Website design and creation by Allan Macdonald. All rights reserved. Contact: [email protected]
Home - Tutorials - Designers - Articles - Downloads - Reviews - Gallery - about - contribute - contact - directory - advertise - legal - technical
Bookmark and Share
designsketching link
For the finishing touches copy merge the whole image and paste the layer at the top (or flatten the whole image)

To give it more impact you can then turn up the contrast to around +6. Feel free to experiment with different amounts – but too much will look harsh.

Also you can create a colour layer which basically allows you to tint the colours of the image below, without losing detail/ contrast. I used a blue airbrush just over the top surfaces of the car to add a bit more interest.

Now the render is finished, although you can play with hue/ saturation levels if you want different colour scheme.
If you duplicate your original clean line art layer from stage 1 and bring that layer all the way to the top. You can then invert the layer or bring its brightness up to the max to get white lines.

You don’t have to do this, but white lines have more drama on a Canson style render. You can then erase some back in darker areas etc.

The reason for doing this is to both enhance the sketch feel and define surface breaks with a highlight rather than a black line.

I have also added centre highlights and a front glowing light
For the ground reflection – quickly select and copy the side of the car including the wheels. Then flip the layer vertically. Now distort that image until it roughly looks about right. You may need to cut & move bits around, especially the wheel reflections.
If you lower the layer opacity to around 10% then erase a few areas with an airbrush to keep it purely as a suggestion – rather than anything accurately rendered.

I have also added some white highlight steaks using a fine airbrush and paths (see stage 1)

Add other details like rear light and headrest suggestion and some subtle reflections.
Now the main blocking in is finished we can create another MULTIPLY layer for extra shading, mainly on the car body side.

Firstly select the whole body side from the nose to where the rear wishbone is. You can now using a large light grey airbrush intensify and darken the whole area to pull it out from the back ground. You can then select the rising sill and darken that further to create a surface break. Fill in the areas inside the wheels etc.

Its important to maintain a focal point – so I have made the car darker towards to front left hand corner and lighter (faded) towards the rear and parts of the car that are furthest away.

Remember your light layer should still be above this layer.
Create a multiply layer for adding shade.

I created this layer beneath the light layer, so that light zones always stay above. To be honest you can do this stage before the previous – I just like to put light down first – it’s your preference.

I used a large dark grey, angled airbrush (don’t use black as you cant then add more shade). If you change your brush tip shape you can make it more like a marker pen stroke i.e. a thin block. This gives a more dynamic feel to the darker elements.

Here I blocked in the main darker areas of the car including the ground shadow to help lift the image out from the page.
The nice thing about this technique is that you get to add light rather than leave areas uncoloured to create lighter surfaces.

Create a new layer (normal). My light source, if you can imagine is above the artists head shining down over the car. Defining a clear light source is essential for describing surface changes. It’s worth while really analysing where you want light to go.

For this I used a large soft airbrush with a low opacity of around 25. The importance of using a large brush is to get a smooth gentle gradient; smaller brushes can tend to create a muddy appearance if you’re not careful. Carefully select various areas that would catch light using the path tool, which gives very smooth crisp perimeters. You can build up white intensity towards the middle of the image to add visual focus.
To get the Canson paper effect create a MULTIPLY layer in Photoshop. This type of layer allows you to still see through to your art work without reducing opacity levels. Now you can use the gradient fill tool to fill the area with your desired colour. I chose a deep purple to a medium grey. I find a graduated colour change adds something more than just a flat one.

If you click and hold this tool it automatically generates a line that the gradient will follow – so the longer the line the softer the gradient. I simply went from the top of the image right down to the bottom. Then I selected the side frame and reduced its saturation level until it went grey, though you could achieve this simply by airbrushing over. You may also add around 1% noise to the whole layer to give it texture.
I am a great believer in producing a quick biro thumb nail before going into a more detailed drawing. A quick biro sketch helps you ‘stay free’ before getting seriously into a render.

Once you have done this, simply scan the image and drop a white layer with reduced opacity over the top so you can still see your rough biro work.

On a new layer above the white sheet you can create the refined line art, using the path tool and a fine brush. If you stoke the path with simulate pressure on, you will get a nice taper to the line work. Once finished you can switch off the rough sketch back ground or increase the white layer opacity to 100%. It’s also essential to make sure your wheels/ tyres are in correct perspective as it vastly improves any drawing.
Canson Rendering In Adobe Photoshop

Andrew Jones graduated from Coventry's transport design course in 1999 and is currently working for 'Design & Realizations', a Uk based Japanese consultancy. Most of his work is for Toyota group and Mazda, but he has also been heavily involved with the exterior and interior design of a production Power boat. Andrew has also been regularly contracted out to Nissan Design Europe. In this tutorial he will explain how to achieve a Canson style rendering in Photoshop. With this technique you will learn how to simply add light and dark to define surfaces and pull the image off the page.
page last updated; 2014-06-15
Website optimised for use with
Like our site? Then remember to share it with your friends!
Bookmark and Share
Spreadfirefox Affiliate Button