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“The Bazaar” Illustration in Photoshop #Tutorials

Looking to brush up on your Photoshop skills, we've got you covered with this illustration #tutorial by one of our Dublin studio 2D Designers - Lynne Guthrie!

We caught up with Lynne who walked us through her process on her piece “The Bazaar” from start to finish!


Step One - Research:

Searching for reference images is kind of like trying to find the name of a song in your head by typing in the lyrics you sort of half remember and then scrolling indefinitely on Google, it can be tiring but incredibly rewarding.

Once you have an idea of what you would like to paint, it’s easy to go ahead and finish a piece without references. However, using reference helps to ground your concept in reality so that your audience can more easily relate and believe in this world you’re creating.

It also helps with difficult lighting and angles and may give you some new ideas and details to add to your piece!


Step Two - Sketch: I like to start with a light grey background as white can be very harsh on your eyes (they’re kind of important and I’ve heard they don’t grow back). This also gives you a more natural base for the next step of adding in tone.

I use a simple sketching brush from Kyle T. Webster to plot out my scene, bearing in mind: How can I tell the story of this piece in a pleasing composition? Where are the characters going to go? Where is my horizon line? What is the perspective? What do the world and characters look like? and so on.

You should spend a lot of time on this step as it is unbelievably important to have a strong composition and story, as these elements are time-consuming to change at a later step. I would recommend sketching a few small thumbnails and choose one that you think works the best.

Blocking in Forms
Blocking in Forms
Grey Base
Grey Base

Step Three - Tonal Value: Establish the foreground, mid and background planes using greyscale tonal groups. I used a lasso tool with the gradient and fill tools to quickly block in the forms.


Lighting is INCREDIBLY important as it can be used both in an aesthetically pleasing way but also it is a great storyteller!

Here I am using the gaps in the overhanging cloth to paint in rays of light to illuminate our main character and bring attention to her because let’s face it that dress is ‘finger snap’ worthy.

Colour Blocking

Step four - Colour: Now for the terribly confusing but fun part - colour!

I wanted to inject a lot of colour into this scene so I blocked out strong colours for the fabric hanging around the woman as well as her dress. However, later I had to desaturate the background as the colours were too vivid and taking away the focus from the woman.

I also tried to stay away from cool colours for the environment as the climate is warm, the terrain is sand and it helps to contrast with the main character’s blue dress.

The story changed also at this point, as I didn’t spend enough time on step one (I hear you cough-muttering “hypocrite”, and I would have to agree). So, instead of the story being about this woman out shopping for some potatoes, it changed to a love interest pursuing her into the bazaar with a donkey to woo her off her feet! Or, is he a hired hitman tasked to capture her as a ransom for her wealthy mother’s fortune? That’s for you to decide detective Sherlock! ;D


Step Six- Detailing: The last step is those final details like adding icing to a cake, only with less ‘taste testing’ and then desperately trying to cover the fact that you stuck your finger in it by spreading it around with the back of a spoon… Ahem, this step is for adding in things like shading, textures on clothing, buildings and well everything, adjusting colours, adding in bounce light, creating more depth to a piece with depth of field as well as adding in any details to accentuate the story you’re telling… to name a few.

Aaaand you’re done!

Finished Piece

I am sure, you have all heard that ‘practice makes perfect’, but nothing is perfect in life.

“Done is better than perfect.”

- Sheryl Sandberg

Daily practice, no matter what you are drawing, will improve your skills.

I often feel guilty about painting from film stills or just sketching people on the bus because it is not as creative as creating concept art from scratch, it is a comfort zone. It is OK to not feel creative.

It is so easy to scroll on social media instead because you may feel that those studies or sketches are not your ‘best work’.  But that’s the thing to realise, that EVERYTHING you do helps you learn, and you will be so much happier after creating something, even if it is a simple sketch, than procrastinating and doing nothing. Comfort zones are great for these challenging times, and I just want you to know that you’re not alone.

And after that motivational Shia LaBeouf moment, I shall leave you with some inspirational concept artists that have so much knowledge to learn from and some of them even create video process tutorials that are an amazing source of knowledge.

Gavin O’Donnell, Ben Simonsen, Stéphane Wootha Richard, Chris Ostrowski, Tuomas Korpi, X-Train, Jakob Eirich, Atey Ghailan, Grady Frederick, Jeremy Fenske, Jeremy Pailotin, Kirsten Shiel, Walid Feghali, Jama Jurabaev

Now put down your phone and pick up your pencil! Love from your fellow procrastinator, Lynne. <3

If you want to check out more of Lynne's fantastic artwork, you can visit her Instagram - @lynniedrawsart


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