Transitioning from traditional oils to digital
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Thread: Transitioning from traditional oils to digital

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    Red face Transitioning from traditional oils to digital

    I've searched forums and websites all over the place for this and can't seem to find a solution. Maybe I'm just slow in the head, it's definitely possible.

    I'm a "traditional" oil painter and have really just messed around in digital mainly because of the frustration curve. I've seen the most amazing artwork made digitally so I know it's possible. And I know, practice, practice. But my problem seems to be with a fundamental technique:

    My brush. With oil on canvas I use flat brushes almost exclusively. And I usually use as large of a brush as possible, manipulating the brush to make smaller marks. If i want to make a small triangle shape, I do it in one stroke. I can make so many different shapes with a single stroke of an oil brush. I can't seem to replicate this in Painter to save my life! I'm going mad. Yes, the brushes follow the direction of the stroke, but if I'm not moving the pen in a specific enough direction it seems to place the first mark in an almost arbitrary direction. How do you all handle this?

    The examples I'm talking about were done really quickly but I'm just trying to illustrate a point (no pun intended). When oil painting I place the paint EXACTLY where I want the mark to be. It seems that the only way I've been able to achieve the same end visual result is by painting a larger shape than necessary, then going back and carving out the shape with an eraser or another color. Alternately I could use a super small brush and essentially outline the shape, then fill it in... Or I could make a selection of the exact shape I want and then paint that in... but those both seems ridiculous no? Or is this how it's done digitally?

    So please, how do you all do this?? What's your technique?

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    Ok, I can remember the same feeling when I started playing with Painter. I think the first thing I had to apply resolve to was the fact that regardless of what label is put on any brush in Painter, what you are essentially using is just another art tool entirely. Embrace this first, then through practice and study you will learn each tools strengths and weaknesses. At some point along this period of learning, you will begin to notice a bit of familiarity between the traditional and the digital variant. Definitely make liberal use of the Brush Creator in Painter to customize and tweak the settings, this and the ability to alter surface texture with the Paper Selector are two main aspects of the program that keep me coming back to it daily. Your traditional skills definitely come in handy using Painter, but I wouldn't advise anyone to hop into the program as if it is "exactly" the same as using the traditional counterparts to the brushes, a Wacom tablet does not provide the same give and textural feeling as a canvas, a stylus in your hand does not have the same heft and flexibility at the bristles that an actual brush does. You don't touch the surface when using a real airbrush. These points are elementary and I'm sure you already figured these for yourself before even delving into digital, so I'll sum it up by saying:
    Break yourself down to a basic level when first learning these brushes, then build yourself up while gaining experience using them in tandem with other functions in the program, especially layers.
    As far as the technique you are trying to achieve, if you don't already have one, you might want to invest in a 6d Art pen for you model tablet (Intuos 3 or 4), the default pen does not recognize rotation.....please, don't ask. Try a flat variant of your brush, go into the Brush Creator and set it to "Rotate" in the Angle tab. Now try the stroke. The RealBristle brushes are a nice set of tools also for "trying to keep it real", but I wouldn't go one step further without a rotation capable stylus. Let me know how it turns out for you.

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    Forget about emulating exactly like you used to paint in oils, look at the brush tip of you wacom pen, is it made of flat bristles? Is it flexible? You want to get the look of oils down not the way you used to work traditionally, maybe once in the future Wacom comes with some sort of bristle based pen for the Cintiq. What you need to understand is how brush tips and dabs work.

    Alternately I could use a super small brush and essentially outline the shape, then fill it in...
    Yes that actually would be a good way to do it or use a brush with size expression and continuos time deposition, maybe digital isn't for you.

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    Thank you both!

    What you said definitely hit home with me BlackArk, Thanks. I was thinking I would make the jump to buying a 6d pen (but I have an intuous 3 and was trying to figure out the financial aspects of either buying a 6d pen for 3 vs buying a new intuous 4 tablet AND then a 6d pen for it - as I understand it, they're not compatible). The idea of a rotation-capable pen seems amazing, and realistically I'm not sure how one could get by without one (coming from a traditional background that is). I figured for some strange reason that it wasn't common though because of the additional cost, plus not many people seem to mention them in the forum posts that I've come across. But that type of tool makes perfect sense. When I get the cash, I'll get an intuous 4 and compatible 6d pen. Hopefully that will help to a certain degree. And I'll take your advice. Start from the beginning and embrace it as a new art tool entirely. I mean, I don't expect the same method when I sculpt.. why should I expect any different with yet another art form? So many people and websites talk about the achievable "closeness to traditional media," and it is true... the END result that is. While in reality, and understandably, the method is still quite different. Thank you for the advice and encouragement!

    And thanks Portus, for the... additional encouragement.

    Last edited by feralcoconut; November 22nd, 2009 at 12:18 AM. Reason: again, I don't like it when I F'up my grammar
    My gallery: http://www.shanepollard.com/ I would be honored if anyone from ConceptArt were to visit it. I am amazed and enthralled by all that is done here.
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    Glad I could help a bit. I personally feel that every Painter / creative-Photoshop-oriented book should have a chapter on the psychological aspect of a traditional artist embracing digital somewhere in the middle of the volume (put it in the front and we skip it, put it in the back and we tell ourselves we'll finish it later). The dialogue quoted from artists in the Ballistic Publishing books is always inspirational in a "this is how I got here" kind of way, while books by qualified Painter authors like Cher Threinen-Pendarvis (hope I spelled that right) and Jeremy Sutton give more of a common sense / technical education I recommend every Painter user should research. Still, the learning curve would be helped out immensely if they got more scientific with it as far as psychology is concerned. (Oooops, did I just give away another sweet idea???? well at least send me a gift card to Yodobashi Camera in Tokyo, geezus, hehe). About getting a 6D Art pen....well, I urge you to research heavily as to the direction you want to go when we talk Wacom. I won't say anymore, just read these posts in their entirety with an unbiased mind and I'm pretty sure you might see the logic in the content, *ESPECIALLY* if you happen to invest in the I4......

