Over the past few weeks, I have slowly been teaching myself how to use Photoshop. I’ve always liked the idea of creating digital art, but find drawing/painting by hand so much easier, particularly with the colouring and shading.
The first challenge I set myself, to basically get the hang of some of Photoshop’s features, was to create a cover photo design for my Facebook account. Since I wanted it to reflect me as a person, I decided to combine an image of myself with Pocahontas, one of my favourite Disney films. This meant that I had a style to work in and so a basis to form my teaching around.
To start with, I drew the basic outline and shape by hand, in pencil to work out the rough design as well as working out a couple of thumbnails to determine the final appearance and colour scheme. Once finishing the initial sketch, I tightened it up and scanned it onto my computer. This was then uploaded onto Photoshop.
After spending a lot of time browsing the internet for tutorials and advice, I set to work. The first task was to make the sketch workable – converting it to a line drawing. I did this by creating a new layer with no background and using the brush and pen tools to draw over the sketch. This took a lot of trials, but after a lot of perseverance, I got the desired result.
After this, there was the colouring. Since I was basing this around Disney, there was not so much detail to go into, mainly the basic colours and a touch of shading. This was a relief since I found the shading tool very hard to use. This part was done by creating, yet again, another layer. This layer was positioned behind the line drawing so that I could colour in without fear of going over and removing the lines. After a rough colour addition (going over the lines and just getting the colours in the basic location), I began to tighten up before shading and removing the white background.
Once this part was completed, I created a new image, formatting it to the size that was needed and copied the line-art and colour onto it. The background was the only part I did not do myself, instead clicking the render clouds button. I did this because I knew I wanted clouds in the background and thought I might as well use the tools given to me. After clicking save, I have to say I am quite proud with the final result, particularly since this was my first time using Photoshop. Hopefully next time I will be able to go into more detail and develop my skills even more.