Create a Photo Realistic Digital Painting in Photoshop

Learn how to make a realistic illustration using brushes in Photoshop

With the right knowledge, the brush tool in Photoshop can be extremely powerful. In this tutorial, Zhiyi Zheng will use digital painting techniques to create a photo realistic illustration of a swan inside a wine glass. This concept will begin as a sketch and then slowly build up to the final result. Let’s get started!


First, let’s take a look at the brushes that will be used. Zhiyi Zheng only uses two basic brushes here, brush 1 is used to soften hard edges and make gradient transitions, its advantage is no need to pick color when paint in grayscale, you can gradually build up a gray scale of any level with a pressure tablet using pure black and white. Brush 2 is actually a basic hard round brush with shape dynamics option on. Brush 2 has very vivid edge. Zhiyi Zheng uses brush 2 mainly as a texture brush and sketching pen. The concept of this painting is a crystal swan bathing in a glass of water, light shines directly from top. There are three materials in the painting: crystal swan, water, and glass.


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