Getting Started With Digital Painting: Creating an Animal Character From Scratch | Leigh Rooney | Skillshare

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Getting Started With Digital Painting: Creating an Animal Character From Scratch

teacher avatar Leigh Rooney, Artist + Teacher + Learner

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

    • 1.

      Hello and Introduction to Materials


    • 2.

      Pick an Animal, Stylize, and Sketch


    • 3.

      Setting Up Your Workspace, Testing Brushes, and Creating Libraries


    • 4.

      Start Painting!


    • 5.

      Creating a Solid Fill Layer


    • 6.

      Adding Outlines and Details


    • 7.

      More Painting: Mixing and Blending


    • 8.

      Adjustments and Adding More Texture


    • 9.

      How to Save Files


    • 10.

      Bye and Thank You!


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About This Class

Artist and teacher Leigh Ann Rooney will guide you through the basics of creating a character suitable for a children’s book, comic, or whatever else your imagination can think up!

This course covers the foundations of creating a digitally painted character in Adobe Photoshop. We will go over each step of the process from picking an animal and designing your character to creating a finished image that can be sent to a client or added to a background.

No experience with Photoshop or traditional painting needed.

Don’t be intimidated by Photoshop - you got this!

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Designing a character: stylizing an animal
  • Using Photoshop brushes for a painterly effect
  • Mixing and blending colors
  • Adding texture and dimension

Materials you’ll need:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Drawing pen tablet such as Wacom Intuos (optional but helpful)
  • Paper and pencil, charcoal, and/or ink (optional)

Link to my beginner Photoshop class:
Link to my digital textures:

Meet Your Teacher

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Leigh Rooney

Artist + Teacher + Learner



Thanks for stopping by.

I've been making art for as long as I can remember and I'm passionate about passing on all the skills I've learned. I have an MFA in painting and I've taught at colleges, high schools, middle schools, art centers, and online. I have TONS of ideas for Skillshare courses so make sure to follow me to get updated when I create a new course.


See more of my art on my website:

