Digital Illustration: Refine With Overpainting And Effects | Sydney H. | Skillshare

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Digital Illustration: Refine With Overpainting And Effects

teacher avatar Sydney H., Digital Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Preparation

    • 3. Thoughts on Rendering

    • 4. Importance of Edges

    • 5. Rendering Your Image

    • 6. Adding Rimlights

    • 7. Adding Effects

    • 8. Finishing Touches

    • 9. Conclusion

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About This Class

For this class, you will need a graphics tablet (or tablet with pen stylus)!


Prerequisite class: Digital Illustration: Underpainting Made Easy

Want to take your underpainting to the next level? As a continuation from Underpainting Made Easy, I’ll bring you through the final steps of completing your illustration.

With this class, you can further enhance your drawing through the application of over painting and special effects.

My idea of over painting is to add the final layers of “paint” (color) through new layers and the use of layer modes. By using layers in this fashion, it gives you the opportunity to define your shapes and add edges to your image with style! Including special effects can add even more depth and make it look more appealing than it was before. Not only will I go over how to overpaint, but I will also show you some finishing touches on how I make my drawings look clean and professional!

Please make note that it is required for you to complete Underpainting Made Easy to follow the lessons in this class.

Having a tablet with a stylus is essential for this course to be completed smoothly.

Enroll in this class now to learn some new techniques and methods on overpainting!


Tools You Need:

-Tablet with a Stylus (Graphics Tablet)

-Adobe Photoshop



Rimlight Image References: Corey Rich and Erin Crooks

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sydney H.

Digital Illustrator



A freelance artist creating artwork that strives to engage and generate pieces that everyone can enjoy. I love exploring multiple fields of the art some of which is digital, traditional, design! I'm highly influenced by old illustrators (like J.C Leyendecker), anime, and video games.


