Step-by-step: Illustrate rising tendrils of smoke
Begin by blocking in your smoke. It’ll 1 help to use a brush that’s not too textured, and choose a mid-tone for this step. Sometimes painting extremely abstract shapes can be a bit of a mental battle, as our brains love patterns and symmetry. Look at some images of smoke to get an idea of just how twisty and random those shapes can be. Start to define those shapes. This kind 2 of rising smoke has more sharp edges than you might expect. One side of a plume of smoke can be sharp, gradually fading to a softer edge. Reduce your Brush Flow in Photoshop for more control over this subtle gradient. Don’t forget to softly add some thinner tendrils of smoke, breaking away from the main shapes. It’s time to add some highlights. Rising 3 smoke tends to be thick when close to its source, or intersecting with other smoke tendrils. Choose a bright colour and gradually build up the brightness in these areas. I like to use a Color Dodge layer for this. Try double- clicking your layer and toggling off Transparency Shapes Layer to create slightly different effects.