you already saw me use some.
But one way I like to use adjustment layers is to start
in black and white, get the value right. So let's take
our friend the apple again.
I'm going to fill the background
with the tone.
I'm going to fill my apple
with a nice mid tone.
And then I'm going to add a shadow.
I'm not going to worry too much about the edge.
Just made a mask there.
Not going to worry too much about the edge because it's
more of a color demonstration. But here let me just erase the
edge, make a little bit softer.
And we got a nice
core to our apple here.
It's being masked out. That's why you don't see it up there.
And finally the cast shadow.
Extend that core. Let's do a highlight too.
Might as well.
Oops - yeah.
Let's make the highlight a bit softer, I'm gonna use the airbrush.
So this is my little apple that I painted in Photoshop. Now,
the modes are great if you have layers. Right now, I have
layers, I have the highlight and the layer, have the shadow and
a layer, I have the apple and a layer, and I have the background and a
layer. So this is exactly like what we did
with the toning and working with layers, but now check this
out. So one thing I could do right away is because the apple
is on its own layer, I can bring up an adjustment layer.
So either call it up here
and let me do that. Let me call this up here. So hue saturation.
And I'm going to clip it just to the apple. So it only
affects the apple. And then now if I click colorize,
boom. Now, I have a chance to make color. Remember if you
don't have colorize, right, so don't really do anything with
the hue or the saturation but yes, you can make it
lighter or darker, but we don't want that, we want to color so
it's colorize. So Photoshop already knows you want to do
this. So what do you want? You want Granny Smith? You want a
Martian apple, you want red delicious? Let's do a Fuji,
kind of a brownie orangey red. Fuji's like a thing, read Fugees like a thing
let's just do that. Turn up the saturation. Whoo. It's like the
what do you call that?
Snow White, blood red apple. Okay, so there's an apple
obviously needs variation looks very flat. There's my apple and
if I like it, it's on adjustment layer.
If I like it I can -
I can merge it with my Apple. But now my Apple is good to go.
My background, I don't really need adjustment layer. I'm just
going to straight up bring up hue sat, shortcut is command U
and what background should we put? Let's make it like a pale
because the thing is red.
Like a pale blue green. There you go. That's my background.
And the shadow of course we can add color to the -
going to bring up command hue again, hue/saturation.
Look at that.
Make it a desaturated shadow, saturated shadow,
somewhere in between and keep it really dark and then what I want
to do is drop the opacity. So some of that apple shows,
through I like that. I like that right there and finally
Going to colorize my highlight. Wow, it picked this orangey
green. I like that. Let's do this yellowy.
There you go. There's my little apple.
And you saw we started with all black and white shapes and then
use adjustment layers both up here image adjustments directly
on the shape or down here using adjustment layers. And we'll
explore these in more detail as we go. We'll take our
time and slow down and explore different techniques, but I
just wanted to give you a quick idea what they look like. Okay
that was a quick look at what the three techniques are direct,
blending modes, and image adjustments.
Now let's talk about why you would want to use each one,
what are they good for? The pros and cons of each technique
before we explore the various techniques in detail
let's - I want to talk about
why you should use them, one over the other. Now first the
direct method that's a lot of fun. It's very
much like alla prima. Now direct method because it's kind of
alla prima it's hard, it's harder. So
it takes a lot of experience. So I think if you're an
experienced painter, or if you're an experienced colorist,
if you have a lot of mileage already with paint color,
I say try the direct. You'll pick it up right away,
especially if you have fairly decent brushes so direct is
great for experienced painters and direct is also good if you
have good reference. So let's say you've photographed a model
and the reference in and the lighting is perfect. The color
is really good in your reference. But you want to
bring it into Photoshop and make a color comp in Photoshop
first, but your reference is great. I would play
with the direct method because it's really nice if the colors
are already laid down. Because remember it's a lot like
painting and even in painting, you know, inventing color and
especially inventing color and form, rendering, and all that
stuff it's a pain in the butt, it's very difficult. So if you
have good reference in mind, definitely direct is the best
method and obviously it's also great if you have colors in
your mind already. Like, you know, like for me, I almost
always start with some sort of earth-tone in blue or some sort
of red and green, you know, a cool warm palette. I always have
that in my pocket. So again if you have experience, if you have
a good palette already in your mind or before you sit down at
the computer you already have a color palette and I say
start whipping it out direct, you'll have a lot of fun. Now the
cons or the disadvantage of the direct method is that like
I said because it's more difficult, it's a little bit
slower. So if you're crunched for time, like me, I was a
commercial studio artist, a commercial illustrator in the
studio, so I didn't have unlimited time
working in the studio. So a direct method is not good if
you need to do things quickly because it does take longer.
It's like - it's closest to real traditional painting. So it
does take more time and more skill and the other
disadvantage with direct painting is that you have less
control of the values so the value can be lost. So again, if
you're not totally experienced with color, you don't know how
to control the value of a color, you don't know how to
see values in color, direct method is going to be tough.
Now doesn't mean you can't use it in practice, of course, but
I would get those skills
first. Learn your color in the real world. Grab some paints.
Learn how to mix. Do some plein air. You know, that good stuff, are you know that good stuff,
right? Probably if you're watching this you already
have experience in that. So
that's who direct method is for, is for experienced
painters. And people, you know, you don't really care how long
it takes. Now blending modes, the advantage of blending modes
like you saw is speed and convenience, you know, you can
just take a black and white thing and
put a new layer, change it, you know, remember we changed it to
soft light, boom it became a color. So that's one of the
advantages of blending modes is speed. So a lot of commercial
artists, commercial illustrators like myself when I was working
in the studio, I used a lot of that, took a black and white
image, added a mode and you know called it a day. And that's cook call it a day and that's
another good thing about modes too is if you already have a
drawing like what you saw here, if you already have a
rendered drawing that you want to bring in, a charcoal drawing,
a pen and marker drawing, pen and ink drawing or even a tonal
black and white painting or even a grey or neutral colored
painting, that's when I would use modes is scan that in, bring
it into Photoshop. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Add the
various modes and make the color crazy and fun. And
speaking of crazy and fun that's the the second advantage That's the the second. Vantage
of the modes is you can get some really wild effects. You
saw me use overlay, the color became pretty cool right away,
right, and you will see more of that later in this lesson, but
modes create what we call a happy accidents, of course in
painting, you know, when you try new things try different
color combinations and techniques, right, you almost
want to get happy accidents and blending modes does that
because when you stack like overlay and multiply and soft
light and color dodge is another wild one you may be
familiar with and we'll explore that. When you start stacking
them, yes, you can quickly lose control and the
colors can look like crap very quickly. But you also have
that slim chance that you get something that you like. So
that's what an advantage of modes, wild you make wild and
unique color combinations and happy accidents. And of course
the disadvantage with modes is you have no control. That's -
for an experienced painter like me and if you're watching this, if
you're an experienced colorist or painter, you may not like
modes because you have almost no control.
Like you saw, you know, I put on a
blending mode, overlay mode, and yeah, I made a color but it
wasn't exactly what I want. I still had to adjust it later.
So - and especially like I said if you start stacking the
modes, soft light on top of multiply, on top of overlay, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, all right, you will absolutely lose
control. Now, you may want that. Like I said, if you're
experimenting you may want that but personally for me as an
experienced painter typically stay away from modes because I
want 100% control. So that's its only disadvantage is you it's only disadvantage is you
have no control. And finally the advantage of using adjustment
layers or image adjustments like we saw in our last example
is the fact that you get 100% control, you get maximum control
with adjustments. Remember you saw me bring up hue saturation,
you probably - if you've been following this whole series - you
see me hue - see me use hue sat quite a bit and I like Pew set quite a bit and I like
the fact you get that slider. You can even enter the numbers
if you want precise control and then on top of that you can
have more control with the layer opacity, so
that's why to me the image adjustments, adjustment layers
are my favorite color and painting technique in Photoshop
because it gives you 100% control. Now
the disadvantage to adjustment layers is I would call it a
more advanced technique. I think you have to be pretty
comfortable with the software. So hopefully you've practiced a
lot and you
are pretty familiar with the software now and you have to
have a pretty well trained eye because you know
when you go from grey slap on colorize adjustment, image
adjustment, hue sat,
how the hell do you know -how the heck do you know what the
color is unless you you have that mileage? So
I would say
to me it's a little bit more of an advanced technique,
especially the way that I'm going to use it and you're
going to see it here because it does take quite a bit of
experience. But I know - I have I have faith in you. I
know if you're watching this, you're probably already been
painting quite a bit and probably seen other lessons on
this site and and already have some experience. So I think - I
think after this you're going to have a lot of fun using all
three but especially image adjustments.
