Mushu Digital Painting

Just finished this digital painting of my favourite feisty little red dragon, the great Mushu! And his buddy, Lucky Cricket, of course.

Had great fun with this one. Been working on expanding my use of different brushes and methods. God knows how many tutorials, step by steps and artists statements I’ve looked through but I thought it was about time I used what I’ve learnt from all of this. Recently been looking through great lists of ‘power women’ in disney and other films and I successfully rekindled my love for Mulan with a burning vengeance… Simply had to draw something from it.
I’ve been drawing a lot of people lately, whether its for fun or for this pile of commissions I’m building up (yay!) but I needed a little bit of a break from it all. Dragon time…

Below in the finished image, of which I am really chuffed with! I feel I balanced it out well in terms of the composition and the colour choices/tones worked well. It did remind me that I need to start practicing with lighting and various types of it though, something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. But for this drawing, simple, default lighting worked.

(Click on the image below to view it at full res.)

Full Image

It all started as a very rough outline done using one of my newer brushes. Its the nearest I have found to a digital pencil line thus far.


The textured brushes for the tone worked so damn well!

Rough edges and patchy, dotted interior tone really added a new dimension to a piece which, if I had done it a few weeks ago, would have looked flat and too ‘photoshop-y’. I’ve seen many digital artists using textured brushes like this. Artists such as Jefferson Fagundes, David Delpino and Mike Azevedo all use a wide and brilliant range of brushes, often they even share the brushes for download (I’m rather sure one or two of the brushes used for Mushu were from these guys). Such a useful resource; seeing what they do with these brushes then being able to try it out for yourself!

Below are a few close-ups showing the details which are otherwise hard to see.




I screen-shotted the window to show the brushes I have in my preset. There’s so damn many of them, I really should clear them out a bit.. but its sometimes nice to have too much stuff. You’ll, one day, get bored of whatever you’re drawing and start simply playing around with the many many brushes you have hiding away in the preset. I know I’ve done this countless times and found a lot of really rather nice brushes this way! If you tweak them, play around with their settings for a while, in no time you’ll have another brush to add to the favourites.

You can also see from here my concentrated swatches. These have been built up and knocked down over the four years I’ve been using photoshop to paint and draw, they have a range of skin tones, basic tones, nice monochrome ranges, all sorts of colours which have come in useful one way or another.

I’ve recently found some amazing swatches some digital painters have made available, definitely going to be looking through them and cherry picking the good’uns.

Brushes Index

Well, there’s my Mushu! I’ll be updating this blog with some more painting and digital work as I do it. Didn’t know whether or not to include my digital stuff in here but I figured it plays just as big a role in my practice as any sketchbook or university project, so it might as well.


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