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1. Introduction: I want to take your under painting to the next level as a continuation from under painting made easy, I'll bring you through the final steps of completing your illustration with this class, who can further enhance your drawing through the application of over painting and special effects. My idea of over paging is to add the final layers of paint to the new layers and the use of layer modes by using layers. In this fashion, it gives you the opportunity to define your shapes and add edges to your image. With style, including special effects, can add even more depth and make it look more appealing than it was before. Not only will I go over how to over Pete, I will also show you some finishing touches on how to make your drawings with clean and professional. Please make note that is required for you to complete under painting. Made easy to follow the lessons in this class. Having a tablet with a stylist is essential for this course to be completed smoothly. Enroll in this class now to learn some new techniques and methods on over painting 2. Preparation: before we dive into over painting, we want to make sure that we cover all of our bases and prepare for the rest of the illustration. Depending on the size and resolution of your canvas, you will probably have noticed how big your file sizes. If you don't have a high performance computer or tablet, the size may slow down the program a lot more than you want and may cause, lacks bikes or even take longer to render individual brushes to make the painting process as smooth as possible while still retaining all the details in my file, I like to say that a separate PST once I have the duplicate, I can go through and get rid of any extra layers that I don't need. Through the use of merging layers. You can merge layers by using control, eat. You see me here, go through, emerged all of the character layers and all the background layers. With the use of control E. There will be certain instances laters cannot be merged because they have a particular blending mood. If there isn't a solid color behind it, the blending mode layer will be forced to be a solid and not retain is transparent effect at the blending mode is specific to a clip form and isn't clipped to the object below it. Chances are, the colors won't be the same outside that object. That seems to be the case with the extra detail added to the dragons during the under painting, since much of the paint strokes leave the confines of its form. If that happens to be the same case of you, leave the layer as it is. Usually it's safe to merge most of the layers in your folders. You can easily do this by right clicking your folder and going to Merge Group. Now that I have the character dragons and the background, all has merged elements. It makes it much easier for me to go back and make simple fixes with the use of liquefy. If you need to add more blending layers or change more colors, you can do that at this stage as well 3. Thoughts on Rendering: now you might be thinking, Do we need to render everything in my drawing for it to look finished? While it may seem like it is most logical option, the quick answer to that question is no. It is better not to render every little detail and you're drawing. Not only will it take more time to render your I also won't pick up on all the details on the first read. Take a moment to look at an object around you, then switch your focus from the first object to the objects in the background. Notice how your eye focuses more on one object rather than the things around it. The objects that are not in focus become more like blurred shapes rather than specific and detailed forms. This happens because you're I can only take in so much detail. So when you're painting, it is better to start what simplified are suggested shapes rather than defined ones. It's important not to overload. Your viewer was too much information. The faster the object can be read, the more successful you're drawing will become Hi pilots knowledge to my illustrations when I'm in the over painting stage before I even begin rendering. I first figure out what my focal points are. Since the character and the dragons are the figures in this drawing, I plan on making them the primary focus. I like to envision a series of circles radiating outward from the focal point. Each of the circles holds his own percentage of detail for me to follow. The center of the circle is the most rendered object in the drawing. From there, the level of detail is reduced 25% with every ring with the focal point. Diagrams, all drawn together is easy to get confused when using them as a reference. So the best way to approach making one for your drawing is to create each focal point diagram on a separate layer. That way, if I wanted to render the dragon's head and use my diagram, I would easily be able to hide the other two diagrams. Since their own separate layers. Not only does referring to this method add more depth to your illustration, it also prevents me from getting too detailed with the rendering process. Talk about a huge time saver 4. Importance of Edges: now, when you're over painting, it's important to be aware of the edges that you paint with her brush. Most people paint them without really knowing what they are and how to work with. Um, I just can show the difference between a sharp and soft transition in a form you need to be aware of them. If you want to create believable textures. The three most common edges are hard edges, soft edges and diffused edges. Hard edges are much easier to spot with a hard edge, you'll see there is a distinct changing color, and it's more defined in sharp with the hard edge here on this cloth, you can see that there is a change in planes resulting in the shadow on the left side. It's not the shadow itself that creates the edge, but the Chris Contour between the two colors. The most common forms created with hard edges are rocks, trees and human made objects. Objects like clothing and hair can also benefit from the strategic placing of hard edges as well. While soft edges are noticeable, they're much more out of focus and not as harsh, since I need to show the viewer that there is a change in plain here at the ripple, I need to add a light shade. I don't want to use our hard edge. Since the cash shadow isn't nearly as dramatic as fold, I like to use my painterly brush to paint in the area and then smudge it out as needed. You can also use the airbrush tool to, but starting with a hard brush allows you to work on both your heart and soft edges at the same time. Good uses of this are objects that are in the distance, hair and clothing. Diffused edges, while similar to soft edges, are barely recognizable as shapes and are more Blunden. You see here that this fold while it starts a soft edge completely fades off. In the end, I often do this through the use of the airbrush or smudge brush, so the values are more consistent. Erasing with the airbrushed tool can give you that same effect as well. Diffused edges are most commonly used with clouds, water and any objects the furthest away from the focus area. But they could be used in other areas, too, with moderation. Placing edges goes hand in hand with your focal point diagram. Unless detailed, it is supposed to be the softer your edges become. With the combination of these edges, you can create an incredibly successful peace. I try to take care of the diffused in soft edges during the under painting. That way, when I reached the over painting stage, the only thing I need to focus on are the hard edges, which is all about defining the objects. Oh, if you feel that you need to add in some software diffuse edges after the fact, you can still do that with an opaque airbrush or blessing areas out where it's needed. 