And that brings me to my final point before we get into the
fun stuff in the painting is that ideally we want to use all
three. You saw me as I was playing around demonstrating a
little bit, you saw that I did have to eventually use multiple
modes. So for example, you saw me sketch and draw, but then I
had to use image adjustments to fine tune the color. You saw me
bring in my own drawing and use blending modes. I had to use
image adjustments to fine tune it, and then finally you saw me use -
turn an apple into - a grey apple into color using
image adjustments but to get that apple to look quote
painterly and more interesting obviously I'll have to come in
with some brushwork, some good old-fashioned normal layer
boom, brush work. Just like we do in traditional media. So that's
the goal is that once you see each of these three methods
every project you sit down, every time you paint or do a
color thumbnail you're going to be using them in harmony just
like we do
in drawing or painting, we want to use, you know, our
drawing and painting elements together in harmony. We're
going to do the exact same thing in Photoshop. So that's
the goal is to use all three. So that's my little
rant for the pros and cons of each method. Now, let's take a
look and explore each one in detail.
painting and drawing and painting directly in color,
directly in Photoshop. So this is going to be very similar to
the tonal lesson working in black and white, drawing and
sketching, but of course, the biggest difference here will be
working directly in color. So first I'm going to talk about
some of the brushes that I like to use, some of the brushes that
are useful in, some of the tools. They're very similar to
working tonally. Then talk about how I use Photoshop to
mimic traditional painting because that's what this this
section will be working directly in the color, just like
we would with a traditional medium as close as possible. So
let's get started.
Alright, so I have my little canvas here and
a couple of things I've wanted to keep in mind.
So we know we have our brushes here and we have our brush
settings. So we
we have three types of brushes. So these are quite useful. Now
first I'm going to do a little drawing and what I'm going to
do first is instead of starting with, you know, pure black and
pure white I'm just going to pick like brown. Firstly I
toning my canvas with the earth tones. So I'm very comfortable
working with brown. So let's do a simple
will be a nice simple object here. Let's just do a
nice little pear.
Let me call this layer drawing. So that was my drawing brush.
Now I'm going to
fill the pear shape with
a bigger brush one of my bigger flat brushes and I'm going to
what I'm going to do is I'm going to make a series of flat
And remember this is
in brush shape under tip shape and then shape dynamics under
direction for angle jitter. So now it'll follow. And you want
to make sure to review
the brush section. So the brush lesson excuse me. So
I like to do is try to mimic my traditional painting
approaches. So, you know once you get your drawing
the process is very similar, right? So you draw on canvas.
So let's start by toning the canvas. So I'm just going to -
let's see, so I'm gonna give myself a nice mid-tone grey and when
you're working with color, I think it's easiest to use these
sliders, the HSB. This is just like mixing paint, hue
saturation and brightness.
And if you click these two swatches, foreground background
color swatch, if you just click it you bring up what's called a
hue cube is basically a square. So maybe you feel more
comfortable here. I feel comfortable here. But this is
another way to really get a good color. And of course, you
know, we know that you can also -
you can also use
adjustment layers, of course. So so
I just made a new layer and
sort of just
tone my canvas exactly like I would do at home. Now right now
my brush has full opacity. So when you're working opaque like
this it's great for the beginning because then you have
color which will give you solid shapes and here I'm making a
little bit of variation, color's just a little too flat, just
made a slightly lighter version, use a texture brush. So these
techniques were already familiar with where we should
And then make a slightly darker version. And I'll talk about
a couple of intelligent ways to use color in the moment. I just
kind of want it to be a little bit less flat than it was,
just a little too flat for my taste.
There's lots of ways to do that.
And what I'm going to do now, is I'm going to take that same
hard edge flat brush and now I'm going to fill my
my fruit with, let's say
what's a good color for a pear. Let's say is like a greeny,
those green - they call them Bartlett pears. Bartlett I
think, you know.
So just feel a nice flat shape and because the canvas is toned
if you look it's just like traditional media.
You can get
some of the background color to peek through and that's really
good. Oh, I made a mistake here. I forgot to put it on
its own layer. So, let's see if I can undo that. Yeah, good.
Luckily in the history it saved all my brush strokes. It
was able to undo that. What I wanted to do is paint it on its
own separate layer like here.
That was opaque and I'm purposely leaving a few spots
because I want some of that background color to show through.
This brush is not hard edge.
Neither is this one.
Got to be careful with that.
At this stage I need -
can be gaps inside but the outside, the contour should be
And I'm going to take my drawing layer and just drop the
So I get my fruit.
What I'm going to do now is add some variation to my
fruit. Let's make a new layer, clip it. So
one way that I use color in Photoshop that works
exactly like traditional is with the color slider and
making temperature shifts. So we know when working in color,
right, we know let's say we were painting this say we were painting this
still life object, this piece of fruit, we would know that
the light - and say the light was from above -
we know that the fruit will slightly change color and
temperature right as it gets towards the light and then as
it goes down, as it goes down away from the light it will
also change color again. Color and temperature. So what I've
discovered is that in Photoshop one way we can do this is by
moving all three
of the color sliders whenever we want to make a new color
variation. So for example, I'm going to color pick this
flat green I just made now. These are the numbers
right here. So what I want to do is I'm I'm going to make my numbers
just nice and even just for the sake of demonstration. So want
to go -
I'm going to brush that on here. So I have it
on a clipping mask. Just give me a little bit of - so that's
already starting to look a little bit more interesting.
I'm going to merge that. So now
I have these are this is the HSB numeric value, 80, 40, 40. 80
degrees on the color wheel, 40 percent saturation, 40 percent
brightness. So what we want to do whenever we go,
we want to make variation we start with the value. So we
want to make a brighter green at the top and a slightly
darker green at the bottom. So what I like to do is first
start with the value,
so to go brighter you want to go bigger. Want to go from 50.
Let's say we'll go from 50 to 60, just 10 percent brighter. So
now we have a brighter color. But the temperature is the
same. It's still kind of this green. So we got to shift the screen. So we got to shift the
temperature and that's H and S, the hue and the saturation. So what
do we do is move the hue first closer towards the light in
this case. My light will be like a yellow. I'm going to
shift it towards the left slightly and then I'm going to
move the saturation either more or less. Now I'm going
brighter so what I'm going to do is turn the saturation down
slightly and what that will do is it will create the illusion of
a brighter light source, and then - so
that's what the color looks like, feels pretty good and I'm
going to clip it. So what I'm going to do now is drop
the opacity of my brush to 80% just so that some of the
color shows through
and right now there's kind of no texture. So it looks
a little weird.
It's a little too -
and then there's my head slightly brighter version of
Then we drop the opacity to make it more subtle. I think I
went a little too bright. And then I'm going to
fade this at the bottom using my brush, just going to use an
eraser and drop the opacity to like 50%. Give me a little bit of
a fade there.
Maybe that's a little too much.
So working this way is a lot like
almost like watercolor or marker. Okay. So now I need a
darker version. So I'm going to color pick my fruit again.
And then what I'm going to do is
take my color and I'm going to go slightly darker, in this
case I'm going to go to 60%.
Excuse me, 40%. To get darker you need to go smaller in the
brightness scale. And then now I gotta move H and S. I'm going to
my hue instead of moving left in this case left towards
yellow, I'm going to go right towards blue.
Because the shadow will go - will be a complement to the light
than the light color I've assigned it as a warm light
color. And now I'm going to move my saturation instead of
going down more desaturated, I'm going to go slightly up.
Because we know that
occurs in the half tone range, light half tone, dark half tone.
This is a great place to add your saturation.
then I'm going to drop this opacity as well. So now I have
a fairly like limey green little pear. It's almost the
Label it color variation.
And don't worry if you get a little confused about adjusting
the colors using the sliders, we'll review that. Okay so now
we need a shadow color real quick. So first I'm going to
go to make a mask of my fruit.
So that way my shadow stays nice and tight. Then I'm going
to - if my light is like a warmy yellow I know my cool or my
shadow has to be cool desaturated sort of blue violet
sort of. That's just the
one of those
the laws or the
the principles of color is that if you shine a warm light on an
object the shadow will tend to be cool.
And right now I'm working with a hundred percent opaque brush
because I want an opaque shape. So I'm not worried about the
edge. Obviously the edge is wrong. I'm going to do the
cast shadow now on a separate layer. So we know the
edge is wrong, but
we know the edge is wrong, but we can fix that. We can take
care of that in the blending step.
Alright, so here's my shadow. And my shadow is flat. Now I'm
going to add variation to the shadow. But first let me adjust
the shadow color. Now there's lots of ways we can adjust shadow
color, but the fastest way that I use is the hue saturation.
Or any of the image adjustments and we'll explore these of
course in detail. So first I'm going to make it a little bit
And what I might do is
make it a little bit greyer
and more violet. What I might do here, I made it a little
more violet. So shifted it towards violet, desaturate it, it
was too saturated. And of course darker. I'm going to
drop the opacity.
Maybe like 80%. Yeah, that looks great. I like that.
I like that because then the colors beneath come through.
That looks really cool. Okay, so let's add some color
variation. So we know that the shadow gets darker
as we go
at the bottom especially as it goes towards what's called the
occlusion shadow right here where the object contacts
another object, in this case the surface, and as the shadows turn
into upper facing planes like right here, they'll get some of
the environmental light and also as it turns away to the
back side, then it gets other environmental light. So bounced
light here, bounced light here, but here stays nice and dark.
So let's start with the dark. I'm just going to color pick what I have.
s=So it's a 27.
