View Full Version : My Photoshop Painting Process

03-09-2015, 12:46 PM
Since there seems to be some confusion on how my digital painting are created, I'm going to show a quick look at my process.

People hear "Photoshop" and focus on the "photo" part. I work from photo reference and make a drawing based on that photo much like others transfer drawings to canvas or paper using grid methods or graphite rubbing or whatever, I do trace some basic lines and areas of change so I can get proportions correct in the least amount of time so I can get on to the fun part!

Initial drawing from photo. Every step is done on a separate layer in Photoshop. Similar to an overlay in traditional graphics.


The next step is laying in the base colors. Very rough.


Next, is what I call a refining stage where I even things out a bit and come a little closer to the final layout of all the areas.


Next, is the first of my detailing layers. Starting to finalize the whole thing coming closer to the final results.


And, the final detailing layer which usually includes highlights, whiskers and any stray hairs and edge hairs.


That's pretty much it. Each painting is done roughly the same way. Sometimes more layers than others depending on my "courage" and the complexity of the piece.

I'd be glad to answer any questions about the process that you folks may have!


03-09-2015, 01:33 PM
Thanks for posting this, it's nice to see how other people work. Similar to how I do things. I also like to trace to save time and like you said, get to the fun part.

03-09-2015, 01:44 PM
Bob, that is about how I go about things. :lol: Several times I have posted an animation showing how I paint but people still ask

03-09-2015, 02:04 PM
Yeah, I was debating on posting an animated GIF, but I figured I can add a little explanation with each pic, and I had to do something similar for Facebook, and they don't accept GIF files.


03-20-2015, 08:57 PM
Nice approach. I will hopefully share mine in the week, if I can find time. I do a black and white underpainting before colouring. Thanks for sharing ☺

03-20-2015, 10:56 PM
I'd love to see your approach. I can probably reduce a few steps. I usually take full advantage of Photoshop's layers and make more than I need to in case I really mess something up!

I've seen folks start in black and white digitally, usually if they are creating something without reference. Then add color later when they decide on a color scheme.

I've bee procrastinating on my next painting, a cat. I should get back to it this weekend!


04-09-2015, 05:35 PM
Thanks for sharing!