5. Rendering Your Image: to begin rendering your image. You want to create a new layer on top of the figure you want to start with. Since you're under painting, created your color palette for you. All you need to do is that I dropped the colors that you want and paint using your favorite brush. You can quickly access the eyedropper tool by pressing the all key on your keyboard or by creating a shortcut for on your tablet. Since I did the under painting mostly with blending modes, the colors can get money or streaky, depending on where you place that. So at this stage I mainly focused on refining the forms and cleaning up the colors by doing opaque rendering and smoothing with a painterly rush. If I want to smooth an area out, I will either you a rush eraser or my smudge tool. Oh, I always take extra care on the hair so it looks more organic with very little bold lines over. Painting is perfect for those little flyaways in the hair, too. - Here , if you feel that you are losing some of your vibrancy your shadows while over painting, you can always create a new layer on top and switch it to overlay or multiply. That way, you are adding more definition to your drawing without accidentally adding in some weird color. Don't shy away from using texture brushes. At this stage, they could be really beneficial for adding texture and more character to your forms. 6. Adding Rimlights: after I finished cleaning up my colors. I like to add some room lights so the edges of the character ram lighting is often referred to it's backlighting, which is a light source behind the object that gives the appearance of a light outline. When you look at photos that are in daylight, who will most commonly see him lighting on the hair or skin, the very edge of the character will look like it has a white outline with a saturated rim on one side if you're starting to lose some of your characters, definition because of the background is the stage where the character will really stand out . Room lights will usually include colors from either an artificial light or it's natural background. In my case, I will be using the dragons as reference from my room light, since they are the closest light source to my character to begin adding room lights, I create a new layer and said the blending mode to lean your dodge in your dodge as the right amount of luminosity. Depending on the color you choose, the lighter your color is the white. Your room lights will look since we took care of the color saturation near the light source and are under painting. We want to focus primarily on the harsh highlights in this step. So when painting the room lights I want to keep in mind with the light source is as well as the color of it, since the dragons, air, blue and orange are going to end up switching between both of those colors by using the colors native to your light source, it will make sure that your room lights harmonize with the rest of your illustration. Never directly used white as your color, it will easily wash out your drawing and make it look flat. It is very used, your light sources color and tended towards white instead. Since there is an orange light moving upward from the shoulder armor as well as behind her , I'm going to start off with the orange for the face when lights just like the reflected lights. I started off with a hard brush and then either bonded out with this much tool or use the airbrush to erase. Oh, I'm carefully adding lights to the skin, since I don't want to pronounce any unnecessary edges, less is more when I start working on the rim light of the hair, you'll see that I switched the color to blue rather than orange. That is because the blue dragon is right behind her head and the orange light from the shoulder would not reach that far. Unless you're going for something more stylistic, always go with the color of the closest light source if you're unsure what to use. - The hardest part about painting in Broome Lies is knowing where to place them. Since rim lies are primarily a light line, connecting too many of them could flatten your image, which is what we don't want. I like to start near the areas that are closest to the light source in my drawing. This would include the head, shoulder armor and the back. You want to pay a rim light on the side where the light source is coming from and leave the opposite side as the shadow. Since the dragons aura is coming from the left, I want to carve light into the figure on the left side. If you have an object that it's more spherical, you could add a small circular highlight with your room light color like I did with the I. I tend not to clip this layer to the object, so the lines look more organic and painterly. - Look at how much the character pause after adding in the room lights. 7. Adding Effects: after adding room lights for the character. It was time for me to start defining the dragons as well. Since the dragons air more of an aura, I consider them be part of the special effects in the illustration. When I paint effects into my drawings, I tend to stick to using blending modes at quick glow effects, color changes or luminosity. And let's not forget about keeping colors harmonized to begin. I created a new layer on top of the dragons without a clipping mask. The Blue Dragons head was starting to get lost in the background, so I wanted to go to find the edges more with a hard brush as such the letter motel in your Dodge and changed the color to blue so it would match. Like once I got beyond the head, I found that would be much easier to work with a textured brush to achieve my desire results, and I had stuck with a hard brush for the dragon's tail. I ran the risk of the style, not imagine the rest of the illustration. Not only that, it would have taken me a lot longer to paint successfully textured brushes in this case, worked a lot better for my needs. You can quickly add particle effects and wispy shapes for things like magic and fog. No problem. It's a great way to add more depth and make your peace even more attractive. Uh, when I finished it, finding the Red Dragon, I noticed that I was really enjoying the vibrancy near the bottom of his draw. Unfortunately, the rest of the dragon didn't look nearly as nice. I quickly remedy that by creating a new layer below the figure and started painting in some dark, gestural shapes. I painted enough shapes to make the dragon space more visible in a crafty, interesting way. Oh, by adding more opaque and blending layers, I finally achieved what I wanted. Not only did it balance the dark streak in the middle of the drawing and enhanced the flame shape in the corner