I will cut the crap and boring stuff out, this thread is an update of the previous "beginners" digital painting thread. Number of things have changed since that thread first kicked off at least for me, and been meaning to update it so here we go..
The focus on this thread is first to familiarise people with digital painting in PS and also learn to observe since we are going to mainly focus on still life (simple things) and won't make you an awsome painter but BABY STEPS!
Also again, I regard myself as an average painter and don't pretend to know everything or even much about painting. Just enough to help those just getting started. For this reason I've asked few people from the board, who's much better painter than I am to drop in and do a still life to share. As this method is how I approach it and is one of many methods as you will see from other demos.
From the last thread, I've noticed few things from varies people.
Careless paintings, let's face it, if you are not willing to put the time in, it's not going to work for you. Concentrate on getting it right.. invest the time, if you know something is wrong fix it!!!
and keep getting it right and you will eventually become more efficient.
Guessing, another huge issue, lots of people seem to be unsure of colours and details on the object they are painting. The answer is right in front of you most people are too quick to jump at it and guessing too much. Well it is guessing but it's more educated guess?, again take time to observe and train ur eyes to see the colours and so on.
Brushes, let's keep it simple.. There is NOTHING wrong with using all the brushes in the world and everything PS has to offer. But we should focus learning the basics before proceeding to much more advanced and trade secrets I've uploaded most used brushes from my set here, a drawing, an oval and a soft edge. Feel free to use your own and default sets, so long as it's simple. www.minart.net/temp/basic.abr
Also please try and stick to simple objects that you can have in front of you. photos and all are good but nothing beats the real thing. If you are trying to get help for your personal painting you may have more luck at critique section.
Posting steps is optional! But it helps to see how u are approaching things.
Few general things about PS.
Canvas size, since bigger is better in digital medium and NO u should avoid blowing up ur image for the sake of printing! try and work zoomed out. open another window by going to Window > Arrange > New window, this will bring up another window so you can see the smaller size while u work on details on the other window. 600px 800px is a good size for online viewing.
I tend to paint at 50% zoomed out. So I have some room to add details at 100% if required, but even this isn't all that big. Remember, to print an a4 you will need approx. 2500px 3500px canvas size.
Oh Tablet, if you don't have one, you should invest in one, preferrably wacom. If you paint with a mouse it can seriously have health issues, well from my experience at least. A tablet will give you so much more freedom and same you time! This is a no brainer!
BLENDING, now last thread did focus a bit on blending in PS, while this is important, I think it's more beneficial for us to see the blocks and planes. To figure out where soft blending happens and where it's a hard edge of two colours meeting up. If we sort of see this first the blending becomes a part of process and certainly give u a better result. having said that it's too much to discuss here I guess, and for the sake of this thread, try and not to be too attached to blending but rather observe and apply similar effect to your paintings. Remember NOT everything just blends together! it's a mix & match and it's just matter of figuring out where.
from tonight, it's pretty straight forward.
but for the first one..
Sketch, I had one sitting on my desk.. Not too concerned about details or anything but just the overall shape, proportion? placement of the shadows and stuff.
blocking in the colours, just as I see them. Larger brush size and 80~100 opacity. take time to observe and try and pick the colours right
Blending, now I've noticed if u blend too much you will end up muting up ur apple. and do all sort of things to bring it back from death! What I sort of do is just reduce the stroke sizes and just add more colours in between. Like previous step but in smaller blocks.
Blending continues, Should probably say rendering.. checking to see the colours are right, actually always check.. and where it blends and stuff.. I try to leave out really fine details, overall form is more important and can easily add details later.
Refining and adding details! simple huh?
will add more soon..
Last edited by bumskee; September 28th, 2007 at 09:26 AM.
Here's another apple. forgot to save sketch. Did this one quicker than the other one. around 1.5 hours I think. Could go much further with it but I'm out of time for now. Definitely need practice with the physical act of blending two tones/colours.. I should just do some simple blending exercises.
Again trying to get the tones and colours close. Exaggerated strength and saturation in some colours a bit to make it a bit more vibrant.
Really enjoy this excercise.
Last edited by bumskee; January 20th, 2008 at 04:36 PM.
Uhm... I think I will post my apple. again. xD I didn't save the steps, much to my shame, but here it is:
I have a feeling I'll be living in this thread from now on.
