9. Effects & Overall Adjustments



Finally, I look at the whole piece and add any extra details as well as effects. I also adjust the colors.

Note: Please refer to part two for details on my custom brushes.


[1] Overall color adjustment

I felt that the color of the background walls was too saturated, so I create a [Tonal Correction layer] > [Hue/Saturation/Luminosity] to lower the saturation and make it a little darker, as the magical effect will brighten up the illustration later.

I thought it would be better to have something else around the windows and on the walls, so I paint in some more details.

I use the “Sponge PH” brush to roughly paint some clouds through the windows, then create a new layer set to [Add (Glow)] and dot some glowing lights through the window.

Then, I adjust the overall colors again.

The objects in the foreground are looking a bit too yellow, so I use [New Correction layer] > [Color balance] to increase the red tones and lower the yellow tones.

Then I make another [New Correction layer] > [Level Correction] to increase the overall contrast.

I thought that the character’s face was a bit dark, so I make another [New Correction layer] > [Level Correction] to adjust the brightness and contrast.

Also, the highlights on the green clothes looks a bit blown out and overbright, so I make the green a bit more vivid by changing the layer mode to [Multiply].

I add shadows of the objects above the water.

To make the fish stand out more against the water, I use a [Tonal Correction layer] > [Hue/Saturation/Luminosity] to increase the red tones of the fish.

[2] Magical effect

Now I’ll paint the magical effect.

I make a new layer set to [Add (Glow)].

I can make a better circle with a ruler, so I use the [Figure ruler] to draw a perfect circle.

①After creating the ruler, I draw the lines for the effect. ② With the [Filter] menu > [Gaussian blur] option, I make the lines blurry, ③ then make another ruler and cleanly erase part of the inner line.


You can find the [Figure ruler] in the [Ruler] tool > [Create ruler] group. To make an ellipse ruler, go to the [Tool Property] palette and change the [Figure] setting to [Ellipse].

To draw a perfect circle, hold down the Shift key while drawing a ruler, or turn on [Aspect Type] in the [Tool Property] palette to adjust the aspect ratio.

Note: When using a drawing tool to draw along the ruler, make sure that [Snap to Special Ruler] is turned on in the [View] menu.

You can also create circle rulers using the [Special ruler] > [Concentric circle].

Next I’ll draw the main magical effect.

I want the magic to look like its swirling around the wand, so I use the “We Sponge PH" brush to paint a spiral.

It has too strong of an impact like this, so I use the [Edit] menu > [Transform] > [Mesh Transformation] tool to give it a bit of depth.

After transforming the shape, I use the [Blend] tool > [Blur] sub tool to adjust the shape while dragging the colors.

① On an [Overlay] layer, I paint in green to add some color to the effect. ② Then, I use the [Decoration] tool > [Effect] > [Sparkle A] brush to add some sparkles.

③ I duplicate the lower layer with the main light and paint over it with blurry green. Then, I blur the layer to make the light look softer.

[3] Adding small objects and effects

■1. Book

I make some textures for the book pages. I make these materials on a different canvas and then paste them in.

I’ll transform these images with the [Mesh Transformation] tool, so the text just needs to look vaguely like words.


If you want a more or less detailed mesh when using the [Mesh Transformation] tool, go to the [Tool Property] palette and adjust the number of horizontal or vertical lattice points.

After pasting the materials, I paint the shadows.

I emphasize the thinness of paper by adding thin highlights on the edge of the paper, and create contrast by painting a dark shadow on some areas to create a three-dimensional effect.

I also add soft highlights in brighter areas to express the flexibility of the paper.

■2. Butterflies

I draw butterfly silhouettes with the “Fill Pen _QM" and then add orange light on a lower layer.

I wanted the orange color to be bold, so I didn’t use any blending mode.

■ 3. Water

I paint the water droplets in the same way as I painted the water spilling from the bucket.

I’ll also paint a splashing effect at the very forefront. Like the effect drawn with in the window scenery in part six, I dab with the “Airbrush” to create the feeling of blurry water drops.

Then I paint some smaller droplets to finish off the water.

[4] Final adjustments and finishing touches

I create a [New Correction layer] > [Level Correction] and adjust the contrast of the lowest background layer.

In addition, I increase the reflected light on the character and broom, and reduce the contrast between the objects.

To make the magical effect stand out more, I decrease the brightness of the [Multiply] layer on top, then make a [New Correction layer] > [Level Correction] to adjust the contrast of the character.

Finally, I create one more [New Correction layer] > [Level Correction] at the very top and adjust the contrast of the entire piece.

Read our interview with siro in the final part!


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