Welcome to my humble little drawing tutorial! Here
you will learn how I draw using Adobe Photoshop (Note
that this is version CS (version 8), which some commands
may be different compared to your version!). Also
note that this is just the way I draw my art.
You should try other ways and styles of art, which
will lead you to your own special style of drawing.
=) My tutorial is only a little guide to show you
how it works and how I draw. And I use my tablet through
out this tutorial, but you ARE able to do this without
Enough talking, let's get started!
First off, here is a little helper of some the most
common tools used (atleast, by me) in Photoshop (the
tool bar). To change one to the next (such as the
paint brush to the pixel brush), right click the button
and choose the one you want.
Save your work often. Use the undo button if something
doesn't look right (the undo button is the Edit
> Step Backward command)! Don't be plain... Be
creative and fun! :D For zooming in and out, to
see full view, double click the magnifying glass.
First you want to open your canvas sheet to start
your drawing. We will be drawing a little penguin
because they are random and cute! Hehe, ok. Click
File > New... Name the file "penguin", and make
it's dimentions 600x600 (We will probably crop it
later). Make sure the background is white so we
have a clear background to draw on, and make sure
the Color Mode is set to RGB Color. The Resolution
may depend on what computer you have, I'm not 100%
sure. This is what it should look like: (CLICK).
Now the first thing you want to do once that is
done, is save! Always save through out your drawing,
like every five minutes, or everytime you do something
which takes a lot of effort to do, etc. Once your
image is saved (as a psd, not a jpg or gif or whatever,
because you want to be able to edit your psd file!),
create a new layer. This is where the sketch will
go. Go Layer > New > Layer... Name the new
layer "SKETCH" and click ok. Your layers tool bar
should look like this now: (CLICK).
Click the paint brush tool ()
to sketch. Make it a size 1, 2, or 3 (CLICK).
Now you are ready to start drawing/sketching!
sketch should be detailed, but very roughly. Heh,
my sketches aren't too "clean", but they work
for me. Choose a light colour to sketch with.
Now, start out with circles. Circles are the key
to good form. The top circle will be the penguin's
head, and the bottom circlish curved drop is the
you want to add more circles for other body parts
and features, such as the feet, wings, circles
for the eyes, and beak. Then add more detail to
that again. Also add a bit of hair, maybe some
curves on the side of his beak and under his eyes,
to make him look a bit chubby, because it's cute.
With a bit of editing and fixing up misplaced
lines, the final result of your sketch should
look something like this, except in your own style.
=) (PS: Be sure to save! You don't want to loose
your hard worked on sketch!)
The outline is the most important part of the image,
because it shows the shape of what you're trying
to draw, and it's the thing which keeps your image
all together and clean. The nicer the outline, the
nicer the picture!
Make a new layer after your sketch (Layer > New
> Layer...). Name it "outline". On your layer
tool bar your outline layer should be above your
sketch layer (CLICK).
Now click on your sketch layer. Change the Opacity
to 30% or so, so your outline will be more visible
when you outline (CLICK).
Now you are ready to start your outline! There are
many different ways you can outline and many different
styles of outlining. I prefer to use the size 4
brush with my tablet (making the edges thin and
thick). This is my prefered style, but yours may
be using size 1, or maybe size 7, or maybe a sketchy/rough
style. Everyone has their own, and hopefully this
tutorial will help you find yours. =)
To start the outline, get your paint brush all set
up, with the colour black as your foreground colour.
Now, click the magnifying glass to zoom in. You
want to zoom in when doing outlining so it's more
smooth and looks better. Plus it's easier to control.
Another tip is to always zoom out to normal view,
to see what your picture is looking like, to see
if it's what you want. It also helps to see if any
outlines look wrong or unclean.
Make sure to follow your sketch pretty closely when
outlining. That's why we made our sketch perfect.
;) To make your outline more pretty, add detail,
and make lines go from thin to thick. You can do
this effect with or without a tablet. Just take
the eraser and erase a bit of the end/edge of the
line to make it pretty (CLICK).
Little details like this: (CLICK)
really can add a lot to your image.
Once you finish your outline, go at full view to
see if you're happy with it. Make sure to hit the
visibility button to hide the sketch layer to see
if your outline is 100% perfect. Just click the
eye for that layer to do so (CLICK).
Once you click save (which I'm sure you've been
doing through out the drawing of your entire outline!),
you are officially done your outline, yay! This
is what mine looks like:
The colouring part is fairly easy, once you get
used to it. ;) Choose the colours you want for your
penguin. Click on the sketch layer. Make a new layer
and name it "white". Delete the "sketch" layer (Right
click the layer, then click Delete Layer, because
this layer isn't of any use now) (CLICK).
Now, making sure you are still on the "white" layer,
colour the entire penguin with any colour which
is visible enough to see if you are colouring inside
or outside the lines. I choose #23B0B0. On the "white"
layer, colour him in that colour (CLICK).
