Photoshop Tutorial: Make Beautiful Paintings Using Brush Settings and Tablet



In this tutorial, I will show you how to make better use of your pen tablet along with Photoshop's Brush Settings to achieve better results for an authentic watercolor style painting. I will show you how to add textures to your canvas and also make an appropriate brush for painting.

It is quite a simple tutorial. Little knowledge of Photoshop and enthusiasm to paint is all that is required.


End result:
Make Beautiful Paintings Using Brush Settings and Tablet Final Image

Author:
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Practice tutorial

Step 1

To make it look like an authentic painting, I will first define a type of paper to my canvas to give it texture. Then I will make an appropriate brush to paint with. Finally, once the painting is complete, I will show you how to quickly add a convincing frame to it as well.

Photoshop already comes with various brushes, from which I will pick one and show you how to alter it and use it to paint better. So plug in your tablet, and lets do some painting!

SETTING UP YOUR DRAWING

Okay, so the first thing to do is to make a sketch of the painting you wish to make. Here I have made a sketch of a landscape with its main focus on the huge tree in the center. Note that the lines that I have drawn don't go up to the canvas edges. You could either draw on the computer or scan in a drawing.

Name this layer of your drawing as Outline.

The drawing will be used just as a guide for our painting. But when you draw make sure your drawing doesn't go on to the end of the canvas. Also make sure you center it.
In the case of a scanned image, just set Layer Mode to Multiply
Once you have finalized the position, lock the layer.

Remember that the Outline Layer will always be on the top and all the color and background layers will come under it.


Step 2

CHOOSING YOUR CANVAS

In reality, we see that canvases have a texture and paint reacts with it. Why don't we create a texture for our canvas here as well?

To do that, Double-click the Background layer (which should be totally white) to make it Layer 0.

Still active on that layer, go to Layer> Layer Style> Bevel and Emboss...

Ignore the Bevel and Emboss options for now, click on the sub-option Texture .
Click on the Pattern button and load the Artists Surfaces . Here, feel free to choose any kind of texture you prefer for your paper (here I've chosen Washed Watercolor Paper).
Choose a preferable scale depending on your canvas size, but make sure the texture is neither too zoomed in or too minimized. Here I've chosen 100%.

Your texture is quite contrasted and dark. We must lighten it.
So now, come to the Bevel and Emboss Options. In Structure
settings, change the Style to Emboss and
decrease the Size to a sufficient quantity (here I have used 2px).

Now, rename this textured layer to Canvas and lock it.


Step 3

MAKING THE RIGHT KIND OF BRUSH

Now I will show you how to alter the brush settings in accordance to your canvas texture.

For this, got to Window> Brushes.

Now here there are many options to experiment with. But for this painting tutorial I'm going to have to restrict myself to a few options.Since I've chosen a watercolor style painting to do. The brushes I choose will be watercolor based as well.

Go to Brush Presets and load Natural Brushes 2. Here you have different watercolor brushes. Pick any one you like. I chose the Watercolor 4 Brush.

Go to Brush Tip Shape and reduce Spacingto 1% .

Go to Shape Dynamics and make the Size Jitter is 0% and see that the Control is set on Pen Pressure , the Minimum Diameter should be 100%.

Go to Texture and load the very same texture which you chose for your canvas (Washed Watercolor in my case). Make sure that the Scale as well is the same as the one you used for the canvas. Set the Mode to Overlay.

Go to Other Dynamics, make sure the Opacity Jitter is on 0% and the Control set on Pen Pressure . Flow Jitter is up to you (I have used 31% here).

Also, tick the Wet Edges and Smoothing Options.


Step 4

PAINTING THE BACKGROUND

Now you have your brush made. Decrease the Brush Opacity to around 20-25% and set the brush Mode to Multiply.

Create a new layer and name it as Background Color. This layer will be used for painting the background color alone.

Increase the brush size and start painting the background freely on your canvas with large brisk strokes. Notice that when you go over a previous color, the tone darkens. Use this to give darker tones or shadows. Also notice that the color fades with decreasing pen pressure, take advantage of this to blend two different tones.

