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How to digitally paint dimensions and textures in Adobe Photoshop



Image of the final product
What you will be creating

How do you add volume and consistency to digital paintings?

Simple. Just consult objects of real life! Digital painting is difficult for many people, but it's really all about patience and giving you adequate time to develop details to the best of your ability.

So today we will face this challenge by painting three French-inspired desserts. Learn how to use important tools like Clipping masks is Level merge mode to get more volume and consistency!

Let yourself be inspired! Find amazing illustrations for your work on Envato Market.

Tutorial Resources

The following resources have been used in the production of this tutorial:

1. How to find inspiration for sketches

This tutorial is inspired by the small, delicious desserts that are often seen in French bakeries.

Petit four They are small bakery products that are available in a variety of flavors, colors and designs. They look super tasty to eat, and you can find a great selection of images on Pinterest for inspiration.

Each dessert in this tutorial was designed with simple geometric shapes. And I have already enclosed the final sketches to help you avoid any insecurities on the design. Feel free to download them so you can get directly to the coloring part!

Here are the sketches.

Dessert Sketches Photoshop "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut2.jpg

2. How to set the Spotlight background

You can use premade backgrounds to simplify your digital paintings.

I will use # 5 from this package Abstract spotlight backgrounds to place each dessert on a spotlight background.

Step 1

But first, I adjusted the colors.

Create a 1000 x 1000 New document in Photoshop at 150 dpi.

Place Spotlight n. 5 on a New layer, making sure to stretch the image for a higher look so you have a lot of floors to work with. Continue to adjust the shape using the Free transformation tool (Control-T) until you are satisfied with the result.

Adjust the size of the background "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut1.jpg

Note: if you do not have access to these stocks, feel free to try this tutorial with regular solid backgrounds.

Step 2

So, adjust the color.

Add a New level of adjustment of the gradient map above the reflector background level.

Set the color on the Cobalt-Iron 2 preset, then set the Level merge mode to Color.

Recolor the background of the reflector "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut3.jpg

Then add two New levels. Fill the first layer with a light cream color # efebe6 using the Paint Bucket Tool (G)and then set the Level merge mode to Soft light and the Opacity to 55%.

Add a tan fill "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut4.jpg

Follow up by filling the second layer with a pale blue # cbd5e3. Set the Level merge mode to Color and the Opacity to 55%.

Add a blue fill "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut5.jpg

Let's move on to desserts! They are currently ranked in order from the easiest to the most difficult.

3. How to paint a chocolate dessert

Step 1

Of all our desserts, this is the easiest to deal with. I will have a relatively opaque chocolate finish, with some bright decorations on the top.

copy is Paste the sketch of the Chocolate Dessert on a New layer above the reflector background. Add it to New group named First dessert.

Place the sketch "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut7.jpg

Step 2

Lower the sketch level a 86% Opacity.

Start painting the basic flat colors first. Create a New layer under the sketch for the gold plate. Use a Hard round brush (100% opacity, 100% hardness) to paint a golden color # ad8957 for the dish.

Paint the golde plate "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut7c.jpg

Give this color a touch of color. This will add realism to a metallic finish.

Go to Filter> Filter Gallery> Film Grain. Add two Film grit levels with the following settings.

Add Movie Grain "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut8.jpg

Step 3

Set the Level merge mode of the sketch a coverage.

Now paint the rest of the flat colors, each on their own New layer with a Hard round brush (B).

Here are the values:

  • Chocolate: # 3f2a28
  • Red: # be1b00
  • Peanuts: # 9b7b4c
  • Swirl Decor: # dce8e5
Paint flat colors "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut9.jpg

Step 4

Add shadow to each section.

To do this, take the habit of creating New levels and setting them as Clipping masks at each section. Set the Level merge mode for the first round a Multiply.

For each section, use the Eyedropper Instrument (I) to set the Foreground color to the color of that section. Then use a Soft round brush (0% hardness, 30% opacity) to paint soft shadows for more volume.

If you need shadows to be darker, use the Eyedropper Instrument (I) to set the Foreground color at a darker shadow from that section.

Add shadow "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut10.jpg

Step 5

For the next round of Clipping masks, set the Level merge mode to coverage. We will only need it for the Red, Chocolate and Plate levels.

Add light to these areas by painting white, cream # b3b2a4and light green # d9e4dd (for the curl) using a Soft Round Brush. Adjust the Brush opacity if necessary for less or more intensity.

Digital paintings can take many layers to develop color, so I will not include them all. But they should all look similar to the red layer shown below.