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Hello and Introduction to Materials: Hello. My name is he still share class. We're gonna be creating an animal character from scratch and using some really simple digital painting techniques. So this is a great, fun way to start a paint digitally photo shop. So things you will need are don't be Photoshopped, and I like to use these wakame tablets with pen. It helps a lot with these techniques. If you don't have it, you can use your mouse or track pad. That's fine. But I do recommend getting one of these if you're interested in these techniques, because it really makes a big difference. Also, you can start your drawing on the computer, and you can just do everything within Photoshopped or some people like to start drawing by hand. So that's the case. You'll want some paper, maybe some charcoal pencils. That's what I used and I also use. Um, thanks. Sometimes you could just use whatever you have lying around the house. You can use pen and computer paper. It's really up to you. So please let me know if you have any questions and you really want to see your project, so make sure to post them and I hope This is a way for you to get started with additional painting so you can take off on your own and start experimenting with a new medium. It's really fun. 2. Pick an Animal, Stylize, and Sketch: Okay, so the first thing we have to do is pick an animal, and I usually start by creating a reference board on Pinterest. I just think it's an easy way to dio and for mine, I'm gonna do a moose. So you see, have a lot of different moose pictures saved with different angles on young and old moves. I'm gonna do a young one, but I want him to have antlers. So I like this one, you know, and I start to think, What are the defining futures of your animals? So, for moves, you know, it's this long nose and the antlers. That's what make it really look like a moose. And whatever animal e pick, you basically want to start thinking about what differentiates it from other animals. What makes your animal look like the animal that it is? You also want to think about how old the animal is. If it's for a picture book, you want to make it look like a young animal and not an older one. So start to think about that kind of stuff. So pick an animal, get a couple of reference and images. If you don't like Pinterest you can just see them on your desktop or anywhere. Or if you have a book, that's great, too. And then I start making really simple sketches like these, and I start breaking down the elements of the animal. And, you know, I make some that looked like this. And then I think maybe that looks too much like a donkey. So I keep going and adding antlers, and I just do lots of really simple, simple sketches. Another thing you might want to do is exaggerate some of the features, so maybe exaggerate the length of the nose or exaggerate the antlers. You know, pull something out. That's your favorite part of the animal, and that can create a really engaging character. So start looking at lots of pictures, take time and have fun with it and pull out the features that are most interesting to you that you really like about your animal. So we're not gonna spend a ton of time on the sketching part, but I just want to show you the progression of my sketches. So I'm looking on the computer breaking down the animal parts, you know, picking out some forms to exaggerate and then I'm getting more and more simple, and I'll do a drawing like this and think I'm finished. And then I realized that doesn't look like a moose. It doesn't look like what I wanted to look like. So I keep going and I'll just go over and over again and I'll keep looking and finding something that I think is interesting, you know? And I kind of like this one. So then I created this sketch, but then the neck was too long. So then I created this sketch and I did it. This one with a brush pin, which I really like, and that one came out nice. That could be an option. But I wanted to make it more stylized and more fun. So I really wanted to get loosened up with my drunk and you can see over here I was trying to loosen up and make notes. And then I just made this little doodle here, and I really liked the way that that looked. So I decided that pencil I wasn't, you know, it wasn't working for me Since I wanted to switch it up. I decided to use a different medium. Andi, I think that helps your brain to just switch it up a little bit? I started using these charcoal pencils just to have something different. So I started drawing this these circles, you know, in creating a figure that looked like this and really breaking it down a big head, round body, long legs and knobby knees. I start to write the features that I want to pull out, and then I create different versions of the animal, and I got really happy with ease, and I liked the way they looked. And then I wanted to make a more finished version, so I'm really comfortable using ink. It's something I like using a lot. So I went to the ink and I created. I just drew these in pencil, and then I I just added an ink wash to them. And then I used pen toe outline it. And so my main point is that you can create these sketches anyway that you want. It's nice toe, have a finished sketch, and I've heard advice before that. It's good to spend 80% of your time sketching and working this stuff out, and only 20% actually creating the final piece you want. Have everything really worked out before? You get to the digital painting part of it and you can again be doing this sketching and photo shop. But really get your character designed, Get them. You know, take your time figuring out how you want it to look before we go on to the computer or before you start doing the digital painting part of it and, you know, get really loose. Try different mediums. Try pulling out different features from your character until you find one that looks really good for you. So I'm gonna go with this one because I think that one has ah lot of personality. I like the antlers. I like the way the body stylized, and for this, you know, we're making a character. So it's for a comic or Children's books. It's not really realistic. You're breaking it down and style izing it. So I just liked a few simple shapes, so it's a lot of circles going on and then some long sticks coming out of it, basically, so have fun with this step, you know, spend time working on your sketches. Stay loose. Don't be worried about messing up you know, I spill coffee and stuff on these. I just kind of I don't get too precious about it. I really let my imagination go when I take notes, and I And then when we get to the final is when we can spend more time refining. So get your final character ready to go find one that you're happy with. Take your time sketching. You know, you can turn off the video and really just have fun. Put on some music, have fun figuring it out. 3. Setting Up Your Workspace, Testing Brushes, and Creating