Make sure that you paint the background light so that the other objects in your picture don't get darkly colored. So make sure the background is painted lightly.

Remember when you paint, make sure the color doesn't go over to the canvas edges. Make sure you centralize it so that the whole painting comes like an oval shape. It can be irregular that doesn't matter. It adds to the artistic effect.


Step 5

PAINTING INDIVIDUAL OBJECTS

For every object you paint, create a new layer and name it after the object. When you paint, its important to make sure that you arrange the object layers in accordance to their distance.

That is, which object is in front and which is at the back. It is essential so that the object's individual colors stand out properly without overlapping. Like in my painting the Tree Layer comes on top of the Water Layer as the tree stand ahead compared to the water.

Now, since every object is painted on a new layer, if you go wrong in painting, You have to just delete that layer and redo instead of spoiling the whole painting. Since its in layers, there is no order to follow on what object to paint first and what not to.

Neatness in painting the objects needn't be give so much importance same such constraints will interrupt the free flow of strokes.


Step 6

OUTLINING YOUR PAINTING

Now you would have finished your picture using your sketch as a guide.
Now such bold black outlines give it a more of a cartoon effect which is not desirable. We need more of an artistic watercolor painting.
So, the solution for this will be to unlock this Sketch Layer and reduce its Opacity to around 20%. To make it look just about visible.

Create a new layer underneath it and name it New Outline.

Before we start outlining, we will revert back some brush options so that we can outline better.For that open up the Brush Settings again. In the Shape Dynamics, reduce the Minimum Diameter to 0%.

Make the Opacity 100% and change back the Brush Mode to Normal. Choose the corresponding color of the object and outline.

Notice that the line is still light. Also note that going over it makes the stroke darker. Using this, outline the whole image with barely visible lines so that its neither too dark or there is nothing at all.

Once you outline it it will look as if the painting has been sketched lightly with color pencils.

Try not to make the lining too complex. Make it simple, just the exterior outlines are
needed.


Step 7

CREATING A SIMPLE FRAME

There! The painting is finally completed, but something is missing. The last thing to do now would be to add a frame to it. I'll make it quite simple here, needn't go too complex with the frame making. I'll have to save that for another tutorial. Create a New Layer and name it Applied Image. Go to Image> Apply Image and just hit the OK button.

Then, go to Edit> Stroke. I would like the frame to look more like it is made of wood. So I'll choose a nice brown color for it and set the Width to 15px. Set the Location to Inside. It can be a bit nice and wide since the painting is contained in an oval shape.

Once the border is put, we need to add relief to it. So, go to the Bevel and Emboss effects and make sure the Style is Inner Bevel and the Technique is Smooth. Also notice that in Shading I have changed the Gloss Contour.
Also tick the Contour settings and change the Contour there as well. The range can be altered to your liking.

Finally, go to Layer> Layer Style> Drop Shadow...In that, just increase the distance a little.

And just to show its your masterpiece, you could create a new layer and just put your signature at the bottom like the way i have done.

That is it! Your authentic type of painting is complete!

Thank you for reading my tutorial, I hope you liked it. Looking forward to post some more and better quality tutorials in the future!



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46 Comments:

no avatar
frosty194 says:

Well wont anyone take the time to comment?

(5 years and 1224 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Well I will! Nice tutorial. This'll make me use my Wacom A5 graphics tablet for what it supposed to used for

(5 years and 1222 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

so nice
i like it
thank you

(5 years and 1222 days ago)
no avatar
frosty194 says:

WOW thanks all..

(5 years and 1222 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

gr8 job.....kids stuff....

(5 years and 1222 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

nice tuto thanks
but I can't draw :d

(5 years and 1222 days ago)
avatar sophia
sophia says:

very nice tutorial

(5 years and 1222 days ago)
no avatar
frosty194 says:

thnx what do you mean you cant? Try drawing...

(5 years and 1221 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

great tutorial - thanks!

