MINI PHOTOSHOP TUTORIAL:Sketching:
Usually takes two or three attempts to get a pose I like. Involves lots of shape building trying to get the actual structure of the character, so it's usually pretty lose - until I get confident about where it's going, and lines become more straight.
I don't draw it in pink, but when doing the lineart, I like to have the sketch a different colour, even with a lowered opacity, so I can see the separation better.
A pretty simple stage, but takes a bit of time to do effectively. I usually end up spending around twice the amount of time doint final lines than I do on the actual sketch.
I like to take my time on this stage to get the lines looking clean.
20 mins.Bases and Shades:
I use the Pen Tool here to outline the seperate parts of the character, using a different layer for each; skin, hair, shirt etc.
At this point I'll start thinking about where the light source might be.
I will sometimes get bored of doing bases halway through, and start shading one part which I have done the base for, then go back to doing other parts of the body again.
For the shades, I make a Clipping Mask above every layer that I will shade on, and use the Pen Tool again to create the shapes which I turn into a selection and dump in a flat colour.
20 - 30 mins.Colours and Brushing:
I may actually put in the colours as bases right away if I know what kind of colours I'll be using, but here I locked the transparent pixels of each layer and dumped in selected colours to each layer.
I then used a soft brush to lightly highlight the base and shadow layers to give a sort of gradient effect.
Then I duplicated and merged all layers twice, so I'm given two flat layers of the final image.
Both layers are Gaussian Blurred and set to 33% Opacity.
Then set one to Multiply and the other to Overlay to intensify the colours a bit.
I also like to lock the Lineart layer at this point, set it to Multiply, and add some colours to it, just so it isn't entirely black.
10 - 15 mins.Final Piece:
I always like to have a whole bunch of references on my second monitor, along with a video or DVD or something going on youtube throughout. The longer the video the better, so I don't have to go clicking on it haha. I find watching something related to the drawing I'm doing (for example to first episode of Korra) or stuff like documentaries, stand-up comedy, or debates really helps me relax and get right into it.