Also, refining and adding detail is where I have most trouble... I think.. ;O; ...here's what I have:
Once I get there, however, I don't know what else to do and the temptation of using other brushes apart from just the basic ones is huge, but I really want to be able to do it with the basic brushes. I also have the feeling that I either blend too much, or I never am able to pick vibrant colors...they seem so opaque.
Last edited by Cardinal Sins; September 29th, 2007 at 12:28 PM.
Very happy to be here with you practicing digital painting. I'm a big fan of your works bumskee! Keep it rocking!!
Additional info: Most of time it is painful for me to paint, very difficult to find the right colors But is very relaxing to paint from real life!! I enjoyed a lot the exercice and everytime i do i learn something new.
smokey, Just looking at your apple, i think you are still too attached to the "green" in your memory. the reason the apple seems a little flat is because you aren't looking at the form, values.. it's what holds a pic together. Also notice how the red on the top and bottom is similar? highly unlikely! Trust your eyes!
Cardinal, are these from life? they seem awfully familiar it's important you try it out for urself with a real thing. and as for the bright colours, they actually need darker muted colours to be "bright", contrast.. but again, that's not really important now, try and paint one from life and you will pick up on it no time, also give those links on the first post a try. idiot Apathy's thread is very very good.
Tom! it's a corona! and I am only sending my pics coz you sent me yours..
Navarrot, agreed, it's relaxing in a way, just to take things easy. Nice apple btw, I think you could easily be a little bit more boldwith the values and the green maybe too consistent through out? I think I read somewhere or someone told me Not to be afraid of Grey in nature.. keep it going dude!
Here's my apple. I didn't have a real one to hand (I ate the last one before seeing this thread ) so I used a photo for reference. It had a lot more white and grey on it than I'd expected, which was hard to paint. Might've gone overboard.
I AM STARTING FROM SCRATCH. (AGAIN.)
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i'm new, and i've been following the apple thread for quite a while. really nice apples!
this is my first try (so sorry forgot to save the steps!)
trying to get the blending right.
i just got my wacom *hugs wacom* but i need a new computer at home. @.@
right now the only practise i get is in my internship. (i need to make time because i'm supposed to be doing motion graphics.)
i wanna improve!!!
so i really need to learn photoshop so i got and apple and gave it a try. my eyes had alot of trouble at first moveing from bright lcd to the apple. they have now and now i see alot of varition and detail im missing so im probley go go back at it. but heres me apple so far. i think this is the longest ive spent on a single thing in photoshop and thats good. been about and hour and a half so far.
I found this thread to be very informative and inspiring. I hadn't been adjusting my opacity as much as I should have and my forms were muddy. This really helped unlock my thought process, so thank you. Here's my effort from last night.
D@niel, good start, nice to see the fact that u are trying to block things out, it's the best approach I think. Try and use less of the soft edge tool, tends to give that smudged out uneven plastic feel. the colours a little too muted out especially at the top, it wouldn't be just add "white" but more so shift of hue and values.. but heading in the right direction!
Ampersand, looking good, photo only if u can't find the real thing, but doesn't have to be an apple.. ur phone? mouse? anything really.. And there's too much white, washed out look with the apple.
shamandalie, congrats on the new wacom! ok.. the apple.. well I think it needs a little bit more careful strokes.. more time in another word. for example, the shadow is almost completely random.. also use less soft edge, while it has its uses, you are using it to blend strokes, you should try and see the colours as they are.. keep going dude
joel, nice! maybe a little too dark on the bottom but that could actually be true so.. try to work in a lighter value tho. abusing black and white can be worst in terms of rendering unless it was stylised of course..
evil bunny, great! maybe just a tad bit of contrast, I think it was in loomis books, he said something about exaggerating the dark and light.. well something along those lines. look forward to the one from life!
manaburn, heh wicked stuff. The apple is a little weak on the form, maybe the shadows needs to be a little more certain and darker? keep it going dude.
going to try and give crit as much as I can..
here's my effort from tonight.. I scammed it a little with blur tool at the end, kinda gives a sense of depth like the photographs do.. neat trick so long as u don't abuse it! if u abuse anything it's bad.. so don't!
