Step 4: Adding depth
Applying oil paint
Next, I switched to the Real Round brush from the Oils brush category. On the property bar, I set the Opacity to 20%, theFeature to 3.5, the Resaturation to 100%, and the Bleed to 100%. This creates a brush that is perfect for rendering hair. It paints with wet bristly strokes that blend with the underlying paint (see Figure 13).
Figure 13. As I paint, I vary the Feature setting of my brush. A higher Feature setting creates a stiffer brush that has fewer hairs (left). I also vary the Impasto amount so that the paint's depth varies (right).
Next, I further built up my paint by increasing the Impasto Effects (click Window > Brush Control Panel > Impasto). On theImpasto panel, I selected Color and Depth from the Draw to list box (see Figure 14 - A). Then, I chose Pressure from theExpression list box (see Figure 14 - C). With the Depth Slider (see Figure 14 - B), I started with around 2% and slowly built up to 10% making sure to add heavier paint to the lighter areas so that they appear more three-dimensional.
Figure 14. Remember to vary the depth of your Impasto Effects to create more realistic paint.
Figure 15. One of the most common mistakes that I see in digital art is that the paint lacks weight, meaning the paint's depth does not vary. Remember that you don't have to use Impasto brushes to get impasto effects. Impasto effects can be added to most of Painter's brushes.
Step 5: Adding texture
Creating cross hatch
Next, I wanted some light cross hatching on the background and the rabbit's edges to give it a bit more texture. From the Brush Selector, I chose the Pencil brush category, and then the Grainy Variable Pencil. I could start cross hatching manually, but there is a faster way to create this texture. First, I created a small pattern of cross hatches on a white background (see Figure 16).
Figure 16. A small cross hatch pattern on a white background.
Capturing a Dab profile
With the Rectangular Selection tool, I made a selection around the cross hatch pattern without selecting any white edges. In the Pattern Library panel (Window > Media Library Panels > Patterns), I clicked the Capture Pattern button, and named it Cross Hatch. Then, I changed the Horizontal Shift and Vertical Shift to 50% and clicked OK (see Figure 17).
Figure 17. You may choose to create several of these hatch patterns to add some variance in your painting.
Using a Pattern Pen
From the Brush Selector, I chose the Pattern Pens brush category and the Pattern Chalk brush. On the Dab Profile panel (Window > Brush Control Panels > Dab Profile), I changed the Dab Type to the Dull Profile dab so that my new brush would create a softer mark (see Figure 18 and Figure 19).
Figure 18. The Dab Profile panel allows you to change the shape of your mark. The Dull Profile creates more of a feathered mark while the flatter brushes create a sharper mark.
Figure 19. The Pattern brush speeds up the hatching. I always apply this texture on a separate layer in case I need to remove some later.
Step 6: Capturing character
Adding a final wash of color
Next, I increased the warmth of the colors by clicking Effects > Tonal Control > Adjust Colors. I used the Hue Shift slider to select a warmer tone. With the Saturation slider, I increased the amount to 65% (see Figure 20).
Giving the bunnies a makeover
Lastly, I re-evaluated my characters and changed the face of Hazel (left-hand rabbit) to be a tad friendlier looking. I also had forgotten Big Wig's signature tuft of hair. So I increased the Feature setting of the Real Round brush to 6, and painted in some hair on the top of his head (see Figure 21).
Figure 21. A final makeover for the bunnies.
Finally, I added in the text that best matched with the book cover's mood. I chose an elegant font to match the swirling vines, but kept the author's name in a modern font to give it an updated look (see Figure 22).
Figure 22. The redesigned book cover.