Angel Process

Recently I did a work using Sketchbook Pro on my mac, that was an image of a girl with wings or an angel. I didn’t look at any other pictures, so I must apologize in advance, for her wings are no where near being anatomically correct to any bird. So if you are an avian fan, don’t worry, I know that this is not what a birds wings actually look like for a few different reasons.

Anyways. This is the first of the images that I have made that I’m really happy with. I decided to share the process on here… and hopefully it’s helpful.

Step One:

The rough sketch

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 8.35.26 PM

Here I was basically blocking on colours to see where I wanted everything to be. I started with the pink for the shade of the body, and then sketched the outline and the wings overtop.

Step Two:

Adding colour

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Here I was adding mid tones, shadows and highlights to the hair, and adding the highlights and shadows to the body.

This was done using the colour of the wings which I blocked in, just lighter for highlights, and darker for shadows.

For highlights, I use a layer that is on one of the ‘lighter’ options under the layer options. Sometimes I use glow, or soft glow, but for this piece I was using ‘lighten’.

For the shadows, I was using ‘multiply’ on a separate layer.

This method makes both highlights and shadows match the base layer really well.  Use a soft brush for blending.

Step Three:

Adding the wings

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For this step, I blocked in the base of the wings, choosing a nice dark colour. Then, using the same technique as above with shadow and highlight layers, and a gold colour to paint on both, I started to add the details for the feathers, again using a soft brush. I did mid tones first, adding basic form, then the shadows to add a bit of depth, and finally highlights to bring out the detail. The more layers you have, the more real your image will look. If you just have highlights, it looks like a 2D drawing. Highlights and mid tones looks like a slightly shaded cartoon. Adding shadows gives it that 3D feel.

I also added more detail to the hair, adding in more natural highlights.

It was here that I noticed that my skin tone was far too pink for the pallet I had chosen for the wings and hair.

Step Four:

Continuing to work

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Here I was still working on the wings, and you can see where I just have mid tones (on the primary feathers) where I have shadows (up towards the wing joint) and where I have all three: mid tones, shadows, and highlights (on the base of the wing).

I changed the skin tone to something closer to my gold/brown pallet, and continued to work on the wing.

Step Five:

Fixing the wing shape

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Here, just the shadow and mid tone layers are visible, and I was working on fixing the wing so that the primary feathers were slightly covered. You can still kind of see the line across the feathers were the primary used to jut out.

Step Six:

Adding highlights

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Ok. Wing is fixed. Continuing to work on adding highlights to the primaries. Also fixed up the wing tip shape a bit.

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Done the first few rows of primary feathers!

Step Seven:

Highlights on the main primaries

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This part was hard, as I had to use a thicker brush and a different stroke technique for the larger feathers, so it took a little longer to master. Otherwise, these were the same as the others.

I also added shadows to the base of each wing.

Step Eight:

Wing number two!

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 8.16.17 PM

I flipped the canvas, so I could work on the other wing, and then started with the same method as I had used on the first one, working feather by feather, four layers for each one.

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working on figuring out where each feather will go here… this is a view with only the mid tones and base layer visible.

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Done! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But not completely finished yet….

Step Nine:

Finishing touches

Angel Completed

For this part, I added a glow layer, and then brushed lightly in gold over the wings in certain areas, around the edges, and around the edges of the hair. I used another large soft brush and a multiply layer to add the shadows on the ground.

A base layer was added as well to create the light in front of the girl through the use of a circular gradient.

Angel copy

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 9.29.31 PM

And that’s it!

Hope you enjoyed 🙂



What did you think? Let me know!