Thursday, April 16, 2015

Summer Boys illustrations and breakdown / tutorial

The sun is coming back to Portland and people are coming out of hibernation...!  I got to go to dinner with some good friends from high school last night, and when I got back to my studio, I was super inspired.  I ended up staying downtown 5 more hours to work on a series of Summer Boys!

People have expressed interest in breakdowns/tutorials when I post illustrations, so here's a little information about the method I was using on these pieces~

I recently downloaded this set of Photoshop brush presets from JP Vine for the animation storyboarding I've been doing this year. (I love it -- highly recommended!) For these illustrations I used 2 presets from the pack: [BLACK] PENCIL and GRAPHITE POWDER.  The rest was drawn with the good ol' Photoshop pencil tool.
 So here's the line art, just drawn with that brush preset [BLACK] PENCIL (7 pixels).  Loose, gestural, imperfect, and zoomed out at 50% for most of it.
 On a layer below the line art, I used the pencil tool to roughly trace the interior of the figure with some color.
On a layer above the color layer and below the line art layer, I used the [BLACK] PENCIL brush preset (after increasing the brush to 80 pixels and selecting a warm gray color) to add some shadows.  I kept the brush strokes large and a little abstract, trying to mimic what I do in my sketchbooks with the Pentel pocket brush pen:
 Next I added a layer above the color and shadow layer but still below the line art called "texture".  I used the GRAPHITE POWDER brush preset (increased to 1300 pixels) to add some texture all over the illustration.  Then I set the layer mode to "color burn" so it only affected the colored areas and the background stayed completely white.


  1. Frikkin' cool! Thank you for sharing your process, 'color burn' is a pretty sweet trick! \m/

    1. Thanks, Christian! :D I hope you get some fun out of "color burn".