Make it 10% darker. I'm going to go 15 in this case. The
saturation doesn't matter because in the computer, well,
the human eye stops caring about saturation when it
gets way too dark and this is pretty dark, but I'm just going
to turn it up a little bit towards - let's go make it
plus 10%. And now I'm going to move this even further to the
right towards blue. So I'm going to go 45, just
Then I'm going to take my little texture brush.
Sort of just dab it in there and should probably clip it.
And then drop the opacity.
So it gets a little bit darker. I'm going to put one more coat
or one more layer
in the occlusion shadow.
I'm not crazy about the temperature but
okay. That's variation one. And then you you might be wondering
when should I use a hard-edge brushes, when should I use
texture brushes and soft brushes? Well, I like to use
hard edged brushes only on when I establish the main shapes
which is the background, the object, and light and the shadow
shape itself. But the rest we can add texture so pretty much
we're all done at this stage with all the hard
So one more piece of variation, which is the top. We're in
these top planes. So let's say they catch some of the cool
environmental light. So right now it's at 27. I just color
picked the shadow. So let's see 27 go to 37. Let's go to 40,
little bit brighter. And then saturation or drop it a little
bit just two degrees and then I'm going to move this towards
so a few degrees to the left on the slider and then let's
see what that looks like. That looks pretty good.
I would probably fine tune it.
So that looks pretty good actually, I'm liking that. See
notice we have a flat shadow, more colorful and interesting
shadow. Same with...
I need to blend that a little bit.
And then we have
flat shape, little more color and variation, flat shadow shape,
little more color and variation. So now we have
pretty much the rough color-block in.
And we can start rendering and blending, basically softening
the edges. So we'll talk about that now.
rough quick little color block in. I just made up a made up a
scene in my mind and drew it first just like I would do
in pencil and then blocked in the flat shape then blocked in
the color shape and then added a variation. So exactly like I
would work in traditional. This almost reminds me of like a
watercolor or marker kind of look, especially at this stage.
So now what we're going to do is blend a little bit. is when is blend a little bit
Basically soften the edges, blend and soften things, make forms
more real, a lot of the same techniques that we did in the
tonal lessen, the black-and-white lesson, but
here we're going to add - obviously we're going to add
color so it's going to be a lot more fun and interesting.
All right, so
I don't like this ugly border. What I'm gonna do is I'm
going to make a clean -
I'm going to make a clean border.
There you go.
There you go. One of my
painting teachers, all time favorite painters, he does
these beautiful little gouache studies and he'll use a tape.
He'll use tape to make sure that the edge is nice and tight.
So that's kind of what I did here. Alright, so lets blend. We
got to, you know, we got to soften this core shadow, maybe
add a highlight. Let's talk about ways we can do that.
So I like to blend with sort of a either flat brushes or a flat
So let's get those going right now. I'm going to make a series
of blending brushes right now. I'm going to make a couple. And
again you can review this section,
you can make sure to review this section if you -
if you get stuck
or if you forget.
Okay. I'm trying to get the right stroke.
This one feels pretty good. And we're also at a low opacity.
Let's try a hundred percent. Yeah feels pretty good. So this
one has transfer so it will be a pretty good blending brush.
It's a little hard. This is like a straight-up. If you
look at the marks the shape is very flat. So this is like a
straight-up flat shape, which is what I use at home when I'm
on canvas I use a flat brush. So I'm going to save this
call it the blend one. I'm going to make one more blending
brush, which is just an ordinary flat whoop. I like
these quite a bit and let's see should have
transfer on this one?
Yeah, why not? Why not? Let's put transfer on this one and
then make sure the shape dynamics set to follow.
Or angle jitter set to directions, excuse me, which makes
it follow your brush.
That's another blending brush.
And yep new brush preset,
call it blend two.
Now I have two blending brushes that I made.
And I'm going to make a
texture - a spotty texture brush. I really don't like this brush
at all. I'm just going to quickly make a spotty texture
we can do that fairly easily.
I just like to make a 500 pixel by 500 pixel
and I'm going to fill it with a bunch of circles. So I'm going
this tool right here.
So this kind of semi random organicy
And this will create some beautiful
especially after we apply
scattering. Remember scattering is how we get really cool
texture and patterns and things
with - we can take almost or any brush just like this, just a
bunch of random shapes and turn them into a
brush using scatter. So turn it to black and white,
go to file to select all, edit, define brush preset.
See what that looks like
over here. Because I need a brush that looks kind of
little spots on the fruit, you know,
that was pretty good. It's a little too close together.
Let's change the tip shape, get a little bit.
Yeah, this one's okay.
This one's okay.
Let me see if I can make a new one.
This one should work better. The other one was just a little too
Okay, let's go to brush preset. Okay. Delete this first one.
Okay now we're good.
Let's try it out.
Yeah, oh much better. Yes, I liked - already I can tell so
let's give it some spacing. Oh, yes. Oh, yes good.
And then let's put some scattering on there.
Little bit of count. So now we have a nice fairly
organic-looking - yeah, that's cool. That's cool.
Let's try both that yeah, I like this both axis.
Oh, yeah, that looks beautiful. Yeah, that's perfect. Okay cool.
So I'm going to save this brush,
new brush preset.
And there it is at the bottom. I can delete its source brush.
Okay. So now I have a pretty cool texture brush. Anyway, so
let's get back. So all of that stuff what we've covered.
But you know what these brushes do really they just helped me
to simulate traditional painting. That's why I insist
on having certain brushes because I know the look that
And that's another thing to keep in mind is what you're
watching here is you're watching me using Photoshop to mimic my
taste and techniques in oil painting or watercolor, right
which is what I love to use the most. So as you get more
comfortable with Photoshop, you'll be able to do the exact
same thing. You'll be able to quickly use the custom brushes,
all the various filters and other cool tricks to mimic your
process as close as possible. That's my goal here is
to one show you the tools but also to show you that,
you know, this is exactly - you already know how to do this
stuff. So here hopefully you'll just learn the
software, the bridge between what you already know in
traditional and how to translate it into digital art.
So, let's see, before I blend I just want to give it
some spots actually.
I like fruit that has like these dark brown spots. I want
to what I'm gonna do is I'm going to color pick the
background color and I'm going to make it a little bit more
and then just kind of use my new custom brush to add little
bit of spottiness to it.
Hopefully this feels random. And then what I also like to do
is I like to erase with another one. So this brush sucks. I
hate this brush.
And creates really cool accidental texture. So that's
exactly like in traditional too, we want accidental textures.
And that's something that I want to show you real quick is
that one cool way to get cool and unique brush strokes in the
computer is to do -
is to use multiple custom brushes, but
use them in a contrasting way. So for example,
I have this circle brush I just made, let's say gonna make a little obvious
let's put these in a folder,
call this layers.
So I just want to do a quick demonstration. So let's say you
have a -
this kind of look you made a custom brush full of spots. And
then if you erase, let's say you erase with a square one. So now
you have these cool randomy patterns and accidents. So
there - it's a lot like we do in traditional, trying different
mediums, brushes, sticks, using a toothbrush to get like
different techniques and things like that, sponges. So this is a
lot like that. So you erase with one brush so in
traditional the metaphor or the analogy would be like you use
your normal brushes, your sables and your Filbert's or
your sables and your bristles to make a mark.
And then you use a sponge to erase or modify your marks. So
you see you get cool really unique possibility and that's
just, you know, I'm just playing with four brushes. So imagine
if you had more to play with. So that's just a quick way to use
custom brushes. Now, I got the color variation of what let's
blend. So what I'm going to do is now is soften
this core shadow edge.
And I should probably put the highlight but let's
do that. Let's do that later.
So let's do the core shadow.
in the 20 or so years I've been using Photoshop I - for
like 19 and a half of those years I pretty much worked
like this exactly like a traditional painter sitting
down to a computer. So a lot of my techniques weren't that
I really didn't take advantage of the software. Now I do. So one
thing we could do - so for example, we know
that we need a core shadow, right? We need to transition
from shadow to light and the other way and we also need to
slightly darken our core shadow. So first I'm going to
soften the brush or the edge going into the shadow. So we
need to soften this edge, right? So there's a couple ways
we can approach this. One is manually with a brush. So
that's why I made a blending brush, right, a soft flat brush.
So just like I would use in traditional.
And I'm going to color pick the border color, which is this
green, a color that's close to the border right now, pretty
much the base tone,
and to go to the shadow. What do I need to do? I need to go
darker. So let's go darker. Right now it's at 50. Let's right now. Is that 50? Let's
take it to 40.
I could go
greyer. Let's make it a little bit greyer. And then I'm going
to go slightly cooler, in other words shifted towards blue.
So remember when working in Photoshop with your HSB
you want to
first adjust the value and then adjust the temperature, which
is H and S.
So this is one way to blend. I'm taking the texture of
blendy brush that has -
it's a flat shape, but it has transfer so it allows me to
kind of blend and be -
see you see that allows me to kind of blend
and here I'm going to color pick. Let's say this color
here. I'm just going to go whoop, sort of just drag it over
which is very similar to
the way I would do this in
traditional and I still have my other core shadow color,
transition color in there,
right? So it's able to soften that edge pretty well. Still
needs to work.
