Next I took one of the copies of the character layers, went to the menu and clicked on Image > Adjustment > Hue and Saturation. I decided where the key light was going to be and, knowing that, I started to erase the parts that would be in shadow (Fig.04).
By this point I had the color layer with the shadows erased, the darker color layer and another copy – so three layers in total.
Step 3 - The highlights :
I collapsed the darker layer with the one on which I’d erased the shadows, leaving me with two layers – one with shadows and one just with colors. I kept the one with just the colors behind and went to Image > Adjustments > Hue and Saturation and put some lightness in the image. Next, on the layer with the shadows, I erased the parts where the specular, or lighter parts, were going to be (Fig.05).
The last thing to do was merge the shadow layer and the color layer together, giving me a character with shadows, lights and background.
Adding detail is my favorite part! I like using a technique called “trama” (I’m not sure if the name in English) where I render the image using little lines, instead of just brushing and making it perfect and soft. I like images when they look shabby and with textures. For the soft parts I use the Smudge tool (Fig.06 – 07).
Wow... cool technique on getting values on the image. Never thought about that.
Jesuson Mon, 28 November 2011 4:01pm
Hello arvin! im the creator of the tutorial! thanks a lot for your comment! im glad you found something good about it ;) have a great day!
Williamon Tue, 03 January 2012 4:39am
Jesus, I love your technique, I come from a traditional back ground and have been trying to get into digital painting. I also wanted to say that anyone (including any people on this board) who give you crap for using reference photos are idiots and losers, the best artist ALL use references to some degree (Alex Ross-comics, Drew Struzan-movie posters, James Gurney-Children's Ill.), as long as you have permission from the model or photographer, or you shoot the images yourself, you plowing the same field as all the greats.