(5 years and 1221 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

thank you!!

(5 years and 1221 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Very nice and brilliantly explaint

(5 years and 1218 days ago)
no avatar
frosty194 says:

Thank you

(5 years and 1216 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Do the easy.

(5 years and 1213 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Thank you so much.
Your brush settings are very, very useful.

(5 years and 1211 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

This is very good, I really like it.

(5 years and 1210 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

i like that ....i know nothing abt photoshop
feels like i should try thx

(5 years and 1207 days ago)
no avatar
frosty194 says:

^_^ your welcome

(5 years and 1207 days ago)
no avatar
frosty194 says:

>_> im open for constructive criticism, not to tolerate the nonsense you expect

(5 years and 1203 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

oh tnx a lot man, i really like it

(5 years and 1193 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

this is wonderful tutorial .. i read it 3 times and get a fantastic results and sure i put a
copy of this lesson on my site here
www.dvdegypt.com

(5 years and 1181 days ago)
avatar hereisanoop

good job

(5 years and 1175 days ago)
no avatar
frosty194 says:

Thank you

(5 years and 1167 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Nirmal : very nice tutorial thank for u

(5 years and 1147 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

wow
its amazing guys
thx

(5 years and 1144 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

wow
its amazing guys
thx

(5 years and 1144 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

oh my gosh.. fine work you have created

(5 years and 1131 days ago)
no avatar

Love the Tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

(5 years and 1118 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

superb...thx for sharing such a nice tutorial

(5 years and 1109 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Thankyou for the tutorial. I've always wondered how to paint using Photoshop. Thankyou : )

(5 years and 1079 days ago)
no avatar
anusha [banned] says:

i think i can draw better pictures.this is sooo silly, even a 2nd standard child can draw this better

(5 years and 1069 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

like it

(5 years and 1053 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

like it

(5 years and 1052 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

ohh yeahh xD great tutorial!! thx!

(5 years and 1050 days ago)
avatar jamespaul
jamespaul says:

@ANUSHA
at least the author tried to put forward somethin.. u shud appreciate that..
if u think a 2nd grade kiddo can draw better..how abt u.. lets see plz do put a tut here n we shall c how gud u r at drawin..
n even if u r damn gud plz try to b gud at commentin aswell
b constructive while commentin
i`m really impatient to c ur drawinzz!!! plz upload

@AUTHOR
thats really so nice of u that u did that in detail for the beginners who r always huntin for stuff to start with
btw gud drawin n gud paintin
n ur drawin is b8r than a 2nd grader :p

5* for the tut

ps ANUSHA eager to see ur BETTER drawings (no offence )

(5 years and 1027 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Thanks for the tutorial. I was trying to figure out how to NOT colour my outlines. This helped alot.

(5 years and 999 days ago)
no avatar
trebor says:

I love to draw trees, so when I saw your tutorial I read it, and was greatful that you took the time to show us beginners the steps involved. Thanks again from trebor

(5 years and 981 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

thank you

(5 years and 967 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

thanx alot sir
4 providing us with this simple Technics
through which we can improve our skill & move more in
creative field
thanx sir 1ns again

(5 years and 956 days ago)
no avatar
frosty194 says:

thank you all! soon ill be making more and try to make em better!

(5 years and 936 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Awesome! I just finished drawing it and it looks great! My first time using the tablet and this little tutorial made an amazing start!! Thanks!

(5 years and 906 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

it was confusing but overall it was nice....thx anyway

(5 years and 861 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Very Good PxlEye ! Thumbs up !

(5 years and 796 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Thanks! With this tutorial I made this..
http://snoeffel.deviantart.com/#/d3k2qos
It's a little different but without this tutorial I couldn't paint it.

(5 years and 782 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

nice work

(5 years and 769 days ago)
no avatar
shailesh [banned] says:

good tutorial. I am not tried it yet. So i replied a "good" tutorial. when i try it I am sure it will be a great fun for me. This is very useful for begeners like me.

(5 years and 689 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

nice one..

(5 years and 630 days ago)


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