Paint the light on each section "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut11.jpg

Step 6

Now merge all the flat layers with their shadow and light together. Do not include the Sketch layer.

Then Clip a New layer to the combined result to continue to develop the shadow.

Select the areas nearby with the Eyedropper Instrument (I) to set the Foreground color what you need. Then use a Soft round brush (0% hardness, 40% opacity), to develop the shade on the gold plate and the red and spiral decorations.

Create realism experimenting with colors. For example, add brown to the vortex to show the reflected color.

Add more shadow "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut12.jpg

Step 7

Now create a New layer above the sketch level.

Begin to finish the painting to clean the edges and the lighting. It will take time, so try to be patient!

Use a Brush for opacity with a hard round pressure to do this, and adjust the Opacity is Hardness regularly.

Incorporate part of the gray background on the sides of the dessert (the areas of chocolate, the gold plate and the red furniture) dusting it on each section with a Soft Round Brush. Keep painting until your dessert looks a lot cleaner.

Refine the painting "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut13.jpg

Step 8

Continue to finish the painting New levels. Paint a soft gray shade below the level of results combined with a Soft Round Brush.

Once the painting looks clean, start adding highlights.

Highlights of painting "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut14.jpg

Using the Brush for opacity with a hard round pressure, paint white, gray and gold # f7c17a highlights on each section, if necessary. Pay attention to the way light travels to dessert and hits the back of the wall.

Creates crisp and bright spots for greater realism on the crushed dice, the red circle and the vortex. Use the Rubber tool (E) (0% hardness, 30% opacity) at any time to spread some of the applied colors.

Step 9

Once you're done painting, add one New level of level adjustment at the top of your group. Set the RGB is Blue Channels at the following settings.

Level of level adjustment "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut15.jpg

Here is the ultimate chocolate dessert.

Photoshop tutorial on chocolate dessert painting "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut16.jpg

4. How to paint a colorful dessert

Let's move on to the second dessert!

We will use the same techniques as before to develop flat colors, shadows and lighting.

Step 1

Start with the gold plate. Repeat the same Filter method and color as before to create the structured base in gold. Then set the Sketch level to Overlay.

Paint each new flat color alone New layer with a Hard round brush. Here are the values:

  • Blue Top: # 88e4d2
  • Blue background: # 65ddd0
  • Yellow Wedge: # ccd758
  • Three circles: # fff4e4
Paint flat colors for cake "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut17.jpg

Step 2

Just like before, start adding New levels as Clipping masks at each section.

Starting from the upper blue and wedge layers, Cut new levels set to Normal.

Create soft yellow shades that blend with flat colors using a Soft round brush (0% hardness, 50-100% opacity). Use the Rubber tool (E) remove any excess.

Here are the values:

  • Wedge: # f4faba
  • Blue Top: #eeffe0
Paint the gradients on the cake "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut18.jpg

Step 3

Now Clip New levels set to Multiply at each section.

Use a Soft round brush (0% hardness, 30-50% opacity) to start painting the shadow on each section. Get the colors you need from each section with Eyedropper Instrument (I)and then paint with those colors.

Build the shadows gradually until you get a similar result. The setting of each level should be exactly like the blue top layer shown below.

Paint the shadow on the green cake "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut19.jpg

Step 4

merge all the flat colors, the shadows and the lighting together. Do not include the sketch level.

Paint a soft shadow, dark gray under the joined layer with a Soft Round Brush. Then create a New layer above the sketch. This is essential to cover the original design lines.

Take some time to clean the edges with a Brush for opacity with a hard round pressure. Incorporate a Soft Round Brush with bass Opacity when possible for better mixing.

Clean up the painting "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut20.jpg

Step 5

If the colors do not seem to be quite saturated, add to New layer above the rest set on Color burns.

Do not make yourself difficult by staying involved in the selection of colors. Get the colors that are already on the canvas to create a more saturated result. Here I added more green, yellow and gold to the base.

I also covered the trio of circles with a little green. This dessert is more reflective, so you'll have to make sure the colors bounce a little.

Saturation with burning color "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut21.jpg

Step 6

Add a New layer above the rest and set it coverage.

Paint white points on every detail. Focus the light towards the center so that it reflects the illumination setting of the reflector background.

Highlights of painting "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut22.jpg

Now refine the painting. Take your time. Use a Brush for opacity with a hard round pressure for crisp details and a Soft Round Brush for mixing. Clean all edges until you get a result similar to the one below.

Start incorporating sharp lights and shadows into the mix. Bounce colors so that there is green visible in circles and wedge pieces.

