Imagine

After a rather long break from color - finally something interesting ;) Ok, fine, it's nothing fancy, but those shiny bubbles were fun to draw and cats (especially black ones, cause fur is a lot easier to draw) are a great breather for me. I'll try to explain how this drawing came to life.

As always I am open for questions and complains. If anyone needs/wants more explanation, I'm here to help.

I start with an empty sheet (2000 x 2000 pixels, 300dpi) and sketch my model. At first I just wanted to have a cat and bubbles here, with some nonspecific background. So I just put some blue-white "somethings" at the back and on the separate layer I sketch the cat. First dark spots on the cat's back are also separate. I use my favorite big, round and soft brush of course.

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Starting point for cat's head is an eye. I also add some fur around it, so it immediately fits into the rest of the picture. At first I thought I will need my fur brush but there wasn't such necessity. Black fur makes thin and separate hairs almost invisible so I just put some soft and blurry lines on the head with my regular brush. There is no reason to put more detail than you are able to see from afar anyway ;) Without any special reason I use blueish light for the fur.

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Next are ears. It's worth remembering to put for fur on the kitten's edges. Also near ears I draw little, black hairs to make it look more convincing. Ear insides I fill with some skin folds, which I had found in my cat's ears ;D

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There is no cat without whiskers. On the right side they are placed on the background so I have to use a darker colour. I don't want them to vanish on the background. On the left they need to be white as there is a black fur beneath. Colors which I used are very different but you can't see it on the picture. Human eye perceives colors differently, based on surroundings ;) Whiskers endings are slightly erased (eraser with low opacity, soft one!) and blurred. I've put them on the separate layer so it's very easily achieved. After that I blacken the rest of my kitten.

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White spot is done in a couple of minutes, which I spent viciously scratching my tablet. Yes, this has to be done by hand, strand by strand, to look a little bit convincing. Or at least this is how I would do it, because I see no other way ;D After I'm finally done with the fur, I make a small experiment and invert colors on the background layer. You can do that by pressing ctrl + I. Red background is out of the question (because I used blue for the fur light) so I quickly adjust the colors (press ctrl + U and play around!). And I ave to say, that looks pretty nice! :)

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I fix those whiskers, which are a bit too dark on the one side now and they blend with the background too well... I erase them completely and draw again with a lighter color. Then the time comes for bubbles. I didn't really know how to start with them so I just drew a circle and with soft brush I erased insides. Everything was done on the separate layer to be able to move those bubbles around later on.

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I feel my bubble with colors! With a soft brush I paint some colorful spots inside the circle and sometimes use smudge brush to blend colors better. In the very center the bubble is darker and you can see more colors near the edges. It's helpful to look at some photos first, you can find plenty using google ;) When bubble is colorful enough I add some highlights and erase (with a hard eraser) those places where I painted over the bubble edges. As a finishing touch I use dodge tool to help those highlights.

On the end, when I added some more, smaller bubbles around, I had an idea to make this picture more interesting and I painted a small light-fish inside the biggest bubble :)

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And that's it! Cat's name is Gamma, she is very happy with her first digital portrait ;D