Drawing a Phoenix Bird from Scratch

In this tutorial I step you through the process of creating this image of a Phoenix from scratch.

The first step is to use the Custom Shape Tool, and use the Flower 2 shape (if you haven’t done so already, you’ll first need to click down on the shape drop down menu [which is shown in the picture] and then click on the small button with the arrow pointing right, then select “All” and “Overwrite”)

Make sure the flower shape is near the lower left hand corner of the image, and then goto Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates to make a bird shape similar to the picture above.

Let’s right click on this layer and in the blending options, we’ll give this bird a red Inner Glow (blending mode set to normal) and a red Satin set to 100% and the bottom right Contour setting.

Let’s use the pen tool to create a shape which will represent the beak and the tail feathers as well.  We’ll copy the same layer style from the wings and paste it on the bird.

Now we will mess with our background real quick, and give it a light blue gradient.  Next, let’s duplicate our bird layer and do a Motion Blur at a 40 degree angle, and 247 pixels.  Move this layer underneath our actual bird shape.

Make a new layer, and use the Brush tool to draw details on the bird’s feathers as well as the beak.  Then use the Smudge tool to blend the brush strokes into the bird’s features.

I’m going to use the warp tool to shape the bird’s head a bit better, but this can be avoided if you simply shape the bird’s head the way you like it to begin with.

Make another copy of the entire bird, and then goto Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation and change the Hue to yellow (+45)  Once again use the same Motion Blur settings.

Now we’re going to add more to the illusion that are bird is flying.  Create a new layer, and then fill the entire layer with yellow.

Next goto Filter > Render > Fibers and turn both settings up to max.  Make sure your foreground color is yellow and the background color is black.

Once again we’re going to use a Motion Blur at the same angle.  This time though we’ll increase the Distance to 999 pixels.

Change the blending mode of this layer to Vivid Light.

That’s it, we’re done with our diving Phoenix bird!

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