Understanding and Painting Tonal Values : Jack O Lanterns in PS! | Stephanie Chewy | Skillshare

Understanding and Painting Tonal Values : Jack O Lanterns in PS!

Stephanie Chewy, Animator // Character Design

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8 Lessons (54m)
    • 1. Pt01 Introduction and Overview

    • 2. PT02 Understanding Tonal Values

    • 3. PT03 Creating our Document and Importing Brushes

    • 4. PT04 Setting up Our Reference Map

    • 5. PT05 Silhouette and Sketching

    • 6. PT06 Lining

    • 7. PT07 Painting

    • 8. PT08 Adding Accesories and Finishing Up


About This Class

Hey everyone! It’s that time of the month again....



Scary month!

In wake of this month I propose we get on down to drawing and painting some creepy but cute jack o lanterns in Photoshop, using some basic fundamentals of tonal values. It’s a wonderful exercise for artists of beginner to intermediate level (preferably a bit more experience in Photoshop), where we can practice a few things we’ve learned in my previous videos, and more! We’re going to sketch out and line our Jack o Lantern, then do a quick analysis on lights and darks on a form when we approach our painting. I’m also going to point out some quick Photoshop tricks that can help bring a bit more "oomf" to our little pumpkins.

So without further ado, let’s talk about what we’ll need for this lesson! Today we’ll be using Photoshop, I'm using CS6, but any version should be fine, a drawing tablet, the internet, for references, and some textured brushes. You can either make your own, or if you’re a lazy butt like me you can download some for free.

Here is the link where I downloaded the brushes used in this lesson:


Select the "FREE PS BRUSHES +how I use them video (vid w/commentary)" option and download the brushes (also feel free to support Jeremy, and /or check out his other videos and selections, he's a really great painter), then place the .abr brush file in a directory that you're familiar with. We will import these brushes into Photoshop together during the lesson!

If you’re all set, click the enroll button now to create some creepy and cute Halloween Jack o Lantern art with me!

And lastly to my students, thank you all so so much for embarking on this journey with me into the tonal values of a painting. This lesson is a slightly trickier one with regards to tonal value painting, and Photoshop experience, but I sincerely thank you all for allowing me this chance to share my passion and a bit of my daily life with you. If there is anything you'd like to learn more about in my next videos, or if you have any feedback or comments regarding the lesson, please do not hesitate to let me know! 


Using shortcuts effectively in Photoshop can greatly boost our painting and drawing efficiency. Here is a list of the shortcut keys I've used throughout the lesson, as well as on a daily basis. Feel free to use them to streamline your painting process:

Alt+Backspace : Colour fills the canvas with the colour in the front of the colour picker

Ctrl+Backspace: Colour fills the canvas with the colour at the back of the colour picker

'B' : Brush tool - for painting

'D' : Returns colour picker to their default colours (Black in front and White at the back)

'E' : Erase tool - for erasing

'G' : Gradient tool - to create that subtle gradual effect in your paintings (feel free to play around with the settings to see which effect you're comfortable with!)

'L' or 'M' : Lasso or Marquee tool - creates a selection so you can only colour within it (great for hard edge lights!)

'R' : Rotate - rotates the canvas for easier lining!

Ctrl+Shift+N : Creates a new layer

Ctrl+N : Creates a new document

Ctrl+L : Levels box - to adjust the tonal levels of your selection

Ctrl+M : Curves box - adjusts the tonal contrasts of your selection - I usually use this along with the levels box to adjust the tonal contrast to my liking.

Ctrl+T : Transform tool - to resize or skew your selection

Ctrl+U : Hue/Saturation box - Here you can adjust the various colours, lightness and saturation of your selection

Holding on Alt while in brush mode - Brings up the quick Colour Picker so you can pick a colour in your canvas to blend.

Holding on Alt while between 2 layers in the layer box - Masks the top layer to the bottom one