It’s not always necessary to use 3D graphics applications to create 3-dimensional artwork. In many circumstances, you can produce 3D looking artwork in Photoshop without the aide of 3D software at all. In today’s tutorial I will demonstrate how to produce a 3D graphic using a sketch and some of Photoshop’s tools. Let’s get started!

Step 1

First, draw the bee that you will create in Photoshop. Create it cute and detailed. Use a pencil to draw, you can make the lines more pronounced with a pen, marker or whatever; it’s up to you. I used a marker to draw the outline of the bee. When you’re done you can scan it and import it into Photoshop.

Step 2

Create a new Photoshop document (Cmd/Ctrl + N) that is 1280 px in width and 1024px in height, and 72px/inch in resolution. Copy (Cmd/Ctrl + C) and Paste (Cmd/Ctrl + V) the bee sketch, name this layer "Bee Sketch."

Step 3

Create a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + N), name this layer "Head." Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the bee, make a selection and fill with #fdd90b.

Step 4

Deselect (Cmd/Ctrl+D) that selection and apply a layer style to the head layer. Use a linear gradient overlay with the angle set to 78 degrees, scale 150% and colors going from #fff307 to #ccad05 to #272500.

Step 5

Use a soft brush to make his head look more 3 dimensional. Use a black color for the bottom of face (#000000), light yellow for cheek (#fcdc0e), and orange (on the top of the bee). Decrease the opacity of the "Bee Sketch" layer to make this process easier.

Step 6

Now, create a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + N) to make a body of the bee. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw his body, fill it with any color and apply a Gradient Overlay and use the following settings Angle: 135 and scale 150%. Use #000000 and #4e3e1d. After that, click Color Overlay and set blending mode to dissolve and opacity 10%. Name this layer "Brown Body."

Step 7

Now in a new blank layer make the second section of the bee’s body. Name this layer "Yellow Body." Use Pen Tool (P) to draw this second body, fill it with a yellow color #fff301 and give it gradient effect like this picture below. Use a Linear style, with Angle: 95 and Scale 100%. Use #fff301, #d4b606, and #7f6d01.

Step 8

Use a soft brush to add shading like you did in Step 5.

Step 9

Once you have created the two sections, duplicate them, re-size, and arrange as shown.

Step 10

Now, trace the mouth of bee in a new blank layer, name this layer "mouth", use the Pen Tool (P), then right click and select stoke path, choose a brush, but before you stoke it, choose a brush size of 3px with a Hardness of 100%. Delete the path.

Step 11

Duplicate the "Mouth.” Click Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and setup with radius 2-pixels. Besides Gaussian Blur, you can add shading with Outer Glow, using #000000. Repeat this process by duplicating these layers until you are happy with how the mouth looks.

Step 12

Click Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + N on keyboard to make a new layer, name it "Eye", and trace (right) bee’s eye with Pen Tool (P). Fill it with #ffffff.

Step 13

Click Brush Tool (B), set color to #bbc6be and #d0caa3, softly brush the eye as shown. Decrease brush opacity if necessary. Add highlights using a white brush.

Step 14

Do the same for the left eye, or you can duplicate the "Eye" layer, and warp it to make it fit (Edit > Transform > Warp).

Step 15

Draw an eyelid with the Pen Tool (P) in a new layer (name it "Eyelid"), make a selection and fill with #f7ea00.

Step 16

Add shadow with Brush (B). Choose #d6b800.

Step 17

Add a black shadow between the bee’s eye and eyelid by clicking Drop Shadow in the Layer Style dialogue. Set angle to 120 degrees, Distance 1px, Spread 0%, Size 1px, and Contour.

Step 18

Repeat for left eyelid

Step 19

Repeat the previous steps to create the bottom eyelids. Fill with #8c7501.

Step 20

Add Inner Shadow effect with #d2af00, 50% opacity, 120 degree angle, Distance 1px, Choke 50%, Size 1px, and Contour.

Step 21

Repeat for left eyelid.

Step 22

Create a new layer (name this layer "Eyeball"). Create it with the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) and fill with any color.

Step 23

Apply a Gradient Overlay. Use the settings as shown below.

Step 24

Draw a shape as shown below with the elliptical marquee tool.

Step 25

Give it an Inner Glow effect with #a46a29, Opacity 100%, Choke 17%, Size 3px.

Step 26

Merge the large dark circle with an empty layer, then make a selection of the circle by Cmd + Clicking the new merged layer. Select the inverse, then select the pupil of the eye and press Delete as shown.

Step 27

Do the same for the left eyeball, you can duplicate these layers (Cmd/Ctrl + J) and make it proportional.

Step 28

Now, draw a leg a shown and fill it with #2f2f27.

Step 29

Give it an Inner Shadow with 90% Opacity, Distance 2px, Choke 5px, Size 15px and the color is black (#000000). Duplicate, flip, and rotate as shown.

Step 30

Continue tracing the wings of the bee. Trace it like as shown on the sketch and fill with #99dbe6. Then add some color to the wing as shown. Use #6ab4c5 and #5da5ab.

Step 31

Continue this process by adding a Stroke. Choose Gradient for Fill Type, you can do experiment with color, but I choose #3b747e and #dff7ff. Set Opacity 75% and Linear for Style.

Step 32

You can duplicate the wing layer, or you can trace it again from the sketch.

Step 33

Draw the antenna and fill it with #373631. Give it an Inner Shadow using #00000, Distance 0px, Choke 0%, Size 15px. Notice the Contour that I used.

Step 34

Duplicate the antenna layer for the left and flip Horizontally. Additionally, you can add some text as well.

Final Image