Tutorial – Crawling into Reality


Hello everyone. Recently I did a series of photographs and artworks for my photography class at school (See them here). I chose to do Mixed Media Digital Painting, and I also had to do a tutorial on how to do it.

So I thought why not share it here too.

Here is the finished product

(It was kind of rushed cause I had to get it all done for my class)

Speedpaint available here


After taking the photograph, I open Gimp to edit the image. Play with the hue and saturation levels until you get the desired effects. Use the burn and dodge tools to lighten or darken certain areas. After editing, export the image so it turns into a PNG file.

Drawing Tutorial

Step 1 – Open up the program of your choice

   ****I will be using Paint Tool Sai

Step 2 – Create a new layer above the photo

Step 3 – Sketch your person/idea onto that layer

    ****Use different colours for sketching, so when you do lineart, it’s easier to see it.

   ****Always create new layers when sketching new things (New layer for hair, new layer for clothes, new layer for face, etc)

   ****Create a folder and put all the sketch layers in it to keep track of them

   ****You can also turn down the opacity of the bottom layer so you can see the sketch better

Step 4 – Start sketching the body and pose of the character

Step 5 – Sketch the hair onto a new layer in another colour

Step 6 – Sketch the clothes and extras onto new layers with new colours each time.

   ****If there is something you don’t like about the sketch, feel free to go back onto the layer and change things

Step 7 – Erase lines that shouldn’t be visible

Hair lines behind body or clothes, etc

Step 8 – Turn the sketch folder’s opacity down until you can faintly see the sketch

    ****I hid the background layer so I could see the sketch better when I turn the opacity down to line it

Step 9 – Use your lineart brush or pen and start lining

   ****Make sure you create a folder for the lineart layers and the folder is at the top

   ****After you finish lining, hide the sketch folder

Colouring Tutorial

Step 1 – Once you’ve finished lining, you can start colouring. Create a folder for the colour layers

   ****Make sure the folder is above the sketch folder and under the lineart folder

Step 2 – First, do the flat colour

   ****I colour using darker, more grey tones as the image itself is quite dark

Step 3 – Add light shading

Step 4 – Add darker shading

   ****Use colours that are a shade or few shades darker than the light shade

Step 5 – Repeat step 4 with a darker colour

Step 6 – Add highlights from the bright screen and shade the parts of the screen behind the character to make it seem more believable

And there you have it. I hope it helped! I’m not the best at explaining things.

You don’t have to only draw your character coming out from a screen, you can do anything you want with this technique.


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