Step-by-step: How to use classic heroic features
1Start with the sketch and be sure to take your time to get the sketch right. Because this is a masked hero, it’s important that he has a strong jawline. I also add the chiselled nose, strong cheek bones and classic cleft to the chin. I give the eyes a bit of a squint, adding to his serious expression.
2Next, paint in all the skin tones. At first, I don’t worry too much about the colour because I’m mostly concerned with getting the local values right. Once all the skin tones are in using Photoshop’s layer effects, I add cooler tones to the jaw line and a warmer tone to the nose area. Be careful not to oversaturate at this stage.
3Finally, add the mask and the hat. Apply the shadows where the face and mask meet, and ensure the shadow isn’t even. There are going to be places where the mask is tight to the face and other areas where it’s not. Furthermore, masks are a different material than skin and shouldn’t be painted with the same value range.