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Digital painting tutorial – Spirited away – Part 2

Jonas Jödicke |

Traditional and digital artist and hobbyist from Germany. Draws book covers, CD-covers, illustrations, OC's, etc. For digital art he's using Photoshop CS4 and a Hanvon "Artmaster" tablet. For traditional art he is using Watercolors (from Schmincke), graphite pen, fineliners, markers. You can reach Jonas at:

This is a continue of Digital painting tutorial - Spirited away - Part 1.

Part 2: Flat colors (~ 1,5 hours)

In the flat color-step it is important to find a balanced basic coloring and a color scheme, which fits the atmosphere you want to achieve in your picture. In this painting I wanted to create a magical atmosphere in a dark mystical night, so I chose dark blue and cyan colors. These are only the base colors, they shouldn’t be too saturated and not too bright. Below are the detailed steps of part 2 – flat colors:

Step 1
Fill the background layer with a dark-to-light-cyan-gradient and paint the silhouette of the trees with a dark blue.

Step 2
Make a new layer (between background and lineart) and turn off the opacity-jitter of your hard round airbrush. Now block in the colors of Chihiros skin carefully. Then click Selection > Load Selection and create a layer mask. Not it will be impossible to paint over the edges of her skin (this will be really important later on).

Step 3
Create new layers for all the different color areas (her dress, hair, ribbon, etc. as well as the different areas on Haku: fur, eye, back hair, etc. and the moon), block in the colors and create masks (like in step 2). You can arrange all the different layers in layer-groups if you want (like “Haku”, “Chihiro”, etc.).

We will continue with next part 3 - Simple Shading in following days, stay tuned.

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