In this tutorial, I will show you how to airbrush paint a glorious, ruby red dragon. To be more specific, the illustrations below simply show the step by step process of how I created my recent dragon piece. Keep reading below to see how.
First and foremost, you will need to have Photoshop C2 or higher to do this. A tablet pen is not required but it is definitely recommended. Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t own one, something like this can still be done. It just might take a little longer :3.
First, I loaded up the dragon picture that I made on to Photoshop.
Next, I created my very first layer. Layer > New and create a new layer. I set the layer’s opacity to around 60% so that I could see how my airbrush was affecting the line drawing below. I will make a tutorial on dragon scales soon, but for now, if you are looking for a painting technique, you can refer to my hair tutorial for now to get a good idea on shading and layering.
After I finished painting in the scaley part of the dragon, I raised the layer opacity to 88%. Big improvement in the scales appearance :3.
For the dragon skin, I created a brand new layer. Just like for the golden scales, I set the layer’s opacity lower for the same reasons as above. Notice how you can see through the painting and visibly see the drawing underneath it. While using the brush tool, I used the sketch as a pathway to work around the shading and such. I used the burn tool for the shaded areas, but not too much.
I raised the layer opacity to almost 100%. To get the smooth effect, I used the smudge tool plus blur here and there. Also to make the skin appear to be somewhat glowy/shiny, I used the dodge tool.
Added color to the dragon quills on its back.
For the next layer, I set it to multiply since there are no sketch lines in the eye area. with the brush tool. And that’s that! A fully colored dragon in under an hour! Feel free to let me know what you thought of this :).