This is an instrucable of how I made this graveyard full of monsters. I have used a trial version of Sketchbook Pro 6, Photoshop 7.0 and some pens and pencils I'll go into through this step by step. These are the techniques I use at the moment, I've taken bits from other tutorials I've read and kept what I liked. This is my first step by step so hope this helps.
Step 1: Starting Out
Firstly I use Sketchbook pro to sketch out the layout of my pictures. It has a really good function where you can change the size of your picture really quickly which saves time by not having to draw it all again if say the head of your character is too big. If you open up a version of Sketchbook pro you start off with your blank page. I sketch out in a light blue color pencil tool so that I can print it out and go over with black without getting confused.
I quickly sketch out a character position and then select new layer and draw the next character. I do this because I can then edit the size of each character later without any disturbance to the rest of the picture. When using a new layer if your characters overlap you can lower opacity of the lower layers to help you out. The opacity is on the right side of the selected layer in the layer window. I sketched a rough background as well to get a feeling of the drawing.
Step 2: Background Finalizing
Once your happy with your sketch, time to tighten up them lines. Because I do most of my characters by hand I tighten up the background in Sketchbook Pro before I print it off. If you select your background layer and the create a fresh one on top you don't have to worry about messing up your background sketch. Sketchbook pro has two really good tools. The Line tool and the Steady Stroke tool making it easier to get your straight lines and a steady flowing curve. I tighten up the main items in the background that will have added detail and then add the items I know will be blackened out, after erasing any overlapping lines raise the opacity on your characters and re size if needed. To re size a layer on sketchbook pro, select the chosen layer and press and hold shift + V to bring up the mini menu with the re size option. I then reduce the opacity on the layers to where I can faintly see them and print it out on your chosen card stock or paper.
Step 3: Tools
These are my most used tools for drawing, I like looking at what other artists use so this is my stash. I use mechanical pencils 0.3 and 0.5 and then blue mechanical in 0.7, A kneed able eraser, a range of technical pens sizes 0.1 - 0.8. I use a Pental Pocket Brush for my inking because it's great and easy to refill, I use koh-i-noor ink also a white poster paint Sharpie to highlight on black. I have stencils for eclipses and circles which are always handy. So now that that's done lets move on to the drawing !.
Step 4: Starting to Ink
On this piece because the character's are not nailed down I started by inking the blackened out parts in the background to add some depth, I did this with the pental brush. I use the pental brush but that doesn't mean you have to you can just use what you have in replacement for anything I use in this instructable.
Step 5: Inking the Characters
I'm starting on the little Igor type character first. I didn't use pencils on this character because I had quite a firm idea in my head what he would look like. Normally and on the other two I will sketch them out first in blue pencil so that the lines can be erased when scanned back into the computer.
The main thing I find when inking is having different line weights in your pictures, If you draw everything with the same thickness it looks a little flat. Even if your using a 0.3 fine line pen go over the lines that you want to stand out, If you take this character for example. His right arm is a little thicker lined to give that slight impression that it is closer to you and in front of his body, the main aim is to make a 2d image look 3d.
After I do the outlines and little detail with the pental brush I use a fine liner for the real detail to get more precision, normally a 0.1 or 0.2 size.
Step 6: Finishing the Inking
I repeat the same process for the other characters and background as shown in the pictures added. I added the muscles on the Frankenstein in blue pencil before inking since that needed more structure than Igor, unfortunately I can't go into muscle structure in this instructable since it is a very large area but if people want one i'll be happy to do a couple of different ones in the future. Again I do the outlines in pental and detail in 0.1 fine liner for both the characters and backgrounds. As you can see on one picture I was planning to do a pumpkin head character but could not get a head I was happy with so switched to a flaming skull. I drew the flaming skull without a pencil sketch because I couldn't make up my mind so sometimes by doing it with pen it's more permanent and the drawing is a lot more raw and impulsive. Sometimes having the ability to erase something makes you question it a lot more and get bogged down in the details.
Step 7: Scanning and Cleaning Up the Image
I scan images in at 300 dpi resolution and using the Text/Line art setting. I only have a very old version of photoshop, 7.0 which is like 10 years old but it does the job. The functions maybe different in your versions but the same applies, If you look at the first picture which is freshly scanned in. The blue lines are still visible on your nicely inked image so if you press Ctrl+L it comes up with the dark and light level options shown in the second image. If you move the right arrow ( highlighted with the yellow circle in the 2nd image) the image will get lighter and slowly make the blue lines invisible, now when your happy with that move the left arrow (highlighted blue in the same image). The left arrow will darken the lines that are left giving you a clean inked image, just click Ok to save the changes. You can just erase any stray blue lines hiding anywhere.
Step 8: Putting Down Flats
Ok so you've scanned in your image, cleaned up the blue lines and eagerly waiting to see your creation coloured. I have highlighted the layers box in the second image, I'll talk you through this first. I have labelled the layers to make it easier to follow, My inked image in now on the LINEART layer, while this is selected change the layer option from NORMAL to MULTIPLY. You might have to right click and duplicate this layer first if it won't let you change the settings and then just delete the locked layer.