Libraries: Okay, So once you have your character all designed, you can scan it and bring it into photo show. I like to scan mine at a pretty high resolution. So if I come up to image image size of to show you what size I have mine scanned in at, I usually do my scans at 600 d. P. I. And that's pretty a big file. If you don't have a ton of room on your computer or your just practicing and you don't want to take a ball a lot of space you couldn't start with 300 d. P. I and you can make the pixel size smaller for practicing. It really doesn't matter, and we're gonna have a lot of layers in this file. So if you don't want to create a big file, go ahead and do a smaller resolution. But if this is something you think you might print or sent to a client, I would definitely do a resolution of 600 and make it big. You can always make it smaller later. If you already have your drawing and photo shopped, that's great. You can just get started unused that the same way as we're using the background sketch as I'll be using the background sketch years, getting your workspace in Photoshopped really organized and having it set up to work for you is something I think really is really important because it just helped Here work, be more fluid and you can work faster and easier. So setting yourself up in the beginning and just having some preset workspaces, I think is really helpful. So the first thing I dio is I get my workspace set up. So these air all workspaces that I've created for myself and what the workspaces, if you haven't worked without before, is just the way all your windows, all these tab groups are set up. So this is how I like mine. You can obviously do yours. However you want. The windows will be using for this project are brushes. I always have a history open. Oh, definitely need layers. And I'm gonna show you how to use the libraries. And I think swatches is another important want to have open. Make sure you come up to your window and all of these are checked and open. You can move stuff around, however, make sense to you, but for right now, And be a good idea to start with this. And then if you want to save your workspace, if you like the way it's set up, you can come up here to window workspace and create a new workspace. And then you just type in whatever you want to call it in. Press save canceled. And then once you press save, it will be up in this top row up here, so that's creating a workspace. The next thing I like to do is have my library set up. So these libraries you can use throughout all of adobes programs, which is pretty awesome we're going to do now is make a brush library. And that's just gonna make it easier for us because there are a ton of brushes to choose from. We're going to use brushes that you can get for free through adobe. And these are all the ones that I have downloaded already. Okay, So to get a new brush your in this brush window, you don't see it. Come up here. Just make sure brushes is checked. So you're in your brushes window here. You come to this little thing and you go to get more brushes, it's gonna take you to the Internet, so you have to be connected to the Internet. These air these Kyle T. Webster brushes that Adobe has for free, which is pretty amazing because they're so great, and you can see that you can use it on Adobe Photo Shop sketch, which is really nice to So you can download any of these. The ones that will be using our water color wash like these were any anchors and the dry media to any of the other ones that's on good to you. To download, you just click download. It's going to go into your download folder where that is on your computer. It's this a B R file and all you have to do to get these. This brush pack into Photoshopped is have Photoshopped the program open, download the file and then just double click on it, and it literally adds it into Photoshopped right here. When you click on the arrow, you can see all the different brushes that come with it. We're going to be working with the wash and the water color, so I want you to take some time to download the brushes and then play around with them and see which ones you like. So I'm gonna make a new layer down here, just create new layer, double click on the text and rate brush test so we can just test out what some of these brushes look like. I'm gonna zoom in on the image I literally go through and try every brush when I download a new pack. And I know maybe that sounds annoying, but I think it's kind of fun. And then you can really find which ones you like the most conceive. Why these gosh ones? A really nice. They add a lot of texture and you can see all that brushy nous. And I'm using the pen tablet so you can add different pressure with each brush setting. That will change depending on how the brush is set up. So when you find one that you like, we're gonna add it into a library so you can come up to your libraries window, go in the drop down and do create new library. I'll call it skill, share, create and all you do. And this is why I have my windows set up like this is why my workspace like this, cause I just take the brush and drop it. And here and then it saved pretty awesome. So I would take some time and go through and find the brushes that you like. The textures that you think are interesting. Save them to your library. So we're gonna use, um, wash brushes. We're going Tiu. Some of these watercolor brushes are really great. And the watercolor erasers or nice, because that erases out a nice edge. Definitely want to get some erasers and their period, these runny anchors. This will be nice if you're gonna planning on doing an outline. They look really natural, and they have a lot of texture to. So take time. Find a couple of brushes that you think are interesting that you enjoy the textures of build up your library. 4. Start Painting!: Okay, so now we get to start painting, which is the fun part, and I like to just kind of jump into it and make refinements later. So for this first section of painting, we're just gonna really start. So I'm gonna close the eye on this brush test delayer. I'm gonna turn that off because we might use it later, but we don't need it right now, and you can always go back and test more brushes. I'm gonna come to the background, unlock it if you still have it locked by just double clicking on that lock there can call it background or sketch or whatever you want. I'm going to from this drop down, make it multiply, and I'm going to bring it down to, like, 75 so you can still see it. And then I'm gonna create a new layer. Bring it to the bottom. DoubleClick. So it's really good to get inhabit of naming your layers, because we're gonna have a lot of layers in here, and it's important just to keep organized. Somebody call this body because we're doing the body of the moose body brushy because I'm gonna start with the brushy texture just to get it going. Manu, zoom in command. Plus, start up here at the head. I like this wash g texture brush just