Tutorial : Spider Harp

Published on

Idea and Sketch

I often draw a lot of sketch, on computer or on paper. Each idea are precious, and combining them are often a great deal to have original content. Firstly I wanted to draw a girl with a big dragon head up on her shoulder. In drawing the tiles skin of the dragon head from side, I wanted to dispose them in a particular way. That's why I decide to make them around the point of eyes. The pattern finally obtained was like a spider web : immediately I change my original idea to this new theme, changing the low part of neck of the dragon in a tree, and his eyes on a spider.

01spiderharp sketch Sketch done on a A5 paper, scanned at 300 dpi

Digitalise it and first grays

After scan it a first time with a low definition ( 150dpi is enough ) I start to blur all with a Gaussian blur before cut the element with selection tool under Photoshop CS2. I define with this way some layers : a background I fill with a circular gradient and a foreground composed of the "character" layer and the "tree" layer. I paint some part with a dark brush to have a start of interesting "material" to paint on after. You have probably a question in mind - Why blur at first ? Cause I want a smooth details, and the scan have a lot of grain and sharp details of pencils stroke. After blurring make the painting more simplest for my way to paint.

02spiderharp blur sketch Bluring of the previous sketch, and play with value level

Black and White Painting

My separate layers are ideal to treat separately the background or the foreground. On the foreground I paint the most with Painter 9.5 digital airbrush / and Blenders, I like acrylics too (for the trunk brush stroke , for example). I help myself with a Daz 3D characters (Victoria). I setup the same type of pose, some lights for the head and the hand. It's make a good reference and a low-cost poser girl :) . Sometimes I print this reference to make more place on my screen. I try to paint using all the grays levels: from the white light to the darkest shadows I can. On the background, I create a custom brush stroke to start to have some organics material. You can surely easily guess the shape of this brush on the visual behind. To had some more chaos, I make another layer on my background with a cloud filter (photoshop) and erase it a bit.

03 spiderharp B&W painting with Painter 9.5

I add another layer for foreground plants and vegetations (darker to divide the plan the best). I draw the web on a new layer using the photoshop paths. I block the transparency and I paint with white grays to have shiny spider web.

04 spiderharp Photoshop vector tools for the spider web

I add other details in Painter, focusing them on some part to attract the eyes :items / hand / face / spider. I finally paste on the top of my layers various textures ( concrete / paint textures / wall photos ) I combine with layer effect, opacity and eraser. This add a good paper texture to the picture.

05 spiderharp result

06 spiderharp layer details


On the top of all my layers I had a layer with the "color" mode. I paint with a simple round airbrush some colors. I try different color scheme cause it's easy to change without spending much time. (here you can see a version with blue colors, I studing at this moment. I'm happy to kept this screen somewhere on my disc cause it's a good exemple on how the color play on the mood of the total scene ). My final colors will be as a start of autumn : orange / green / yellow / brown.

07 spiderharp cold ambiant

08 spiderharp warm ambiant

Final step is the time to create a new final layer on the top of all and paint coloring details. As the round drop of water on the spider web, or some delicate red touch on the lips. With the advice of the WIP forum, I change a lot of little mistakes (change the spider pose), and add textures pattern to the hat, and details to all the items of the girl. I had a neutral light from the left side to add volume to the back of girl. I collapse all my gray layer during this step to paint more fluently without "eating" all the memory of my computer , you can see the details of my layers.

09 spiderharp final layer effect

10 spiderharp final illustration

Hope you enjoy this tutorial. Have a creative day !
This tutorial was firstly published online by Cgarena here

License: "Tutorial : Spider Harp" by David Revoy − CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0
Tags:  #tutorial   | Download: Markdown


link Peter  

I enjoyed your "spider Harp" tutorial very much. I use painter X and need help with tones and shading. Do you sell step by step DVDs that could help me or can you recommend someone that does? Thank you, Peter

link David Revoy  

Hi Peter,
Thanks for your comment on this tutorial. About DVD, I will publish my first one soon with the "Blender Foundation" as a publisher. Be sure I will write about it when it will be finish on this blog.

link Anthony  

Hi, I love this Tutorial, it's amazing.

I've pre-ordered your DVD, and I can't wait.
Keep up the good work.

from "A Big Fan"

link Melissa  

"Hello David...My name is Melissa. My latest 'beading craze' seems to be spiders...so as I was doing some photo research online, I came upon your beautiful picture entitled: "Spider Harp". I am seeking your permission to save it in my photo gallery so that I can use it as a screen saver. May I? Thank you and have a great day! :o)"

link David Revoy  

@Anthony: Thanks ! I almost finish the DVD, so shipping will be soon.

@Melissa : Hi , of course you can if it's a personnal use. You will find here : http://www.cgarena.com/freestuff/tutorials/photoshop/spiderharp/final.jpg a better resolution for doing your screen saver.

link SomeFunkyDude  

wow, that's great, your really good, and creative.

link DeburgER  

realy, realy, realy good idea and performance

link Séra  

hé benh sérieux, j'adore corel painter, j'aurais réellement voulu savoir m'en servir aussi parfaitement que toi. Les résultats obtenus sont magnifiques, et j'adore passer des heures sur ce programme (le problème est que je n'ai pas le joli coup de crayon pour mes dessins de base...)

link Alina  

Very beautiful, started reading your blog from the beginning ☺

link David Revoy Author,

Wow,Thank you.
You'll see a lot of artworks on the early days. It's not because I was posting only that, it is because I removed everything else around 2010 and kept the best post.
The one I removed were mainly blog tickets about everything (and often about "I should blog more", "sorry for being late" xD ). I guess that's the charm of 'Archiving' a period on a blog...
Thank you for navigating the history of this blog :)

link Tin Man  

Great tutorial. Although I really would have enjoyed it more if you had used a free or not so expensive software. Gimp perhaps. I would like to see how artists navigate that program, because it is different, the tools can be very different witch in turn changes the technique for many things and many steps that follow.

link David Revoy Author,

Hey, check the date: 2006. ;)
At that time I had Gimp, but believe me it wasn't able to produce this illustration at all. I switched to fully libre/free tools on Linux after 2009.

Post a reply

The comments on this article are archived and unfortunately not yet connected to a dedicated post on Mastodon. Feel free to continue the discussion on the social media of your choice. Link to this post:

You can also quote my account so I'll get a notification.
(eg. @davidrevoy@framapiaf.org on my Mastodon profile.)