HOWTO | create fish with brushes
1 Starting the body shape
Using the Pen tool we learnt about in the first part of this tutorial, we’ll need to create a rough outline for a fish. At this stage you only need the body – we’ll be adding fins, eyes and the other fish later on. The fish looks pretty flat without any colour, so we’ll need to create a gradient for his body.
2 Creating the scales
Now we have a rough body shape (it can be refined later), we need to create a file to use for the scales. Go to the file menu and select New, make sure the image area is square and that it has a transparent background. It’s also a good idea to leave the ‘include margins’ box unchecked.
3 Drawing the scales
If you’re confident, draw enough rows of scales to fill the new canvas. If not, use the Pen tool to create them. With the Pen tool don’t forget to use the Node and Corner tools to help refine the lines of the scales. It doesn’t matter how many lines you draw, but you’ll need to create a few.
4 Adding texture
Once you’re happy with the scales you’re ready to export it. To do this go to File > Export and make sure that you have the ‘Selection without background’ option selected in the bottom left-hand corner. As we only want to use the lines it’s best to export it as a png.
5 Scaling the scales
To use the scales as a texture, add them to the image by clicking on the Place Image Tool, selecting the exported scales image, then clicking to place it. Drag the layer over the fish body, to hide everything outside it. You can experiment with Blend modes to make them look more life like.
6 Adding eyes and fins
Our little fish won’t get far without fins or eyes and a mouth would help him eat. Create eyes using the same technique as air bubbles (see last issue). The fins are created with the same technique as the fish body. We do the fins separately to have more control over them.
7 Adding more fish
The little fella might get a bit lonely on his own, so let’s add a few more fish to our tank. It’s a great way to practise what you’re learnt so far, and you can have as many fish as you want swimming in different directions. We opted for three here as we’re going to add some sea weed, too.
8 Creating sea weed
For sea weed, we use the same process as for creating scales, but here we give it a green background, and export the two together. After exporting, create a ‘New Textured Image Brush’ (to the right of the brushes tab). Double-click the new brush to edit it before using it to create a leaf.