for the for of the moves. I think it looks good. And I think it looks good for lots of different animals. So I'm gonna pick that and then for your colors, I have some colors here that I got from some nature photographs like this did stick X one back into my brushes. Just start brushing. Make sure you're on the right layer and I'm not being perfect. I'm just getting this is kind of a shadow color. I'm getting it in where I have the darker areas of my ink and I'm using the brush strokes to go in the direction of my figure of my animal. So I'm using the brush strokes to kind of help me create the illusion of depth or to create the illusion of hair and just give it some volume in some shape. And this little part, I think the hair would be like maybe more curly here. I don't know, just making that up, but I wanted to have more texture. So and you're not trying to fill the whole thing. And you're not trying to fill in all the white spaces. We want to see all the different brush shapes, and you can make your brush bigger or smaller. The bracket key is moving here. I'll have some smaller brush strokes, really? Just kind of starting to get it loosely, loosely worked out. Now I'm gonna get a little bit of a lighter color. Yeah, brush a little bigger. No. Start putting in some mid tones so above the highlights. And I'm still always using the brush strokes was kind of with the grain or with the movement of the body shape. And if you have for on your animal, gonna have a new layer for the arm. So I'm just gonna go ahead and go right over, and I would have a new layer for the back back to, so the body is gonna be one layer on the arm in the backpack will be separate layers, and you can start to pay attention to you. What's going on with your edges? You can add some different colors in here. Maybe you want somewhere. Highlights go a little more to bring this up to a little more yellow. How? It's a little warmer and you can switch brushes too. I don't know. I just Sometimes I get stuck on this brush and I like to start with one, and we're gonna erase some of the edges and go around and perfect it prefer. Right now, we're really just getting in Cem shadows and highlights getting our brush strokes to go in the right direction. And I kind of like starting like this cause it's loose and fun and you're really getting a feel for your brushes and a feel for the structure of animal. Okay, I'm gonna come back. So all the history of colors, the most recent colors that you've used are up here in this watch is I'm gonna come back to this darker color and make my brush a little smaller. Like for the legs toe Have these really long strokes because his legs are kind of nabe and skinny little moose legs. So whatever works for your animal, I'm using different brush for the knees in the and lives here. Maybe I'll come back while I'm still miss brush to this lighter color and just get you can see how they start toe late, we're gonna layer them up even more. But you can see how they start to get more dynamic looking. So I like this wash wet one also to go with a darker color. And you can see how that's adding in just a different kind of texture, like the brush a little bigger. And so, for different elements of you're painting, you want to use different textures and different brushes to create different effects. So it's really up to you, and this is where all that experimenting and trying out the brushes. And you eventually have a couple of rushes that you love and use all the time, and you won't even have to think about picking them. But in the beginning, you'll start to build up your libraries and find what really works for you and what makes sense. You know, each drunk and I change which painting. It will change depending what kind of look you're going for. And we're not trying to fill in all the white. Remember, we're just getting Day six down. I'm gonna zoom out to see the whole thing by going to command zero, and I'm gonna add a new layer for the arm E think arm would be darker. And I'm going to use this same brush I used for the your arms should call that arms pearl. Use the same brush I use for moves and knees. Knobby knees there. And if you need to get darker, you can We're gonna make some solid Phil layers under this. So it'll it all stand out a lot more. I really like to just get get it kind of get it in, get the painting sketched in, get it started. And I have my background in traditional oil painting and this is how I would start an oil painting. I'd really just kind of get all the darks and lights down, get my whole image felled in really quickly and then go back and and details later. So then we could make a new layer for the backpacks. You're going to make a new layer for every different object or element, anything that will have a different color or anything that's overlapping. And you could have a ton of these different layers. It really depends on what's up with your drawing. Think I want to make my back pack blue something out at the sea blue. Okay, so I'm gonna start filling in the backpack and I'm gonna use go back to my original gua sh . Just get it rushed in and again. You can obviously be using in different brush for years straps and I see in my drawing I forgot Teoh create the strap. So I'll take some time to get that looking good. But I can just kind of make that a note for myself here that I need Teoh, remember to add that in this little strap, go back to my brush it be, make a move, brush smaller and just feel that guy in Okay, you zoom out. So make sure to save command. Save, save Everything did so. This is good for now. This is where we want to be. It's quick and easy, and this is just a good start getting some of our colors down, and we can change the colors and we're gonna add more texture. But we basically just laid out all the elements of the animal really quickly. Just got some color down, got some texture down, and I think it's a nice way to get started and just go for it. 5. Creating a Solid Fill Layer: know that we have that brushy layer in. We need to add a solid background so that if you go to put your character against a background or layer it with other characters we don't see through and I'm just gonna put a solid layer back here so you can see what I'm talking about. I'm gonna drag this to the back. I'm just gonna be in my paint bucket tool, which is G. I have this bright blue color picked. See how this blue is showing through the's brushy, transparent strokes. We don't want that because what if you had mountains or grass or something behind there you don't want your character to seem see through. So we're going to create a solid layer behind the character so that we can place them in any kind of background. So I'm gonna bring this new layer, been a double click on it, and I'm gonna call it body solid. Phil, I'm gonna go to the brushy layer and I'm just going to reduce the opacity so we can see what we're doing on going to reduce the capacity of arms. And I'm going to