Dessert

Yeah, I know, I am terrible at giving titles, but you will have to forgive me for that... I hope that at least this tutorial will satisfying. It was quite an important picture for me. After months of drawing 'as fast as possible' I came to a sad conclusion that I have no fun from drawing. Not even a little bit. I don't even feel satisfied anymore after finishing another picture. I didn't like my works and they had no meaning nor value to me. So I decided to change my approach, my thinking - I decided to draw what I wanted to draw and only when I felt like it and to finish it only when I am happy with it, no matter how long it will take. And that's how this drawing was born :)

I want to show you how this picture was made and show some tricks. Maybe you won't fall asleep in the middle of my story :D Or maybe you will even learn something from this?.. Far below you can find a step-by-step animation, it's pretty funny to watch, actually :D There is no movie though, sorry about that. This work is really old, I painted it during the summer of 2012.

Of course for the beginning a messy and really ugly sketch. Sometimes I even wonder why am I showing this to anyone? xD I guess cause it's funny... :D When I already know what I want to draw (what objects I will put on the table, how is my character positioned and clothed and so on) I sketch it 'for real', while trying to make it look decent and add some details. I look a bit better so I add some colors on the separate layer. I wanted this picture to be in subtle, soft, pastel tones.

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I start with hair, although I don't really know why, I don't remember. Maybe I just like that hairdo and I just wanted to draw it as fast as possible, I don't know :D I somehow struggle with this strange braid, at first without zooming in on it, I paint just to get the general feel. I paint a dark shape with a soft brush and then add some lighter color to make certain parts of this hair stick out. I want to 'see' the proper shape. Then I take even smaller brush, I add more lines and more colors. Well you can't paint a good hair with two colors. At least you shouldn't.

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I sketch out her face once again, from the very beginning. Why? Previous sketch did more harm than anything else, sadly. I painted the whole face and was totally unhappy so I redid everything. It just didn't look natural to me and I was unable to fix it. Then I add some colors to it. When it comes to painting face, after all nothing seems to be more important than proper tones and proper shadows... I realized that just when I've been painting this picture and I am not sure if I won't make the same mistake next time :D But who cares - practice makes you perfect, right? :D So I just need to practice more!..

I add some additional lines near eyes and lips and some more colors. I use hard brush and smudge tool and soft brush in the same time. Hard one for drawing details, like eyes and eyelids, soft one for blending colors on the flat surfaces and cheeks and so on. Sketch is merged with the layer I paint on, I simply bury it under new strokes. At last I add some color to those lips and some eyelashes, just to finish this up. As you can see there is not much detail here. And it's not even needed! Her face looks just fine from the distance. Ladies and gentlemen - meet Alice. For the first time she looks just like she always should have.

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Here you can see how it looks zoomed out. I also sketch out hands again (on the separate layer) and add color. I start with the easier one, for the warm up ;D Hands are painted with the soft brush. For me it's best to first draw lines separating fingers and such, then add shadows and after that some lights, to make certain parts 'stick out' more. I try to avoid using very dark colors, I don't want to destroy this warm and sunny palette I used till now. As you can see below there is no black here. Shadows are bright and warm. Edges are also soft and subtle as I use smudge tool to blend colors and ease them out a little bit.

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After painting hands and that fruit-picking-device (looks kind of scary, I should have just drawn a long toothpick or something...) I reorganize the rest of the picture. I add missing parts of her arms and on the separate layer I sketch out some clothes. I also add glasses for fruits and some flowers in a jug. When everything is on its place I prepare for painting those flowers. At first, with soft brush, I place some colors, bright ones. I want to get the general idea of this object. And I pick blue for the jug to make it separate nicely from those warm flowers.

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I will be frank with you here - I don't know how to paint flowers. What you see below is just my struggle with the topic. On the same layer I added some strange lines with a dark color. It was supposed to show how petals are arranged. I wanted to use smudge tool later on, to make it better. I selected hard, small and very strong brush for the smudge tool and I smudged some petals. I looked somehow acceptable. I did a similar thing with jug and leaves, to make them more refined. Then, finally, I add some edges with smaller brush, some more details and highlights.

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After fighting some more with the flowers (I should have tried harder with this one but I really am bad with flowers...) I started to paint this glass for fruits. It didn't work. I don't have anything like that at my home and I couldn't find any decent photo of what I wanted to draw so I had to change the concept. Sometimes it's a must... No one wants to struggle for a week with one stupid glass, right? I also didn't care about how it looked at this point - it would all change after adding fruits anyway.

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For a little while I leave poor glass alone and move to the clothes. I start with the upper part of the lace. I tried to paint it with a soft brush, a bit messy, just to grasp the general idea of the pattern. As you can see on the first picture from the ones below, I also used some other brushes but I didn't like the result so I ditched the idea. After all I decided to dress my Alice a little bit different, I chose corset, some really delicate lase and embroidery on top of it. Color of the embroidery must match the fabric below - this is easily done if you add a clipping mask to the embroidery and paint on it.

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At last I added those fruits, but I leave them alone very soon, so just some colorful spots filled the place. I move to those flowers on her head to close this part of the image. I sketch them out at first and color them in a simple way, with hard edged brush. I use smudge tool to blend lights and shadows together and soft brush for the final details. Flowers are very small so there's no need to put a lot of effort into them, details won't be visible anyway. It's important not to forget the shadow underneath.

Then I add missing parts of hair and remove a bit of color from those flowers as they are too saturated and stick out too much. It looks decent so I add some final floating strands of hair and small earrings in her ears. Because why not? ;D

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Finally I paint the table. I didn't want it to be just flat and ordinary so I added some patterns. Bright light made the job easier. I didn't remove the previous, blurry version, it actually gave a nice texture for some parts. Here you also have to remember about the shadows of all those elements on the table. Usually I paint shadows on the separate layer with multiply mode turned on. It's easier to erase them when I change something. As a last element - I refine those fruits. You can't see them clearly on the small version of the image to here you go - 100% of the detail!

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And here comes the step-by-step animation. there are few steps more than in the tutorial (but not many), it's good to look at it. As you can see - you shouldn't get discouraged when things do not look good! :) I repainted her face 4 times in this picture before I was happy with it. I also had to change some things, like the shape of glass. But after all this struggle I am happy with the picture and I'm glad I've spent so much time and effort, and I'm proud that I was stubborn enough to make her look exactly like I wanted her to be.

I wish you all good luck and be strong! :D