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Drawing Rounded Forms Using Wacom and the iPad

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In this excerpt from The Photoshop and Painter Artist Tablet Book: Creative Techniques in Digital Painting Using Wacom and the iPad, 2nd Edition, Cher Threinen-Pendarvis shows you how to draw a rounded form using brushes in Photoshop.

Copyright © Cher Threinen-Pendarvis. Excerpted from The Photoshop and Painter Artist Tablet Book, Second Edition, published by Peachpit Press.

This chapter is from the book

Drawing Rounded Forms


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Pastel Medium Tip, small


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Pastel Medium Tip, default (top), Pastel Medium Tip, modified (bottom)


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Pastel on Charcoal Paper, default (top), Pastel on Charcoal Paper, modified (bottom)


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The first values


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Building up darker values

1 Setting up and laying in values. Create a new file that measures 1500 × 2000 pixels. Choose a medium gray in the Color panel, click on the Brush tool in the Toolbox, and choose the Pastel Medium Tip preset from the Dry Media Brushes.* Set the Opacity to 100% in the Options Bar. Click to open the Brush Preset picker on the Options Bar, and reduce the size of the Pastel Medium Tip to about 5 pixels using the Brush Size slider. Make a new layer, and draw a loose sketch.

Now click on the image background. Using the default Pastel Medium Tip preset, block in large areas of value, starting with the midtones. The midtones will help to unify your image, and will connect the lighter and darker values. I simplified the number of values at this stage, using a medium gray, a light gray, and a darker gray.

2 Painting more values. Before beginning to paint the darker values, I set the Pastel Medium Tip brush to vary its opacity with stylus pressure and saved the new preset.* While applying light pressure, gradually build up darker values, changing the size of the brush as you work. Let your strokes follow the curves of the forms.

Next, I feathered in the highlights on the side of the shaker and on its base. By applying very light pressure to the modified Pastel Medium Tip, I was able to subtly brush lighter value over the darker tones to give the impression of a blend.


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Painting highlights and adding details


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Close-up detail showing texture added

3 Painting the cast shadow and details. Next, to give the salt shaker more of a sense of space, I painted a gradation onto the cast shadow, and refined the reflected light on the edge of the base near this shadow and the underside of the shaker. Then I added more contrast to the edges of the shaker.

4 Adding texture and smudging. As a final step, I added a subtle texture to areas using the Pastel on Charcoal Paper preset. To brush more texture onto your image, choose the Pastel on Charcoal Paper preset. Open the Brush panel, and modify the brush so the Opacity varies with pressure. Save your new preset. Now sample color from the area where you want to paint and darken or lighten it slightly. You will achieve more texture if you apply a lighter pressure. Brush very lightly over the area to slightly blend tones and add texture. Photoshop does not allow you to blend in the same way Painter does, but with carefully chosen colors and values, you can achieve a similar effect.

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