I love this artwork and would like to understand how it was created:

enter image description here

Some looks hand-drawn. For example the shading on the bottom of the bird and in the moon's craters. Some looks like vector artwork. For example the sun's shape and the clouds.

Perhaps there's a way to do the "hand-drawn charcoal-like" shading in Photoshop. Using this for the shading and Illustrator for the shapes is my best guess. Any thoughts on how this artwork was created?

3 Answers 3


Lots of illustrations start hand drawn. They're often then scanned in and traced (auto trace or by hand) into an illustration program such as Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape.

The textures then get added at the end, often in Adobe Photoshop.

Google 'photoshop and textures' and you'll find dozens of tutorials. Here's a silly one but explains the concept fairly succinctly:


  • 2
    that one actually just deals with the linear burn, but does not appear to include a layer mask. So, to extend the answer slightly: see that tutorial and then look at layer masking. Everything in the image is a combination of a shape, a mask, a watercolor texture, and occasionally a stroke.
    – horatio
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 16:40
  • "Water color texture". Interesting think that's the missing piece. Commented May 11, 2012 at 17:41

For the moon craters I would use a radial gradient from transparent to black cut out a small section of it and stick it under the hole I wanted on a layer above it. I could grunge that a bit with a brush set to erode at a lowered opacity.

The same would apply for the bottom of the bird. Cloud vectors and brushes are available for download all over the internet as are sun shaped ones.

The sun could be created in minutes only using the marquee rotate and fill tools in photoshop

A texture has been applied to the whole image.

  • Awesome thanks! Any suggestions for relevant tutorials? Commented May 13, 2012 at 16:52
  • 1
    Psd.tutsplus.net or vector.tutsplus.net. Both have awesome tutorials on how to create different types of digital art. They also include general workflow and tool based information for photoshop etc.
    – skids89
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 19:38

Sketching and Illustrator. The sun is made with gradient which is quite the easiest part here.

For example text looks like 3d but it's made with stroke and border line.

Example clouds were made once and for background they were copied and they just changed opacity so clouds look that they are also behind.

As someone said texture is applied to whole image.

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