Now, to turn it the right colour, hit the transparency
and click Edit > Fill... , then change the Contents
Use the colour White, then click ok. This should
have JUST filled the part where you coloured that
turquoise colour, white. To double check if that's
what it did, click the background layer,
then Edit > Fill, then choose Color... Choose
a dark colour. It should look like this: (CLICK).
Look at the white which went outside the outline
durring the colouring process! We have to get rid
of that, because we want our colouring to be perfect
as well! To do that, click on the "white" layer
again, and hit the transparency button again, so
you will be able to erase the colouring. Remember
to save your work frequently!! I can't stress that
Now, with your eraser, carefully erase the colouring
outside the outline, so your colouring job is perfect.
;) Once you finish erasing the messyness, change
the background layer to white again. Now, click
the "white" layer and hit the transparency button,
so we wouldn't do anything to that layer to mess
it up. Now, when colouring, I find it MUCH easier
to make EACH colour on a SEPARATE layer: ei: white,
black, orange, eyes, pupils (Imagine if you were
colouring something rainbow!). Now, to be nice and
clean and stay inside the lines, you want to high
light all of the "white" layer (Select > All).
Click the Move Tool (),
then with your arrow keys, hit 'up' once, then 'down'
once. It should then have selected everything on
your "white" layer. It should look like this: (CLICK)
Create a new
layer and name it "black". For your colour, don't
choose and exact black, because it's better if you
can see your outline when colouring. Choose a dark
grey (I chose #585858) (CLICK).
Now, colour in everything that should be black on
a penguin. Don't worry about going outside the lines,
because you can't! That's why we did the selection
thingy. =) This is what it should now look like
Now, make a new layer again, and call it "orange",
and colour in everything that is orange on that
layer. Then make another layer, call it white eyes.
For this layer, colour the eyes in another colour
so you can see what you're colouring in, then click
the transparency button and then fill it in white
again. Just a safe way to draw the same colours
on the same colours. The reason we make the main
white colour and the eye white colour on different
layers is for the shading, to make it easier. Then
finish the job with the pupils (new layer). Once
you finish colouring it all, click the Selection
and click anywhere on the canvas to deselect your
image. Your picture should look like this now: (CLICK).
(Tip: Remember to zoom in and out for small areas,
and to SAVE OFTEN! Oh, and nothing should EVER be
on the background layer, because you can't
do anything with it there (the transparency and
visibility buttons don't work and everything))
And that finishes off the colouring section! =D
The next step is shading. One main tip in shading
is have one light point. Make your shading all the
same through out the entire picture, from the same
point. Don't just put random shading, make it look
realistic, even if it's a cartoon! There are many
different styles of shading you can do. The style
I'm going to use is a more realistic style. It involves
the soft brush, a dark of the colour and the light
of the colour.
We will start by shading the white part of the penguin.
Click the "white" layer. Now hit the transparency
button. Now change your foreground colour to a light
blue (you don't want too drastic shading colours,
because this penguin is going to be outdoors, were
light is everywhere (provided by the sun). If you
want a big contrast between your main colour and
darker, it would show the penguin is standing against
a light at night). Light blue has a better shading
effect then a light grey. Adds more colour for a
plain black and white penguin. =) Click ok (CLICK).
Now, change your brush to a size 27, soft (CLICK),
and make the Flow 15% (CLICK).
Now, zoom up close to your penguin. And start shading!
Remember, one light source. The more you shade over
a section, the darker it will get.
You want variations, to make it look pretty and
realistic. And maybe you would want to use a smaller
soft brush to get fine details. (CLICK)
Notice the light source is coming from the top left
in this picture. Can you tell? I hope so! This is
what makes simple cartoons with shading look almost
real-like. Now, to make it look like he has some
feathers, you want to smudge the shading. Click
your Smudge tool ()
on brush size 4 or 5, and smudge a bit around the
feathered parts, or anywhere really. Just make it
look nice.. (CLICK).
It's kind of hard to tell, but if you chose a darker
blue, it would probably show up more.
Now, for the highlights, since the main colour is
white, the most highest highlight colour you can
get, we wouldn't put a highlight colour for the
"white" layer. Now that you finished your white
layer, you may move on to your next layer, your
Do the shading
similar to how you shaded your white. Choose a darker
colour then you already have as your main "black"
colour. To do so, hit the Eye Dropper tool (),
and click the colour of the black on your penguin.
Then you can easily change the colour to something
a bit darker. When picking your darker colour, don't
pick exact black. You want to be able to show your
pretty outline off, so, make sure your black isn't
so dark you can't see your outline. Shade in your
black, and it should look something like this (left).
To add some highlights
where the light is mainly hitting your penguin,
choose a colour a bit lighter then it's main colour.
Do the same as when you chose your darker colour,
except just put it a little bit higher. Not too
much, or then the shading will look wrong. Now,
when highlighting, don't put it everywhere. Just
in some places to add a lighting effect. Notice
there is hardly any difference, but it does show
up in the end result (right)! (Random tip: SAVE
Now do the exact same for the orange, eyes, and
pupils. You are now officially done the shading
and highlighting process! Yay!