make sure to come back into my body solid felt layer. And I'm going to use a hard elliptical brush, which is just one of the very basic brushes and Photoshopped someone it would be to get into my brush. I'm gonna zoom in and I'm going to use this bright blue color. You can use any color you want, and we're going to change it later. I'm just going to use a bright color because I want to see what I'm doing since the layers underneath. So I am not going to go right up to the edge because I really want this brushy edge to stay intact. And therefore, when I put it on a background, some of the background will show through. So if you had some sky, it might show through some of the brushy edges, and it will look more like rial for and I think it just integrates the character into the background more. And I like having that brushy edge. If you don't want that brushy edge, you do not have to have it. But I think it looks great. Okay, so we're on the body solid, Phil Layer, and I'm just gonna start going pretty close to the edge. Now, I'm not making this perfect cause for the way I like it to. Look, it doesn't have to be perfect, but if you I want to, you can spend a lot more time doing this and getting it to look right. I'm just getting a basic fill in here. I'm gonna do the head and see I messed up there. I went too far. Someone press e for Eraser. Have another solid elliptical racer in there. And then I'm gonna go back to be for brush so I don't have to delete the whole line. I just did. So I'm making a closed, completely close shape. Then I'm hitting G for the paint bucket tool and clicking twice inside. And that's filling that. I'm gonna go back to be. And you can always come in and add more if you think you want to see more of that, or you can erase some, and then I'm going to make sure I'm connecting my brush to fill that I already have in there. And I'm gonna continue filling in the whole body. It might come back and do the arm. Just gonna get the body and really quick. Okay, G click twice. Zoom in and get that arm. So go back to be, maybe make the brush a little smaller and connected over here and again. Like I said, it's This is not does not have to be perfect at all. You can always come back and fix about Blair later. You're just getting a basic shape in here. Solid shape. Come down and do the legs seem out just a little bit. Go back to be for the brush. Make sure I'm connecting up here. Hopes to this. And this is something I actually learned from traditional oil painting that you want your edges to integrate with the background. So if you're painting a figure, an object onto a background, you might paint some of the background color press G to fill over the edge of the figure. And then you would paint a little bit of a transparent glaze over the edge of the background with whatever you're your object or figure Color is, and it really creates this more of a vibrant edge, and it really integrates the figure into the background in a way that I think looks really good. So especially when you have animals with for and stuff think having this edge that's a little transparent looks really good. And you can see I'm going kind of fast so you can take, obviously take a lot more time. Two failures in on G. Go back to the brush, make the brush a little bigger and just fill in this guy. Now I'll show you how to change this color. So we have the body solid. Phil, we haven't filled in as far to the edges. We want to go and then we're gonna lock the transparent pixels. So this is gonna lock all of the pixels that we have painted, and then I'm going to choose a brown color. I'm gonna make my brush super, super big. And now you can see I'm painting all around. But it's on Lee painting on the pixels of that layer because we've locked those pixels with this thing here. This is an awesome trick. So for this solid layer, you can do some in highlight and some in shadow you can. You know, I can add some shadows to the bottom here really quickly. You can get even more detailed so you can have another layer of shadow and detail. Or you could just leave it one solid color that's up to you. You can really do a lot with this layer. I'm gonna put the opacity back up for the brushy nous and the arms and you can see this is already starting to come together a little bit. Let me show you what it looks like without that. And then if I put the blue back on now, you can see we only see a little bit of the blue in those edges. So it's good to have a bright color background layer to turn on and off just so you can see what it looks like and see what showing up in what isn't showing up. So I might go back into this body solid filled layer, like obviously, I don't want all this blue back here showing through between the backpack and the figure. So if I want to add more to it, I'm going to have to unlock it. Would you just do by clicking up here again? So to add more to that body, solid fill, you just unlock it and start painting again. And then when you're done, if you want to change the color, you can lock it again. So I'm actually going to turn this down and go back to the body solid. Phil, I'm gonna make my brush smaller and come in. And I think I actually want the darker color because it's kind of a shadow back more of a shadow back here, okay? And you can see why I want to make a separate Phil for the backpack, because that's gonna be a different color. So whatever this color is is going to show through a little bit. And some of this was to blue, so you can just adjust to what you need and what works for your character. Put this back up. And I think that looks better not having all of that showing through, and we're gonna add more to the brushy layer so you can keep on adjusting as you go. So I'm gonna make another solid Phil layer for the backpack, just like we did for the body, and then we'll keep moving on 6. Adding Outlines and Details: Okay, so now I'm gonna add another layer of some outlines and details like thes eyes and antlers , and not every illustration will have this. So if you don't want outlines on yours, you can ignore this or just watch it and think about how you can use it for a different illustration. So I'm going to create a new layer DoubleClick and call it outlines details I have up drawing an outline brush library. I like this dark sketch one, because it has a lot of texture in it, but you can obviously try whatever brushes you want. I'm to use a bright color again so I can see what I'm doing, and then we'll lock the layer and change it. So I'm zooming in, making my brush a little smaller cause I want to see the brushstrokes come through here. So it looks similar to what my drawing looks like. I'm gonna do the ears push a little bigger for this part smaller and the rush to match the other ear to make my brush a little bigger and get these antlers in. So I'm following the sketch that I scanned in, but I'm also, you know, letting it, letting it turn into its own thing. I like mind to have