Photoshop digital painting tutorial-Digital character design and painting

In this digital painting tutorial for beginners, I am going to show you the process which I use to design a character called Isamella – The Gothic Dark Princess. If you are interested in how to digitally design and paint a character, this tutorial will be for you.

Step 1: This is the rough sketch which I have done in my sketch book. I will picture it in my mind first and then sketch it out. This is only to give myself a rough idea of what it is going to be.

Step 2:  I took a photo of the sketch with my iphone and transferred it into phot0shop. And on a new layer, I start to layout the basic tonal values of the digital  painting. As it is going to be a black and white one, so it will be relatively easy to control the values.

Step 3: As I am working on the digital character, I will have new ideas of how to improve the painting. Notice how I have changed the posture and added the skull that Isamella is carrying on her right hand. This is how digital character design tend to evolve.

Step 4: I have also removed the craw on the right side and lowered the axe, because I think it is a bit too distracting. I have toned down the pile of skulls as well, so that the focus is shifted more on Isamella.

Step 5: Adding in the logo using photoshop to see if it fits into the whole picture. And added a bit of the glow on Isamella’s eyes. If you want to have a digital painting tutorial for eyes only, do let me know in the comments.

Step 6: At this stage, I started adding in the details of the character’s body and the background. Notice the rough texture on the background and the hair like texture on Isamella’s hair.  These are done using photoshop textures. I have also refined the shapes of the pile of skull to make it look more like skulls.

Step 7: To make the painting more dramatic, I added some zombies on both sides. They are also posed to point to the centre of interest of the painting.

Step 8: Adding in more details and textures to the skulls and Isamella. Instead of only skulls, I have also added in some ribs to make it not so monotonous. It is very important because the details you add in at this stage is something that keep the viewer looking at your drawing for a long time. The amount of details to add will have to depend on the sequence of importance within the painting. For example Isamella is the main subject of this digital painting so I am adding a lot of details on her body and face. The amount of details will slowly decrease towards the borders of the painting.

Step 9: Finally, I bring the logo back in and added some texture filter to give it an old film look. There are still quite a lot of stuff that can be improved at this stage and I can just go on and on with it. But it’s good enough now and I will consider it as finished piece and moving on to other digital paintings using photoshop.

I hope you enjoy this photoshop digital painting tutorial. Hope to hear your coments. If you are Chinese, have a great Chinese New Year 2012!

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5 Comments | Write a Comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow!It’s Amazing!! The way you created is awesome!!!

  2. T says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I was wondering whether digital painting is possible with a mouse since I don’t own a tablet right now. If it is possible, what is the best way to go about it?

  3. ChrisJ says:

    This is really helpful the fact that I never tried digital painting. Bloody awesome dude!

  4. jareen Hywak says:

    Thanks for sharing such informative post its help me to know deeply Photoshop work step by step.I think its a good for web designer to create a logo for a website.

  5. badhon says:

    It is very easy to learn Photoshop digital painting

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