That's one way using transfer.
Because transfer has opacity. So you notice it's not fully opaque.
So a little bit transparent. Now the other way is to use a fully
opaque brush with no transfer and to drop the opacity.
That's another very common technique. So let's say I'm
going to continue going shadow to light. I'm going to go
shadow to light. I'm going to be other way. So I'm going to
color pick my shadow color. Now I'm going to go towards
the light but -
I'm going to go towards the light, but I want to
keep my saturation fairly hot. So I'm going to color pick
again. Okay, good. So moved my brightness first. Right now my
shadow is at roughly at a 30. So I'm going to move it up
like 10 degrees. Then I'm going to increase my saturation
because we're going into the - because these aren't quite
light sees this zone in terms of value is the half-tone zone
that has a lot of saturation actually and then my hue of
course is going to go towards yellow.
So now what I'm going to do is I have the color that I want or
I think I do. I don't really know until you try it, just like
in real painting.
I'm going to take a fully flat brush. So here's what it looks
like, right, fully opaque, and I'm just going to go - I'm going
to brush it on
painting, nice and direct right?
I'm going to hide the drawing little bit and then then I'm
going to go the other way as well. Just color pick it
its mixed color and start to go the other way. And then what
I'm going to do is I'm going to drop the opacity of the layer.
So go to layer, drop the opacity, and boom.
What's another way to blend form. So you see that?
And then you can just keep going. Let's say you want to go
from core shadow into the light. So you just color pick
what you have here and let's change the color a little bit.
So we're going into the light half tones,
little bit brighter. So now I'm going to go this way into the
Keep going towards the light, towards the light.
And this one
I'm going to drop the opacity again. So it makes it a little
bit more subtle which helps to soften the edges. Basically we
need to soften this edge. Just so many ways to do that.
And another way I like is with texture. So let's take this
brush right here. So see this edge looks a little rough,
right? There's a - it's not soft enough. So what I'm going to do
is I'm going to take this color over here. I'll take the
slightly warm color to make it a little more interesting then
I'm going to slightly
dab the color into just right around the border using
this custom texture brush, and I'm also going to erase -
I'm going to erase with the same one to see - well actually doesn't
look that good. I'm going to erase, yeah with another
texture brush to give me cool random edge and then go to
drop the opacity. So now the texture,
right, the little bit of texture creates this beautiful turn. So
if you notice before and after so that's just another way to
turn the form, another way.
So many ways to do this.
Let's try it again here,
around this area.
It's now starting to get pretty colorful fairly quickly, which
is cool. It's exactly my taste. So I'm happy with that.
And again drop the opacity. So now the edge is starting to
turn, starting to look quite beautiful. Now, we just need
more form. We need lights and half tones or lights and
highlights, which we will do next.
And finally, let's do this one down here. So I'm going to
merge that so remember before remember look at that nice and
hard, boom after another core shadow starting to soften. We
still need some work here.
So many ways to do this. Let's see. Sometimes I get confused
multiple ways to do
the same thing. So we tried texture brush. We tried flat
blending brush. We tried hard edge brushes using opacity.
Just one of many ways.
Another thing we can do is try this - try gradation. So I'm
going to make a selection
Because I want this to be soft. This one has some nice texture.
So I want this part of the core shadow or the transition to be
soft. So I'm going to make a nice selection just around this
form because I want the gradation that I'm going to use
to be contained. So I'm going to take color pick this down
and then I'm going to change that color little bit, little
Make it slightly warmer. And then what I'm going to do is
I'm going to switch to
So that's reflective and notice that it's going outside the
bounds. It's not going outside the bounds of the lasso.
So it looks pretty good. And this is - look how beautiful and
soft that is but the shape is wrong. It's too straight. So
I'm going to do a warp, which is a basically a transform.
Remember transform is command T, right, to bring up the
transform. We can rotate it and do all this stuff. But if
you activate the transform tool command T and hit control and
click then you get the sub menu. Then I'm going to get
warp and what warp will do is allow me to bend my work
that it was a flat linear gradient. Now I'm able to bend it
into more of a curved shape, which is exactly what I want.
And then I take a soft air brush
subtley erase the parts
that I don't want. So that's another way
to blend. And we're going to explore a couple more but
basically, I narrow it down to using a blending brush. I
almost always have some type of flat blending brush like we
started with and then I almost always use a combination of the
layer opacity and brush opacity, which we'll talk about
next, and then the last thing I do is use hue/saturation to
fine-tune my color and my value. So for example, let's say I have
this passage I just did, which I like it looks pretty cool.
give me a little bit more
texture down there.
Then I need to
make sure my core shadow
is pretty tight. So
was able to use the warp tool
and also the erase tool to help me really refine that edge. So
now I feel pretty good about this edge. Let me go
actually I got to go down - got to go brighter.
So what I want to do is just color pick a color in the zone.
Remember, it's hold alt and it'll bring up color picker, the
eyedropper tool, and then I'm just going to just use a soft
soft airbrush. Give me a really soft turn. Then we drop this
opacity to really help soften that edge. So that's really
what I do. I use soft blending brushes and then play
with the opacity. And the last thing I do is use a
hue saturation if needed.
So pretty happy with this.
I'll show you what that looks like when I use hue saturation
and to me this is the most effective way. So we know the
core shadow can be a little bit darker, right?
Of course shadow's a little too bright, so I'm just going to
take this color.
And we know the core shadow is darker and more saturated. So
I'm just going to go and
I'm going to play with opacity of the brush now. So right now
it's on transfer. So it feels pretty good. I really don't
need to do much in terms of
playing with the opacity.
So now what I'm going to do is
adjust the brightness using hue saturation to get the perfect
note. Remember this is the what I started with. So now I'm going
to make it slightly darker and more saturated. I can play with -
make it a little bit warmer or cooler. I'm going to go
And then I'm going to use another brush to erase it. In this
case it's a soft brush. So I brush with one erase with
And that looks okay, not super crazy about that, but
I started to darken the core shadow which is what we needed
and soon we'll need lights and highlights, which we'll do
Make that layer more subtle. Okay.
Okay, fine. Let's do lights and highlights. So
let's start with the lights. I'm going to use a custom
brush and what I'm going to do here is talk about using
opacity. So we need to build up a highlight, right, maybe here or
here. So I'm just going to pick this fruit color go a little
bit brighter and a little bit desaturate, a little bit more
yellow because the light I imagine is yellow in my scene.
So now I'm just going to brush, this is a hundred percent right,
super opaque, super thick. So what I want to do instead of
going hundred percent. I'm going to drop my opacity to
like let's say I drop it to 50, so I just click five, remember
the number key. So now I'm able to build it up slowly, see that?
Slowly build up the highlight.
That's because I started at 50% and the edge is fairly soft,
I'm going to do it here. So I'm at 50%
and just kind of working exactly like I would in
traditional is exactly how I would build up a highlight with
pencil or colored pencil in this case.
Just build it up slowly.
And that's with the really 50% opacity brush.
Then I'm going to give myself a little bit of textures, texture's
sort of - whoops - overused.
I'm going to drop this opacity to 20 because the texture, this
brush is fairly aggressive, little bright then I use
another brush to erase.
So now we got some pretty cool highlights.
I'm going to use this brush.
Or pretty cool lights. Then I'm going to use hue
saturation to fine-tune it. Make sure I have the right amount of
color that I want.
Okay, that's pretty good.
That's one way to make a highlight using low opacity
brushes. Another way to build up the form and the highlight
is with the gradient tool. I love specially round form
circular gradient. So I'm just going to color pick the
highlight, make it a little bit brighter or my light little
less desaturated. And this one I'm going to go - I'm going
to go the other way towards - let's go towards red and see
what that does.
Oh, yeah, that's look good.
Yeah, I'm going to go back towards cool. Now I'm changing
temperature towards cool but it's going to give me a nice
bit of pop
background and then what I'm going to do here is change the
shape. So I laid down - I make a new layer right? Here's my
gradation, just put down and the shape is more of an
oval. So I'm just going to go whoop, bring up transform tool.
And now rotate it, now it's little bit more of an oval.
So now we're pretty much have a nice rendered little apple or excuse
me a pear.
Right. We got our lights, core shadow. We got our highlights.
We have shadow side. So there's a lot more we can do here,
but it's pretty much the tools that I use for hand painting.
Like this edge, right, this occlusion shadow edge we, I'm
sure you would agree, looks way too hard, way too - it looks very
stylized and cartoony. We don't want that. I'm just going to
take my airbrush
and just manually kind of brush it on there and then I'm going
to use hue sat to fine-tune it, to get the right value
temperature that I need and then it feels pretty good.
And then we can we can keep going but
this is a quick example that rendered this from imagination.
You can do a lot of things too, especially if you have good
reference and things and you could also even paint on top of
your reference which we'll do in a later example as well. Okay.
That was a quick look at hand painting, direct
painting, basically using Photoshop to mimic traditional
painting. So next we're going to explore the other techniques
and these will involved more of the software, the
blending modes and using adjustment layers and
working with color.