Sketch, I had two onions.. errm.. as I said it doesn't have to be an apple!
blocking in the colours.. onions are harder than apples I reckon.. it's more delicate? so u have to spend longer and observe harder! Was really trying hard to get the colours right.. it's a little hard coz ur mind plays tricks.
blocking in.. and also blending.. adjusting colours and working towards the final shape.. the process is quite simple.. just look harder if u are not sure.. If it doesn't look right fix it! it's this vicious cycle that u keep pushing urself I think.. if u ever say "that will do" without even really giving ur best shot everytime.. this will get the better of you..
added details and yeah.. a little flat and the colours aren't as vibrant as I hoped.. especially in the bottom region..
i'm new to digital painting in ps.. i've been reading a lot of tutorial threads. I read about "the blender tool," but i still don't have a clear idea of what it is.. is it an addon? or a technique using a low opacity brush? can someone explain it to me?
oh i fergot to ask. when blending what hardness do you use. i started trying to blend with a hard brush and didnt like it much. i just kept going back and forth from full hard to full soft. also in blocking do ya use a full hard brush or do ha soften it a little. or is it just all what works best for the person.
The soft brushes, as stated earlier, tend to give the painting a very smudged appearance. I suspect that bumskee is using only a hard brush for all of his demo's.
The trick to blending with a hard brush is to be patient. Start blending with high opacity, then work your way down to lower and lower opacities (depending on how much blending you need) You really don't need to use the soft edge brushes at all.
Blending is something that you want to do as little of as you can get away with. The more you blend the flatter your image looks, as Bumskee as already mentioned. Notice how his first block in, even with the large areas of flat color, and no blending at all, still seems to have a sparkle of reality. Limited blending will give your work more vibrancy as your colors stay closer to your original choices. The more you blend, the muddier they get.
Hope this is helpful and that what I am saying is accurate. Shoot me down if I am wrong, Bumskee.
Oh,and Bumskee, by the way, did you achieve your amazing imaginative painting skills from practicing with life painting like this? I am getting better with my digital painting in my life and photo studies (when I can motivate myself to do them) but I hate my imaginative rendering skills (see chow 90) Part of this is from having severe color limitations, because I haven't studied it much yet, but I want to find a way to improve the stuff I do from my head. I suspect that it is an issue of working from life as much as possible and I my "inner eye" will naturally improve, but I'd like to here you tell me so that I know I'm not just guessing.
joel, yeah it is dark, check ur monitor, may need calibration. Also for blending.. as chance stated most of it, stay away from soft edge, only and ONLY because you will want to smoothen everything. And I've actually done most with the oval shaped brush in the brush set posted in my first post but also have used soft edge, only to cover a large area. I will get into explaining a lot of the other varies techniques. In blocking, it's actually doesn't really matter what brush u use.. next few still life from me, I am planning on using 4 different brushes to show that brush doesn't really make much of a diff.
jinny, I am not sure what about this blender tool, and unfortunately NO it's all technical and manual. if there was a filter that blended..*sigh* that would be disatrous..hehe.
chance, I think u've got most of the bits right.. And while it is good to see things in blocks and work towards the detail as you've stated, the soft edge do come in handy from time to time.. I did use soft edge here and there but mostly to darken/lighten a large portion of the area. But definitely stick to hard edge coz we should all paint the little things infront of us and not just blindly blend away. You are right I think, u need to train the eye.. I mean I am not all that trained either so.. but I have probably a little more experience and some tricks up my sleeve to pull it off.. and unfortunately my studies so far has only included a small portion of still life paintings.. While it does help in many ways it's kinda very basic I guess.. Being able to observe and paint/draw is a must to carry on studies that will be required down the track..
I was having trouble with the shading on the apple. I think I needed to just go ahead and slap some dark shadow on there. I love that onion, I'm going to go out and buy some onions just to try that.. I went ahead and tried a bottle today after seeing that awesome painting you did of one. Here's the results.
So now that I have opened my big mouth, I had better join in the fun so I don't sound like I am all talk.
Thanks for straightening me out Bumskee, you are the man and we listen to you cause your art speaks for you. I think you have a little LOT more experience than me and perhaps I simply need to put in the hours to get to the point I want to be. (that and pray that God gave me the skills to reach that point)
Not trying to flatter or anything but you and M@ are my two favorite digital painters on this site and you are an inspiration to all of us, thanks for taking the time to pass on your wisdom.
Speaking of which, if you ever decide to get in on the mentoring thing they have going now, please remember me if you are looking for an apprentice.
Now its time to allow my art to speak for me.
Hard round brush, opacity pressure sensitive, width not pressure sensitive, starting at 100% opacity, then 50% opacity, then 25%
Presenting.... The sad, lonely Tomato.
Last edited by Chance.; October 5th, 2007 at 12:19 AM.