Step-by-step: Es­tab­lish light­ing over dif­fer­ent sur­faces

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I start with a quick sketch, then block out the char­ac­ter with a Layer Mask to keep my paint­ing within the con­fines of the main fig­ure. The lines don’t have to be clean be­cause I tend to colour over them af­ter­wards. I se­lect a mono­chrome back­ground colour, so that the cast of a bright, or­ange light will fur­ther stand out.


I go over the char­ac­ter’s skin with warm tones, keep­ing the shad­ing smooth to de­note soft­ness and youth. On the other hand, the light re­flect­ing off the weapon is blind­ing and sharp. With a sat­u­rated or­ange hue, I use the Color Dodge tool to go over the bright­est ar­eas, like the tip of her cheek­bone and knuck­les.


After a quick splash of light across the back­ground, I start to paint over the sketch, and erase away some of the un­wanted edges. I use large brush strokes to fill in the rough shape of the folds with a rec­tan­gle brush. At this stage, I also Liquify parts of the ini­tial draw­ing like the eyes and mouth to im­prove on the over­all look.

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