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Hey there, everybody!

Here is my first attempt at a tutorial for DA. Hooray!

I just wanted to make a generally straight forward tutorial. I don't get into too many details but it shows a high level view of my process. Hopefully it won't be too offensive, hehe.

This is all correct information when using Photoshop 7-CS4 Extended. I work on an Intuous 3.

Let me know what you think and I'll do my best to provide updates and answers.

Only one amendment: I forgot to explain that my method of keeping things separate and organized helps you remain flexible when you want to change things quickly.

That's all.

Thanks everyone!

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Better late than never!

I didn't get to my PC all day and decided to cram late-night-style to make sure I got this out the door. It's a step by step process on my recent Wolverine piece seen here: [link]

Hit DOWNLOAD on the left for the High Res (readable) size!

I hope you goons dig it. If you have any questions feel free to ask!


Live Stream Channel: [link]

Past Tutorials:

Basic Painting Tutorial: [link]
Dominance War IV Layer Breakdown: [link]
Crimson Major Stages: [link]
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Here are the major stages from the Crimson piece. Just a high level walkthrough. If you want to see much more in-depth explanations to my art, check out my Live Stream channel for video and live tutorial.

Live Stream Channel: [link]

Hit Download for the largest version.

Step 1:

For some reason I decided to sketch in blue, then tighten in red, then sketch in red, then tighten in blue, the finish in blue... it was a mess. So, this is the raw scan from page to screen.

Step 2:

This is what it looked like after desaturating it and adjusting the levels to try to bring it back to life. Problem is, it's messy as hell.

Step 3:

That takes me to one of the more serious clean up jobs I have had to do in a while. This part is annoying because I just want to get to the painting. Here I later erase the lines for the blood and other little elements to soften them in the paint process. I vertically stretched the image a tad because it suddenly seemed squashed.

Step 4:

I painted Alex up first. I wanted to make sure I paid the most attention to him. Here I did some things differently that usual. I used more layers of paint for the face and I textured the coat with more paint strokes than textures.

Step 5:

The victim gets painted up. Sampled the blood from Alex's mouth. The rest is all unique color picks. She has a different skin tone that Alex so I wanted to keep it fresh and not color pick anything from him. Also, I kept the blood gloopy because that's how it always looked in the comic.

Step 6:

I started on a different BG than the final version but this one is much stronger. Here I apply all the final effects. Rim light, moon glow, and color layers add the last touches.

Hope you enjoyed! Stay tuned for the next Live Stream!

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Hey gang!

I've been meaning to get this up here for a while. Hit download for a large version and stop by this link specifically to see the video that goes with this step by step: [link]

New piece up later today!

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Hey peoples!

Here is the workflow for Man-At-Arms. Orko will be going up tomorrow.

I had a lot of statements on the last workflow like "33 layers?!?!11" and "33 Layers?!?!OMGWTF?!"

33 layers is really, really low for me. Crack into my Colossus PSD I posted a couple years ago. I easily break 100 in each painting I do.

Oh yeah... hit Download for full resolution version!

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Hey gang!

I had planned on doing something like this and then :iconanjinanhut: screwed it up by beating me to the punch! Hahaha...

Anyhow, he put up a sweet insight into his work by giving everyone a psd. So, I am doing the same thing with my Colossus painting. Even though it's free for me I hope you guys get a lot of value from this. I had a banner year (for me) and it's all because of you guys.

Thanks for 2009... Here's to 2010!

Hit Download on the left to get the PSD. It was done in Photoshop CS4 and is best viewed when opened with the same program (however, older versions will open it with adjusted folder structure). Physical size has been reduced due to file size.


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COLOR TUTORIAL by Matteo Scalera


Hi guys,
Here we are, back to the tutorial.
This step, as you can see, is dedicated to filters and gradients; they’ll help you to “amalgamate” your image, to add harmony/contrast between objects, if needed.
At this point, first of all, it’d be good to have a clean-enough idea about how do you want the final piece to be.
So, before starting to fly, let’s do some reasoning for a second (this reasoning in particular is obviously referred to THIS pinup, so: different pinup – different reasoning ;) )
Well, I’ve got a yellow sky on the background.
I like it, I think I’m going to maintain it (if you want to change it, CTRL+U and have fun)
So, YELLOW. That’s my starting point. What’s the best color to use with yellow? Violet. Perfect.
So I’ll start to play with these two colors. The ways are 100000.
I’ll do this way:
JOINT – dark and warm yellow (ochre)
MILLA – she’s the main object, so she needs a warm and saturated enough violet, probably more on Magenta than blue.
SLUG – he’s a little bit less important than Milla, and he’s behind her, so I’ll move to a more unsaturated and cold tone, probably a lilac.

Just another short note before starting: I’m obviously not a painter, I don’t have a great instinct for colors, so I had to create some more “mathematic” rules to make my work easier. I perfectly understand that it could probably be difficult for a lot of you to reason that way. So if you feel confused about this method, well, no worries, you’re not weird or stupid persons, it’s just that you reason in a different way. I AM THE STUPID ONE, TRUST ME :D :D Peace! ;)

So, now that you know that I’m stupid, you can decide if you still want to listen to me or not.
For those who still wants to, here we go!

Let’s start working on Milla. Create a new layer over Milla’s Shadows. This will be Milla’s Filter.
CTRL + mouse click on Milla’s Flats. The entire Milla will be selected.

Choose the color you decided to give her (in my case, a sort of Magenta), and fill the selection with the paint bucket (G key)

Do the same you did in Step1&2 for the other elements.
As I told you, I’ll give an ochre to the joint, and some colder and unsaturated violet to the slug.
“Teo, this SUCKS!!!!”
This is the first thing you’ll think, I bet :D :D :D
Please, wait for the next step before saying that ;)

Let’s work on these new layers properties:
-Turn them into COLOR mode
-Change their opacity (in this case, for example, I brought them to about 50%)
Please feel free to play with these properties, do not absolutely feel forced to do the same things that I do. For example you can try some other modes (Vivid light, Tone, Color Burn, etc…;) and some other opacity percentages.

