This Santa drawing represents the fear of all kids: what would happen if Santa was caught in a big snowstorm? Who would deliver the gifts? Of course, this is only a fictional situation (after all, we all know that Santa cannot be caught in a snowstorm. It's just impossible!!!).
Fortunately, this tutorial is quite real. I will show you how to draw this cute illustration using mainly a digital airbrush and a few simple tips.
I start with a simple sketch of Santa standing in the middle of a forest. I don't add too much details for now since I need to draw this cool drawing all over using a much better tool.
This tool is a virtual pencil. Since my sketches are often made of subtle lines, I think it is easier to draw the character all over again rather than using transparency on my original layer. I don't want to lose any important elements so I prefer to draw the lines on my tablet using my sketches as a template.
I use virtual acrylic to create the background of my illustration. The original sketch is now hidden and the lines done previously are visible on my first layer. The layer on the bottom is used to add the acrylic.
Once I am done with acrylic, I select a virtual airbrush to create a more interesting background. I am now able to add great shadows. My goal is to hide the borders a little bit to make sure that Santa is the most visible element on my drawing.
I repeat the same process for the ground. This one is covered with snow, so I select colors that are cold and light. Just like the sky, I try to mix a few tones of blue rather than working on a single tone. This way, my Santa drawing should be more appealing.
Once the background is finished, I select my acrylic brush to add plain colors on all elements of the Santa drawing. Once this step is over, I don't need the black outlines anymore. This layer can now be hidden.
In this step, I work on the face and the hat. Using my airbrush tool, I create shadows on the face, the beard and the hat. I also work on the eyes to create nice pupils. Santa is now more alive than ever!
I still use my airbrush tool to add shadows and reflections on the suit of the character. I also need to work on the belt and the hands of my Santa drawing.
The tree and the moon on the back are not good enough. I need to add volume on these two elements. Don't hesitate to draw subtle lines on the tree. These small lines are crucial to add more depth to the object.
Santa doesn't look like he is part of the drawing. I need to blend him a little bit more into the illustration. To do so, I illustrate the shadow below him using my airbrush tool. I also add more colors on the snow to create a better result.
Since this is a snowstorm, I need to add a few lines to represent the wind. For this step, I have created a new layer. I use my acrylic tool to draw long and large stripes. Then, I use the eraser to blend these lines more efficiently. Finally, the layer transparency is set to 30%. My Santa drawing is almost done!
A snowstorm cannot exist without... snow! I have an airbrush tool that can create large random dots. I use this one to create the snow in just a few strokes. Once again, I set the transparency of my new layer to 60%. Good job! My Santa drawing is now finished! Now let's hope that this is just a fictional illustration! ;)