Now, to really make your penguin look realistic/3D,
you want to add a drop shadow to it. There is no
actual button to press to do this (atleast not that
I know of), so you have to do this manually.
Click your outline layer (What you're about to do
is going to be undo-ed later, so don't worry). Go
Layer > Merge Down. Do it as many times so the
penguin is all on one layer above the background
layer. When it's all merged, the layer with all
the penguin on it should be called "white" (CLICK).
Don't worry about changing the name, because we
will soon undo it all. Now, being on the "white"
layer still, click Select > All. Now hit Edit
> Copy. Now undo everything until you are back
with all your layers (your outline should be your
last layer to be undo-ed), by going Edit > Step
With your penguin now copied, create a new layer
above the background layer, and below the "white"
layer. Name it "shadow". Now, paste your penguin
on (Edit > Paste, or Ctrl + V). It should look
something like this (CLICK).
Now, click the transparency button for the shadow
layer. Fill it in black. Now hit the transparency
button again so we can edit it and make it blurry
and stuff. Save! Now go to Edit > Free Transform.
We are now going to squish the black penguin's shadow
down, so it looks more like he's standing up with
a shadow, not floating on the floor. When you click
that, a box appears around the figure.
Make sure that your shadow corresponds to your light
source. Take the top center little white box and
drag it downwards (CLICK).
Now click the right center white square and drag
it outwards to the right (CLICK).
Now go Edit > Transform > Distort. Take the
bottom right white square, and drag it upwards and
to the right at the same time, just a bit (CLICK).
Then take the top right square and move it to the
left a bit (CLICK).
Now click your Move tool. Photoshop asks you if
you want to apply your transformation (what you
changed with it's shadow), click Apply. Save your
Now, some of
the shadow may be peeking out there. You don't want
that, because that doesn't look natural. So, take
your eraser and erase it so it does. Now, click
on your Blur tool (right click your smudge tool,
and choose Blur). Set the brush to size 35 soft.
Now, blurr the penguin's shadow. Make it the most
blurry the farthest away from him. Now set the opacity
level to 75% (CLICK).
And there you have your shadow!
Almost done! Since we are just focusing on drawing
the little penguin, I'll try to make the background
part easy, heh heh. What makes some pretty nice
backgrounds are pre-made brushes. You can go all
over the internet and download brushes. And some
of the best backgrounds are just simple ones, or
maybe none at all!
To start out, make a new layer above your background
layer, and below your shadow layer. Name it "background"
Here you can pretty much go crazy. Do any type of
background you like! Some backgrounds require you
to crop your image the way you want it first, so
then you wouldn't have to draw any extra stuff which
really wouldn't be there in the end. So, let's crop
our image now. Take the Crop tool, and crop it something
like this: (CLICK).
To crop, double click inside the cropped part. Save!
I'm just going to do a random background. I just
filled it a light blue colour, took a huge soft
brush and dabbed light and dark colours here and
there, then fooled around with my filter gallery
to get a cool effect of a background (Filter >
Filter Gallery...). Before filter gallery: (CLICK).
I decided to make ice cubes in the background, and
here's the filter gallery I used: (CLICK).
I'm going to crop it some more to make it a bit
smaller. And here's our final background!
To add some fine details would be nice, such as
the shine in the eye, a nice border around your
image, and maybe a signature or two. To add the
shine, click on your outline layer and make a new
layer and call it "shine". Take your size 4 brush
and add two little dots on the eyes (with the colour
To add a border (I prefer just a plain 70 pixels
all around black border), make your background colour
Click Image > Canvas Size... Then add 140 to
each of the width and height, making sure that it
is on center (Before: CLICK.
Click ok and SAVE! To add your signature, make a
new layer above the "shine" layer and name it "signature",
and draw in your signature (if you want to), then
make it a bit faded (again, if you want to). To
add your other signature with text, click the Text
tool, and make a box with it (drag). No need for
a new layer, because it creates one for you. Choose
a font and size and colour, and start typing! I
type my deviantart URL as my signature. Once your
done typing, click the Move tool, and move your
signature where ever you like (just click and drag).
And that's the end of the tutorial! :D Just keep
in mind that you still have to find your own style
of art and the way you draw things and the layout
of it. You don't want to completely copy my tutorial,
or that wouldn't be any fun! ;)
If you would like to download the psd file of
my finished version of this penguin picture, you
may by clicking here: DOWNLOAD.
Save it to your computer, then open it in your
photoshop (hopefully it will open in a version
less then 8!). Have fun!
If you have any questions about the tutorial,
or anything you would like me to add, please e-mail
them at firstname.lastname@example.org! Thanks!
tutorial is copyright © Kaykaykit www.kaykaykit.com
to see her gallery on Deviant Art