Allan Didier

Character Drawing

Draw a character piece by piece using layers. Draw and color each part of your character in different layers to allow easy modification of your character. 

  1. Outline layer. Start by sketching the outline of your character. Sketch using a black brush only. Outline the character and any major parts of the character. Make sure the outlines are connected and created closed in areas. This will allow for easier manipulation later on.
  2. Shading/Shadowing layer. In a new layer, shade in the character again using only a black brush. This will produce only a grayscale image with some 3 dimensionality to it. 
  3. Color layers. Using the Outline layer, you can easily select areas that you would like to apply color. Select those areas, create a new layer above the other layers and use the paint bucket or fill tool to fill the areas with flat colors. This will initially look horrible. Use the blending of the layer to get the color to blend with shading layer so that it appears as though you actually shaded your character with that color. Create a new layer for each area you want to fill in. This allows for better customization when blending. Instead of using a flat color, you can use gradients, cloud effects, or other ways to fill to get different effects when blended with the shading layer. If you need to add shading details, do it in the shading layer with a black brush, not in this layer with a color brush. 
  4. 3D details layers. As a final touch, you can add effects layers to make certain areas appear more 3D. For example, if I wanted a scar to stand out, draw a line for where the scar would appear and apply a Bevel & Emboss effect to the layer to make this appear 3-dimensional. Blend this layer with the shading layer and/or color layer to make blend with the drawing.