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=168111

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=157928
    (this one is more beneficial when reading the product reviews for the I4 Art pen, make sure you read in it's entirety though...)

    Might wanna check those eBay prices on the Intuos3 6D Art pen buddy.....

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    Ehhh? Yodobashi? Eto, Yamada denki desune? Hahaha, that's were I bought my Intuous 3, in Yokohama while working in Tokyo. You were very helpful BlackArk, and I completely agree. Ha, definitely the middle of the volume... but with some hint at the beginning (to trap those of us needing immediate gratification, ha). Most "digital painting" books cover either things such as copy and paste OR bounced light. There is a much bigger issue to be addressed!! The "psychological aspect of a traditional artist embracing digital" ...well put. I'll read the links you gave me and get back to you. Thanks again. Glad to know there are others out there in the same boat as I am (as weird as that ALWAYS sounds to say... I mean, why would one want others to be in the same "unfortunate" circumstances as they are? Ha. But I think you get the point).

    And as a side note, where you at in Tokyo? And what are you doing over there?

    My gallery: http://www.shanepollard.com/ I would be honored if anyone from ConceptArt were to visit it. I am amazed and enthralled by all that is done here.
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    Lightbulb

    Read the links you posted. Very interesting... Thank you!!

    So now another decision. Damn. 6d pen for I3 with two shafts so as not to twist in the pen, BUT, no side buttons - or the 6d pen for I4 with side buttons but one shaft, smaller tips, and nib twisting. HA. (Not that I can afford either right now) But really?

    Really?? Don't artists test these things before they sell them? The whole thing seems strange to me. I guess it's still technically fringe technology so we should take what we can get, but anyone with half a sense has to admit it's pretty comical.

    No? I'm definitely not one to complain unnecessarily, but just out the door, being used by established artists in ConceptArt, and running up against the problems described, just seems strange to me.

    Lol. Maybe Portus was right. No. It's not that "maybe digital isn't for you" - it's that mediocrity isn't for me. And that applies to every aspect of my life. I demand quality out of my paints, brushes, pencils, paper, cameras, computer... my life... Life is FAR FAR FAR too short to demand anything otherwise.

    Nothing would get done if we all settled for what has already been achieved. I am absolutely appreciative. But I also have vision.

    My gallery: http://www.shanepollard.com/ I would be honored if anyone from ConceptArt were to visit it. I am amazed and enthralled by all that is done here.
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    Have you even given ArtRage a try? It was essentially made for the niche market of people coming from the traditional background to the digital, it's miles less abstract than Corel Painter.

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    Thanks for the suggestion Portus... and again for the encouragement with Painter. I visited the ArtRage site, looked at some of the galleries and the features page, and tutorials. I'll have to download a trial of the application and give it a go to know for sure, however, I'm not sure the program exactly addresses the issue I'm having.

    I'm more curious about the various techniques to achieve specific shape/marking results through the tablet input device... as opposed to a physical brush.

    I suppose it's a question in regards to each individual's preferred method of technical or mechanical tool manipulation. Yes I can experiment and find my own, and I do, and I will. But aren't we all here to learn from each other?

    My gallery: http://www.shanepollard.com/ I would be honored if anyone from ConceptArt were to visit it. I am amazed and enthralled by all that is done here.
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    The best for you would be the massive black downloads, specially Andrew Jones:

    http://media.massiveblack.com/downloads.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Portus View Post
    Have you even given ArtRage a try? It was essentially made for the niche market of people coming from the traditional background to the digital, it's miles less abstract than Corel Painter.
    For those that don't know, there is a new version of ArtRage

    coming out near the end of next week-ArtRage3. Here's a preview from their site:

    http://www.artrage.com/artrage3.html

    Something to consider anyway.

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    The Massive Black downloads are AMAZING.

    I purchased vids a bit ago of Zhang Lu, Jason Chan, Greg Manchess, Whit Brachna, and Nox. They are jaw-dropping amazing. The funny thing is, most of the digital artists' videos are in time-lapse and the image materializes so quickly in front of me, I have a tough time figuring out what happened exactly to get there ha! You should see me desperately trying to watch the brush strokes, the tool selection switches, the brush size changes, etc... And my player won't go frame by frame so I'm searching for another one that will. Because it is exactly the individual artist's technical application method that I'm interested in. But I plan on watching all of them a few hundred more times. I am completely serious. Hundreds more times. I can't get enough.

    And anyone else out there that is debating on whether or not to buy any of the downloads... DO IT. They are well worth the money. I love the Manchess vid and Nox vid especially for their commentaries. Brilliant and hilarious at the same time. Helpful, insightful, philosophical, entertaining, inspiring... I could go on and on.

    Thanks Portus, I'll definitely check out some Andrew Jones vids!!

    My gallery: http://www.shanepollard.com/ I would be honored if anyone from ConceptArt were to visit it. I am amazed and enthralled by all that is done here.
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