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Give life to your characters. How to draw Ariel the little mermaid.

Hey guys. In today's tutorial I will show how to draw and add color to a cartoon.
The subject is Ariel, the little mermaid.

1st I would like to apologize for the quality of my 1st sketch, but I've recently bought a graphic tablet and I can't get quite used to it ..

Going through this tutorial, you should achieve something like this:

Create a new Photoshop document.
Mein is quite small (600px X 600px)but, depending on how detailed you need your result, feel free to pick your own size for the document.

Using the mighty Pen Tool, start drawing your sketch.
If you own a tablet, choose a hard small brush, and make sure you check the Pen Pressure options in the brushes panel (F5).
Of course using the Pen Tool will get you to a more accurate sketch, but it is also a lot moretime-consumming.

Follow my screenshots below during this process.
Slit the images into even smaller parts and concentrate on each one of them.
Don't forget to create a new layer for every part because later on we'll get back on them.

If you are not happy with your sketch, feel free to download mine and upload it in Photoshop.

Let's start colouring our sketch.
As we go, create a new layer also for colors and name them hair_color..etc.

Pick a nice red and paint all over the hair area.
Place the colors always under the sketch layer.

TIP: If you are not sure about the color, upload my picture in Photoshop and use the Color Picker Tool (I).

Next paint the bra..

the skin..

the tail

the eyes and the mouth

Now you get back to our sketch layers.

For every part, set the color to a slight darker one than the colored layer.
For example for hair, pick a darker red.
Do this by opening the Blending Options Panel for each layer, and add "Color Overlay".

Above the hair_color layer, add a layer called.."Highlights".
Using a lighter red,add some hightlights:

Blur the layer using the settings in the screenshot:

Blur also the hair contour (the sketch layer using the settings described):

In a new layer, add some white lines (a)).
Smudge them as shown (b)).

Set the opacity to 35% and the layer mode to "Color Dodge".

Apply a gradient to the entire surface of the hair using the settings below:

Now pick again the "Smudge Tool" and smudge the darker parts of the hair created in the first step(the hair sketch):

Using Burn&Dodge, with the hair_color layer selected, burn and dodge some areas to give more volume to the hair.

Let's proceed to the skin.

All we need here is the Burn/Dodge Tool.
Follow the guidelines in the scrrenshots.
Where the shadow is deeper, we need Burn Midtones and also Burn Highlights.
You change these setting in the upper menu, the drop-down list next to "Range".

Next select the skin_sketch layer and smudge it as shown:

Give a 3D look to your Bra (the mermaid's actually :)), using again the Burn & Dodge Tools..
Where you see darker areas use Burn, and where you see lighter areas, use Dodge..simple as that:D

Now we smudge the tail to make it look like it is "built-in".
So smudge it upwards, to combine it with the skin.

For this step, we need some scales.
Search on Google for some scales, or a big fish.

Place the image over the tail, CTRL + Click on the "Tail" layer's thumbnail.
This will make a selection of your layer.
Make sure your fish covers the entire upper area of the tail.
Hit CTRL+SHIFT+I (Inverse Selection) and hit delete. Make sure you have the image with the fish selected and not the one with the tail.
Delete unuseful parts, leaving only the upper part covered in scales.

Apply a vector mask, so the Opacity is increased in the upper part.
If you don't know how to apply a vector mask, the technique is described in this tutorial.

Dodge the upper middle area.

As you can see in this screenshot, the lower part of the tail it is also modified.
Same as with the bra, smudge the sketch lines, and afterwards, add burn and dodge to create a 3D feel.

For the last step, just browse for a nice underwater image, place it under the other layers, and blur it.

That's it.
Again here is the final result.

If you’ve enjoyed this tutorial don’t forget to subscribe, like us on Facebook , follows us on Twitter or distribute it using the sided’s just that this is a simple thing to do and it will keep this blog running.
Thanks for reading my blog.
Ela. xx
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