a hand drawn look. So I'm using the wakame tablet and I'm staying really loose with my movements. And this is really up to you. And you can always test out how the outlines look and then you can change the color. You can erase parts of it and only some outlines of some aspects of your drawing going to get some of these in the nose. And I definitely want smile to be in there. I think that's important. Part of the characters, the face and the eyes think it gives that a lot of personality. And for the edges of these lines, I'm kind of letting it trail off with my brush and number. But I rose on those, but maybe I'll just adds a little eyebrows and see how that looks. Can you zoom out because the eyebrows and the mouth are usually the thing that gives a lot of personality and shows emotion, So I'm gonna lock the outline details layer. I'm going to pick a brown color, maybe go even darker. So this is the brown shadow color I was using and I'm just gonna go darker. That's okay. I am going to switch to the heart elliptical brush because we already have the texture in there. So make the brush pretty big. You can see I'm just painting this round. I will turn off. I'm gonna turn off that background layer. So now we can see we have that and maybe we'll change the color later and we can see kind of where we're at, and you might add more outlines here. So now we're going to continue adding more detail next. But we're getting to it more being a complete photo shop painting or just building up the layers, adding details as we go and we're going to start blending this in. I think when you turn off that background layer of your sketch, you can really start to see how it's coming together. 7. More Painting: Mixing and Blending: Okay, so now we kind of have just the basics mapped out of our painting, and I'm going to come in and add some more details. So I'm gonna go to the body brushy layer, and you can turn off the eye on your drawing if you had a drawing cause we don't need it anymore and I'm gonna come into the Bobby brushy layer. Now, you might like what you've done so far if it was really loose and you kind of want to keep that integrity and at any point, if you like what you've done but you want to keep going and experimenting, you can just right click on the layer, duplicate it, let it be called copy, and you can lock that copy and turn the eye off on it. I do this a lot when I'm experimenting, and when I'm trying out new techniques, I don't wanna not be able to go back in my history. Sometimes you can't go back enough in your history. I want to just keep what I've done. And you can always kind of start fresh. If you don't like the way it looks. I'm gonna come in and start cleaning up the edges So I'm in the body brushy layer, the texture layer that we made and I'm gonna you can pick up If you lost the color that you were using You can hold the I key down and click, and that adds that color to the foreground color. And then you can click this little arrow to switch. And I like to pick the background color, some holding the I key down clicking and I like to have a shadow and highlight color and my foreground and background and then to switch you just press the X key to switch back and forth So when you're painting, it's a really quick way to get stuff done. So I'm in that lighter color. I'm in the squash g texture brush, and I'm just going to kind of come in and refine edges here and make them look the way I want to look. I'm also gonna have an eraser. So if I hit the e button, I'm in the eraser and I'm using this watercolor eraser edge and you can zoom in really close. These are nice erasers, and they create a more textured natural edge. So you can erase stuff that you don't want. You can leave some of this, and if you erase too much, you can go back in your history or you can always go hit, be Go back into your brush and you can add some texture back. So this is really up to you what your illustration looks like. You can add a lot to it or you can keep it really subtle. You can make the brush really small. I think there would be some highlights over here. And then I'm gonna hit X and get to my shadow color. And then I'm gonna add some shadows back here. Think there may be some shadows around its ear, some shadows on this side, and you're just kind of adding some highlights. Shadows, more details. I'm going to go to the eraser and erase this back in two B to hit the brush, okay. And the next thing I want to show you is blending. So there's a whole bunch of mixer brush is in these brush presets, and you can blend the pixels using them. So there's a couple that I really like. The 1st 1 is Go wash magic and this one is gonna pick up whatever color you have in the foreground. So I'm gonna use X Key to get back to that lighter color, and you can see how it's kind of blending that edge now. This is a total personal choice, but you can blend a lot or just blend a little bit. I'm gonna hit the X key again and get that darker color and you can see now it's picking up more of the dark but still blending in tow. What's already down there and then another one I like is this Oil deluxe, and this is kind of like unless year look, you can see what's happening there. I'm gonna hit the X key and come in. And then there's also this bristle blender. I use this a lot, and this has no load, so you can see up here. It's not using either the foreground or the background color. It's just blending what you already have down there. So it's kind of subtle, but I find it's really helpful so you can get as blend e or as not blend AEA's you want. You know, the more you blend, the less of that texture is going to show up. So it's really depends on the kind of look you're going for for your painting. But these really emulate what what traditional painting does. And if you once you get your edges all worked out and you know your edges air in the right place, you can lock the pixels of the layer. And then when you blend, I'm going to turn off the solid Phil. See, this is a really brushy layer, so there's all this transparent part, and when you blend, it won't blend where it's transparent. It's only gonna blend where you have pixels down on that layer, so it's only gonna blend in the areas where there's color, basically. So if you do have this locked and you want to fill that in with color, you're gonna have to unlock it and then you can blend that area in. So that's really up to you when you have it locked. Turn this back on. When you have it locked, you can, you know, make your brush really big and get big sections done. You can just blend that out and really smooth it out, and you don't have to worry about staying within the lines are anything like that. You can just get it. Just be kind of messy about it. I'm gonna come in. And then if you have stuff like this on the edge here that you want to get rid of, you're gonna have to unlock because I'm gonna go to eat or erasure, and you can see I can't erase it cause it's