De­pict a wa­tery char­ac­ter

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Af­ter lay­ing down the back­ground I paint the mer­man’s skin. I don’t worry about de­pict­ing its wet­ness. In­stead, I only sketch the pri­mary light source (which in this case is also a very warm rim light), the shad­ows and the cold am­bi­ent light that’s re­flected from the sky. I cre­ate an Over­lay layer, choose a light blue and paint the scales one by one fol­low­ing neat rows. You could also use a tex­ture for this stage. I en­sure the di­rec­tion of the scales fol­low the mer­man’s body and tail. Some scales on the arms and torso en­hance the am­phibi­ous look. To de­pict wet, shiny skin I se­lect a light colour that’s close to the shade of the light source, then ap­ply brush­strokes to all the vol­umes of the body. I choose a brush with a rough tex­ture. In ar­eas like the el­bows, chest and chin I add the high­lights of re­flected light from the wa­ter. July 2016

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