How to draw musketeer or musketeer woman step by step drawing and painting tutorial. This one is more like a concept art or concept drawing (should I say painting) tutorial, rather than a basic how to draw stuff. Anyway, let’s begin. My first advice is you have to be able to draw girl or figure or people in general using traditional medium first. Girls are delicate creatures, you must not put too many line (detail) on her face, even her figure itself (nude). Keep it simple and clean then you will successfully make it look like a girl.
This tutorial is not for beginner, it is a little intermediate to advance. It require knowledge of basic drawing, figure, value, color, and Photoshop. If you want to know the basic, then go to my other tutorials on the menu bar.
This piece of quick concept took me about a few hours. First I have some rough idea in mind of what kind of character it is and it’s background. Like this one, she’s part of my own on going personal project (which I don’t know if it’s going to be finish ) Anyway, I have an idea of she is a Slavic girl, Czech assassin during 13th century. Supposedly she is sexy but deadly. So I did research for costume to get some kind of inspiration then add my own flavor into it.
1) I usually do five to ten thumbs to get inspire and get my hand in the flow. (somewhat try to stay within the subject but not necessary, as you can see my thumbs are all over the place. Whatever comes to mind at time.) Then I will pick on that suit my needs at the moment.
You can either do it on paper then scanned them in which I prefer, but this time I did in photoshop because I felt lazy.
2) Then I pick one of the thumbnail that I want. In this cast, it is a concept so I want to be able to show off overall character as much as possible so that I can use it for ref later on if I want to redraw her in scene of make a model sheet to build it in 3D. The pose and composition of over all picture is important because it can convey what she’s all about and it should be interesting to look at. Standard 3/4 standing pose or somewhere in between is a good choice in concepting a character because you can still see the whole package. Then enlarge your thumbnail in Photoshop, at this stage I work really small around 500 pix x 700 pix. *Notice that my drawing is really loose, at this stage if you are not sure about your drawing, it is a good idea to tighten it up more. As for me at this moment, I just go with the flow and correct the drawing as I paint.
3) Then I will decided what color scheme should I go for. Mostly I would just pick warm or cool, really there is not much to think about. Since she is hot and she is in somewhat action post, I will go for majority of warm color. I usually select any of my old PS file and paint over to get the quick background then put the thumbnail on top layer and select either Multiply or Overlay depending on how I want it to look. At this stage, I prefer to still work really small (700 x 500 or so) so that I can get any quick adjustment and not get caught into any detail, but just the overall look.
4) After I can get the look and scheme I want (pic above) then I will start doing the underpainting and see if the color and lighting will fit. I look at the costume ref and decided to pick red/white/ black for her outfit. Then I will layout the skin tone on her. Everything in this stage is still really rough and suggestive. Now I am looking for composition, lighting (grayscale check is also very valuable to see if your image read well in greyscale. If it doesn’t there is something wrong with it.), and overall color balance (cool & warm).
4.1) Check if your image is readable in gray scale, it’s good to check constantly to see if you have the correct value. Lots of great artists work from gray scale first then apply color later on. I also do that sometimes. OK, as far as I know this gray scale is readable so I move on to the next step.
5) At this stage I will again enlarge the image (my preference is around 2500 x 3000), then I will start working on correcting proportion, lighting then going in for getting more detail onto the image. I decided that the BG behind her head is too dark and I want her face to pop out more than it is. So I lighten the BG behind her head to make her silhouette stand out.
6) From the previous one the head proportion is big so I correct it, then I go in to construct the facial, then refine her body/ costume and look for anything that might be out of proportion.
6.1) One good method for checking if there is something wrong with the image is to flip it. And if it is a real drawing, you can check it in the mirror. So there it is, I flip it and work on that side for a while until it looks at good as it can be at time allow. Then flip back.
7) Now it’s very close to final stage of concepting. I work really loose but it is readable and good enough to convey what I want to convey. Now I am working on the detail of her face, adding detail of her costume/ changing things here and there if you see fits. Like I add another sleeve and cover up her chest and neck because I think it’s more suitable for the era. Even though I would like to show as much skin as I can. But it work out, she still convey sexual message. Always and always look for correct lighting, squint your eyes and look or zoom out, or use the Navigator thumb in Photoshop. If it still read at thumb’s size then your image will be presentable.
8) Now come the critical part. I remember many great artist guild me on how not to over do things. The final part is to pick where you want to add highlight, touch up subtle detail. I add a little more highlight on the tip of her nose, sword, and hair. Minor touch up, clean up the figure, and try to find soft edge and hard edge. I am still not that happy about her left hand, but it is suggestive enough. So I called it done for now. Remember, this is not a full launch finished illustration, most element are there to convey to the audience what it is. I like them really loose, yet in control. But from here on, if I want to do a finished illustration, it will be a really good start like refine underpainting.
If you have any question, comment on this tutorial. Let me know, this is actually the first time I am trying to write up a tutorial along with the picture. Hopefully it will help some people in some way.
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