Making of Fire Dragon

Tips about how I made the Fire Dragon wallpaper ( see wallpaper ).

Well the process of
designing Fire Dragon wallpaper is not full of interesting tips and
tricks. It was actually 24 hours of drawing with brushes of different
sizes and colors.



As always, to start, we need background. Set
foreground to dark red, background to black. Select Gradient tool,
choose Radial type, fill the document dragging the mouse from bottom to
top of image.

 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 1

The
mountains in the background are very easy to do – they are simply black
shapes made with Pen tool. So, take a Pen tool and make a shape :-)
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 2

Create new layer, take soft brush tool, set color to lighter red, and make strokes as shown here, touching the edge of mountain.
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 3

Create clipping mask (from Layers menu). The mountain is ready.
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 4

The same way, create as many mountains as you’d like.
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 5

The
dragon itself consists of 2 parts: soft brushes and hard brushes
(outlines). Without many comments, let me show you soft brushes, layer
by layer. Start with dark red very large soft brush (you can apply
Gaussian Blur as well), and with each new layer, make brush smaller,
make color lighter and move it from red to yellow.
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 6

Next layer…
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 7

Next layer…
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 8

Next layer…
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 9

Next layer…
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 10

Next layer…
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 11

Finally,
here goes real Photoshop trick! The soft brushes are good for
background colors, and hard brushes are good for outlines, but neither
are good enough to draw fire. I tried using my tablet pressing hard
brush gently, but I ended up with dragon made of fur, not fire :-) So I
started playing with changing settings of default Photoshop brushes.
Finally, I achieved something that satisfied me (I realize it is not
perfect but drawing fire takes a lot of skills, I am only starting my
way to it). You can download tool preset and try this brush yourself. DOWNLOAD TOOL PRESET.
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 12

Using
this brush, make some strokes around the edges of dragon… (on this
image, I show only this layer on black background, so you can better
see how this brush looks)
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 13

And then set layer mode to Overlay, and duplicate layer. This is the result, shown with all layers visible.
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 14

Next
trick is usually used in tutorials like Make your own Aqua OSX
wallpaper! But I found I wanted this effect here too. Set color to grey
(HEX 808080). With pen tool, create a shape of dragon.
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 15

Set
layer mode to Overlay. Because layer is grey, it will become invisible
– do not worry! :-) Create new layer, and with black and white large
soft brushes, put some dots here and there.
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 16

Then, Create clipping mask (from layer menu). Magically, the brush is masked by vector layer, and inherited overlay!
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 17

You can repeat the same steps to create additional curve inside wings.
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 18

And, use the same technique to make dragon head (or, unlike me, you could do it on previous step! That would be wiser :-)
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 19

This
is how the head looks when I set shape layer mode to Overlay, then add
black and white brush dots, and create clipping mask.
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 20

Use Pen tool to add white eye, then set its layer mode to Overlay too.
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 21

Here

goes most fun and time-consuming part: outlines. For next steps below,

I made outlines with small hard white brush, then set layer mode to

Overlay.

 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 22

This is how it looks with layer mode = overlay…
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 23

next layer… hitting my tablet with pen a lot :-)
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 24

setting layer mode to overlay…
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 25

next layer…
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 26

setting layer mode to overlay…
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 27

Next step – volcano. As with previous mountains, set color to black, and use Pen tool to make a shape of a mountain.
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 28

In

new layer, use large soft brushes (from dark red to gold) to fill

mountain with color. Create clipping mask (from layer menu). Apply

gaussian blur if needed.

 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 29

Add lava in the same way as with dragon wings – with small white hard brush.
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 30

You guessed it right! set layer mode to overlay :-)
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 31

The

final touch is clouds above the volcano (to tell the truth, I added

clouds to hide transition between volcano and dragon :-) I was not

happy with it). Create new document, with width twice more than height.

set foreground to white and background to black. Then apply Clouds

filter (Filters menu – Render).

 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 32

select central part of image, as shown here. Transform (Ctrl-T), holding Alt key, and stretch selection to fill entire document.
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 33

(like this)
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 34

Enable

Quick Mask (Q key), apply Clouds filter again, disable Quick Mask (Q

key again). You should get selection similar to this.

 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 35

Fill selection with black color (simply hit Ctrl-Backspace for that). Then, set Auto Levels (Ctrl-Shift-L).
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 36

Do

that again – enable quick mask, apply Clouds filter, disable quick

mask, fill selection with black, set auto levels (or, in shortcuts – Q,

Ctrl-F, Q, Ctrl-Backspace, Ctrl-Shift-F).

 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 37

Now

we need to remove black from this image. To do so, select all (Ctrl-A),

copy (Ctrl-C), enable quick mask (Q), paste (Ctrl-V), disabled quick

mask (Q). Note how white parts are selected.

 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 38

Invert

selection (Ctrl-Shift-I) and delete (Del). Then open Hue/Saturation

window (Ctrl-U), and set lightness to 100. You should get white clouds

on transparent background.

 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 39

Copy and paste clouds into our artwork.
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 40

switch

to Eraser tool (E). select very large soft brush, and erase edges of

clouds layer, so that clouds start to actually look like clouds.

 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 41

Open

Hue/Saturation window again (Ctrl-U). set lightness to -40 .. -50,

saturation to 80..90. Then play with Hue to get vivid red clouds.

 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 42

Repeat all steps to create another layer with clouds (only, do not make them red this time).
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 43

Then add another layer with clouds, and another one :-) That’s all! Thanks for reading!
 
Fire Dragon - making of - Step 44



See full size wallpaper

Author: Vlad Gerasimov
URL:    http://www.vladstudio.com

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