Love the tutorial. Two questions: I moved from Photoshop to Painter because I wanted to get a more organic feel to the textures, but you seem to manage that in Photoshop just fine; I'm especially looking at the early stages where the colors are nicely mottled and varied. Any tips there? Second, when you used your "fish bone" brush, did you go back and "dig" those textures further into the piece, line by painstaking line?
Thanks, glad you liked it. At the early stages I like to be creative with my color palettes. Here it's probably even a little refined, but it's good to push colors further than you would normally go, at least early on. My colors tend to get a little more subdued as I render detail, so starting out with a wide range helps it stay versatile throughout the rest of the painting. No tips really for doing that, just be sure to constantly change your colors, don't use any one color for too long. I use the color sliders to quickly adjust colors as I'm painting. And yes, I did go back in and dig the textures out more with hand rendered detail. Hope that helps!
It does, thanks for the reply. With regard to the organic feel of the textures early on, I think I'm reacting more to the brush work than anything else. As I said, very organic feel to it. My photoshop work feels a bit clinical in the shapes and blending of the strokes. Was there anything that you found helped you in that regard - opacity/jitter settings, transfer modes, brush shapes, or just slightly changing your colors very frequently for instance?
Nothing technically, the brush settings really tend to just be an afterthought as I'm painting. If I feel like I need to make a change or adjust brushes to get a stroke I'm looking for, I'll tweak some settings until it's the way I like, but it's different everytime. However I'm in the mood to paint. The thing that helped me was studying painting in other mediums- oil, acrylic, gouache, pastels - and applying things I learned through those mediums.
Fantastic tutorial, and very helpful! I'm a traditional artist, but I've been trying to get better and better at digital art, as it seems that's what people are looking for nowadays. I admire your work very much! It seems you do alot of game based artwork, do you have any pointers on how a struggling artist would better get himself noticed?
Neither! No color dodge/burn unless you understand exactly what you want to do with it. It tends to create too much of a mathematical gradation in value/hue, so much so that it can become very obvious when someone has used the tool to handle their values. If you're trying to learn, use the color sliders to select a color for the shadow. Try to use a different color temperature for the shadow and the highlight (so cool shadows vs warm light or reversed). Study from life as much as you can and look up some info on color theory if you really want to get a grasp on it. After you've done it a bunch from life, it becomes easier to determine colors and values from your imagination.
thanks alot! it seems easier to know the shadow once you know the surroundings... ive talk to an artist who said the cool/warm thing is relative and most of the time the shadow color is based on its surroundings.. like warm sun lighting casting a cool blue shadow because the sky is blue.. but without outside interference as an fades into the shadows, it would just be the darker color of the local color right? like in space.. sorry if im asking too much
I suppose if there are no surroundings, it would just be a darker shade of the local color...but then, it would really be more like grayscale, rather than color, right? I think what makes using color unique and powerful is how they relate to the colors around them. You can do so many things with the color of your shadows and lights, so I think you would be greatly limiting yourself if you chose to only use a darker local color.
Thanks alot, im not limiting my shadow colors, im actually fasinated by shadow colors, i just needed to confirm what the color would be without anything surrounding it, thanks for making it clear to me
Hey thanks! Well, I don't really use pen pressure to actually 'control' it, it just gives a little more randomness to the direction. If you want to control the direction more, set angle jitter to direction or initial direction.
Ah, ok. I guess it's one of those brushes that's set up to create "happy accidents", I'll give it a try and see what happens. I'm only recently starting to experiment with textures and textured brushes in my painting (there's more on my blog at hudston.com, I only really use dA to browse now!) so I'm always looking for more things to add to my toolbox as it were. Thanks for the tip.
Don't suppose you could point me in the direction of this brush?
Ah well I made the brush myself. A lot of people have been asking about it, but I haven't had a chance to try and upload it anywhere. It's part of my larger brush set, which has a bunch of unrefined WIP brushes in it and I don't want to upload something lame haha. Give it a try making one yourself and see how it turns out.
I'm going to try your dodge/burn layer method for correcting values rather than starting from a pure black and white underpainting... Sometimes when I work that way I tend to struggle with a color palette later...
oh. wow, that's quite cool. thanks for taking the time for this, it's kinda helpful. I were wondering so often if I try to get my values down in greyscales first, but somehow I couldn't manage the colourbalance afterwards so good.
I will definitly take a look at this more often again
I'm not an expert on imaging science, so anyone can feel free to correct me, but there's a slight loss of fine detail when you downsize an image. This can be rectified when printing, since you can simply increase the dpi to account for it, but this doesn't help on monitors. I sharpen the image after scaling for web. Of course it doesn't actually bring any of the detail back to it's previous state, but it makes what's left of it stand out a little more.
Ahh this is such a nice step by step guide. Really loved seeing your process. I was wondering how come you prefer not to start in grayscale? I've become really comfortable working with grayscale first and I think I would feel really lost if I didn't. I would however like to start painting with colour straight away, but I'm not sure how to tackle it.
A large part of how I study is through painting directly from life. I paint directly in color from life, since grayscale isn't actually what I'm seeing. Maybe it's a personal thing, but I can see more accurate values when working in color, because that's how we see things everyday. If I do start in grayscale, I try to spend as little time there as possible before moving on to color. Grayscale is good to work out compositions and designs, but I'll usually restart a painting directly in color after I've figured those things out. The only way to get better at it is to keep doing it! Just start painting from life!
this is the perfect tutorial! there are so many process tuts and walkthroughs around dA that explain "okay i painted this, and then it was done." but this has these little eye-openers that change the way an artist does things, like the free-transformed armor pieces shortcut, and painting the rest of the mouth BEFORE the teeth (seriously, why did i not think of this before?).
anyways, thanks for taking the time to do this! it was very insightful