Faking Traditional Artwork in PhotoShop
It’s very rare that I draw traditionally as I can’t guarantee that I’ll always have access to a scanner. I also prefer working digitally as that gives me more room to experiment, knowing I can always hit undo if it goes wrong. My Hand Drawn wreath icon set is an example of something I created digitally that I deliberately designed to look hand drawn.
My favourite “pencil” brush comes from Stumpy Pencil and goes by the same name. The line it creates is quite bold and chiseled, but that can be combated with strategic blurring. Stumpy Pencil also provide a fantastic water colour brush. Whilst I would recommend taking an afternoon out to create and scan water colour and other paint elements to stock pile for your future work Stumpy Pencil is as close as you can get without water.
A key feature of hand drawn lines is the change in weight – no-one can apply pressure consistently when drawing and thus lines can get a bit wider or lighter at certain points. Whilst not a perfect replica, I would recommend a tablet to simulate pressure. Of course, not everyone has access to a tablet – I own one but find it really inconvenient and prefer using a mouse. When drawing using I mouse I often trace my original lines as closely as possible on the same layer. This thickens the lines at certain points resulting in a more hand drawn feel.
Another feature of hand drawn pencil lines is that they tend to be a lot more blended that digitally created lines. To combat this I would use the smudge tool on a very low strength – I start at around 10% but occasionally go up to 30%.
Due to the changing pressure when drawing with inks your lines will tend to change very so slightly in colour. To simulate this I draw my lines in two colours – the original colour I want the line to be and a slightly more saturated version of the same colour. You do not want the different to be noticeable, you just want to add slight depth. Clever use of a more saturated colour and the smudge tool can easily simulate bleeding ink. Water colour paint also tend to concentrate in certain areas, in particularly around the edge. A more saturated colour teamed with the burn tool used very lightly can help create this.
Finally texture is a huge give away to if your work is digitally created. You could use some of my paper texture patterns or my grunge or painted brushes to create a subtly textured background. You can also use the brushes to slightly wear away your illustration.