Photoshop is what I call blending mode techniques. We're
basically going to use the blending modes that's in the
layer menu to add color. Now I'm going to go through this
fairly quickly to be honest, I don't use this quite as much. I
don't recommend it that much but
it does have a lot of powerful features that we can take
advantage of. So let's take a look.
Okay, let's open a new drawing here.
Now blending modes are really fascinating way to add color.
And one of the most common ways is that if you already have a
black and white drawing black and white sketch, black and
white image, black and white photograph, it really doesn't
Okay, so I'm going to open a -
just a black and white image.
And I'm going to open one
from one of the previous
demonstrations so we can start to add color to it. Let's see,
which one do I like?
Let's try this upper left one.
So what I did was I just saved this as a new document,
so I really don't need
the other layers
for this demo.
And just going to crop it nice and tight. Okay, here we go.
Now we're rolling.
So we get a black and white image, right? So what I'm going
to do is I'm going to create a layer
for the foreground
and now I have a foreground and a background on two separate
layers, and I also have the
alpha mask in case I need them. So what I want to do
is what I like to do is just apply a general color over
everything and that's really easy to do,
you basically can just take - grab any color you want.
Let's say I want to start with the blue. I like cool blue, just
a nice random blue that I picked, I use paint bucket, and
then you turn this into
overlay. That's one way.
And look instantly that
that blue layer it colors everything underneath it.
You can turn it to soft light, a little bit more subtle,
Even multiply, multiply also darkens, but it adds color.
It lightens, but in this case adds color because this
color is so saturated,
and hue. So this is a lot of different ways to do this. So
what I would do - what I typically do if I use modes
is I would just do a nice subtle
wash. I like soft light because it's more subtle. And then what I
would do is I would just bring a hue sat and adjust the
saturation a little bit.
Make it a little more subtle like that.
In fact, what I could do is since I have it on layers,
which is really convenient, I can apply this color
in two layers, one to the background one to the
foreground. That way in the foreground for example, if I
want to make subtle adjustments like
some orange. Let's say I add a slightly warmer greener sort of
color variation in this area, see how it doesn't affect the
because it's on a clipped part of the layer.
And what I'm going to do is
use this color layer just made then I'm going to turn this.
Let's try it to soft light, see how that looks. Now soft light is
more subtle. So that didn't show up. And try overlay.
Okay. So this pretty good. Let me bring it back to soft light
and what I'll do is I'll adjust
the color now. Also
about blending modes too is that you need value. It's sort of
like glazing in a lot of ways. It's sort of like glazing
because you do need some value underneath, notice how these
lights in these lights interface and these highlights
in the sword. They're not picking up that much color.
That's because they're just too bright but down here in the
half tones and dark half tones you're seeing a lot of the blue
show through the exact same color. Road
And also one good thing to keep in mind is that when you stack
start adding color modes, let's say I want to add
some warms to her face and I'm just going to pick
a brush and sort of brush it on there, you know, as if I was
about to colorize her skin and her face.
I could easily
clip it, which I have, then turn it into a mode. In this case
soft light and then you see how it changes a little bit.
but now, now I can merge these three and the colors will stay
intact. So because these three are all the same mode, I can
merge them to make my layers cleaner, have fewer layers and
just make it a little easier on myself. But if for example,
let's say this bottom layer was soft light, this middle one was
overlay and then this top one, this pink, was a color.
Okay. Now if I tried to merge, look what happened, I'm just
going to do it just for an experiment.
Try to merge these layers,
right, you'll get - and then you'll get a weird normal,
becomes a normal layer but then you have to
rely on only one mode. So this is the main reason why I don't
use blending modes or don't recommend them because it's
just a little -
it becomes a little crazy to manage, very complex.
So I don't really like it for color. What I do like it
for is for quick fixes, for quick fixes,
and I'll show you that. And also for adding texture, which we'll
talk about next.
So that's a quick way to just put on a nice tone
also on existing black and white drawing. But if I were to
to colorize this, I would probably take a few more steps,
that's one advantage to the blending mode is that if you
already have a black and white drawing, black and white photo,
you can quickly colorize it using a mode and what I would
probably do from here on out is
you know, get a color that I liked, a base color that I would
merge that, and then I would continue to add subtle glazes,
probably like this for her skin, turn it to a mode, and then
this is color mode right here. So really strong effect, and
then just play with it and adjust it.
And build up colors that way but
to be honest the colors look very unnatural. So that's why I
really don't like working this way anymore and a lot of
illustration types guys who use Photoshop for illustration work,
professionally they do use this style using blending modes to
colorize black and white art work because it is fairly fast.
You know we're able to get color very very quickly.
So this is one way to use it. All right, so just pulled up a
couple of my files, brought up the the painting demo from
the previous section and a photograph that I took and I
just want to show you really what I think is best used for
the blending modes, which is to
quickly add color and enhance things that already you've
already created not trying to color from scratch, which is
what we were beginning to do with our previous example.
Okay, so let's start with this picture. So let's say for
you have this picture, but you want to add maybe a nice orange
glow up here. All you have to do is grab an orange, grab like
an orange glowy color and I'm just using a big airbrush. Do
that like that. And then you take a mode now, it's
on normal, then you turn it to overlay and you see how like
this course is very exaggerated. But look how cool
that kind of looks, cool and move it around because it's on
its own layer and you can play with the opacity,
right? That's on overlay,
that looks pretty cool, little bit subtle and I can repeat it
over here, you know
just to really blonde her hair. That's very very quick. So for
me, this is one of the best applications for the blending
And then, you know I could also
add some pink to her nose and maybe her lips and maybe her
cheeks, just real subtle.
Then switch that to a soft light or see soft light's very
subtle. That's what I like about it. And then you know play
with that and erase out, just be more subtle. You see how quickly
and powerfully we can use blending mode to add color
to an existing
And here's the pear, let me make this smaller here. Remember the pear
we had from last week.
And luckily this is on layer. So let's say
I want to add some more color in the bounce light, let's say I
want to add select color, pick this like violet purple color
and I can put that here,
right on the shadow area. And then I can do - let's try and then I can do let's try
multiply to make it dark. Well, that's a little too dark.
Let's try overlay. Looks okay. Soft light. That's too subtle
Hard light, oh hard light looks pretty good. Let's try color.
Whoa looks little -
it looks cool. But the value is bright, too bright. So you
why I really
stopped using this. I used this quite a bit early in my
Photoshop career, my illustration career,
but now I just don't like not having control but you saw how
quickly if we go, oh, I just need something blue. Now here
we can put something in the light, sort of like what we did.
Let's say we want to make
the light more yellow, we can do the same thing
right there. Set it to overlay, that really colors the light, the
color's a little off now, but... And then let's say I want to
add a touch of red to the bottom. So now I'm going to go
to like a multiply.
And then I can add just a touch of - whoops that's the wrong color -
and touch of red or
reddish orange. Sort of like a stain in the fruit, going to be up
here, color that, quickly add color to that thing, to the stem
using a blending mode. So again using the blending mode I
think it's best for enhancing things you already
have. You just need one or two quick fixes, color fixes, like
what we have here. That's what I would use blending mode for.
And also to keep in mind that each
mode has different effects and behavior. Definitely
experiment. You saw me I
put a color down and try all different modes. So definitely
almost all of the ones that I used will add color. Right now
we have for example multiplying this layer. This layer is an
overlay, the yellow the cool purple we put is is a hard
light. You can even use color dodge, you can use as
screen. We saw so a lot of different options, definitely
My two personal favorites are overlay, soft light and
multiply because I use those quite a bit for value, but they work
really great for color. Let me just do a quick dodge
highlight. See what that looks like. I'm going to set the mode
to dodge. That looks really bright.
Look how bright color dodge gets but because it has a little bit
of color it's adding some color to it. So I like that.
Okay, and one more - one more thing that I really enjoy
about the blending modes is probably this is probably its
most powerful and common use feature is that the blending
modes are really great for adding a quick photo texture.
So for example, you can -
let's open some images here.
Okay, so here I have some photos that I took of some nice
texture. So let's take this pear. Now what if I want to
put like a little bit more bumpy rocky texture on this
pear. I don't know why you'd want to do that. But you could,
so I just grabbed a photo here. Just - I just took on my
iPhone, brought it into Photoshop. Now
I simply drag the layer into the document, just to bring it
into the document. So now my pear has
And what you can do is you can first clip it and then turn
that texture into a modes, right now it's on normal. So let's
try it overlay. Wow, that looks kind of interesting, I like that.
Let's try with soft light, looks like oh, it's more subtle. Hard
light. It looks like a candy, kind of interesting. Linear light,
what does that do? Let's try color. Oh wow.
Well, I didn't expect that. Multiply, oh multiply looks
great. Let's try overlay, overlay is one of my go-to
That looks pretty cool. It looks like sort of a candy
and that's a quick way to add texture. Now, of course, if you
don't want - let's say on the shadow, you don't want the
texture all you have to do is put a mask and you know, just mask
just like that, you know, maybe you don't want it at the highlight, you just
mask it out there. A little bit on the shadow, make more subtle.
