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Master custom brushes for characters- Photoshop

By Richard Tilbury

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Date Added: 28th April 2014
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Richard Tilbury demonstrates top tips for creating custom brushes to paint scales on a large monster!

Chapter 01 â€" Large Scaly Monster


This aim of this tutorial is to create a custom brush that can be used to add scales to a creature of some description.

Before we go on to deal with the task of creating the actual brush, there is the issue of designing the monster. As there was no criteria or a brief to work to, I decided to start doodling and see where my brush took me. I didn’t have any preconceived ideas prior to starting, except that I wanted to avoid a bipedal animal as I had recently painted one of these and thought a change might be interesting.

The problem facing a custom brush specifically aimed at characters is that it has to conform to the anatomy, which means the pattern or texture must follow the anatomical contours. This is somewhat trickier compared to using them in the context of an environment, but as we shall see, the brush presets help.

As already mentioned I didn’t have any preconceived notions, so using a standard Hard Round brush with opacity set to Pen Pressure I started to sketch.

After some trial and error, and then some further error, I arrived at an initial idea, which you can see in Fig.01. I based my design on a quadruped, but also amalgamated the characteristics of a gorilla, which walks on its arms. I moulded the head and upper back around an octopus, but lent the face a rodent-like appearance with a jaw full of incisors. The hind legs resemble those of a dog whereas the front legs are somewhat different, with an elongated carpus.


I blended these varying aspects together from numerous animals to try and create a more alien appearance. To avoid it looking to similar to a centaur I also drew in a second set of arms.

Fig.02 shows a more developed stage of the design with modified hind legs and the tentacles moved from the chin down to the groin area. I didn’t want the creature to look like it had an octopus placed on its shoulders!


I then added the fourth arm, which I attached to its neighbor with a thin web of skin (Fig.03).


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(ID: 156314, pid: 0) Mohammed Khaled on Sat, 28 June 2014 8:56am
Nice tutorial, liked it alot
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