Last week I saw the new Iron Man trailer and as usual it was nothing less than amazing. The effects are top notch and I'm really anticipating seeing it in May. There's still a couple of months until we can set our eyes on the real deal so I decided to create the Iron Man mask from scratch using Illustrator and Photoshop just to warm up and to try to improve my illustrating skills.

So for this tutorial I will show you how to create the Iron Man mask using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. It's not too detailed because I wanted to share a simple overview/walkthrough so you could play and explore by yourself. In the end that's the best way to learn.

Step 1

Open Illustrator and create a new document. The first thing to do is get a good reference of what you want to do. After that create circle and a line crossing the center. We will create just half of the mask. With the Pen Tool (P) start creating the basic shapes.

Iron Man in Illustrator and Photoshop

Step 2

Create one shape for each part of the mask, it will help us to add colors and textures later on in Photoshop

Iron Man in Illustrator and Photoshop

Iron Man in Illustrator and Photoshop

Iron Man in Illustrator and Photoshop

Step 3

Once you have all shapes, use basic grey colors to see if everything is alright.

Iron Man in Illustrator and Photoshop

Step 4

Duplicate the half of the mask and flip it horizontally.

Iron Man in Illustrator and Photoshop

Step 5

Now in Photoshop, paste each part of the mask as a layer and let's add some colors. The basic Ironman colors are gold and purple. Also there are some shadows and subtle details like you can see in the image below.

Iron Man in Illustrator and Photoshop

Step 6

For each part of the mask, add a layer and go to Layer>Create Clipping Mask. Fill the layer with black and change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge. With the Brush Tool (B), a very soft brush and white for the color, start painting some areas to highlight. Use 10-20% Opacity.

Iron Man in Illustrator and Photoshop

Step 7

Repeat the same thing as the previous step, but this time use Screen for the Blend Mode. Paint some more highlights.

Iron Man in Illustrator and Photoshop

Step 8

Add some more highlights, especially on the mouth and purple part.

Iron Man in Illustrator and Photoshop

Step 9

Now let's add texture. Again remember, apply the texture to each part of the mask. Move the position of the texture give more depth. The texture I used can be downloaded at http://www.hdwallpapers4ipad.com/_ph/24/641167066.jpg

Iron Man in Illustrator and Photoshop

Step 10

For the eyes, the create the 2 shapes and fill with blue, then use a basic checked texture. Apply some gaussian blur after that.

Iron Man in Illustrator and Photoshop

Step 11

Add a new layer on top of the layer you created the eyes and group this new layer into a folder. Change the Blend Mode of the folder to Screen. After that with the Brush Tool, use a soft brush with white and paint 2 light spots. Add another layer inside this folder and paint 2 spots with blue.

Iron Man in Illustrator and Photoshop

Step 12

Duplicate the folder and delete the blue layer. Change the Blend Mode of the folder to Color Dodge. Delete the content with the white light spots and create 2 different ones, a little less strong. The color dodge will create a very realistic light effect.

Iron Man in Illustrator and Photoshop

Conclusion

The whole process is more about digital painting than design. I am not really good at digital painting but it's always a good exercise. There are a lot of tiny details that I will continue to work on this design, however I wanted to share with you a quick overview. Now it's up to you to create your own, have fun ;)

Iron Man in Illustrator and Photoshop

Download Photoshop file

Click here to download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial

About the author of this post

Abduzeedo is a blog about design. There are all sorts of articles for those who want to look for inspiration. Also you will find very useful tutorials for the most used applications out there, with a special selection of Photoshop Tutorials and Illustrator Tutorials. Of course there are other softwares conteplated like Pixelmator, Fireworks, and web design tutorials.