Pixel Playground
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating the belly for a dragon tattoo


From:

Pixel Playground

with Bert Monroy

Video: Creating the belly for a dragon tattoo

All we're going to do this week is we're going to pick up where we left off last week. We're going to add the little belly to our little dragon here. And the belly on the original, looks like this. It's this little area here. So that's what we're going to create now. So going back to our original file here. So what we're going to do is pick it up right from here. Now, we're going to take this dragon that we've got. We've created already. And what we're going to do is we're just going to go ahead and merge those three layers. I'm going to turn off my background and we'll say Merge Visible.
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Watch the Online Video Course Pixel Playground
14h 53m Intermediate Jun 07, 2013 Updated May 29, 2015

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Take a 10-minute recess every week and join Bert Monroy in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, the playgrounds of digital artists. Every Friday Bert walks through a fun, self-contained project that tests your skills and challenges the imagination. These programs aren't just image editors; they are sandboxes for creativity and experimentation. Take a spin through a carousel of tools and get reinspired, each and every week.

Subjects:
Design Photography
Software:
Illustrator Photoshop
Author:
Bert Monroy

Creating the belly for a dragon tattoo

All we're going to do this week is we're going to pick up where we left off last week. We're going to add the little belly to our little dragon here. And the belly on the original, looks like this. It's this little area here. So that's what we're going to create now. So going back to our original file here. So what we're going to do is pick it up right from here. Now, we're going to take this dragon that we've got. We've created already. And what we're going to do is we're just going to go ahead and merge those three layers. I'm going to turn off my background and we'll say Merge Visible.

Go ahead and Merge Visible. OK, and turn on our background again. I'm going to make it just a little bit smaller, just so, kind of put him up here so we can get him out of our way. Or give us plenty of room to make our little belly. So, what I'm going to do is, I'm going to just kind of erase a little bit of this, bring this up to 100%, just erase this. So we have the basic shape that we want our little dragon to have. So that's where the belly's going to be, right in there like that. What I'm going to do, is with my Pen tool, I'm going to draw an arc that goes right across the entire body like that.

Nice little arc like that. And I'm going to go in there and adjust it a little bit to get Get it to match the existing green shape right there like that. Then I'm going to go in here and, we'll just start going right down in here. And I'm going to start to create the sense of what this little belly's going to be like? There's going to be this little curve here like this, like that, and it's going to go in right there, and I'm going to change direction. I'm going to hold down my option key to bring out a key going this way, and do a little curve going in here, and around like that.

Little bumps just like that. Do it again. Those got a little curve, goes down, comes up, goes in, change direction, and comes out here again, and goes close it off. So there's our basic shape, which we can easily modify. So I could go in here and take my Direct-Select tool. And if I want to change these around a little bit. So, I don't want it to be so pronounced. These bumps can be a little less. There we go. So that, that's get-in a little nicer of what I want. Just like about, like that. Okay? So there.

There's our little bumps. So now, we're going to have to add some additional detail to this. So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to select these particular paths right here. I'm going to select those. I'm going to copy them. Let's copy that one too. And I'm just going to go ahead and copy those. So in our path panel here, we have this one, which is the basic shape of our body. So let's go in there and save that. Okay? Turn it off. And now we paste. And we'll just say, Paste. And our paste, that path, just the piece that we had, right there on top.

Okay, so now what I'm going to do here is? Let's get of this one at the end there and the same with this one at this end. Just select it in and. Click Delete. So, now, I'm going to pick up this existing path, right here. I'm going to start right there. I'm going to hold down the Option key to change direction. And I'm going to go right up here and do a little thing like this. See what's happening? So I'm going to go in there, and let's bring this up a little bit more. And just reshape it like that. Then I'm going to go in here, and change direction. Let me get closer, so we can see what's going on.

I'm going to kind of follow that edge, just like that. Bring it down just in there. So it's kind of following that. And I'm going to change direction. So I can go and start following this. See. And I'm following these. I'm just kind of following this shape. It doesn't have to be perfect, but could be fairly close. And there we go. And here we went a little higher again. Come down, and meet that. Change direction and follow this curve. You can see what we're doing here, we're starting to create this little sense of these little shapes, these little, kind of, bulges that are just, individual ribs or whatever they are at the belly of this dragon.

Change direction, come down and meet that curve, then change direction and follow this. Just like that and come to the end and we'll close it off. Alright, so there's the bottom section of our belly. So let's pull back and let's save that path. So this first path, what we'll do? Is we'll give it a, a nice yellowish color. And we'll pick up the same yellow from right here. But what we'll do is we'll make it a little deeper, just about like that. That looks good.

And in a separate layer now, which we'll call right on top here, we'll call the belly. I'm going to take that path and go ahead and fill it with that color. There it is. So now, we want that other path to become this nice little kind of our definition of where these shapes are. So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to take that second path right there, we'll pick a nice, deep color, say, a deep blue like this, right there, like that. And then our path in a new layer, which, we'll call it the ribs, we're going to take that path and fill it.