locked. So you come up here and unlock, and then you can erase that part out. Just clean it up some of this, so go through and get it looking how you want it to look like the squash magic blender a lot. I'm just going to come in on make it a little more cohesive to keep switching between my shadows and highlights. And for the for. I kind of wanted to be brushy, so the blender can kind of help make it a little more cohesive, but still keep some of that brush Innis in there. So decide what you want to keep what you don't want to keep. Keep adding more colors and shadows. And I think on the stomach area part I want to go even darker. Simon. Openness up, get darker and I'm with with my blender. So it's kind of a subtle, some subtle shading in here here, and I'm a little a darker shadow gonna lock this and I like personally like some of the breaststroke showing. But if you don't like that, you can really come in with this bristle blender and blend it all out and get it totally smooth, and you can spend lots of time doing that. So I'm gonna continue to clean up some of this stuff. I like these brush strokes in the legs, so I'm not going to do too much to them. Maybe I'll come in with my oil lender in the dark shade, and you can even do some of the details with the blender. So it's CM, adding some shadows here in the knees and the knobby knees, and you can create some like really subtle shadow shapes. And you can add a lot of detail this way, too, without having to draw. You know, this could be a good alternative. If you don't want outlines on your drawing, you can just kind of been unlocked this for a second. To get this, you can just kind of use thes blenders. Teoh, Get it looking the way you want it to look. Sometimes I like to come over the whole thing with a watercolor brush. So this big rough wash So I'm gonna lock my layer, and I'm just going to kind of go over it, and this is kind of an interesting way. It's not a mixer brush, but it almost mixes some of the colors to while adding more texture in a nice way. So you're kind of softening some of this brush. Innis. It's pretty subtle, but I think it can add more. You're just kind of adding more layers, and we're richness. You can see up here how it's kind of lending this in, and it's adding a little more texture without going too crazy, and you can kind of lighten stuff up. That way. You can also make another layer new layer, and I'm gonna call this glazing. Glazing is a thing in oil painting, where you're building up transparent layers and I'm gonna clip it in to the body brushy layer so you just hold the option key. Hover until your cursor changes between the two layers and click and Now, let me make this a bright color so you can see what's happening. And now it's on Lee painting in that layer because it's clipped into it. So go back and I'm gonna actually I want to warm this up, so it's kind of looking a little drab to me. So I do want a kind of a reddish brown tone, maybe a lighter tone to create some warmth. I'm gonna make my brush big. I'm just gonna kind of brush in some warmth in here. You could do this for, like, rosy cheeks, or maybe the nose is redder. And then I'm going to turn the opacity down, and that could just add a little subtle tone or color to your drawing. And you could do a lot with this, and you can add a lot of different textures. That way, if you don't like it, you can always turn it off. So this is a way to make the experiment with adding some color, bring it really far down. Okay, so I'm gonna come in and keep on adding more color, adding more texture. I'm gonna get some darks down here, So you're really just and you can see like this isn't filling in. And so I'm gonna unlock it and just get that to kind of fill in with my cause. I think that sometimes stuff will stand out like that. And since we're painting pretty loosely, come in and fill that in and then you can start lending it. So get my lighter color. Yeah, kind of start blending it in, use the bristle. You get it looking the way you want. So I'm gonna continue to a race and add more of textures and colors in here and keep on using those mixer Brush is so keep on cleaning up your illustration and get it to a point where you like it and we'll move on. 8. Adjustments and Adding More Texture: Okay, so now we've spent some time just cleaning it up, getting some highlights and shadows in there. I'm gonna put a background layer of white just so we're not distracted by the transparency grid. So making a new layer going to the paint bucket and click on here to get back to black and white, switch the whites on the top and click Just makes it a little little less distracting. I think so. The first thing I'm gonna do is come into the body brushy layer. So whichever once you've been working on and I like to come up to image adjustments, so we're just kind of gonna add some details in here. We're gonna do some adjustments to do some fine tuning. And, of course, with the last step you could spend as long as you want or racing and adding more texture. You can make a lot of layers. You can spend hours and hours doing that. This usually automatically starts making stuff look better. So I'm going to make the shadows darker. The highlights lighter, play around with the mid tones and see what you like. Kind of want to brighten this up a little more. I think it got a little dark. So you're never really stuck. You can do so much to change your image around. Kind of like the red that's coming out. So I think that looks pretty good and you can come in the history and you can see this is the before and this is an after. That's a huge change already, just with the levels. Another adjustment I like to do is the color rounds. So I'm gonna come here and click Shadows. Shadows air, typically like cooler are cooler tone. So I actually bring my shadows more towards the blue and science and then the highlights are usually a warmer tones. So I'm gonna bring my highlights up a little bit of yellow. Maybe some see how the magenta looks little bit more red, and then you can play around with the med mid tones and see what looks good for your drawing could change the mid tones too much and press OK to keep it. And again, I was like to go back and look think this adds a lot of dimension and depth. We can also add some more texture if you don't have enough texture. With your brush strokes, you can add more. These are textures that I sell on creative market. I'll put a link to them. You can make your own. I mean, I just need this with ink and salt. You can make your own, or you can purchase them online very easily. So I'm gonna come into the rectangular marquee tool and draw a rectangle minha press command, See to copy it to come back in here and press command v pasting it. And I'm making sure that this texture layer is above the body brushy layer. And this is a Grady int. And what I want to do is I want the dark side of the Grady int to be on a shadow part of my illustration. So I'm