Gradient Dress Tutorial

The beginning steps of this tutorial are the same as my Silk Dress II tutorial, so if you have completed that successfully, this should prove no problem.

1. Open the base you are going to use. I usually give mine a white background to work with.
Create a new layer named Base Dress.
Select the Paintbrush tool with a size of 1.
2. For this tutorial, I am going to make the base dress a grey colour, but please feel free to experiment. 3. Choose palette colour number 1 and draw the outline of the dress. It always helps to Zoom in on the image while you do this.
Don't worry if it's a bit messy, we'll clean it up in the next step.

before                                 after
4. Choose the Eraser tool and set the size to 1. Zoom in on your image and erase any extra pixels - you want the dress to be 1 pixel think at all points.
Also make sure that the lines of the dress are smooth, get rid of any ugly bumps by deleting and redrawing sections.
5. Select the number 2 colour from your palette and Flood Fill the interior of your dress. 6. Click on the Magic Wand tool. Click on the area outside of the dress. When this is selected, go to Selections/Save to Alpha Channel.
Click on OK and on the New Channel screen, type in Dress Outline and OK
This is will save the selection and we won't have to keep selecting it again.
7. Create a New Layer and name it Dress Shading. Pick colour 1 from the palette.
Select the Airbrush tool with a Size of about 5, Hardness of 0, Opacity of about 60% and Density of 100.
8. Airbrush the shading on to the doll. Pay particular attention to the folds at the bottom of the dress and the shape of the body. Don't go over the top and don't worry if you go over the edges.
9. Select the Retouch tool. Choose Smudge from the drop down list and enter approximately the settings above
10. Now, carefully, start smudging the shading you made before. It's a lot easier than it seems at first, just take your time.
Smudge the dress folds downwards to begin with...
11. ...then upwards to shape them. 12. Continue in this way, smudging up, down and sometimes across until you are happy with the way it is blended. Take you time and watch how the folds develop.
13. When you are happy, go to Selections/Load from Alpha Channel. Load Dress Outline. Press Delete on your keyboard to delete the excess blur, then press CTRL+D to drop the selection. Your doll should now look something like this so far.
If you are not happy with the shading, you can always smudge some more, add some more, delete some more etc until you are satisfied.
14. If you are happy, we are now ready to add the highlight. Create a new layer called Dress Highlight. Use the Airbrush with the same settings as before, only make the size 2 to draw on some highlights. 15. As with the shading, use the Retouch tool to smudge the highlight downwards. You may want to change the Size down to around 5.
Then start smudging upwards and from side to side or around the curves, as necessary.
16.To delete any excess highlight that has gone over the edge, go to Selections/Load from Alpha Channel. Load Dress Outline. Press Delete on your keyboard. Your doll should look something like this. 17.Create a new layer named Gradient. You now need a nice gradient fill. You can either use one of the preset ones, create your own, or download one (or more!) of the above gradients. Just save them to your PC, then unzip them to the Gradient folder within the Paint Shop Pro directory. 18. Load the Dress Outline selection from the Alpha Channel and go to Selections/Invert.
19. Select the Flood Fill tool. On the Styles palette, hold down you mouse on the little black arrow until the menu pops up. Chose the second icon - Gradient. 20. Select your gradient from the drop down menu. 21. Flood Fill the selection with the gradient you've chosen. Make sure the the Style is Linear (the one at the top) & that it is at an angle of 0 or 180.
22. Now we get to the fun bit! On the Layer Palette, change the Layer Blend Mode. Some of the most effective are Color, Multiply, Overlay or Softlight. 23. On this doll, I have used my Flames gradient and set the layer blend mode to Burn.
Feel free to experiment with this technique - change opacity, duplicate layers & use different blend modes on each one, colourise the base & see what happens!
24. As usual, just add the finishing touches...
... and you're done!
On my finished doll, I used the Lilac Dream gradient with the Layer Blend Mode set to Dodge and the Opacity set to 77.
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