You know, if you don't like the color you can just
turn it into a -
turn it to greyscale by simply dropping the saturation
all the way down. So now you just get the texture but not
the color and of course because it's on a layer you can also
affect the opacity and things so you see how quickly we can
add this cool texture. Any photo can become a texture really,
for example, I'm just going to grab this tree. Here's a bunch
of trees, bunch of wood and sticks and things. So what I'm going to
do is I'm just going to grab a little section of it like
Then I'm going to bring it into this document.
I want to go control C and then over here in this one
control V. Remember this guy from a previous lesson. So now we
have a photo on its own layer and
let me set this to overlay, that looks kind of creepy and weird.
That looks kind of cool.
So now I start to add a little bit of color and
this weird unexpected texture. One thing that's kind of fun
about using photo textures like this, basically
photographs on your artwork using a blending mode like
overlay, a lot of fun is because you just get weird results.
Now, of course,
really want control with color, but when it comes to things
like texture it's kind of cool to get these weird results and
then you could spice it even up even more by using custom brush
to erase out of it. So for example,
I'll just grab this round brush that I like and start to use a
mask to sort of fade it out, make it become more transparent
in some are so now it gets really really texture-y which
is really really cool. I'm really liking this look.
Really didn't expect it.
And of course you can make it as subtle or as obvious as you
want, but just to quickly show you the
possibilities that can be done. And just for fun let's put in
this texture of this
little forest here. Let's see if we put that in the
background, see what that does.
that looks kind of - looks kind of funny. Looks kind of funny
but it kind of works. Let's see. This is - now it feels
like a giant skull is sitting in a park. Let's see, so I'm
going to turn this into
a soft light. Oh, okay, then we'll just - you can
have a lot of fun with photo textures as you can see. Let's
And multiply it works good. I like where was I - soft light. So
I'll drop the opacity and you know,
if I don't like the color of this -
if I don't like the color I can just bring up hue sat, command
U and then drop the color or increase it or change it. Lots
of different things you could do. It's almost too many
options. That's one of the reasons why I stay away from
blending modes nowadays.
So yeah, probably the most powerful application for using
blending modes to add color is really to add texture, quickly
add texture to your work.
Okay, so you saw
when we started to color with -
color our black and white comp with the blending modes that
the results weren't that great.
I like to have full control with color and this way you
really don't and we saw that if you stack modes on top of modes,
overlay on top of the soft lights,
then it's really crazy and unpredictable. So for that
I don't use it anymore. I wouldn't recommend it. But you
saw that what it is really quick and efficient for is for
adding color, quickly adding or enhancing your color, slightly
changing your color on an already existing drawing
painting or image or photograph. And then finally
the ability to use any photograph as an overlay, as
a texture, simply by bringing it on a new layer on your document
and changing the blending mode like we saw. So you definitely
would want to experiment. As you saw there's
a lot of different options. It's way too many to go through
and way to -
way too many options to control, which is why I personally don't
recommend it too much. But for these purposes, I think it's
very great and it's very efficient. So now let's take a
look at the last way that I like to use
Photoshop for making color comps, which is using the
image adjustments, which is probably my favorite way
and it kind of combines the best of both worlds.
which is using adjustment layers. And this is
personally my favorite technique. This is the one I
use personally in my own work. And this is the one that I've
evolved to use after a long career using Photoshop over 20
years professionally. I didn't, to be honest I didn't discover
this until recently, until about a couple of years ago. Now,
I use it almost exclusively. It's a lot of - it's actually
a lot of fun because if you know how to draw, if you know
how to paint,
you can pick this method up very very quickly because this
method using the adjustment layers gives you 100% control.
So if you're already pretty seasoned with your values,
pretty seasoned with your colors,
I think you'll really enjoy this method. So let's give it a
shot. All right, so I'm bringing back our friend the
skull again just to quickly show you that
what I think this method is great for is for
sketching my comps in color and of course adjustment layers, as
we saw many many times in this entire series and previous
lessons that they have multiple uses, not just for adding color.
But here we go. So let's say I have - remember we did a drawing
and in our drawing we put it in a - it's kind of a textured
background then we filled it with the flat. All right, so we
got two things that need color. So what I can do need color. So what I can do
right away is I can take my
and put on
an adjustment layer, in this case hue saturation. Look at
what I'm going to do is first
notice if I move the hue nothing happens. If I move
saturation nothing happens because we're only affecting
black and white, until I click this button. So notice there's a
button here right under lightness called colorize.
You see that colorize?
So click colorize and boom, now we're in business, now we now we're in business now we
can adjust all three and this is exactly like
how I would do it in a mixed color on a palette. I would make
the color first on a palette and throw it on here.
Throw it on my painting but in Photoshop we can use this
beautiful slider. So what color should our skull be? Well, it's
off white-y skull. Let's make it a
sort of like an off-white bone color.
Sort of like a off white-y yellowy green, I guess. So,
let's take this yellowy green, drop the opacity.
And that should be good because remember we have other layers
so I don't want it to be too saturated because it's a skull
but let's say just for giggles we'll make it a saturated,
little bit more saturated sort of a yellowy,
sort of a brownie skull. How about that? So, there you go.
In the background, you can call up an adjustment layer, a hue
sat, or you can call up image adjustment. This one will be
permanent, meaning - well, it won't be on its own be it won't be on its own
layer. So let's just call this up.
And again, if you call up the image adjustment, the hue sat
from the file menu, then the colors button will be here over
on the right, click colorize.
Let's see. What would be a good complimentary color? Let's try -
let's try this one this one. I'm going to turn the saturation
down, make it a little bit darker. Boom.
Alright, next the shadow. Here we go. Okay. That's - this is
a black and white shadow. This one I'm going to
bring up hue sat, remember to click colorize and boom. So
what will be a good shadow just you know, kind of a grey
cool. I'm imagining a warm light on this thing. So, let's
see what that looks like.
But it is a warm environment. So we'll have some nice bounce
Okay, let's turn that, okay. So that looks looks okay.
So you see I quickly added color
and then these other layers, they were formerly black and
white, but I can easily make them color. So for example now
I can go down - I'm going back down to the flat and I can
merge this layer down if I wanted, which I'm going to do that. it which I'm going to do that
Now just going to merge the hue sat that I have, merge it down, set that I have merge it down
boom. So now that formerly greyscale skull is now this
sort of light brown
is variation was is greyscale so I'm going to bring up hue
sat and then turn it into a
like that, okay. Dark half tone,
bring up hue sat colorize that, maybe turn it into a
more of a purple,
just for some color. Look at that, beautiful. And this light
variation. So we bring up command U for hue sat, click
colorize. Now we can start to color these lights in for sure
I want them to be yellow.
Okay, that was pretty cool. Right we went from black and
white to instantly color very quickly. And of course I
already, you know, sketched out the values of this skull in a
previous lesson. So now the shadow I like the shadow base.
I'm going to merge it. There you go. Call up variation, which
is black and white. So I'm going to call up hue sat,
click colorize, Now I can transform the shadow from
plain black and white to cool like a violet color. And my
core shadow's on its own layer. So let's see what that would
Let me play with that little bit. So I'm going to bring up
hue sat and clip it to core shadow, this core shadow layer.
Then I'll click colorize because I want to have
flexibility, want to have control over it. So, let's see.
We can really - the core shadow should have the most - well the
half tones and the core shadow should have the most color.
That looks pretty cool, right?
He needs a little bit of variation. So I'm going to do
So I colorize the core shadow using adjustment layer. I'm
going to merge that. Now I'm going to add variation to the
core shadow. I'm do this with straight normal, not going to
use blending mode. So for example, I'm going to color
this guy. Color pick the core shadow color that I already
made. Then I'm going to make a warmer version, right? Because
it's closer to the light up here. These core shadows. So that
looks really cool and interesting now. Now that there's some
variation there. It's a little too bright. So now even though
this is normal, I'm going to bring up hue sat, boom. You've
probably seen this many many many times and this is just
what I like to do. It's very fun.
There you go. And then on the bottom same thing from the
bottom up, I'm going to add a little bit different color so
color pick it first.
Put it on there. Now I'm going to
click colorize. It should already be a color. Oh, wow. That
looks interesting. So, let's see if we can make it a bluey
violet. Whoa, that looks really cool.
That looks really cool if you ask me.
So I like that right there.
And now because these are normals I still have full
control and they still have that rich purity of the pure
color versus if they were modes, blending modes, meaning
change from normal to another mode. And now I can merge these
two. So let's make this a little bit more subtle like
this, a little bit more subtle. And then I'm going to merge
these two, boom, now the core shadow,
is on its own layer. It's still light but but
add a little bit of color. Now because it's so bright
we know as as colors get brighter they have less
So what I'm going to do is first I'm going to make a -
just going to make a slightly darker version of it, notice I had
to move the brightness down because the brightness was
here. Well, of course, you can't see the color because
it's just too bright, but now I turned a little bit darker,
turned up the opacity make sure to click colorize. Now I have a
highlight has a little bit of color and you know, we can just
keep going with that. Keep going adding color. And
yeah, that's why I really love using that the most right now.
Turn off the line work, actually I kind of like the line work. Let
me color the line work,
turn it from ordinary brown to some color. It looks cool.
