When we finish a drawing sometimes we want to give it a touch that gives it that "something more" that "sparkle", well here I bring you 4 tips to give your drawings those final touches they need to give it that special plus, all using the modes of layer combination.
Here is the video tutorial:
Introduction Combination modes
First of all I want to make a small introduction to the modes combination modes, we can find it in the drop-down panel (a) in the layer window, the combination modes are properties that layers and folders have.
What they do is alter the pixels of the layer so that they act in “x” a specific way, depending on what mode we put it in (b).
There are several types of combination mode:
The one that comes by default in the layers is the "normal" mode in which the pixels act, as the name says, in a normal way.
✿ The Dark Ones ✿
They affect the light of the pixels of the layer, darkening them, the darker the color, the darker it will be. We can say that white becomes transparent because we do not see it reflected in this type of mode.
They are ideal for making shadows, I use the multiply mode and the color burn mode a lot.
✿ The light ones ✿
In this case, instead of darkening the pixels, what happens is that they lighten, and unlike the previous one, the lighter the colors, the more they will be noticeable, while black is what becomes invisible (c). These modes are great for making highlights and glow, the ones I use the most are Dodge Glow and Add Glow.
✿ The contrast ones ✿
These work by affecting pixels in such a way as to create a more pronounced contrast between light pixels, light pixels becoming lighter and dark pixels darker, many of these also affect saturation.
✿ The comparison ones ✿
These work to find the differences or similarities of the pixels between the layers.
✿ The composition ones ✿
These modes alter how the pixels in the lower layers look depending on the value being chosen, ie saturation affects saturation, color affects color, etc.
For example, if we choose the saturation mode (c), the pixels below where we are painting will adopt the saturation of the color we are painting, without affecting the lightness or tones. In the case of color (d), the lower color is adapted to the color of the layer in which we are working.
NOTE: if we scroll over the combination modes we will slide through all the modes.
TIP 1- Dramatic Lighting ✨
To make dramatic light we will follow the following steps:
1 add a light source in the background
2-in the object and/or character in backlight, we will add the shadow
3-we are also going to add light inside the character
4- and finally details of glow
I love the backlight effect, it's my old trusty but this modus operandi, what I'm going to explain next, can be applied to another type of lighting
Starting off by adding a layer where we're going to paint the light in the background, I'm using this blend mode, we're going to use a light color.
I don't use white directly, sometimes it can look great but personally, depending on the color palette, we can use light blue, pink or yellow, etc... I may use colors that are very close to white but almost never, if ever. I use it directly.
Now, we create a layer for the shadow of the character, we will place the shadow on the inside of the character, we are going to make the shadow according to its volume, and as if it were a silhouette, once ready we block the pixels of the layer and we are going to play with the colors inside the shadow; Likewise, if it seems very strong, you can lower the opacity.
We are going to add a layer for the light of the character, I will be using this blend mode, and I will be adding the light on the edges of the character, again guiding me from its volumes, it is quite easy actually because I make it as a kind of glow with the aerosol.
Finally, a detail that I love is to make the character's light have a kind of glow, to do this we create a new layer on top of all the previous ones, and we place a contrast or light combination mode, with the spray we are going to make strokes to create a glow effect where the light is.
Here the light source is from the side (2), but I followed the same procedure previously explained.
I leave you this little reference that you can use as a reference when you want to make dramatic lights:
(later there is a download link for this reference and another for free)
TIP 2- Add shadow ✨
And you will say, but my character already has a shadow that you are telling me Stefani, well I am not talking about the shadow of the character, I am talking about the shadow produced by the environment, for example the shadow of tree leaves, a building, etc.
It is very simple to add this type of shadows, the steps that we are going to follow are:
1-In a layer in some dark mode, we are going to draw the shadow on the character.
2-we are going to vary the color of that shadow creating a kind of gradient and on the edge we will put a color that stands out.
Simple truth? We can extrapolate this to other slightly more interesting shadows such as leaf shadows, we create a new layer and we put a dark mode (g), in this case I'm using multiply. Do not forget to make the light that sneaks between the leaves of the trees with the eraser or with the brush set to transparent pixels (h).
Once ready, we block the pixels and we are going to play with the colors within the shadow, in this case I am using these greens and blues. Do not forget, the detail of putting a significantly lighter color on the edges than the others, this color is usually warm between oranges, yellows and pinks.
and ready! again this process works for any type of shadow:
TIP 3- Give life to your lights ✨
What happens if you already have a drawing with a lighting that you like but you still feel it as bland, well what we will do is give more life to the light sources.
The process is very simple:
1- we are going to create a glow around the light,
2-Then we are going to create a second glow that is smaller and stronger in opacity than the previous one.
the closer to the light source the lighter, we will adjust this depending on the color palette.
We create a new layer above all the layers of the drawing, and with the spray we are going to make a glow starting from the light source, with a contrast blend mode (in this case overlay), depending on how big the light source is. light will depend on how extensive the glow (i) will be.
The second glow we will do in another layer and we will use a combination mode of LIGHT, the color that we will use will be lighter than the previous one (j).
As you can see, the dog detail is relatively subtle, uff, it gives it that spark that was missing, in this particular case I added an extra layer of light to the character (combination mode used: add color) so that it will integrate better into the drawing, this is an optional step as it is usually not necessary to add this.
TIP 4-Change the weather or location of the character ✨
To make a more interesting drawing we can change the weather or the location where our character is, make the character be in a sunset or even underwater, but how do we achieve this?
First we are going to decide where we are going to take our character, because this is what the color palette will determine, we are going to do the example with this sunset (k), I am going to identify the two most predominant tones, in this case it would be these two (L).
Now with the color with the most extension, we are going to create a new layer adjusted to the character's, and we will place it in “linear burn” mode, and adjust the opacity.
We are now going to add it in a new layer with a combination mode of "color" using the spray we will place soft strokes until we are satisfied (m).
Now we are going to adjust the saturation since it is oversaturated in certain parts, to solve this we create a new layer and we will put it in saturation mode we look for a color close to gray and we are testing with the spray until we are satisfied with how it looks (n) , in some cases it will rather need saturation so we do the same only that the color we choose has to be far from gray .
That would be the trick to be able to make your characters adapt to any environment or climate, even underwater! (ñ). In this case, add two extra layers, one in a light (pattern) mode and one in a dark (multiply) mode (o).
In general, this process may vary from case to case, but this is what generally works for me, however, do not hesitate to explore the combination modes to see if you find one that works better in your particular case, also do not be afraid to change the order of layers, experiment what you need to get to the result you want. For environments that are a bit lighter, you might need to add a highlight or contrast layer instead of the burn layer.
Here are a couple of references that can help you and Free Download Link:
That would be all! Thanks for getting to the end, I hope you liked it and found it useful, an extra tip never hurts to assify our drawings