Actually, I draw in three different styles/ways, depending on the detail of the image:
1. Draw from beginning to end, right in Photoshop.
2. Draw from one of my sketches.
3. Draw from a photograph that I have taken.
I paint all my images using the process described below. I’m going to show you the process I use in #1 (draw directly in Photoshop):
If it’s an image that has a pretty simple structure, I go straight to Photoshop and start drawing on a 12×12-inch paper using the Pen tool. Below, I’ll take you through the basic steps of how I created the Egg Timer in the Grandma’s Kitchen Collection Biggie.
When I start to draw an image, I think from back to front, as in what would be in the back of the image and what would be on top. So, in this case, I started with the body. As I draw, I do it in layers, adding a layer above or below, as needed. Each color in the image is a different layer.
This was my final drawn image of the timer before I began to actually paint it. At this point, I already had 26 layers. I might combine or even delete layers later on, but I like to keep things on separate layers so it’s easier to change and tweak how the image looks further into the process. For example, the feather lines on the wings and main body were eventually hidden, but they served as a guide for painting in those areas.
Step 2 is to start laying on color. I usually work with a palette that consists of four colors: Base, Shade, Shadow, and Highlight.
I change each layer to the base color I have chosen. Starting at the bottom of the image (the grass layer), I add a layer and clip it to the base layer. Then, using a Soft Paintbrush, I paint around the edges of each layer to give it a clean, consistent edge. On the grass layer, I brushed in areas that I wanted to separate out a little bit so it wouldn’t end up being just a green blob beneath the feet.
The next image shows just the grass layer with the base shade and shadow completed.
The final step is to add the highlight and to do the blending. I use the Paint brush to highlight and the Smudge brush to blend the feathers and the grass area. This takes the sharp edge off of some of the painting strokes and smoothes and blends the areas.
Here we have the final image:
This image started out on paper.