Refine the painting "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut23.jpg

Step 7

Now paint the bright reflections on the dessert. Use white for most highlights of circles and pies and bright yellow highlights on the wedge.

Do not skimp on the highlights; they will add incredible realism to your work!

Apply white and yellow highlights "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut24.jpg

Step 8

Increase the contrast of your piece by adding a New level of regulation of levels on top of your group. Adjust the values ​​for the RGB channel to the following

add level adjustments "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut25.jpg

Here is the last colorful dessert!

How to paint a colored dessert in Adobe Photoshop "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut25b.jpg

5. How to paint a fantasy dessert

For our final dessert, we will create a fantasy showstopper!

Just like our previous paintings, we will use an arrangement of a similar level to obtain initial values ​​and shadows on the canvas.

Step 1

copy is Paste the third dessert sketch apart New layer in a new one Group. Paint the colors for each section using a Hard round brush, before setting the sketch to coverage. Do not forget to add a soft gray shade below the other levels as before.

Here are the values:

  • Decoration: # a57727
  • Leaves: # adc992
  • Round Top: # e1dbc8
  • Pie: # c9b283
Paint flat colors for "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut26.jpg

Step 2

Configure each section with New levels set as Clipping masks.

To start with New levels set to Multiply for the plate, the cake and the layers of leaves. Use a Soft round brush (0% hardness, 30% opacity) to gradually build the shadow.

Remember, first select the color from that layer and then paint with it to see the shadow effect.

If you need a darker shadow in that section, use the Eyedropper Instrument (I) to select the darker hue of the original base color.

Paint the shadows with multiples "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut27.jpg

Step 3

Now Clip New levels set to Normal at each section.

Use a Soft Round Brush with bass Opacity to balance the lighting. Following are the colors needed for the round top and the cake layers. Create volume in the top level round by concentrating the shadow # c2af9b in a delicate picket shape, and then add a bright spot to the top # f2fcf5.

Incorporate part of the gray from the background to add more realism. He begins to develop tartar by drawing soft lines to separate it. Feel free to incorporate texture brushes like the Pastel on charcoal paper for greater consistency

Develop the lighting "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut28.jpg

Step 4

merge the flat layers with their shadows and lighting together. Do not include the sketch level.

Clip a New layer set to To melt at the united level. Use a Soft Round Brush paint the cream # eff4ea on the top circular and leaves. Immediately, it will create the effect of small dissolved points, adding a fresh texture effect. Remove some if necessary with the Rubber tool (E).

Then Clip a New layer set to Multiply above the plot. Further develop the shadows. Add a little brown from the base to the leaves for greater realism.

Add texture and shadow "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut29.jpg

Step 5

So, add a New layer above the sketch level. Clean the painting using a Brush for opacity with a hard round pressure.

Begin to develop the shape of the cake by making the ridges appear as cylindrical shapes.

Paint the cake "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut30.jpg

Step 6

In this next step, we will radically change the color by adding two New levels set to Color burns.

Create a more saturated appearance. Use an muted sound # 745d5a red for the base and round top sections. Then add another one Color burns layer and paint both with yellow # d4c39c.

Change color scheme with color burn "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut31.jpg

Step 7

For more realism, continue to refine the painting New levels. Incorporate a little gray from the background for a natural look.

Then set a New layer to coverage and paint the white reflections around the pasta leaves and the gold plate.

Add Highlights "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut32.jpg

Feel free to take some time to place the cake base on a New layer.

Use a Brush for opacity with a hard round pressure draw a combination of wavy lines and stacked points for greater consistency. Do not forget to add light brown points for greater realism.

Correct base "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut33.jpg

Step 8

Finish the cake by painting a brilliant white stroke for a central highlight. Then use a Level of level adjustment at the top of the group to improve the contrast.

Use the following settings:

Add a level adjustment layer "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut34.jpg

Here is the final final dessert!

How to paint an elaborate dessert "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertut35.jpg

Combine them all together for an alternative result!

How to digitally paint volume and texture in Photshop "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertutfinal2.jpg

All done. Good job!

Today we learned how the amazing tools and settings in Photoshop can help you get incredibly realistic results faster than color them by hand. Get familiar with Photoshop to the best of your abilities as you learn more digital painting tips.

So, how did you do it? Feel free to share your results in the comments.

Learn more about digital painting tips with these articles:

How to digitally paint volume and texture in Adobe Photoshop "data-src =" https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com/uploads/users/346/posts/31773/image/dessertutfinal.jpg

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