Jump to content

PDN Digital Painting


Recommended Posts

This tutorial is available as a PDF. Click here to view or download it



Hi you guys and girls,

here a tut from me, because I have heard that some people might want to know how I painted from pictures in PDN, wich is quite different from adobe photoshop I guess, or I haven't read or found out how it can be better done in PDN, lol.

Anyway, this is my way of painting a portrait in PDN.

Tools used:

Black and white

Pencil Sketch

Gaussian Blur

Paint Brush

Paint Bucket


Selecting Tools




Fragment Blur

1. At first you start by opening a picture, you took or found on google or something. The larger the picture, the better is the result. I will use a picture from an old classmate I found on her webpage


2. Duplicate the original photo layer

Go to Adjustments - black and white

Go to Effects - Artistic - Pensil Sketch and make sure you will see the most important lines, it doesn't need to be

very detailed because it's just as a guide through the whole progress.


3. Create a new layer above the sketch layer and now comes a fun part:

just paint in diff Grey colors, from black to white where you think it fits. White or light Grey on the parts of the

that needs to be light and darker colors on darker parts. You don't have to be careful yet

Call this layer Basic

You can put the sketch layer on top, where you can make it visible, invisible or change the layer property so you can

see the lines, but also the Basic, underneath. I used Multiply, lol

4. I also made a simple Background by creating a layer under Basic - fill grey - paint behind the model and a bit more

underneath - Gaussian blur as much as you like.


Layers till now:

Pencil Sketch




It's best to work from bottom to top as in, background first, objects behind the main object second and the objects most in front, such as the hair, the face, the hand as last

5. New Layer - on top of Background for the tree. Just find one on google, turn it black and white and play a bit with the

layer properties so it fits perfectly on the background. Then merge layer down and POOF background is done!

6. As for the car seats and the window behind the seats, you need to create 2 layers UNDERNEATH the Basic, for the simple

reason, she is in front of it in the picture.

Now you can paint using the Paintbrush, Gaussian Blur and Line/Curve, to make it smooth.

For the window I used Gradiant and Transparancy

7. Add a new layer on top of Basic and call it CAR (this is without the cardoor!)

Why not behind it? Because that part of the car is already painted grey on the Basic. Paint this part of the car in the

same way as for the the seats Make sure, with Line/Curve, that the edges are smooth and straight.


Now you have the following Layers:

Pencil Sketch


Basic (also called: Marlon)

Back Seat

Back Seat Window



8. Now I made the dress first. I know it is against of what I have said earlier, but the dress was more easy and you can

mix the layers of course. Also, it was my first PDN painting, so I was not as wise as i am now, LOL.

Open a new Layer on top of Car and call it Dress.

Paint the dress white and use the Line/Curve tool to create smooth edges.

Create a new layer and draw some lines on the skirt, using Fragment Blur to make it look more realistic.

Merge Layer down to Dress

Create a new layer and put some shadow on the dress so the boobs are visible (giggles) using Paintbrush and Gaussian

Blur. Merge layer down to dress.

As last, create a new layer, paint the belt black. Create an other layer to make some white highlights, using Gaussian

Blur again - use Transparency if needed.

merge these layers down to the Dress Layer.

9. Paint the Car door on a layer on top of the Dress layer in the same way as you painted the Car.


Now you have the following Layers:

Pencil Sketch

Car Door



Basic (also called: Marlon)

Back Seat

Back Seat Window



You already have an idea of how it works now, I do this always on the same way as written above.

I will show you the next things I did and in the same rank as I did it, but I guess, with a bit of practice you

can do this as good as I. Just use the Line/Curve tool a lot and you can't miss :)

10. I did the face, the hair, the nails and the lines between her fingers, a Car door window and a front shadow

Always use more layers for detailed things, such as the eyes, the hair, the mouth. Why? If you, for example, make the

eyes just on one layer and you make a mistake, you have to do it all over again, but if you make a basic layer for

the eye just white, you can build the eye up with layers.

Example Layers for the eye:



Black eye part

Colored eye part

White of the eye

Very soon I will make a special eye tut for very detailed painted eyes*


11. now comes the most difficult part, the skin and finishing touch of the face and the hand.

You still use the same methods as before, only you pay a lot of attention to detail. If you have to work with more

detail you use Line/Curve in darker and lighter colors than the skin colors or shadow colors. In that way, you can

really point the details out. Use Transparency when and if needed. You can see the detailed parts in the following images.


12. After all of this, just put some shadows in front, if you like and wherever you like to give it a bit more depth and

realistic look.

The Layers you will have in the end:

Pencil Sketch

Detail lines

Front shadows



Arm on front Car Door

Car Door


Skin and Arm behind Car Door


Basic (also called: Marlon)

Back Seat

Back Seat Window



I do not know if there are any Shadow tuts, about where to put a shadow if the light comes from a specific direction. If not

I will create a tut of that too, soon. That belongs in fact in every Art, Paint, Draw studies.

If you have any more questions, or you do not understand what I explained, please ask me in personal message or in this topic.


  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is super awesome and really cool! I just changed one thing, 'cause we need to keep all comments on this thread so everyone can learn from the questions of everyone else. :-)


The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster, or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: But how did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales. A good wizard tricked it.
River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fantastic tutorial Aislin! :star:

Would you please resize the larger screenshots so their largest dimension is 800 pixels or less?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

I admit, i had a lil tough time understanding the tut

by the way, she looks a lot like that really confused girl (the one that keeps showing up at the red carpets in a dress and chucks) who fell in love with that creepy vampire that sparkles from whats that movie... twigs night.. twilight whatever.

Edited by whisper2u
Link to comment
Share on other sites

hahah thanks whisper...

if you have a little difficulty with understanding, I have made an other tutorial, which actually explains the more basic steps, I did not realize, when I made this one, that it really is a heavy image to do... my bad... anyway, here is the link, if you would like to try the basic steps

Hand painting

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...