There we go. So now, we have that little shape going on in there. Going back to our belly, you are going to create a layer on top of it, and we're going to call it tones. Okay? And this is where we're going to start adding some additional tones to this thing. So we'll pick up this orange. We'll pick up the orange right from here. Right there, and we'll pick up this tone, and we'll just kind of throw a little tone right across there, like that. And we're going to clip it with the belly, just like that. Now, now that we see it, where it is, we can raise it up a little bit.

So I'm just hittin' my cursor keys and I'm pushing it up just a little bit. Then, down here at the bottom part. We'll get our brush and we'll just add a couple of tones here and there just make the brush a little smaller and we'll just add a couple of tones in these little areas just to add a little more definition to our belly right in there like that I'm going to add a couple big ones there we go. And just have this meet. And there, so now we have that thing going on. So now we need to add that little spine here, which in the original dragon looks like this.

See? There it is right there. Let's go back and what we'll do is get a black brush. And we're going to make it a hard edge, fairly hard, not completely hard but real close. Alright? And right here. Right here I'm going to kind of draw a little box, a little square, and we'll just go right here to our background, and we'll just read this little box. That looks like this. And right next to it, we'll do another one. That'll be slightly different in shape. So it looks like two totally different ones.

It's very similar to what we did to the top here. In the, the first show about this dragon. So what I'm going to do now is I'm going to select those, and turn them into a brush. Define brush preset. There it is. We can call it whatever you want. We'll call it belly edge. Whatever you want to call it. There it is, and now we can throw it away. We don't need that anymore. Go to the, the Background Color, and it's gone, so now, in a new layer. Right here which we'll call Edge. We're going to get those paths. Let's go and look at those paths again.

There's the original path and this path up here, that path I'm going to select those two points right there. And I'm going to go ahead and copy those. Turn off our path and we paste again. Paste. There is our path again, see, so now we have it here, let's save it. Just the path that we selected a second ago. There it is. Look at it. If you get rid of this piece at the end and we can get rid of this piece at the end. So now it's just this section right there. That's what we want.

So now we're going to get our Paintbrush and we're going to choose that brush we just created, which right now is going to do this. So what we're going to do is go into our Brush Panel where we're going to give it enough spacing so that it seem to be right there on the edge, and we're going to set up the Shape Dynamics We're going to say no size jitter, no angle jitter, but we are going to set the angle control to direction, so that it follows. So what I'm going to do is I'm in the brush, I'm going to take that path and say, stroke it. And with black is fine, or we could pick up this blue.

We'll pick up this blue right from here. So I just pick up the blue color right there And we've got our paintbrush, and we say stroke it. And there's that shape right in there. So now, let's see what that layer looks like all by itself. There it is. So, what I'm going to do, right now, is I'm going to go and take my magic wand. I'm just going to click inside each of these little holes. Inside the brush, right there like that. I'm clicking inside each one, just like that. Do that part, there we go, right there, and there.

It's getting real close, so we can see what's happening now. There's my little spaces inside, which I'm now going to go up to my Select, and say Expand. So I want to expand that up into this area right here, so it looks like about four pixels should do it. Click OK, and there. Now we can see that the space has just expanded to just behind our little shape there. So, I'm going to pull back, and there's our a little thing here. So let's turn on the other layers, and what I'm going to do in the layer behind the edge Right there behind, we're going to say, edge, fill, alright? And what we'll do is we'll pick a nice kind of a yellowish tone like this, alright, and we'll go ahead and fill that.

With that color. Fill it with the foreground color click okay. There it is. So now we can deselect. Right. So deselect it and now what we're going to do to add one more little touch to that is that edge fill. We're going to go in there and give that an inner glow. So we've given it inner glow. And for the color we pick that orange just like we had before and set that to multiply. And then increase the size of it. So we start to see it along to edges. And we're going to choke it to tighten it up a little bit. So there now we see that we have this nice little glow right along the edges, just like that.

And if we want, we can even Give that one more thing. We'll give that a little drop shadow. Just give it a little drop shadow right underneath. And maybe that's a little too strong. We'll just bring down the opacity a little bit, and there we click okay and there we see that now we start to have the little belly for our little dragon. And so on. Now, we could have expanded these lines a little more, if we wanted to. Totally up to you what you want your little dragon to look like. When we look at the final dragon here, we can see that, yes. Those little spines just went all the way over like that.

But you can make it whatever you want. It's your dragon. So do what you want. But there, you can see how easy it is to create all these simple little shapes. And in context, they start to become some kind of a creature.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Pixel Playground .


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Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.
Q: Why are some of the 3D menu items grayed out when I try to follow along?
A: The 3D features in Photoshop CC require a computer with at least 512MB VRAM. If your computer doesn't meet this criterion, the 3D menu features will be greyed out.
 
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