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Comic Penciling | 01 |

Introduction to Alice

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Here’s a look at the final painting in this lesson:


An Introduction to Alice

Lewis Carroll’s book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, has captivated adults and children since it was published in 1865. Queen Victoria and Oscar Wilde were huge fans and, most recently, Tim Burton became the latest film director to bring this classic tale to life.

Now, you’re going to join this long line of artists and create your own, fully-rendered painting of Alice, with expert help all the way from leading art instructor, Sycra Yasin. In these lessons, you’ll learn how to go from an initial sketch through to line art which you’ll color before moving on to an incredible finished piece. Are you ready? Then let’s get to it!


Resizing Your Canvas to a High Resolution




To begin our lesson in how to draw Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the first thing you need to do is re-size your canvas in Photoshop to the suitable dimensions. To do this, go to your menu bar and click image, then image size or simply hit Alt > Ctrl > I.

In terms of your canvas, size is everything! For example, Sycra has gone for 3600×1687 px and a resolution of 300 pixels per inch. If your computer can handle it, it’s a good idea to work at these dimensions too. If not, you can adjust the settings to make the canvas size smaller – just keep the resolution the same.


Comic-penciling-03Selecting the Right Brush

Having chosen your canvas size, it’s now time to select the right brush for your Alice in Wonderland project.

You can bring up the brush menu by simply hitting F5, or going to the Window menu > Brushes.

Next, take Sycra’s lead and select the 24 px Spatter Brush – one of the default brushes in Photoshop.



Now you’ve done this, we can get Dynamic – turn this feature on (it’s called Transfer in the latest version of Photoshop) then set your opacity to pen pressure and your flow to off.

Next, go to Brush Tip Shape and set your spacing to five per cent.




Comic_pencilling_05Choosing a Brush Color and Size

Now you’ve set up your brush, it’s time to choose a color to draw with.

To do this, select the Color Picker tool and find a shade you’re happy with – Sycra likes to use a warm, dark brown.

You can choose any color you like, but remember, it has to be dark and saturated.




Next, hit F5 to bring up your Brush Tools menu and change the brush size.

For the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland project, Sycra is using a brush size of seven pixels.

You can use any brush size you prefer, but try not to choose a brush that’s too thick, otherwise you might not to be able to sketch in all the detail properly.

Try a few scribbles first to check you’re happy with the brush size and to get your drawing arm into action!


Comic_pencilling_07[15]Getting Arty With Alice

In the novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice is a girl aged seven-and-a-half.

So, to figure out the correct dimensions for drawing her, we first need to draw an adult female to give us an idea of how the proportions differ – after all, a child’s body is not going to have the same as an adult.

To start with, it’s a good idea to draw an adult female about eight heads tall – we use these dimensions because they’re nice and easy to divide up.

Once you’ve finished, you’ll have a drawing of an adult female which you can use as reference when sketching the figure of a child.





Comic_pencilling_08Follow the Rules

To draw our female figure, we’re going to need some rules to follow.

Hit Ctrl + R to bring up your rulers and drag your cursor from the left-hand ruler to give you a vertical line.

Next, go to the View menu and make sure ‘Snap’ is turned off – otherwise, this will make the lines you draw snap to the vertical rule.




Now, draw a line for the top of the head and one for the feet, and then divide this up into eight sections.

One you’ve got your sections in place, you can then start drawing the body. Drawing the sections first will help you get all the proportions and positions correct.

First, create an oval shape for the head, then sketch in the other parts – the nipples fall two heads down, the naval falls three heads down, the crotch is four heads down and the knees are six heads down.

Getting these in the right position to begin with will ensure you have a proportionally correct drawing to work from which will provide a handy reference point for your drawing of a child.





Make the body about two heads wide and don’t worry if your drawing looks like a stick figure at this stage!

Along the way, Sycra uses various techniques to help him out, such as drawing an equilateral triangle from the collarbone to help him determine where the nipples should be.

Once you’re done, you should end up with a rough drawing of an adult female which will come in very handy for our next lesson.

Here, you’ll learn how to draw child proportions for your awesome Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland project!

Return to the Comic Penciling Lessons Page


9 Responses to “Comic Penciling | 01 | Introduction to Alice”

  1. joker says:

    so helpful video
    i liked it so much
    thnak for the mail and the lesson

  2. venda says:

    I’m not certain where you are getting your information, however great topic. I must spend a while finding out more or figuring out more. Thanks for magnificent information I was in search of this info for my mission.

    • Hi Venda,
      We’re so glad you enjoyed this series and the information contained in the tutorial.
      If you like the work of Sycra Yasin, we have an amazing new series coming very soon which will teach you everything you need to know about painting digitally! :-)

  3. Ernest says:

    Is there a way to view high quality on the iPad ?

  4. WayneLacasse says:

    sycra mentions that this isn’t a tutorial on drawing female proportions, but one exists– i’m not seeing it on pencilkings; for anyone interested, this is likely the free tutorial he was referring to,

  5. UdemeUdoyen says:

    Nice video! Really helpful. I have a question though. I’m a beginner to digital painting. I’d like to know if i can do the same thing you did in this video using CorelDraw…? I do not have photoshop. Thanks!

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