Step-by-step: How to use clas­sic heroic fea­tures

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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.

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