My Girl Illustration + Process

Today I’ll be taking you behind-the-scenes of my usual portrait illustration process. This will be a loose guide so it’s totally fine if you’d be more interested to use your own art style for the base lineart.

For those of you who have no experience in art, I urge you to give this a go as well! It’s a great way to unwind and to unleash that inner child in you. Don’t worry about things being imperfect- my illustration process is very raw. The more flaws, the edgier it looks! And that’s a good thing.

1. I open up Adobe Photoshop CC and set my canvas to A4 size. I then do a lineart of a girl. I’m currently using a Wacom Bamboo Splash CTL471 Pen Tablet (which I highly recommend).

When it comes to many of my illustrations- especially basic portraits, I prefer doing them directly on my chosen software without doing draft sketches beforehand. I’m a big fan of the raw, non-symmetrical look. Gives the illustrations a bit of an edge.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 4.23.06 PM


I am using a default Photoshop Brush, as I often do.

Brush Size: 60

Color: #000000 (Black)






Take note of the Gray flecks on her eyes.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 4.03.19 PM


2. Next comes the coloring part. You wanna switch to a Round Default Photoshop Brush for easier coverage. Keep everything solid.Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 4.24.54 PM

This is my color palette.

Kaela's Palette

The result is this illustration below. I left out some white bits on purpose to make it look like it was hand-colored.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 4.24.32 PM


3. Using the first Default Brush again, I add in some highlights to the hair and the lips. I then add in some shading to the silver piercings and darker lines to the hair.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 4.25.48 PM


4. I then add in a solid background using the Paint Bucket Tool (press G), and draw squiggly white lines after (Opacity: 20%). I also decide to change the lineart to a darker brown to make it less overpowering.


There you go! If you’d like to see more tutorials, do let me know as I’d be happy to make some more.


Kaela is an Illustrator and Graphic Designer who draws inspiration from her quirks, childhood nostalgia, and pop/sub-culture.

5 thoughts on “My Girl Illustration + Process

  1. Really cool! I love learning about the process that different artists use. I like to use illustrator to make my digital art, because it’s easier to edit the lines. But that is the good thing about different programs, we can all use something that we are familiar with. 😀
    Kya recently posted…30 Day Creative Challenge: Recap

    1. I love Illustrator as well! 🙂 It was my ultimate go-to program in college.

      You should definitely put up your process as well. 🙂 I love your art.

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