This isn’t exactly a tutorial, but more of a quick “time lapse” demo of a simple illustration technique I use. In this video, I’m going to draw a skull in Photoshop with my Wacom Tablet. I will use a photo of a skull for reference and I will “trace” on top of it on a separate layer.
It’s not exactly tracing so to speak, but rather “illustrating” because I’m embellishing linework on top of a photo reference. I’m creating a line drawing of my own liking based off a photograph. Things you should pay attention to are line weights, the variation of thick to thin, stippling shading, and cross hatching.
In most cases, I’ll work with a huge document, maybe like 25″ x 30″ at 300 DPI if I’m doing a shirt design. But in this case, I will just work at 2500×2500 pixels at 300dpi. My brush settings are pretty standard. Like a 19 pixel round brush with pressure sensitivity turned on. That’s it. Sometimes I might adjust the angle of my brush and the width. So I get a little bit of a calligraphic brush going on. But it’s not always necessary.
It should give you some insight as to how I create some of my skulls. I’m usually going for a more realistic illustrated look, but sometimes if I want a more stylized look I’ll draw it freehand.
Here are some examples of designs made using this technique: