How to make Fairytale-like Illustration!




We love Fairytales! These short stories always bring something magical to the table. Princesses, dragons, fairies and etc. These creatures enchants the world around us. So what about making them even MORE fantastic?
In this tutorial I'll show you, not one, but TWO ways to bring your fairytales characters to life.

Have fun!

1- How to make a Dreamy Fairytale-like Illustration

In this first example, we'll be making a princess in a more magical setting!
She'll be collecting flowers and making a beautiful bouquet. We'll start by making the lines. The style is your choice! What makes it dreamy are the colors, try to use more vibrant ones, the ones that makes you remember a candy. Pinks, greens and blues are always good choices!

Great! The princess is here.
So now, to the Background. Since what's behind her isn't the focus, I'll be blurring it out. That's a good tip! Have fun with the colors and shapes instead of a whole image, then, if you want, you can blur it out. Makes for a great effect while keeping the character in focus.
To help our princess to blend in better, we can select her and add a multiply layer with the BG color, then lower the opacity. It will make the colors more harmonious and make her belong to the image.

Ok, so now let's paint.
With a "Multiply" layer, we'll be choosing a pink color to make the shadows. I recommend a simple round brush for the painting, it makes the lines smooth, but you can always use the blend tool to help!
Remember the light direction. If you struggle with that, you can search for reference pics, they are super useful.
Now that we settled the first shadow, let's make the colors pop!
Create a second "Multiply" layer and paint deeper shadows with the opposite color. In this case, it's blue.

We are almost reaching the end! Good Job.
Now we'll make everything GLOW! Like in every fairytale, sparkles make everything more vibrant and beautiful.
So in this step, we'll add a "Glow Dodge" layer and place some light in her. Always following the light direction, which will be the opposite one to the shadows. I'll be using the color pink.

Ok? Ready? Now to the fun part! Select the Airbrush tool and add a "Add (Glow)" layer. Go crazy! Always respecting the light direction, of course.
Give her some sparkles, hair strands and a shiny Background!

To make the drawing even more vibrant, I added a "Overlay" layer and made some strokes with different color. This part is optional though.
After you are done, merge them together and duplicate.

For the "dream effect", select the first duplicated layer and add "Motion Blur" with these settings:

Convert this layer's blend mode to "Lighten", and lower the opacity to your liking.
Add details and we are done! Congrats!

2- How to make a Classic Fairytale-like Illustration

This one will be much simpler!
Have you ever read an older Fairytale books? You know those classic drawings they had?
Let's make one!
I'll be using the same princess and context, the difference will be the style.
In this one, the lines will be thicker, and we won't be using black nor any vibrant colors. Muted colors work better here, since they give the feeling of something old. You can search for references in this one as well, they are always helpful!

And for the last step, in the examples I found the only thing they shades was the dress, so that's what we'll be doing! In this one I used a pink-ish shade and rough shapes in a "Multiply" layer.

It's done!

Final and Tips

And that's the final look! So now, I've compiled the tips I left throughout the tutorial:

- References all the way, they make your work easier! Our brains need a foundation when we try something new, so search for clothing styles, light direction, color palettes and more!

-Blending modes are your buddies, use them to help you!

- Try to picture things as shapes and colors! It will make your understanding much quicker.

And finally: Have. Fun. Creating. Bring back that feeling of magic, just like what you felt when reading these Fairytales, incorporate it in your work, I promise you'll have a much better experience!

Thank you for reading all that, I hope it helped you in some way!
Have a great day :)



New Official Articles