Henning Ludvigsen is a Norwegian digital artist with basic traditional art education and with over 13 years of experience in digital art, design, and illustration. He is currently working as the Art Director at a computer game development company in Greece, and is working on personal and external projects during his spare time. He is living with his girlfriend and fellow digital artist Natascha Roeoesli.
He is an awarded artist, with features in several books from Ballistic Publishing, is featured on dozens of websites, and to be found as columnist in the sci-fi and fantasy Magazine, ImagineFX from Future Publishing. He is also running Pixelbrush, a small digital art-community.
Step 1 – Line art
I’ve always been fascinated by realism, and because of this it is really important to me that the base line-art sketch has got proper proportions. I usually use the old trick by putting a grid on top of a reference photo I’ve shot, and then I copy the same grid onto a blank canvas and start drawing grid by grid from what I see on the reference photo. I make sure to keep the grid on a separate layer so that I easily can remove the grid at a later stage, and also keep the drawing on a separate layer underneath the grid. Still, if you are focusing on mastering human anatomy, this is not the way to go as this is simply more of a way to save some time and making sure you get a result that is pretty close to your reference photography.
Step 2 – Brush usage
Personally I really like using hard edged brushes as they resemble the traditional brushes in both the way of working and when it comes to the result. On this example, the sample to the left is a basic soft brush, the one in the middle is a hard edged brush, and the one to the right is a textured pencil brush.
For this painting, I exclusively used a hard edged brush (the sample in the middle).
To make a simple hard edged brush in Photoshop, simply follow these settings:
1: Make sure you have the brush tool selected, and choose a hard edge brush (the ones that looks like a hard circle.
2: Now open the “brushes tab” (Windows/brushes). Click the “Brush tip shape” button and drag the “spacing” slider to 10%. If this is set too high, the stroke looks like a row of balls instead of one single stroke, so keeping the spacing narrow makes the strokes look nice and smooth.