gonna hit command t to transform. There's going to rotate this around. You can lower the opacity so you can see what you're doing here and just gonna move this to get it. And there's all kinds of textures you can add. No hit returned to keep the transformation, and I'm gonna do a clipping mask which is clipping this into the body brushy layer. So all you have to do is make sure that your texture layers on top of your brush layer. Hold the option key. When your cursor changes on the line between the two layers, you just click, and then it's clipped into their. This is an awesome trick. I'm gonna take the opacity way down. Sometimes I do. It is lows like 10 and you can also do a multiply if you like the way that looks better and that has a different little bit of a different of fact. And with the multiplier you'll need to bring capacity up. So that's up to you. Which way you want it toe Look, you can play around with both those options. Also, in this layer, you can do adjustments so you can affect the levels. You can make it more or less contrasting. May dark it or darker, lighter. You can also drastically change the color balance so I can make it really red, and you can really do a lot with that. So that's up to you. As you can go pretty far with that, you can also erase If I want to erase some of it, I can get my eraser zoom and so you can see. And if I didn't want this texture, these dots on the nose, I can just erase him out. And then they're gone. And you can add more texture with more brushes to this layer so you could paint right on this layer, or you could blend some of it into If this is too much here, but you still want in some of the texture you can lend that texture layer. You could really do a lot. You can blend this edge here so it looks more natural. So it's just not like an abrupt edge. You can really do anything you want have another texture here that I'm going to bring in. So I'm going to get my rectangular marquee tool. You can also, if you don't want to select it, you can just right click on the layer of your texture duplicated and then change the document destination and come in here and there it is. Been a zoom out. So man hit command t zoom out some more and hit return to keep it. I'm going to clip it by holding the option key, and you can clip multiple layers, so I'm gonna hold the option key and click and then bring the possibly way down and I think I'll try multiply on this one. So I think it'll just give it a little bit of a more subtle effect. So this just adds a very little bit of grain and texture. There is all kinds of watercolor paper and watercolor ingredients you can buy online a link to mine, but you can really do a lot with adding extra textures. If you didn't get enough texture on your brush, you can also do a lot with changing the colors at the step. Ah, last thing I also do is I add some highlights. So I might come into this body brushy layer, and I might get really light color some news, the eyedropper tool and pick the highlight color I have here. I'm gonna click on here, and I'm gonna get a lighter version of this color. I'm gonna come into watercolor brush and I'm gonna lower the opacity on the brush. We didn't get too much into this, but that brushes have a lot of options that you can play around with. So I'm just gonna bring some highlights up here on his nose and you can get really detailed with this part, and you can blend it in with the bristle blender. Or you can leave that rough edge. Some of those rough edges air Nice. You can just go crazy adding more here and then deciding what parts you're gonna blend. What parts you're gonna leave make lend some of this in. So it's not such a hard edge. So I think this is a good beginning. If you're just starting out with digital painting, there's a lot you can dio. I'm gonna take these textures off so you can see what we actually did. There's a lot you can do. You can add a lot of different colors and textures and play around with brushes, so I really encourage you just to experiment a lot. 9. How to Save Files: so the last step is saving. So if you want to add this character to a background or to save it and put it on your website or in social media, there's a couple ways you can do that if you want it to have a transparent background so you don't want it attached to any white, so you could put it on a colored background or put it with another character. You want to save it as a PNG file export and photo shop has this quick port exporters, PNG, which is what I dio and then you know, you can just name it and press save for uploading it to the skill share website. You probably have to make it smaller. So what I recommend is go to image duplicate. Just let it be called copy and I would flatten the whole image. So layer merge visible, and that's going to make it into one layer. Gonna do just delete all these other layers here, not letting me delete this, cause it's locked some in a double click to unlock it. So delete. Yes, so now we just have one layer, so that's making it smaller and come to image image size, and you can make it smaller here, So this is pretty big. You know, you might just want to make it 1 50 and look at the pixels here, so make it smaller, and over here it looks really small, but this is it at 100% so you can check that out and then do a file export quick export as PNG, and that keeps the transparency in the background. Or you can do save as you can also pick PNG from here. Or you can make it a J peg. And if you make it a J peg, it creates a white solid background behind it, which I will show you. So you can see the PNG has, um, the gray of preview in the background, and the J peg has the white behind it. So that's just up to you, depending on what you're using it for for uploading it to the skill share class. You could really do either one. A. J Packer PNG J pegs usually a little bit of a smaller file, and you can see the PNG has a little bit more color information in it. It's up to you what you would like to use and what you're using it for. I usually say that as both and of course, always. Keep your photo shot file with all the layers, and it's so you can go back and make changes and add things to it. Then I like having this duplicate copy to with just the one layer so you can use this toe. Add to other things. 10. Bye and Thank You!: All right. Congratulations. You made it to the end. Thanks for sticking around. And I cannot wait to see what each of you made. So make sure you post your project in the website in the class page and definitely let me know if you have any questions or any suggestions or ideas for new classes. I always have ideas for more costs. And I love to hear your feedback. It really helps me. So make sure to follow me so you get updated every time I post a new class. And I really appreciate you being here, and I really, really do want to see what you create. So make sure to put it up there for everyone to see. Thank you so much, and I'll see you soon.