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A Lesson in Painting and other techniques in Photoshop 7.

Well, I was finally persuaded to do a "painting" tutorial.  Can't guarantee how this will turn out, because when painting I  tend to go with the flow.  However, I've tried to write this for those who are not confident at either drawing or painting, and so I created a VERY basic template for you to work from, if you'd prefer (this is only going to be used as a reference point until we get out shape painted). Click here to download the teddy bear template (very basic, and is only used as an aid for general shape.  You will find the body and 2 shapes which will later become the arms.  You may also download the psd file for the brush I used here.


I would warn you in advance that this is a fairly lengthy tutorial in terms of explanation.  I DO apologize in advance if I seem verbose, but I couldn't find a way to shorten any explanation without leaving out something useful.  Painting techniques take time and practice.


Note:  Duh!  It wasn't till I had almost finished writing this tutorial that I realized I had my paintbrush set at 50%, hence the lightness of my bear.  The first time I did this technique I worked on 100%.  If you decided to work at 100% opacity with the paint (which is much quicker, lol) ....... you might want to play with colors I recommended and get two you are comfortable using.


Step 1:  Open the 'brush' file, go to Edit/Define Brush and save file and close.  Open the psd "tedtemplate" (an no laughing!!!!!!, lol).  Turn of the eyes for the 2 areas which will later become the arms. Create 2 new layers below the body, fill the first with white and the one under the body with black.  When painting sometimes it is easier to see certain strokes on white, sometimes on black.  Turn of the eye to the white background layer at the moment.  (You may want to flip between black and white backgrounds as we progress to better view what is happening).


Step 2:  Click on the layer with the main body to make it a selection, create a new layer and fill this layer with A08064.  Once we get painting the hair/fur, we will be discarding this, but its important to have a color in the background similar to those used, to enable us to see how our painting is looking (painting by numbers, ah! I remember it well! lol!).


Step 3:  Create a new layer.  Change foreground color to 54361C.  Click on brush palette and select the brush you defined earlier.  Click on Window/Brush.  Click on Brush Tip Shape and change spacing to 1%.  (Note: when you disengage from the paint brush always check that the size is at 1% before painting again, it has a habit of changing itself back to 25% spacing).



Step 4:  On the new layer begin to paint, using short, sharp stroke movements, trying to paint in the direction the fur would lie in terms of ears, body, face etc.  Don't worry about going out with the original template, we want to.  We can tidy up excesses later.  Doesn't look like much quite yet.  Make the this layer quite dense with strokes.  At this point, turn off your black layer and turn on the white layer so you can see the brush strokes.  Click on the "beige" teddy layer, go to select/inverse and hit delete to remove the excess. 


Note, you can turn off the beige layer to check the density of your strokes; they should look something like this.  Again, doesn't look like much at the moment.  Painting in photoshop is very much like painting on a canvas.  It involves layers and layers of paint, and I usually end up with many, many layers before I finish a piece of work.   However, using a brush that gives us some type of texture reduces the amount of layers required.


Step 5:  Leave the "beige" layer turned off.  Change the change color of foreground to BFA691.  On the same layer, repeat the procedure.   Pay attention to any big areas of white showing through.


Step 6:   Duplicate the layer and turn off eye on the duplicated layer (a precaution I always use when using smudge tool - just in case, lol!).  On the current layer Select smudge tool, soft, Size 9, pressure 50. We are no going to do some blending of the colors.  When doing this, the best advice I can offer is to think how the hair on a teddy bears coat looks.  Drag the smudge tool in the direction you want the hair to go.  Don't worry about going out with the initial template - we want to!  Just brush the paint in the direction of the hair, leaving it "fluffy" on the perimeters.  We may have to add in more color as we go also - you will soon learn to judge that for yourself. .  If you feel there is a gap that needs color, use a small brush and add a few strokes to that layer.  This is something that just takes practice, there is no "exact" recipe!  Short, sharp, fast strokes work well.

Using the smudge tool on one layer, often means we lose pieces of the picture, we can modify this later, by adding a new layer and adding some brush strokes, and smudging on a new layer to "fill in any gaps".


Partially done:  I may have to add some more dark strokes into the canvas before I finish (try 503014 - on the same layer, here and there). 

Turn on the black background layer before deciding  whether to add more color. (At the beginning it is easier to work with white as a background in this instance; as we go on, we get a better idea of the color and texture if we change our background to black.













Keep working at smudging and adding color until you are satisfied with your image.  Once you have the smudging done, you may find by using our original brush to add colors, you no longer have to smudge them.



I decided to stop at this point.



Step 7:  Click on one of the template "arms" (we actually only need one of them), repeat steps 2-6 on the arm.  You may prefer just to try and draw in the arm, which ever you prefer. You will certainly need to reposition it after working on the body.  Remember to add some dark shadow on the inside of the arm where it joins the body so it can be differentiated from the body.  Use Control+Click on the 'template arm' layer to highlight painted section as before, select/inverse/delete to remove excess.  Keep adding paint to the same layer in the different colors and smudging until you reach the desired effect. 


Use a size 3 brush to add highlights and lowlights where required (e.g. paws).  To help differentiate the arm from the body, once I had a fairly solid form, I double clicked on the layer to bring up layer styles and applied an inner shadow at 75%. 


Duplicate the arm later.  Edit/Transform/Flip Horizontal and arrange on the other side.


Step 7:  Well all the 'hard' work is over.  Now for the easy bits :O-). A bear has to have eyes.  Create a new layer.  Select elliptical marquee, set foreground to black.  Draw small circle and fill with black.   Position and resize where the eye should be.  Go to Filter/Render/Lens Flare and select the 100mm at 75%, slightly off centre.  Duplicate this layer, and position other eye.


(This one looks like he might've had his nose rearranged at the moment, lol - will be corrected :O-)



Step 8:  Create new layer, select elliptical marquee tool, make an oval for the nose and fill with black. 


Step 9:  Create a new layer.  Select elliptical marquee and draw a small circle within the black oval to make a nostril.  Go to edit/stroke and stroke with a 1 pixel, outside grey.  Repeat on same layer.  Double click layer to bring up layer styles and select, Inner Shadow at 75, Inner glow at 50 using B9B9B6. 


Step 10:  Create a new layer and using a 3 pixel brush draw in the mouth. Once you have the features in place, you may with to add a layer over the "smudge layer" and add some additional strokes to make some more definitions eg. chin etc.


Step 11:  The even easier part.  Okay the theme is "Valentines" an no teddybear would be complete without his flowers or heart.  Let's make a heart.


Create a new layer behind the arm layers.  Doesn't matter what color is selected right now, because we are going to change it any way.  Select the custom shape tool.  In the default shapes there is a heart (if you cant see the heart, click on the drop down arrow and select 'reset shapes').  Draw the heart between the bears arms (you might have to use a soft brush to erase some overflow from the arm layers, as is the case here).



Step 12:  Unwanted hair erased (lolol) ........ create a new layer above the heart layer.  Control+Click on heart layer.  Change foreground color to red and background color to pink.  Select the gradient tool.  Using the linear gradient tool drag diagonally across the heart.


Step 13:  Almost there!  Double click on this new heart layer to bring up layer styles.  Select  Inner glow = default @ 75%;  Check bevel & Emboss (default); and Click on Satin

Step 14:  The rest is up to you.  Add what you want to the background, add some text, turn it into a "Valentine's" or whatever you choose. 

There are a couple of variations below.  Thank you for bearing with me ...... This type of tutorial is REALLY difficult to write because there are no absolutes :O-)

Have fun experimenting - Luv & Light - Dreamcatcher.


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