I recently bought a graphics tablet and have been busy teaching myself to use it and improve my photoshop skills (which are quite basic). Here are some early attempts:
I felt these needed some texture. I’ve used downloaded textures on pictures before, but wanted to create a retro printed look. See a few examples of work that inspires me here.
I decided to try making my own textures. The easy bit was messing about with ink.. I rollered printing ink onto a smooth surface, then placed paper on top and rubbed hard. I also rollered ink directly onto different textured papers.
Then I scanned the results (after drying them, don’t scan wet inky or painty paper. It makes a mess of your scanner. Not that I’ve ever done that. No).
And, of course, you can make textures any way you like: paint, lino printing or scan or photograph fabric, paper etc.
Now the complicated bit (because I didn’t know how to do it). Thank you @Daz_Woodcock on Twitter for a suggestion which made me think: “Oh! I know what to do!” It was the making my black inky lovely textures into whichever colour I wanted to use in my picture that I thought was difficult. It’s really very simple indeed:
- Open your texture file in photoshop
- Add a fill layer over the texture and choose the colour you want to use
- Adjust the blending option to ‘screen’
- Select all and copy.
Don’t forget to close this file without saving when you’ve finished with it!
The next bit is about inserting this into your picture. You’ll probably want to start your drawing as a separate file before you do the texture thing above. If you’re not interested in this bit you may still like to scroll down to the bottom to see my finished piece of art.
I start with a new file whatever size I want. I create a layer over the background to draw on. Something like this:
When I’ve finished the line drawing, I create a new layer above the background and under the line drawing layer. I paste my texture onto this, then resize it using Free Transform.
Obviously, I don’t want green bears. Well, not this time. So I’m going to add another layer of texture in brown. It’s a different texture to the green one, but I used the same method to make it.
This time I made a new layer between the green layer and the line drawing..
..and again used Free Transform to resize and move it.
I removed the excess brown by selecting and cutting the parts I didn’t want, then tidied it up using the eraser. This can be done as neatly or as roughly as you like. The effect I want is to have the brown colour not exactly under the line drawing.
I then add a lot more line detail and drew in the noses and eyes. The shadows were added by selecting an area and using a 50% transparent fill with a darker brown.
That is a very much simplified version of my bear picture. In the one below I used more layers, messed about with different blending options and layer transparency and drew in more detail. Obviously as I’m a beginner at this there is a lot I don’t know and there are other ways of doing things. (Tips always welcome.)
Here’s one I made earlier