Step-By-Step: Hilda Full Character


Welcome to this step-by-step character drawing tutorial. Well, it's not a full tutorial, I'll just show you every step I did to sketch, color and render the character as seen above. For your information, I used Photoshop CS6 to do this, but Programs like Gimp, Artrage etc. should be fine too. After every picture follows a description of what happened there.
This is only for the full character painting on the left side of the sheet. It's not about how I did the turn-arounds, the helm, or about design decisions – those were made before I started drawing. But I hope this is going to be helpful so let's get started.

First of all I did a sketch of the character without any clothes. This is important because it's really helpful to see what is underneath the clothes so we know how the wrap around the body. Because this was going to be a character design with different layers of clothes that are quite tight, I decided for a less loose sketch. In addition I was drawing with a light blue (it could be any color) to separate the sketch underneath from the black or grey lines I was going to draw above it.


In the second step I sketched out the clothes and the armor. Again I used a colored brush, or different colors to make it easier for myself to see the parts and not to make it too confusing for myself. If it all is one color, I sometimes forget what was connected to where and wich of all those lines is actually the one I want to use.

Third, I turned the lines to greyscale and set the layer to multiply. Then I used the paintbucket tool to make the background layer grey instead of white. Some light grey tone or another low saturated color is better than using white because it makes your highlights shine and the bright white would just hurt the eyes (even if you don't think you feel it, your eyes know better). Then I made a new layer above the background but below the line drawing and painted the local colors in (= the colors that the objects have basically, without being affected or influenced by something).

I decided the main light source would be somewhere in the top left corner, on the side the character turns her head to. Then I used the burn tool for some basic shadows and the dodge tool for soft lights. Each tool set to "midtones".

Yes, something changed here, even though it's not much. I was working out the forms with light and shadow a little bit more (see the face and the boots for example) and also added some hard edges. For this I used pretty normal brushes, like the round and calligraphic standard brushes.


Even more lights and shadows and hard edges. I worked on the helm and the gun as well and tried to give an idea of what the materials are. 

Now this is very close to the final stage. The materials look satisfying and the face has more depth now. Also I added some more details like the laces and different highlights. 


This is the final image and in this step it was all about the details and the last bit of fine-tuning. The obvious that I added are the orange lines on the armor pieces, plus I cleaned up everything a bit, especially in the face and made the helmet shinier and glossier. 
Beside that there are highlights as bright as they can be and dark tones in a few selected areas. 
In addition to that I but some blurry greys (picked from the background) with a low opacity over the areas that would be a little less in the spotlight. That is her right arm and the bag on her left leg (just slightly).

So this is it and if there are any questions unanswered or if you have a request to make, feel free to leave a comment or message me in any way that you like.