I love Halloween. It’s one of my favourite days of the year. Me and my siblings used to go out ‘Trick or Treating’ and got loads of sweets and money but the best part was the rare opportunity for us all to spend some quality time together.
With Halloween just around the corner, I wanted to create something cute – just to be different this year. There are many iconic characters and objects that have been associated with Halloween but I wanted to keep things simple; the two things I chose were ghosts and pumpkins.
Please note, this post is for those who know how to set Photoshop layer style and use filters.
To begin with, I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do so I turned to Google and gained some inspiration and came up with 6 pumpkins and 6 ghosts.
I sketched them out as quickly as I could to get the ideas down and work on cleaner sketches if I needed to before inking.
I didn’t need to draw my pumpkins again but the ghosts, I felt, needed a bit more refinement before I moved on to lining them. They looked a bit skinny in the first draft.
Curves are quite hard to get right so, don’t be afraid of re-drawing them until you are happy with them.
I find the easiest way to draw curves is to go with the wrist as it tends to turn in perfect semi-circles.
Clean Sketch and Colour
To create a clean line I used the pen tool in Photoshop. To create the strokes first, set your paintbrush to the line you want for your work and select the colour of your lines. Mine was set to a hard brush art 6 pixels. Then select the pen tool and place your points for your line and curve if necessary.
Next, right click and select Stroke Path from the menu. If it’s for line work make sure ‘Simulation Pressure’ is unchecked, this option is good to use for little details such as the swirls in my pumpkins pattern but not so much for the linework.
The shadow is created using a layer that is set to multiply. This allows me to use the same colour as the character without having to mess around too much finding the right shade.
The idea for this type of image is to keep it as simple as possible to keep the lines and the colours to a minimum.
The pattern part is actually the easiest part of all of this. I’ll make a video soon about how to create a pattern so you can visually follow along but for now, here is what I did.
Start with a square canvas – mine was 2000 x 2000 but you really don’t need it that big.
Each image isn’t a perfectly symmetrical shape, this prevents Photoshop from slicing your image and lining it up perfectly as a pattern. A way around this is to create a perfect square in a solid colour – white is best in my opinion – and placing the first image on top of this. Merge the two together and place them in the centre of the canvas in Photoshop. Do the same for any image that will be placed off the edges of your canvas.
Once you have you perfect square, select Filters => Other => Offset. In the Offset menu, put an amount equal to half of your canvas size. For example, a canvas of 1000 x 1000 should have its verticle and horizontal set to 500. This will place the image, sliced, on the four corners of your canvas.
To place an image sliced in half on the horizontal sides of the canvas – top and bottom – put 0 in the verticle box. Vice versa for vertical placement. Re-arrange the rest of your images in he middle parts to create you new pattern.
Test your pattern by selecting the whole canvas the Edit => Define Pattern. You can then try out your pattern using the pattern option on the bucket tool.
Thank you so much for reading. Have a wonderful day!
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