Right so now create two layers and move them below your LINEART layer, make the bottom one BACKGROUND this will be your background colour so that you can change it later after the characters are done. The layer now in the middle will be your FLATS layer , this is where you can colour your nice image without going over your lines, use flat colours for this. This means that you will build up your colours from this colour, I have just laid down colours so that the characters are easier to select later on, you can always edit them as you will see I did.
Step 9: Shading
Still following ? good. I am going to start adding some depth to the image, I zoomed into Frankenstein's legs for this. Add a layer and place it inbetween the LINEART layer and the FLATS layer, I call it SHADE but it's LAYER 1 in the first couple of pictures. While highlighting this layer turn off the LINEART layer's visibility, go up to the tool bar and click SELECT then COLOR RANGE. This will bring up the little box that is in the 2nd picture, from here click which part of the picture you want to select. I went for the legs and trainers, the box will now disappear and you will have the moving ant lines moving around your selected area (pic 3). You can now turn the LINEART layer back on and add the shading, IMPORTANT make sure your SHADE layer is selected. For this image I shaded using a dark grey and lightened the opacity. You can use this technique or you can select a darker version of your flat colour to shade also you can use the blur tool to blend it in a bit depending on your desired effect. Use the same techniques now on the entire picture.
Step 10: Shading Continued
These are just stage by stage images all using the same techniques. You'll notice I changed the colours of the skin and costumes on the characters, use the same technique for this. Turn off LINEART layer, click SELECT, COLOR click the part you want and press Ok then highlight the FLATS layer and you can change the flat colour of that part. Move back onto the SHADE layer to add the shade though, I mess up all the time so just keep check on your layers.
Step 11: Flame On
Now for the flames, I coloured the orange of the flames on the FLATS layer and then erased the ink lines from the LINEART layer. This is just because it looks better than having a solid black outline around it, I coloured the flames with the opacity lowered to allow for the colour and detail of the background to come through. The 2nd image I just added yellow to the SHADE layer, I also added some more shading to the tombstones and characters. Feel free to add more layers for shadows and highlights, the more layers the more you can go back and edit if things go wrong.
Step 12: Glowing Effect
Lighting and shadow adds a lot to an image, with this image we have two light sources. The flaming head and the moon, If I just coloured the flames it would look ok but doesn't really portray the heat or light coming off this fire ball. I again turned off the LINEART and SHADE layers then I used the magic wand to select all the areas that the light off the flames would touch. To select more than one item with the wand hold down the SHIFT key while you select the areas, now that they are selected highlight the SHADE layer so that your on top of all the colours you've put down. Turn on the LINEART layers visibility, then select the paint brush with the orange colour chosen, lower the opacity of the brush and add just a light glow to all the areas that you think should be highlighted. Lighting and shading takes a time to get good at so just keep trying different things, you can use items in your house and hold them away from a light source to see where the shadow casts and which part is highlighted.
Step 13: Sky and the Moon
Ok so remember that BACKGROUND layer we made ages ago, we're going back to it now. Select that layer, I have two parts on this one the green of the grass and the blue sky so turn off all layers except the BACKGROUND layer, do the select,color combo and click the sky. We're going to use the GRADIENT tool now, this allows you to fade from one colour to another, so I chose a blue/grey colour and the second colour a black/blue colour. With this tool it's like drawing a line, you click two points and the effects change so play around with it. There are plenty of options to change but I use the Radial Gradient option on the top bar, this will give the effect of the light coming off the Moon getting darker the further from the Moon the sky gets. After the sky select the Moon on the FLATS layer then again select the SHADE layer so it's on top off all your work. Using the gradient tool again change the 1st colour to white, lower the opacity and change the gradient to FOREGROUND to TRANSPARENT. This will give the effect of blending the white into the background colour of your image, then click the middle of the Moon and drag out to your desired effect.
Step 14: Moon Glow
To get this effect we're doing the same as the fire. Select the BACKGROUND layer and use a white coloured paint brush with the opacity lowered, this will give the effect that the clouds passing in front of the moon are highlighted by the light off the moon. Also the same as the flame give a little glow on the outside of Frankenstein, the side that is facing the moon.
Step 15: Grass and Shadows
Ok all that's left now is the grass, select the grass on the BACKGROUND layer and use the gradient tool with black colour and lowered opacity. For the shadows use a paint brush with black at a light opacity again, and place shadows on the grass where you think they should be in regard to your light source. In this picture the moon is the stronger light but the shadow of Igor is coming off the flaming head because Frankenstein is blocking him from the moonlight.
Step 16: Final Touches
Lastly I added some more shading using the gradient tool just to darken the core of Frankenstein and Igor and a little on the flaming heads shins and some on the gravestones. This is all to your personal preference.
Step 17: Final Image !
So here it is all finished, Hopefully you will find some of this helpful. I have a long long way to go with colouring but these are the tips and techniques I have picked up along the way, hopefully you'll discover your own ways of doing things that add to these. Thanks for reading if you have any questions feel free to email me Lloydbridgemanink@hotmail.co.uk or visit my website www.lloydbridgemanink.com or my deviantart http://lloydbridgemanink.deviantart.com/. All feedback is welcomed and if you want any tips just ask. Thanks