Look your new image (it’s better now, isn’t it? :P)
Also try to understand if subjects are ok, or maybe if they need some adjustments.
For example, I needed the joint a little bit more on the top, so I simply opened the Hue/Saturation control panel (CTRL+U or IMAGE-ADJUSTMENTS-HUE/SATURATION) and modified the saturation and lightness values.

Well, now Milla and the Slug are a little bit too separated one each other, they need some connection. I think a nice GRADIENT on the Slug could be appropriate.
Create a new layer over the Slug filter.
Then CTRL + mouse click on the Flats. You’ll have the entire slug selected.
Then take the Gradient Tool (you’ll find it keeping the left button pressed on the paint bucket – I know that you guys already know this, it was just to be sure :D) and use the gradient on the selection.
As you can see, I used the same color of Milla’s filter.
About the other enabled/disabled gradient options, please look at figure 6.

Play with layer properties.
As you can see I used the “color” mode again and put the opacity at about 60%, but, as I told you before, feel totally free about that. Remember: the best things come when you do experiments ;)

Have fun!
Next step is the final one (I guess) !!!

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Hey peeps!

So I set out to make the most unhelpful tutorial ever... and here it is!

Haha.... actually I just wanted to provide an example of the workflow I use when creating this time of painting. I like to shift between my normal painterly stuff to this because it allows me to get ideas down much faster.

This was all done digitally with a custom brush.

If you have any questions let me know. Hit download for the full size version. Final deviation can be found here: [link]

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COLOR TUTORIAL by Matteo Scalera


Hi guys,

Here we are again, this time with the final part of this color tutorial.
There are just a few things remaining, like giving color on the inks and working on some effects.
If you don’t want to have colored inks, you can directly skip the first 9 steps :D
For those of you who want to color inks manually, leaving them on the same layer, ok, that’s possible (and for sure is faster), but please keep in mind that it’ll be more difficult to work on them if you’ll have any interest in doing some fixing.
That’s why I prefer to separate inks in various layers. So I can have them totally under my control, BUAHAHAHAH (satanic laugh)!!!!!!
Ok, I’m stupid, I apologize.
Let’s start!

Go to the Inks layer and close into a path a group of elements of the same color with the PEN tool (P)

Record an action: SEPARATE INKS
Give a function key to it: f8, for example
The path will transform into a selection

Take the Lasso Tool (L) or the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and RIGHT CLICK on the selection, then choose LAYER VIA CUT.
Go back to the inks layer.
Stop recording.
It’s important to go back to the inks, ‘cause the recorder will remind that you’ve moved on a layer called INKS so it’ll bring you there every time you’ll use that action, and you won’t need to go back there manually (also, it’s easy to forget to do that, so sometimes you work on the wrong layer; this solution will prevent this type of error also). IMPORTANT: to make the action working this way you’ll absolutely need to have the inks layer always with the same name, my suggestion is: call it simply INKS (“chine” in Italian ;) ) and never change it.

Now you have those elements on a separated layer.
Every time you’ll close elements into a path and press f8, you’ll bring them on a new layer.

Ok, now let’s do the same for every element of the pinup.
Keep in mind about having ALL the common elements (Milla’s flesh, for example) on the same layer.
Well, you’ll notice that you’re about to create A LOT of layers, so I think at this point it’d be great to have them separated into groups.
“How to create a group?” Well, take a look at the Layers panel, on the bottom; you’ll find a little folder (it’s the third from right). Click there, and you’ll create a group, where you can put all the layers you want in.

Once you have finished separating all the inks into layers, you can lock their transparency.
If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, plz take a look at the first chapter of this tutorial
[link] (STEP 6/7)

Use the Eyedropper Tool (I key) and click on the darker portion of the elements, then add some black to that color (Yeah, now you can use black, no worries ;) ).
Then, using the Paint Bucket Tool (G key), click on those inks, and they’ll change color.

Do the same for all the inks layers.
Keep in mind a little rule: The more an object is close to the observer, the more its inks need to be dark (that means “more black into the color”;).

Let’s work on some reflection effects. Just create a new layer over the inks and work with the pen tool (P)

As you could see in STEP8, I filled a portion of the joint with white. I made this for a reason.
Double click in that layer, the LAYER STYLE control panel will appear.
Take a look on the left column, find OUTER GLOW and click on it. Then start play with its values (see figure10 for this).
This thing is very useful for every kind of light I suggest to keep this step in mind.

First of all, I want to apologize. In the previous chapter, on STEP6, I made a magenta gradient on the Slug. Unfortunately, I did not calculate the fact that the inks needed that gradient also.
So, erase that gradient level. Sorry.
Create a new layer (IMPORTANT: make sure you have it over the Slug inks).
CTRL+left mouse button on the Slug flats, then CTRL+SHIFT+left mouse button on every inks layer of the Slug.
At the end, you must have the entire Slug (its inks also) selected.
Then take the Gradient Tool and use it with the magenta tone you used for milla’s filter (remember?)

Well, as you made before, change the Layer properties into “color” mode and play with opacity until you’re satisfied.
As you can see in the figure, I’ve also changed tone to the bushes on the background.

Let’s give a little adjustment to the sky.
Just a little gray/violet gradient on it with low opacity will be enough.

Another little reflection on milla’s hair….


Hope you enjoyed this step-by-step tutorial, it took long time, but I had fun workin’ on it.

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Orko Workflow.

Mer-Man Tomorrow.

Hit Download for large version.


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