Fabric

Someone asked me once, to show some detail from the picture you can see in the thumb on the left. Well, this picture is a bit special to me, as it was printed in the "Exotique 6" album (you can see a preview here). There is no and there will never be a tutorial for this piece - while painting it I didn't really believe I will ever finish it. But I can at least show how I did girl's kimono, maybe someone will find it useful.

As always every comment or question is highly appreciated, I'll try to answer everyone :)

What I want to show you is by no means an universal approach to drawing fabrics. I can only show you how to paint something similar to the kimono on the picture - some satin-like, shiny and delicate, patterned fabric.

I start with a flat surface, on which I just point out some light folds and red margin. Everything is done with big, soft brush, it's not very complicated. Soft transitions are easy to do when you lower opacity of your brush. Only after that I start to do some magic: on the separate layer, with thin and hard brush, using light color I draw fabric motive with small lines. Those lines are supposed to look like embroidery. To get more natural look (now this margin looks like heavily ironed...) I add some shadows on the layer beneath my fresh embroidery.

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For the embroidery to better fit in place I add some color to it. You can do that the easy way, by creating a separate layer, turning it into a "color layer" and making a clipping mask from it (right click it and choose the correct option, new layer has to be placed right above the embroidery layer). After that you can pick large brush and not care about anything, the only thing which will be colored is the embroidery itself. If you are not very familiar with Photoshop and this explanation is not really clear, you can always paint everything in the proper color right from the beginning ;) But what if you want to change the color later...?

After that I add some lights and shadows - I simply use Dodge and Burn tool to do that. It's sometimes interesting to use them on the color layer too so do not hesitate to try! Finishing touch is erasing gently (with low opacity) some parts of the embroidery to fuse it better with the fabric beneath. You can erase completely some parts of it, to show how the fabric is folded.

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Black part of the sleeve is done in the similar fashion. I won't repeat myself just to show you the same process, instead I present some detail from other parts of the picture. I've spent a lot of time on this one but I guess it was worth it, I've learned a lot! :)

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