XAV: A step by step on my last illustration

Time to time, readers of my blog ask me how I work, so I've decided to make a simple step by step of my last illustration. I hope everything is clear, if you have questions I'll try to answer in the comments.
By the way, as you probably notice, I'm french and my english is not very good so sorry if I don't explain the proper way (and also my photoshop is in french.)

So, first of all, I only work in Photoshop. Time to time I make drawings on paper then scan them but all my last illustrations and designs were made with my wacom intuos and this last one with my all new Cintiq 21UX.

1. The drawing, with a simple home made brush, very rough.

2. I turn over the drawing and make a cleaner drawing.
3. I rebuild the tricky parts to be sure of the construction.
4. I make the final drawing with a clean line and I fix some parts (here the face).
5. I start the colors with the line above.
6. Every part (face, jacket, hair, etc) on a separated level.
7. The face.
8. cheeks and nose.
9. I add the lines and other details.
10. With the gradient tool, I make a subtle color effect.
11. I set the layer in screen mode and lower the opacity.
12. I start the background with the basic color.
13. I add the snow with a brush that looks like snow flakes.
14. A white gradiant to suggest the snow on the floor.
15. A quick shadow on the ground to set the character in space.
16. A quick skyline of Paris.
17. I add a layer of noise.
18. I lower the opacity and set it to color burn.
19. I had a paper texture layer that I colored in light blue before.
20. I set it to screen and lower the opacity.
21. I finally add my signature...
22. And voila !


Emerson Fialho Art Blog said...

Muito legal! Parabéns pelo belo trabalho.


rad sechrist said...


C.Deboda said...

...and Cool!!

LeDidole said...

Merci beaucoup pour le step-by-step.

Vraiment très belle illo...

Randall Sly said...

This is great, I love seeing all the steps.

matt said...

thanks this is awesome

Dylan O'Neil said...

Super Helpful! Thanks for posting. What brush did you use to color with?

Noel said...

This is rad :)

David Mussel said...

wow, man!

I made a terrific job!!

J. Ortiz said...

Amazing, it definitely help to understand so many ways to make incredible images, Thanks!

willipino said...

very cool post!

Chris Jimenez said...

Can you tell us what brush you are using in Photoshop?

Junko Miyakoshi said...

This is awesome!
Thanks for sharing!!


whoreray/redfive said...

Very well explained!

DSM said...

WOWeeee; this is a super Christmas present for us all!

Thanks so much for your time..

Khalis in Wonderland said...

this is superb! really helpful

Kimi Austin said...

This is extremely helpful! Thanks :D

Heather Dixon said...


Cecilia said...

Wow! I really enjoyed seeing how you did it! Great, thanks for sharing!

Cecilia said...

Wow! I really enjoyed seeing how you did it! Great, thanks for sharing!

Anson Jew said...

Great step by step! Beautiful piece, too.

Jonas Santos said...

a hug from brazil!!!!

Hayden Currie said...

Really nice! It would be great to know what kind of brushes you use too (no need to be specific), because I've seen a lot of great illustrations done with this type of brush and I think a lot of people are looking for that slightly rough-edged textured effect. Thanks!

Monkey said...

how long it takes such a picture?)

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