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Shy - Steps


Hello again everyone! You guys are always so supportive and awesome, and I know some have been asking for some tutorials or processes, so I searched my hard drive and found some pieces that I saved the steps for. Here's my process for one of my previous drawings, along with a description of how I made it.
Shy by nakanoart

From left to right:
STEP ONE: First, I start with a neutral, desaturated hue. Then, I choose the color based on what I expect the picture's atmosphere to be. In this case, warm. I have the three layers: the "lineart" layer set to multiply on the top, the "figure" second, and the "background" on the bottom.

STEP TWO: Now I lock the transparency on the "figure" layer, and gently apply more color. On the brush's setting, I have the flow set lower than 75% so some of the original hue shows through.

STEP THREE: After that, I made a "shadow" layer above the "figure" layer, and set it to multiply and draw over the character to create a dramatic shadow. I use a hue in the same range at the original color palette I chose in step one. I also chose to create a background at this point, because it would help me choose what to do with the lighting. I decided a traditional Japanese door would be nice (and simple lol).

STEP FOUR: Create a "light" layer above the "shadow" layer and brush over the character with a hue of your choice (in this case a warm color) and set the layer mode to something like overlay. There are other modes that look nice as well, so feel free to experiment.

STEP FIVE: This is the scary part! Where I merged the "light", "shadow", and "figure" layers down to one. This way I am able to tweak the colors more easily. I also added some sakura blossoms and branches on a new layer above all the others. I plan on blurring them to create depth, so I just focused on form and color with those.

FINISHED!: The final touches! Here's where you do what you want to give your drawing a personal touch. I put some textures over the drawing, blurred those flowers, and tweaked the color slightly. Don't even bother following what I did at this point lol. Find someone cool that works for you: sparklies, chromatic aberration, focus blur, whatever you want!

I hope some of you find this helpful! >^..^< Feel free to ask if you have any questions, or if I wasn't clear enough in any of my steps.

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More of my art!
Overwatch - Tracer by nakanoart  Tangled Tiger by nakanoart  Taking the Dog for a Walk by nakanoart   Unbreakable by nakanoart   Perspective by nakanoart

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© 2016 - 2021 nakanoart
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greatbigfan's avatar

Beautiful work, love your style, genuine offer, paying work, comics, anthropomorphic punk rock horror...if interested, please Send email to

LoWarlord's avatar
What does Multiply on the lineart layer do? :O
nakanoart's avatar
Sorry for the late reply. Setting the lineart to multiply makes it stand out above the coloring. Technically it's not necessary, but I feel it looks so much better and more natural when I do it lol.
MaskedWereWolfDevil's avatar
it almost looks like she got up extra early, waiting to watch the sunset, haha~
but this is gorgeous and you could have set any of those as the finished project and it would have been gorgeous!
nakanoart's avatar
Oh I like that! I didn't actually consider a story behind this image until you mentioned it, thank you ^..^

(Sorry for the late reply haha)
MaskedWereWolfDevil's avatar
no worries we all have lives!! late replies just come with it.
And i mean thats how i see it if you read the coloring as a story instead of a step by step process ^w^
LorayuhBlueRose025's avatar
When you do things like blur parts of a picture to add focus, how does it affect you as the artist who created such beautiful details to know that now they won't show as much? Or does it not really bother you because you plan to do that from the beginning? I hope I'm making sense.
nakanoart's avatar
I know exactly what you mean ^..^ For this drawing, I knew I was going to blur the leaves, so I didn't bother putting much time into the details. I just focused on getting the color palette correct before adding blur.

However, on this drawing:

The Key to Your Heart - Steps by nakanoart

I didn't plan ahead for blur. I wanted to bring the hand out-of-focus, but I chose not to, because I lost too much detail in the process.
LorayuhBlueRose025's avatar
 Ah I see. So it just depends on the mind set when you start and as you're working.
TokaAri's avatar
BoyWinkle's avatar
What art program do you use?
nakanoart's avatar
Photoshop, but Manga Studio is a much more affordable program if you're in the market :3 (I got my copy of PS as a gift years ago).
BoyWinkle's avatar
Well I've been using auto desk for about a year and was looking for an upgrade.
nakanoart's avatar
Nice! In that case, yeah, I recommend the latest version of Manga Studio 5 ^..^
BoyWinkle's avatar
RusariJubakuno's avatar
She's showing her private area... ?
nakanoart's avatar
Um no, I wouldn't post this if she was lol.
0Ninazu0's avatar
No, those are her thighs being pressed together, so you don't see her genetalia.
melisatigress's avatar
She looks beyond adorable. :3
JAWSART's avatar
i love seeing step by step stuff
Flandre026's avatar
Man , I love your tutorial!!! It surely taught me a lot!!! I have a question BTW. What kind of brushes do you use the most and what tool do you use for blending colours??? The smudge tool , the blur tool or it all depends on what results you want??? 
nakanoart's avatar
Yay! I'm glad it was helpful for you ^..^

I typically use one of the square-shaped paintbrushes that comes with Photoshop, and occasionally I use brushes from here: To blend I use a soft brush and the eyedropper tool. I don't smudge too often, but when I do, I turn on the "scattering" option.
Flandre026's avatar
Awww , thank you so much for the useful tips!!! You're one of my greatest inspirations on this site :happybounce: 
Keep up the awesome work and I hope ya' recover quickly Huggle! 
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