as well. At this point, I was trying to figure out how to make the Blue Dragons head pop. I attempted to do the jagged strokes like I did with the Red Dragon, but it didn't look nearly a successful. After fiddling with it for a bit, I discovered that painting an opaque colors behind the Dragons made them stand out more without taking away from the transparency. Even the Red Dragon look more defined by that simple addition. With the dragons defined to the level that I wanted, I created a new layer and change the blending mode to overlay by using the airbrush I brought in more glow to the dragons. I also like to take this time to enhance any colors in the figure with overlay to it smooths the color transitions even more. - While I enjoy the dark flame shape, I added in the background. The more observed the overall image, the more the figure looked like it was just placed in front of a backdrop. I wanted the character in the dragon's to look more immersed in the background. I then thought, What if I added another shape in front of the figure? This new form helps and the character backwards and dragon head forwards and the illustration thinking like this unintentionally brought me back to my original idea of having the character tear through the image. I was finally getting closer to the finish line 8. Finishing Touches: Now that I was nearing the end of my illustration, I decided to put it away for a bit and come back with fresh eyes. It looked nearly perfect, but I still felt like I could add more. Not only that, the dark shapes were starting to bring too much weight to the bottom of the illustration was true. Away from my original focal points. I don't want to get rid of the shape, since the introduced texture and a nice grunge effect into the piece so entertained the idea of adding some kind of border. If I added a border that was the same color as the dark shapes would bring this darker color to the top of the illustration, balancing the color ratio also by having the dragon or is break into this border, it would guide if you were back into the illustration rather than being stuck at the bottom . I added even more lines to this border to make it more interesting. And since I love to experiment, I even played around with the blending modes of the border to see if there was something that caught my eye. But ultimately I ended up settling with multiply and then took one last look at the image and fix anything that looked off color wise before jumping on to the next step before moving forward on the next few steps, you want to safely merge your entire illustration. You can do this in two different ways. A simplest way is to save your illustration of another PST. Right click and Marge visible are you can use my preferred method, which keeps all of your layers intact and includes emerge copy on the same PST. To do that, you need to right click, merge visible and then select the entire image with control a copy of the entire selection with control. See, once it is copied, go back through your history and click on the step before you merge your image and paste your copy. This way, your original layers remain untouched and you have your merge copy to manipulate. One of the best things about Photoshopped is that you can easily color and edit your drawing without touching original image to the use of adjustment layers. The adjustment layer icon is located at the bottom of the layer panel with a circle. You will see me here it used the color balance adjustment to bring out more of the reds. Well is a subtle and barely noticeable change to some. I always like to cover all of my bases when it comes to color. After I'm satisfied with the results, I create another adjustment layer called radiant map and click on the Grady Int preset that has a purple fading into orange and switch the great map to multiply and dramatically lower the capacity to around 3 to 5%. This makes your highlights former and your shadows cooler as well. A. Cem added harmonisation. One of the very last effects I love to add is the three D effect. I use this to get done all the time and never knew it was so simple to achieve until a few years ago. Before I create the effect, I make sure that a smart sharpen my image to bring out all of his details. This could be found through the filter. Sharpen smart sharpen. I personally like to have the sharp it amount to 200% then duplicate that layer and open the layers, blending option by right clicking the layer and scrolling down to blending options. If you look under advanced blending on the menu, you will see channels with R G and B listed with check boxes. By un checking one or two of these, you can begin to simulate the three D effect a channel you on Jack will be the three d color that will show up. You'll see that once I unchecked, there are box and not the later a few pixels. The red lines start to show up along the edges. As you see, it pours out the image quite a bit. Well, this makes the background look amazing. It's not as good for the focal points. By using the airbrush eraser tool to erase out the focal points, it clears up any distortion the area might have had before. I like to raise the areas that are closer to the viewer so the rest can recede into the background, - since the illustration is pretty much done at this point, I took another step back. This was my final chance to fix anything that needed adjustment. It just so happened that I needed to use liquefied to bring the back of the head in and make the breast a bit perkier. Last but not least, the real finished adds production value to their illustration. Great. Adding grain gives your drawing a bit of texture, and it's a nice way to bring the entire illustration together. Create a new layer and fill it with white and go to filter noise. Add noise. I tend to have the amount around 13% and switch the grain. Tomato, Quranic. Once that is finished, you can either change your layer to multiply or overlay, and lower the capacity to is barely noticeable. After that is done, you converged on the texture or leave it so it doesn't damage your polished image. There are many different ways to go about adding grain to your illustration, but this is just my personal preference. Now I can say I'm finally happy with the results of my illustration and declare myself officially finished has been a long journey from the creation of the under painting all the way to the finish drawing. But it was well worth it. In the end 9. Conclusion: now that I showed you the process of how I complete my illustrations, it's now time for you to apply it to your own. Under painting for your project, I want you to take your under painting for my previous class under painting made easy and over paint the peace with the methods and tricks discussed in this class. Make sure you included of a foreign after of the illustration so you and your classmates can see the difference between both stages. Feel free to include any insides you learn along the way. There is no limit to your imagination. If you have any questions or run into any problems, be sure to comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you so much for enrolling in my class, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.