Tulips

For today I've prepared another short (ok, maybe not so short) video with me drawing tulips. Somehow I am usually terrible at drawing flowers. On my images they are always heavy and artificial looking. Well, drawing aside, in real life I'm not any better at handling flowers, everything in my pots is either dried or rotten. There must be something in flowers that I don't understand :D I liked those tulips though, maybe you can benefit from this short video too.

Of course download is more than recommended - video is in much bigger resolution and quality, plus there is no speed-up. What you can see below is just a sample.

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At first some croaked drawing of my tulips. It's very hard to make oneself to draw every single petal, but I'm trying. It worked for only one flower but it's better than nothing. This one will have to be the focus of the drawing. You can see much more after I add basic colors, diving everything to separate layers. I try to use many different tones of green while I draw leaves, so that I don't mix those layers. Every color is a separate element and a separate layer. I draw everything under the sketch and then lower it's opacity. After everything is done I create first clipping mask above the main flower (create new layer, right-click it and select "create clipping mask" - now this new layer is of the size of the one beneath it, you won't destroy the edges). First colors are added with my texture brush, which you can download HERE.

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On the drawings below you can see me add more and more colors. At first I used only yellow and purple tones, then I gradually add red and orange, trying to make the flower more interesting and less color-flat. I paint edges with bright line of light, although I also add shadows. They are rather bright, mostly purple and red. Flowers are translucent so even shadows are partially lit and warm. Too much contrast and it won't look good so watch out and never use black for shadows here.

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I color leaves in a similar fashion. At first I add clipping mask above the layer with flat color, then add shadows and lights. I try to use different hues and not paint with just "dark-green" and "light-green". With translucent part I use more saturated colors and more dull or cold green for shadowed parts. I am trying to get a grasp of the shape here, understand how lights and shadows work. When I'm done with the green part, I go back to the flower and adjust contrasts since they seem too weak, compared to the leaves. That's why I add more dark purple to the bottom of my tulip.

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When I paint all those tulips in the back, my main concern is not losing separation of those flowers. Huge mass of green something is what I wish to avoid. That's why I polish all the edges, trying to protect them with shadows and colors.

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Finally I start working on the details. I change size of my brush to smaller one and often switch it for smudge tool. I slowly adjust and refine every petal, trying to make it look more realistic. Ugly color transitions are dealt with using smudge tool and edges are painted over with small brush. I also add a bit of texture to the petals, drawing thin, red lines. Sharp (too sharp) edges of the base layer are also being refined with smudge tool. On the last picture you can see those details up close, although I never looked at those tulips zoomed like this when I painted ;)

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I refine rest of the drawing, leaving furthest flowers untouched, since I plan to blur them out. To create effect of depth I used gaussian blur filter to soften basic layer and color layer for them (yes, you have to blur out both layers). Last, final trick is to copy layers merged, place this on top, blur out with gaussian blur filter and set this new layer as "overlay". Now colors are more vivid and we get with pleasant, soft light from blurred overlay lights. Simple and quite interesting effect.

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And that's how it looks finished. Not hard to draw and an enjoyable exercise :)