This tutorial by Brandon McDonald showcases the first half of the character painting process. Gather any references you would like to use in order to develop your character. You should play around a lot during the sketch phase and take the time to explore concepts. Stick to themes for your shapes, color and designs for visual consistency and establish a basic overhead light source to ensure you can read shapes easily. Setting up your artwork in layers will allow you to make nondestructive changes while having fun experimenting. From sketch to rim lighting, this tutorial will help you make your character pop.

Now that the character is drawn and the lighting established, it is time to begin the detail work. For this Brandon sticks to using the Concept Art Jitter Smooth, Cover Pencil and Digital Soft Pressure Airbrush. It is very important to establish the focal points for your painting at this time and accentuate them. Make the shapes look right, push the lights and darks and make it look interesting and fun style-wise.

Using reference material to work from Brandon starts with basic overhead lighting and uses a large brush while zoomed out to initially draw the character. This ensures you don’t spend time on detail that is not necessary. Gradually move to a smaller brush to bring out the really important details. You will learn how to work from low to high contrast, draw reflective materials, creases and seams. Add and change color using layers and effects plus add outlining and rim lighting that reflects the environment to complete the artwork.

See What’s New in Painter Essentials 8!

Download your FREE 15-day trial and start your creative journey with easy-to-learn tools, AI-based photo art and a huge selection of brushes for all styles of art. Try it today and paint something great!

See What’s New in Painter Essentials 8!

Download your FREE 15-day trial and start your creative journey with easy-to-learn tools, AI-based photo art and a huge selection of brushes for all styles of art. Try it today and paint something great!

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