So you can have a lot of fun with this, as you can see I'm
starting to have fun. And because these sliders give you
so much control, that's why I love using them so much and
another thing you can do is you can use the slider in
combination or you use image adjustments in combination
with gradients and alpha masking. So let's say I want to -
I want to change the bottom to a bit more of an orange. So I'm going to
bring up hue saturation
as an adjustment layer, and then
I'm going to go more saturated and we'll go yellower,
sort of like a gold color, see that,
versus this light pink color.
Okay. So what this does is colorize everything
underneath it, the background layer. So what I'm going to do
is take the mask, adjustment layers have a built-in mask, and
then I'm going to exit, I'm going to invert it. So now I
inverted it from pure white to pure black meaning it's become -
it's become hidden. So the moment I go on the -
change my gradient white. Boom. Now I can start to see - I know
it's very subtle, but you can start to see the color emerge
there. The shortcut to invert a mask is command I.
Command I inverts a lot of things under here. Image, adjust, invert
Okay. So now we got this and
so now whatever's black is masked out that's above here.
Whatever is white now is showing through so a bit of
color changes showing through. And because it's adjustment and because it's adjustment
layer and it's on its own layer I can edit it on the fly,
100% control. So I can see - you can make it crazy, can make it
less crazy, little bit more subtle. I just wanted it to be
a little bit subtle and brighter or
I was after a sort of an orange glow.
And I'm even going to -
well, let's sort of brush.
You can combine -
take these down here. I'm using a brush and then I could even
make another adjustment layer, in this case hue saturation.
Well, let me show you another one actually, let me show you
Let me show you color balance. Let's say color balance is
pretty powerful too. So I'm going to call up color balance
as an adjustment layer. What's color balance is cool is that
you can go from - I
have three different controls, which is great. You can also
control which tonality the mid-tones shadows and
highlights. Let's start with the mid-tones and let's say I'm
going to use this color balance adjustment to affect the
background. Right now this is a little too brown so that I need
to crank up the blue.
And maybe crank up the green and then let's see lower
the red. So you see how quickly turned brown but then
what I want to do the same thing. I don't want it
everywhere, but I want to mask it out. So I'm going to hit
command I, which will invert the mask. Now I'm going to use a
gradient, in this case flat gradient. Make sure the color
is white, pure white, and then
add gradation on the mask. So now you see wherever
that - just that color balance layer was
it affects it. So color balance is really really powerful.
What I like to use color balance for is just for the
fine-tuning at the very end or if I already have a like a
photograph that has color
we can use color balance for that. So for example, let's say
this image -
I'm going to I'm going to merge my layers here.
The shortcut to merge visible layers is shift, alt, command E.
Shift, alt, command, and E.
See yeah, I've made a new layer, hold shift, alt, and command
together. It's a little tricky. And then press E and then it
we'll merge everything that's visible into its own separate
layer. So now that I have that I just wanted to show you color
balance and bring up color balance and let's say you know
there's too much red or there's too much red in my
comp. I'm going to turn down my red. So I'm just going to knock
down the red right there. Look at that. It looks great.
Well, maybe I want a little bit more green, less magenta. There
you go. You can do that. Or maybe I don't like the orangey
red so I don't want it to green, so I'm just going to turn
down the yellow just to bring in the cool. So that's pretty
cool. Color balance allows you to fine-tune the color. That's
pretty much what I do at the very end.
Pretty much what I do in the very end, and of course, you
can combine it with masking like we saw. Let me just do a
quick experiment. Let's say
my real color balance - let's say my highlights in this case
I want them to be more yellow and orange. So I'm going to -
look at that. I like that. Look what it did to the highlights.
So now what I'm going to do is
invert the mask, command I. And guess what I'm going to do with
it? I'm going to only expose it using the gradient tool and the
alpha mask. Wow. Look at that and that's all by,
right, two color balance layer. So a lot of possibilities, lot
of different potential but
for sure, I would stick to getting comfortable using hue
saturation doing your black-and-white comps and
drawings using hue saturation to add color by
clicking colorize and then using color balance to get the
finishing touches in your color, to make sure the colors are
as best as they can look. All right, so that was a quick
look at using image adjustments and the blending modes and
direct painting. Now, you know direct painting I'm sure makes
makes the most sense if you're already a traditional artist,
you just basically grab your tablet and go. The other
features like the blending modes, probably a little less
intuitive and I personally don't use it myself.
That's what I like the final solution or the final method
which was the image adjustment because it's a little bit of
both worlds. It allows you to draw and sketch in black and
white, get your values down, get the shapes down, and then bring
up image adjustments, you can get use the slider and the
colorize feature to get the most precise color available.
And you know, you can combine it with so many different
techniques, masking, custom brushes. You saw just a tiny
and that's one of the things about Photoshop that is
beautiful, but it's also frustrating because
what you saw here is like one tenth of the different combinations
you can do, maybe one one hundredth. Right so it can get massively confusing.
So don't worry about all different options. I would say
review what you saw here. Take the simplest and the purest of
what you saw here, which is pretty much just a few of the
techniques that you saw here and just get those down,
practice those, become familiar with those, and then that way
you can expand as you become more familiar. But what you saw
here, you'll probably be able to use on almost any image
for almost any purpose, not just making comps of course and
doing direct painting in Photoshop, but for almost every
image even in the previous lessons, you can apply what you
learned here of course.
Transcription not available.
using Photoshop to make a color comp based on photo reference.
So because this is a comp sketch - so just like it's pretty
much going to be a like a color thumbnail.
I'm going to work out my ideas and color so I'm not going to
do a detailed drawing by any means. So I'm just going to
sketch the shapes that I see
and then I'll use the tools to add value and color.
So not too detailed, just don't want it to be super ugly.
Just trying to get close. Okay, so we got a figure,
little sketch there.
Let me draw this, give this face some
get this drawing of the face some love there, it's a
Okay, and then draw the - while I'm zoomed in gonna draw the
shadow shapes just so I know
where it should go.
Because I like to put that on a separate layer, in
case you probably noticed that already.
Definitely like to keep the flats shadow all separate
until I can
just sketch the drawing.
All right, so now we know what to do.
We fill the shape just like the previous examples.
Just a quick dirty shape, like that, using the lasso tool. And
I'm going to start
with the value block in for so I know
where my values are. In fact, I'm going to make a background
I'm going to use -
I like using the rectangle
tool. So a nice background, I'm gonna make this background
75 percent brightness. Okay, go just so you know, I'm not
looking at all that white. Now I'm going to clean up my mask
and then move on to the shadow. So
use the lasso tool and I could also use
the brushes as well, you don't have to use lasso tool. Just
like a lasso tool, it's very quick.
Got the flat.
This will probably be her skin. Now, what I want to do is I'm
also going to make a layer for the red,
the cloth, going to lighten this little bit. Because I'm not
a hundred percent sure
that I want the cloth to be that red. I don't know. I don't
know, should be a red maybe. I don't know. But that's why we're
doing this in Photoshop. I'll show you the
really the awesome power
that you have going to make a mask for a so it's nice and
tight. There you go.
The awesome abilities you have
when you use Photoshop for this.
My brush wasn't fully opaque. So it works best for
these flat block ins, make sure you brush is opaque.
And your capacity is full opacity.
Even her hair, I can adjust the color of her hair.
Let's do that now. I'm going to call this fabric
flat then finally her hair because I like to have things
on as many layers as possible.
Well, at least the major objects, that's not her hair
Shadow is going to be on its own layer
who knows maybe blond is not the right hair or light Deb the right hair or light
brown the right hair so we could always make that decision
the last thing I like to do is put the shadow on its own
So what I like to do first is sort of
kind of get the value right first.
Roughly approximately where I want it to be and then we'll
address the color which should be a lot of fun.
Because let's say you wanted to do this as a giant painting and
you know, you're not really sure which way to push the
color. Maybe you want it to be stylized. Maybe you want the
to be totally invented. You want to alter the color, you
know, you're doing a narrative piece
and maybe you want to make it all into the monochromes.
Instead of all this red maybe you want to do, you know
something that has all blue. So that we can figure out here
very very quickly in Photoshop.
That's what really is powerful about
this feature and skiing the last bit of shadow.
Then I'm going to put a gradation on the background.
Let's make it circular.
Background's a little too stiff. And adjust the value.
So let's take a look at what we have here. I'm going to make
this a black so just hit command I to invert it.
So let's take a look. Okay, so now
I'm looking at the values really quick. Let me quickly
if the background should be darker.
Okay, it does look better a little bit darker. I like that.
This guy can get darker as well.
her skin, the flat of her skin looks pretty good.
I could even add
the hot spot. Right now we have like
a light, dark, middle kind of thing, three value system. So
let's add a - yeah. I like that. I like that. I'm going to put this
little - a little highlight above the sketch.
So now I know my brightest bright is my darkest dark will
be the shadow. So let's take our shadow.
I'm going to label it shadow and make sure that the value's
right first. Yes. Yes, looking good.
And of course the fabric is on its own layer. We can make that
darker. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. I like that. And then let's take
the flat little bit darker, her skin
little bit darker. Okay. So now it's w're in a pretty good value
range. I can fine-tune it some more but you know, they could
take hours really.
and let's do a couple different examples, just for fun.
