Hello! Today I'll show you how to quickly make a drawing inspired by the cyberpunk aesthetic. You can use these tips to express your ideas and designs in a short time, or use the drawing as a base for another work.
1 - CHARACTER
1A - Design a cyberpunk-inspired character
For the "punk" part, I choose to draw a rebellious young person - a girl with an attitude. She wears a hoodie and a scarf.
Now add the "cyber" part. It can be high-tech gadgets, like a visor.
Or you can "dehumanize" your character by replacing their human features with mechanical parts.
Follow the original structure of the human body for the overall shape then add details (wires, buttons, screens, numbers, etc) or remove the exterior (of the limb for example).
You can look at real life prosthetic limbs for reference.
To add to the rebellious side, I cut off her hoodie and add a weapon. I took the 3D reference from Clip Studio Asset (see the link in part 3).
The sketch is messy but enough to continue coloring. You can do a more careful line art of course.
1B - Quick coloring
There are many ways to color. For this tutorial I use a somewhat quick method just to have a sense of color for later works.
First I divide the character into large parts which define her overall silhouette.
Each part has its own layer.
Add colors by clipping new layers on top of a base part.
Use flat, neon-bright colors for the outfits.
I also add a bit of shadow onto the skin; it does not need to be precise.
Use some pattern brushes from CSP Assets for a stylized look.
After colored, clip two more layers on the very top: a Multiply mode layer for darker shadow and a Screen mode layer for light.
Add shadow and light to the two layers and adjust opacity as you see fit. This way you can cover the whole part with light/shadow of the color you want, instead of doing it for each colored area.
I use pink for main light, neon turquoise for reflected light and light purple for shadow using a soft airbrush.
The metal surface is not polished. You can draw it with a textured brush…
or use a grunge texture image clipped onto the part. I use one included already in CSP (with layer effect; you can choose not to use layer effect and use different blending modes).
For the line, I add color using a clipped layer. Then duplicate the colored line layer and blur it.
Go to Menu bar > Filter > Blur > Gaussian blur…
1C - Color editing (optional)
Duplicate the color layers/folder by right-click > Duplicate Layer.
Merge the duplicate folder by right-click > Merge selected layers.
We will do the color editing with this duplicate color layer. Do this again if you need for each edit.
First, my favorite color edit: Edit > Tonal Correction > Gradient map…
You can create a gradient yourself or download gradient sets from CSP Assets, such as the set below.
Lower the opacity of the gradient map layer so it blends with the original colors. You can also try other blending modes.other than Normal.
ADD BLACK WITH BINARIZATION
Our drawing lacks black shadow often seen in cyberpunk images. Of course you can draw it by hand but for the lazy like myself, use Edit > Tonal Correction > Binarization… on a duplicate color layer.
Move the Threshold slider till you please.
Then Edit > Convert brightness to opacity…
You can Lock transparent pixels on this layer and color it if you find it too dark.
ADD WHITE BORDER
We will have a background later so our character needs to stand out.
Put a duplicate color layer below all other drawing layers. Then choose the Border effect.
Right-click > Rasterize.
Blur the layer (see how to blur line art above)
CHANGE IMAGE SATURATION
Duplicate then merge everything again. Then go to Edit > Tonal Correction > Hue/Saturation/Luminosity....
Yay, more bright, neon color!
2 - BACKGROUND
This is a fast way to make background from CSP Assets.
I use a background included with Clip Studio Paint. You can download more from Assets.
Create a new layer and put random color on it as a guide. Set the line layer as the reference layer.
Edit > Colorize > Use hint image and colorize.
You get a pastel color background, which is nice, but not quite cyberpunk.
So take the auto colored layer and edit it as with the character above.
Add blurred line art.
Duplicate it and change the blending mode (below is Color burn 100% + Saturation 40%).
Duplicate > Binarization > Convert brightness to opacity > Gaussian blur to add black.
Duplicate the black layer, add a pink Border effect > Gaussian blur to add a soft pink around the black shadow (put this layer below the black layer).
Add light/shadow with a Screen/Overlay/Glow/ (dodge)/Multiply etc. layer(s).
Draw the signs with a neon brush from CSP Assets.
Add texture/noise layer from CSP Assets.
The background layers for reference:
Looks nice already! But you can use it as a reference/base for a more refined drawing too.
3 - ASSETS
Thanks everyone here for making my life easier!
Hope you can find something useful in my tutorial! If you like my tutorials, visit me at my pages! Let's have a chat:D