In this tutorial, we will exercise on drawing rocks, stones, cliffs or anything made of stone. There are many ways to achieve this... I will just show you my favorite one. depending on their structure, rocks look very different. For this tutorial I decided to make sharp reefs in the water ... but you can use the same technique for anything stoney
First, we will start with a white canvas. Make a new layer and name it "outline". On this layer we'll draw the outline, the shadows and the texture of this rock! I use a soft brush to make a rough sketch of the rocks ... Make it simple, just a general idea of how the rocks will look.
Now I add some details. At this point it is smart to determine a light source! I have put the light source in the top-left corner, so the shadows should be visible on the bottom-right side of the rocks. Use a smaller and harder brush to make a few details on the rock. Use photo references for your painting if you have a hard time putting on details.
Continue with doodling, until you paint all of the rocks. Details are not important at this stage, we'll add them later!
Now we take a soft brush again, with the opacity set to about 15% and start the shading. Remember, the light is coming from the upper left corner so the shadows should be on the opposite side of the rocks!
When you are finished with the shading, use a smudge tool to smooth the surfaces. I use a hard round brush with about 40% strength!
Keep smoothing until you feel satisfied with the result. You can even add details to the rock simply by using a smudge tool. But be careful not to blur the edges of the rock.