Well, let's try one. Let's try one. Let's say
I kind of like the colors I had set up. You know, let's say I
shot this and you know, I do want to use red, and maybe not
that red. So first let's put some color on everything
starting with her skin. So I'm going to take the flat layer,
right, and I'm just going to bring up hue sat, click
And I bring her skin into the fleshy orangey kind of range.
You know, it definitely needs variation the way the skin
looks very flat like right now.
But we're just starting. We're just starting. Now let's look
at the fabric. Okay
bring up hue sat again the fabric, now click colorize.
Okay. Do I want to do more brownie maroon-y red, do I
want it to be more this like really hot apple-y redm like a
Should it be more of a violet red? Hmm. to Red? Hmm.
It's just more like a wine colored red, a little bit
closer. Let's say I want more of a
really hot race car red I. like that. I like that. it. I liked it.
Just for fun, just for shiggles. for shingles.
and her hair bring up hue sat
I want her hair to be
close to her skin color.
I can just
sort of match the skin tones there.
Maybe give it a little bit more of a red hair. Okay, that's
her hair. Now finally the shadow. Well first let's
address the background.
I think an obvious choice for the background is a grey-green
because I want this red to pop out. So let's bring in - oh, that
looks good. Now, of course because I have
a huge - oh, that looks great. I like this, you can play around
with the temperature really quickly, the hue with
this slider bar. So
you can tell I really love the sliders
like that and then this guy, this bit of gradation and it's
too violet. Let's bring it back towards blue.
Yeah, like that, towards the blue-green. Yes. It's more of a
phthalo green. Okay. There you go. There you go.
And then let's change the color of our light now before we go
to the shadow. Let's make the light nice and bright.
Let's put her in a -
should we put her in a green light? Can we do that? Let's
just try a warm light. We could always change it later.
Right now the light in the reference is sort of this
neutral but we can totally colorize it. So that's what I'm
doing here. I'm adding some color to the light, sort of
making it this yellow-y - yeah, I like those sort of is blowy yellow
color. All right, and finally the shadow,
boom, colorize. Okay, so
we can go warm shadow. We can go cool shadow.
I thinking cooly turquoise-y
like that is perfect for the shadow. Yeah, that's beautiful. I
like that. Just using my skills and experience as a
And that's pretty much it for a quick comp.
You know, I made a couple decisions here. One that I like
the red that I shot my reference, but I wanted it to
be more of a warm orange-y candy apple red, race car red,
and I'd like the background the sort of neutrally grey
background, but I wanted it to be tilted towards like green
and blue green. Here I definitely exaggerated the
Shadow's much warmer here, but we can also add the bounce
light and the variation but that's just one way. And let's
do that now, that's just one quick way that we can go from
photo to quick color cup and we started with - remember we started
with black and white shapes and then boom We quickly used hue
saturation to adjust. Let's just do that now, quickly now I
can add even more options and try different more things.
Let's say I want to add
some subtle variation to her skin, we can quickly do that at
the knees, at the elbow here, at the chest under the neck, across
the face very very quick.
I see it's working again. I can adjust it as much as needed.
But I think that's okay.
I can add lighter variation like a very warm orange
near the hot spot.
That's ugly orange. Let's see if we can make it a prettier orange.
Okay, like that, just needs to be lightened a little bit.
See if we can shift it towards yellow. Oh, I don't know if I
Just drop the opacity to make it - once it's a little
bit more desaturated it looks good and the hair
this one I'm going to just use straight brush
instead of gradient tool. What I'm gonna do is grab the hair
and just make a darker version of it.
Just color picked the hair and use the slider, make a darker
version of it. So now has some dark hair going on there.
of course remember we talked about this shadow being too
plane. So for example, I can make a clipping mask, clipping
layer, color pick the fabric color, and then boom put it in
the shadow, but you know, it's too intense, a little too
Let's do that and then drop the opacity. So now the shadow has a
little bit of subtlety.
We can do the same thing at the bottom where the bounce light
from the ground comes in. So just color pick the ground you just color pick the ground
color, color pick the ground color, use a gradient and then
boom, put that back into the shadow. Look at that, it's another
shadow looks starting to come alive. It's not just this flat
blue shape. Color pick the hair.
Make a darker, slightly cooler version, desaturated version, and
then boom, put that in the hair where the shadow is, right up
I can even -
let's say, you know, we can just keep on going, we can just keep
on going. Let's say
I want to add a little bit of
sun spots, freckles, and things like that. So what I'm going to
do is sort of help this red come back into the painting. So
I'm going to color pick the red that I chose and I'm
going to put this above of the skin, right here, skin.
Then I'm going to take a
little texture-y brush and sort of ass a
couple spots. This brush doesn't look that good.
And neither does that, that looks like she's sick. But
because I tried it, we know that it doesn't look good or at
least the texture doesn't look good. So probably if I were to
do this, I would get a different
This one's a little too spotty.
Let's put some bounce light back into the fabric.
Just color pick here, just brush it on there into the
planes of the fabric. And then finally I can take the
fabric and just put it a little bit in the background because
you know, -
and just a couple bunch of ways. We saw I'm going to try
this polka dot brush.
I'd like to put some of that
Some of that warmth into the background because otherwise
just looks a little too stiff and this custom brushes it's a
little too noisy for my taste so I could probably
find other ways to do it.
Remember, it's like 50 ways to do
Just kind of erasing out. Now it's creating this weird It's creating this weird
texture, which I don't like.
Bring back my -
okay, I like this brush better, like the texture little better.
And lower the opacity even more.
And then you can, you know, you can keep playing with it.
Add some more of that red into the foreground on a separate
layer, but also
drop the opacity again because even more subtle than the other
pass like that. And then
you can do direct brushing now. I'm going to go all the
way to the top of the stack, top of my layer. I'm just going to
color pick this and
just do some direct brushing. Let's say I want to put a
little bit of red accent right up here, put a little bit of red
accent there, little bit of red accent in here and be around her like
around the contour.
Just like that. Maybe I want to bring some of this blue into
her, I can do that.
I just color pick the blue in the background and then use it
as a color
inside the figure itself. Actually makes it
core shadow tone actually, it's not bad.
So you can see even we can start to think about what color
the core shadow, how warm it is or how what temperature it
is. What chroma it is.
Should it be cool and brown like this, you know, we
can totally change it.
That's a wonderful thing about this process. All right, so
that's my first comp. We can obviously go more, we can take
this and change subtle variations. But as far as it
comes, this is a wrap. Okay guys, that was the end of this
lesson. I hope you enjoyed this color and painting lesson in
Photoshop. We learned so much stuff in this lesson alone. You
got to see how we can use some of the blending modes. You got
to see how we can use the various brushes to paint and color,
all the various color controls the color menus and of course
we go to use the image adjustments and the various
adjustment layers and adjustment options to not only
fine-tune the value, but of course the color. So we pretty
have come to the end of all the skills that I feel that you
will need to create not only color comps, black and white
cops, adjust your photos, take the best slides of your take the best slides of your
own artwork. So even though this is the end of the lesson,
don't forget that you can always review. We covered a lot
of stuff. We covered a lot of stuff in this entire series, all
the way from the beginning, you know, so if you know if there's
a couple of technical things that you got stuck with, make
sure to review the earlier sections. If you got stuck on
the drawing make sure to do that section and the black and
white and adding tones and using various adjustment tools
and of course you can always review this video when
you're ready for color, when you're ready to get started
painting in Photoshop or making your own color comps. So we
covered a lot of stuff. This has been a long series. I
really hope you enjoyed it. Hope you get some value out of
it. And I finally hope that you're no longer intimidated by
Photoshop. I know it's a huge piece of software. It's very
in-depth. It's a massive piece of software and
you pretty much have everything you need to to get
going in and hopefully as you went through the series you
gained more confidence and more experienced and you're able to
use the software
in ways that you've never thought were possible. And if
you're ready to take things further or to keep growing and
keep using the computer, if you really like Photoshop, you
know, I would recommend you to not only review the lessons but
maybe tried different assignments and also, you can
try to combine the techniques, you could take a photo,
paint on top of that for example and adjust the colors or you
can take a painting and use Photoshop to add photography,
you know, use the various tools that you saw.
So combining techniques, combining mediums, even though
they're digital, that would be the next step because what you saw
were a bunch of pieces and we're able to use them to make are able to use them to make
useful things. Now, you can take your pieces,
this and this and this, the color adjustments, photo here,
this, this, and this to really expand your knowledge
and your skillset of this really powerful and unique
software. So that's the end of this series, the end of this
lesson. I really hope you enjoyed it and I hope to see
some of your Photoshop and digital work in the future. So
until next time. Take care.
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1. Lesson Overview40sNow playing...
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2. Course Alert24s
3. Learning Recommendation24s
4. Three Ways to Work With Color in Photoshop44m 6s
5. Using Direct Painting Method I19m 16s
6. Using Direct Painting Method II30m 16s
7. Using Blending Modes23m 0s
8. Using Adjustment Layers18m 40s
10. Assignment Demo24m 12s