Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dr. Manhattan: From Sketch To Final Art

Here's a step by step guide to how I did my Dr. Manhattan drawing, if anyone's interested.

Step 1: Doc started out as a rough sketch that I scanned and placed into Photoshop.
Step 2: I used the sketch as a guide to draw the body on a new layer with the pen tool. Usually the characters I draw have an outline (like the sketch) but I went a different direction this time.
Step 3: Next I added details to his head and lower body (again with the pen tool instead of the usual brush) on a separate layer. Adding details to a separate layer makes it easier for me to make changes.

(Not shown: The part where I try to decide if I should go ahead and draw his wiener or not)
Step 4: I added each arm on a separate layer as well. This made the shading that's coming up in the next step easier to do. Note that his right arm is on a layer underneath his body.

Step 5: Then I added shading on yet another separate layer. Again, that makes it much easier to edit if I don't like the way it looks.

To do the shading I selected his body, then created a new layer. I then had a blank layer with a selection in the shape of his body. I used the brush to add the darker blue shading. Because I was painting inside a selection that was the exact shape as his body, the shading didn't slop over into the background (I hope all that makes sense). I repeated the process for each arm.
Step 6: Finally I added a shadow under his floating feet, an energy ball around his hand, and a scratchy painted background, all on additional layers. Layers are your friends, kids!


  1. Awesome dude! It's nice to see different approaches from artists!

  2. Thanks! I think there are as many different ways to do things in Photoshop as there are people. Seems like everyone has their own way of arriving at the same result. As long as it works, I guess that's OK!


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