Motorcycle Concept Sketching | 09 |Rendering the Body Part 3

motorbike sketch tutorial finished painting

Here’s a preview of the finished painting in this motorbike sketch tutorial

In the previous motorbike sketch tutorial, you learned how to quickly render the detailed parts of your motorcycle so they contrast nicely with the shinier focal points in your painting.

Now, you’re going to learn how to add color to your concept so you end up with an awesome finished design to show people.

Once you’ve mastered these techniques, you should be able to produce a painting like this in around 45 minutes – something you can also apply to anything else you create!

So, let’s step on the gas and get moving towards the finish line!

Here are the main points to remember from this motorbike sketch tutorial:

Putting Your Grayscale Render on One Layer

Just like before, you’ll find you’ve got lots of different layers with all the detailed shapes you’ve drawn. Before you can get on to adding color, you need to flatten these down, so simply hit Ctrl +E to do this and you’re ready to move on!

motorcycle sketch tutorial adjusting colors

Adding Color to Your Motorcycle Concept Design

Once you’ve merged all your layers into one, create a duplicate layer of the final image. We’re now ready to start adding color and bring this painting to life!

how to draw a bike photoshop layers palette

To do this, hit Ctrl + U to bring your Hue and Saturation Palette up, and then adjust the sliders until you end up with a vibrant red. Remember to tick the Colorize button, as this will color the entire layer.

Then, create a mask by clicking on the icon at the bottom of your layers palette as in this example.

Select white as your foreground color to paint areas in red using the Brush Tool and black to reveal any areas of grayscale.

Hit x to switch between your foreground (black) and background color (white) quickly.

Afterwards in this motorbike sketch tutorial, we’ll go back and tweak the colors of the grayscale layer so they blend in more.

draw a realistic motorcycle lasso tool

Creating More Highlights

At this stage, you may decide to add more highlights to really make the bodywork of your motorcycle gleam.

You can do this easily by creating a new layer and then using your Lasso Tool to draw new shapes which can then be filled in using a white gradient.

This method is also useful for adding hotspots – really bright areas of highlight. Create a new layer for these and draw small shapes with your Lasso Tool before filling these in with white.

If your highlights are looking too sharp, go to Filter > Artistic > Paint Daub and use this to blur the edges a little. If you’re using Photoshop CS6, this can be found in your Filter Gallery.

drawing a motorbike adding highlights

Adding Reflections

To make your rendered painting look even better, add some reflections by drawing a series of curved shapes that wrap around the form using your Lasso Tool and fill these with white.

Then, apply a gradient and use your brush to blend these areas in.

It’s a small detail that will make all the difference to your finished render.

Keep going back to your reference photos to give you an idea of how things should look. Save your work, because now it’s time to adjust your color balance.

Adjusting the Color Balance of Your Painting

To make those gray areas blend in more, you need to adjust the color balance of your painting. You can do this by clicking on the Yin Yang symbol at the bottom of your Layers Palette to create a new Color Balance Layer.
Go through your Shadows, Midtones and Highlights, adjusting the sliders until the colors blend together nicely.

draw a motorbike more highlights

Adding a Color Overlay

You can also add a Color Overlay to your work to bring everything together. Create a new layer and change the mode to Overlay. Then, pick a range of colors and use your Gradient Tool to apply subtle shades to your painting.

motorcycle concept design reflections


Time to Reflect on Your Rendered Painting

Another cool thing you can do at this stage is add a reflection.

You can do this easily by duplicating your painting layer and then hitting Ctrl + T to rotate your image. Drop the opacity of this layer a little and apply a slight Gaussian Blur.

how to draw a motorcycle finished painting photoshop

Making Final Changes to Your Painting

At this stage of the motorbike sketch tutorial, it’s a good idea to look back at your work and see if there are any areas you wish to change.

In this lesson, James makes some radical changes to the shape of the bodywork but, because he’s working quickly using shapes drawn with the Lasso Tool, it’s easy to paint over any areas you don’t like and create new shapes.

Just keep tweaking elements of your painting until you’re happy. In the next lesson, you’ll be adding some finishing touches and having a quick recap of your work in this series.

We hope you’ve learned a lot in this motorbike sketch tutorial, and remember, you can always let us know how you’re getting on by leaving a comment in the box below!


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