Drawing a Vista Mouse in Photoshop

By Rashad Nsouli | Photoshop CS3 | Intermediate

This tutorial is going to teach you how to draw a Vista styled mouse in Photoshop using the Pen Tool , and then colour it by shading and highlight techniques using the Burn Tool and Dodge Tool . These colouring techniques will help you understand how to create depths using shading and highlighting without the need of reference cross lines. Note that this tutorial requires basic pen tool drawing skills to be able to execute it. After completing the tutorial, your final mouse is going to look similar to the finished sample below:

Sample Mouse

Our tutorial is divided into the following sections:

  1. Drawing the mouse's base shapes.
  2. Shading and Highlighting.

Drawing the Mouse's Base Shapes

Start off by opening a brand new file in Photoshop by going to File>New, and set the width to 300px, the height to 300px and the resolution to 72 pixels/inch.

New Document Parameters

We are now going to draw the base shapes of the mouse that we will use to shade and highlight. Grab the Pen Tool from your Tools Panel of the left side of your workspace.

Pen Tool Settings

Draw each of the shapes shown below separately, you can also use the image below as a reference. The colours of the objects are as follows:

  1. #D5D5D5
  2. #131624
  3. #16182D
  4. #131526
  5. #66666D

Layer Formation

You can check out our previous tutorial on how Drawing Line Art for a step-by-step guide on how this subject.

Now that you've got your shapes drawn, they will each be on their own separate layer in the Layers Panel.

Layers Panel

Shading and Highlighting

In this part of the tutorial we are going to basically be using the Burn Tool to shade and darken some areas of the mouse and use the Dodge Tool to highlight and brighten other parts. We'll start by selecting the Magic Wand tool so that we can select different parts of the mouse and shade them separately from the others. Grab the Magic Wand tool and apply the settings shown below

Magic Wand Settings

Select the part shown below using the Magic Wand .

First Segment Selection

Now that we have our parts selected, Grab the Burn Tool and Right Click anywhere on the canvas to open up the Brushes Panel. Select the 65 px wide Soft Round Airbrush.

Brushes Panel

While selecting the layer that contains the selection we made with the Magic Wand . The first time you click anywhere on the canvas, you will be asked if you wish to Rasterize the layer, choose OK and continue with clicking and dragging around the mouse to darken its areas till you get a result similar to the screenshot below.

First Segment Shaded

While maintaining your selection, grab the Dodge Tool , select a 65 px wide Soft Round Airbrush again and start clicking and dragging around to brighten the mouse body and give it a highlight as shown below

First Segment Highlighted

You can always Right Click anywhere on your canvas to open up the Brushes Panel and alter the brush's Width to what serves your needs and painting comfort.

Go back to the Magic Wand tool and select the segment shown below so that we can start shading and highlighting it.

Second Segment Selected

Using the Burn Tool and Dodge Tool , shade and highlight the selected area once again as shown in the screenshot below.

Second Segment Shaded & Highlighted

The next segment is going to be done a bit differently, we will add a small brush to drop a highlight color on the segment, then we will adjust and polish it to have it go along with the rest of the color tones. Grab the Brush Tool, Right Click anywhere on the canvas and select a Tilt Size and Angle Airbrush and change your Foreground Color to #414f68.

Tilt Size and Angle Airbrush

Select the segment by holding Ctrl and clicking on its layer's thumbnail and paint a little bit on its right edge as shown below.

Third Segment Color Highlighted

After that, start burning and dodging around a bit to make the colour flow with the rest of the mouse's tone as shown below.

Third Segmented Color Toned

Select the next segment by holding Ctrl and clicking on its thumbnail and use the Burn Tool along with the Dodge Tool to obtain similar results as shown below.

Fourth Segment Shaded & Highlighted

Continue with the last two remaining segments by repeating the exact same burn and dodge technique on them to acquire the same results as shown below.

Fifth Segment Shaded & Highlighted

You are all done with your mouse! You can optionally paint a shadow under all the layers using a light grey Tilt Size and Angle Airbrush and add another purple color highlight on the mouse's grey base to give it a light reflective feeling, that can be done by painting a little bit of light purple using the same brush and changing its layer's Blending Mode to Color. Your very final result will look like this:

Final Result Sequence

This concludes our tutorial, you can check my source PSD here. I advise you to experiment with this technique by applying your own touch of style to it, and make sure you show off your work in the Graphics Showcase forum. I hope that you've learnt something new from my tutorial, feel free to email me on diablo@republicofcode.com if you have any comments or questions or alternatively post in the Republic of Code Forum to get instant feedback.

- End of Tutorial