Photoshop painting tutorial using multiply mode. Photoshop tutorial for digital painting #003 using Multiply mode. Photoshop tips for digital painter #003 using multiply mode. What is multiply mode?
Here is the definition of multiply mode according to Adobe, “Looks at the color information in each channel and multiplies the base color by the blend color. The result color is always a darker color. Multiplying any color with black produces black. Multiplying any color with white leaves the color unchanged. When you’re painting with a color other than black or white, successive strokes with a painting tool produce progressively darker colors. The effect is similar to drawing on the image with multiple magic markers.”

Multiplying two layers basically means that the top layer will darken the bottom layer. Black in the top layer is opaque. Pure white is completely transparent, showing the below layer as is. When I first start painting digitally using photoshop, multiply mode is the first thing I actually use a lot. It is easy to understand and I can get an accurate result using multiply. What you can do with multiply mode?

1) I personally often use multiply mode to get the darker value of the base color. I use it to create shadow area for the most part. If I want the light shadow, I will use the base color with 30% opacity to paint on multiply mode layer on top of the existing layer. If I want darker, I will use 50%-70% opacity. Beyond that it will be almost black. And multiply mode only make the darker value when paint on top, not the same or lighter value.

2) If you have a scan line art, you can turn that layer from normal to multiply then paint underneath it. Though you have to make sure the empty (white) area is absolute white. You can make an adjustment using adjustment function called level.

Below are the sample of using multiply mode
A) On blue background, I paint it with 80% black (20% brightness), it shows darker blue on the mute (desaturate) side of hue. Then I paint it with medium gray, it shows dark blue also but not as dark as the previous one. Finally I paint it with its own color (blue), it shows darker blue on the more saturate color. I use 70% opacity on all the strokes I made on the sample.
I perform the same task on B) and C) except that both use different color base.

Photoshop tutorial using multiply

Photoshop tutorial using multiply

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Here is a new step by step tutorial from one of my sequential art. As for the application of multiply. I use it to get value of the image from 2 to 3. Then from 3 to 4 I use overlay to get the color down.

Using multiply mode in Photoshop

Using multiply mode in Photoshop

Master artist quote: “Maybe think about doing things differently, contrasts in all things, including edges and detail levels and flat versus textures, abstract versus delineated, line vs mass, big planes and forms versus smaller forms, curves versus straights all of that. Play up the differences that you see. Think of yourself as an entertainer, and you have an audience with a short attention span, and you have to figure out many different ways to do things to keep them interested. “ ~ Craig Mullins

I hope you enjoy the post, peace!

Photoshop painting tutorial multiply mode

About The Author
- Xia Taptara (黃曉聲 Huang XiaoShēng), currently a freelance concept artist for games and films, formerly a character concept artist for ArenaNet/NCsoft (GuildWars & Guildwars 2). I also work on various projects for Game of Thrones, Square-Enix, Paizo Publishing, Fantasy Fight Games, Disney Interactive, and many publishers & clients. I use Wacom Tablet Intuos and Photoshop CS2,3,4,5 to do most of my professional art work. I use pencil, pen, and traditional medium in my free time. I founded ( in 2007 to motivate myself to create more and better art. Also I get to draw and paint whatever the hell I want to. Hopefully I can inspired some young soul and old soul alike. *QUESTIONS & COMMENT: PLEASE POST THEM ON THE BLOG. Business Inquiry please e-mail me.