New Arsenal Release: Wacom Illustration Video Tutorial

new video tutorial

Go Media owner and veteran illustrator Jeff Finley shares intimate details of his illustration and design process in his two hour video tutorial “Wacom Illustration Techniques”. You’ll learn the process for manipulation and compilation of photos for reference, secrets of illustration with a Wacom tablet, and techniques for adding color and texture to finalize the piece.

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Beauty is a Black Hole final artwork

The image above is the final artwork you will create in this tutorial. You’ll see everything created from scratch in real-time in Photoshop.

Photo manipulation

  • Setting up document
  • Finding reference photos.
  • Combining reference photos into cohesive composite reference.
  • Aligning the anatomy of a reference skull to a stock photo.
  • Using layer masks to clean up composite reference.
clip from the video


Ideal brush settings for use with a Wacom.
Drawing the skull

  • Roughing in main outlines.
  • Adding illustrated hash lines and stipple dots to suggest shading.
  • Knowing the difference between anatomy & illustration.
  • See the entire skull drawn in real time.
  • Drawing more realistic teeth.
  • Interpreting detail from the dull areas of the reference photo.
  • Adding texture with illustration techniques.
clip from the video

Drawing hair

  • Creating your own style from insufficient reference material.
  • “Chunking” areas of hair to frame the flow.
  • Subdividing the chunks to fill in the hair.
  • Controlling line density to suggest light & dark areas.
  • Drawing hair like a twisting tube.
  • Getting in the zone with the lines.

Adding type, texture, & color

Adding fill and texture

  • Filling the linework with a background color.
  • Adding “noise” with texture.
  • Blending in the artwork to the background with layer masks.
  • Creating noise textures with the “guess & check” method.
  • Adding positive & negative noise to the foreground & background to add cohesion.
clip from the video

Adding type

  • Combining faces, weights, sizes & kerning for the perfect type treatment.
  • Using Photoshop’s align & distribute functions.
  • Simulating ink bleed on the type.

Adding color

  • Experimenting with textures & layer blending modes.
  • Applying the global vintage color treatment.
  • Spot blurring to add visual interest.
  • Adding grain & sharpness with the high pass filter.
2 hour video tutorial by Jeff Finley

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Art Print now available:

Beauty is a Black Hole by Go Media
Beauty is a Black Hole by Go Media

About the Author, Jeff Finley

I'm a partner at Go Media, a Cleveland web design, branding, and design studio. I started Weapons of Mass Creation Fest and wrote the book Thread's Not Dead, teaching artists and designers how to start a clothing company. I'm also writing a new book called Wake Up: The Morning Routine That Will Change Your Life

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