How to Draw Fantasy Characters - Elf


Search for references

Brief relate

Hello, my name is Davis and I hope to contribute something with this little tutorial on how to draw fantasy characters.

Basically we will see how to draw an Elf from step one, which is to look for references of the character to sketch it and finally finish coloring it.

Search references

Although we know a lot of the fantasy creature that we are going to draw, we must look for references so as not to forget to place characteristic elements for the character.

I mainly search Google for images and Pinterest, but you can search any website of your choice.

Define character characteristics

Once the reference images have been collected, we define the main characteristics that our fantasy character will have. As you draw you can even add some details that you have not previously defined.


Well now if we start drawing and start making various sketches of the character taking into account the characteristics that we have already defined before.

Here we see the chosen sketch.


To start inking the first thing is to create a vector layer. Which will allow us to make many changes to our stroke such as easily deleting interlaced traces.

And it also allows us to modify the thickness of the stroke with the correct line tool and clicking on increase or decrease to modify the thickness of the stroke.

Everything so that it is finally totally inked.

Flat colors

Once the inking is finished we go on to define the flat colors of all the elements of the drawing such as clothing, skin and hair color (in this case white). Also since we have not inked the eye in the previous step since I prefer to draw it and color it at once in this step.

Color the shadows and lights

Now what we have to do is color the shadows and lights on top of the flat colors to give them more volume if that is what you are looking for. In addition I added some extra details not previously defined as the drawings on his skin already looked a little empty.

Create a background

An easy and simple way to draw a fantasy background is to use the Airbrush tool to use spots and glitters with different shades as we see in the following image.

(Optional) Change color when inking

In my opinion it is better with the inking of black color but you can also change it according to the color of the corresponding element in the drawing. Although I will not deny that this color change looks more magical and fantastic.

Good to make all those light effects I have used the Airbrush tool just like when I applied it previously to draw the highlights and shadows. The first thing to do is create a new layer and click on Fit to bottom layer.

And then use the Airbrush to define the shadows and light effect on the hair.

Color balance

To better unify the colors of the entire drawing we are going to create a Correction Layer. First we go to the top Layer> New correction layer> Color balance.

Then we will get this box with which we can modify the colors of all the layers below the color balance correction layer.

Once the color balance change was made, the drawing would look like this.

When making that color change we realize that there is a considerable change in the brown color of the clothes, therefore to make the color change affect the clothes is to erase the entire Color Balance layer which would cause the color of the white square on the Color Balance layer turns black, which means that the Color Balance does not affect any part.

Therefore, what we must do is use a white Airbrush again on the areas that I want the Color Balance to affect. White areas are areas where Color Balance is affecting and black areas are not. Although I recommend slightly applying the Airbrush to clothing to further unify it with the environment.


Well, these would be the final two options of the Elf drawing.
I hope this tutorial has helped you.


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