Rio de Janeiro | Skillshare Projects

Hugo Esteves




Rio de Janeiro

My project is about Rio de Janeiro city. It's famous because of the beaches, Christ Statue, Copacabana Sidewalk pattern, Sugar Loaf and many other references.

I choose Sugar Loaf to compose the lettering because I thought it would fit well since it's simple and recognizable, so it wouldn't need lots of details to make sense.


First sketch traced with the Posca marker (but you can see the original pencil lines there). 

The color you see was the color test I did before painting the final piece. I came back to this piece and tried different Stabilo markers to get a feel for the best color match before applying in the final drawing. The other random lines were for training purposes because I'm not used to this kind of marker.

After that, I traced over in another sheet of paper to get the final composition and made some minor tweaks to the water part and the foundation lettering:


See the line quality? Poor, isn't it? At this time I was about to quit the project. But I thought "I came this far, let me see if I can fix it later on Photoshop".

So, after the color tests on the original sketch that you saw above, I picked the two colors that I thought worked well together and colored the lettering - making sure to define the areas of color before with the pencil so it would not bleed and to mantain the inner margins that brought this distinct look to the piece.

I used the thin tip marker to improve line contrast with the bottom of the lettering in order to add some weight to the composition.

What I did in Photoshop:

1) Adjusted the brightness/contrast to my liking.
2) Cleaned the lines (A LOT!). I created a new layer and then used a wacom tablet and a mouse to paint with black and white over the lines to refine the tracing. I made this shameful gif to show you how bad it was and how it improved in Photoshop:


3) I used the wacom tablet to paint the shadows so the lettering could stand out from the background. I was switching from white to black colors all the time, and from the brush to the eraser tool too. The Photoshop shortcuts [X] to change the back/foreground colors and [B] and [E] for brush and eraser tools are quite handy.

4) I made some corrections to the color part too to make it fill better the space. After that, I did some tweaking to the colors with overlay and gradient layers to add this neon kind of look.

This is the final piece:


I am really happy with the result but I'm open to your critics and will love to hear it :)

My instagram: @hugomesmo

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