Could you show me a few ways to depict smoke?
Adam Dimple, US
Smoke, steam and clouds vary in shape, size and density. A cigarette, for instance, usually involves two different types of smoke. Plumes coming off of the lit end leave in tendrils, slowly turning around each other as the air circulates. Exhaled smoke, however, tends to be more lumpy and cloud-like.
When a candle flame goes out, however, the trails need to be more clearly drawn. Using a Soft Round brush, draw the motion of the smoke. Once you have a basic idea of how you want the tendrils to move through the air, use the Smudge tool to smooth out transitions. For the most part I just use the basic Photoshop Round brush, and the standard brushes 14, 27 and 59. You can also use the Eraser and the Opacity of the layer to alter the smoke’s translucency.
Depending on what’s burning (and how) the particles emitted will float away differently, so choose your way of painting based on the effect you need. When painting a forest
fire, the clouds rising will billow out in a fairly consistent stream. Use harder, clearer edges to make it feel more solid.