NSFW: Nudity - I need help! My Painting Style is a MESS! I'm lost...

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  1. #1
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    NSFW: Nudity - I need help! My Painting Style is a MESS! I'm lost...

    Hi guys,

    I've recently started to look at people like (sorry I only know their dA names...):

    Smirtouille: http://smirtouille.deviantart.com/

    Crahzz: http://crahzz.deviantart.com/

    Raybender: http://raybender.deviantart.com/

    to name a FEW

    and I've started to look at my stuff and really hate it! http://cuptow555.deviantart.com

    My stuff looks so... digital? Flat? One Dimensional?? I don't know, I just love that painterly style and am at loss for how to achieve it. I have been driving myself INSANE trying to get out of my "scribbly" style. There have been a few times in a painting where I'm like, "Okay this is looking better..." but then the painting as a hole still ends up a failure IMO.

    I know people use custom brushes and mess with layers, masks, filters, and god knows what... It just seems so overwhelming to me. I don't even know where to begin? I mean I understand Photoshop... but I don't understand how to use it to produce something like this for example:

    http://i969.photobucket.com/albums/a...crahzzPost.jpg
    (***NOT CLAIMING AS MINE! PAINTED BY http://crahzz.deviantart.com/ ***)

    The brush strokes and splatter effects and just how it looks so... painterly! I LOVE IT!

    I know a lot of people use Painter AND Photoshop... but I only have Photoshop and cannot afford Painter right now (I want Painter desperately though... maybe when i have money) but is it possible to produce something like that using only Photoshop?

    I will give you an example of a painting I'm working on right now:

    NSFW: Nudity - I need help! My Painting Style is a MESS! I'm lost...

    I used a stock photo as reference for her torso, a picture of Meghan Fox for her face, and I used my little plastic model irl for reference on her legs. I did the background completely from imagination. I'm pretty satisfied with the woman and the way I painted her. Here is a close up of her torso:

    ***EDIT*** Photobucket SUCKS... removed because of "nudity". I attached image at bottom ***

    It DEFINITELY needs work, but it's the best I've been able to come up with when it comes to that painterly style I'm after. I'm just using basic ps brushes and smudge tool.

    But the background has ABSOLUTELY driven me insane! I pretty much am about to trash this painting and start a different one. I know it's because I'm doing it from imagination that the colors look so flat in the background. But I don't know what else to do. I even made myself a little "set up" using fabric to try and replicate the webbing type stuff. But it didn't help.

    I've tried using different brushes but it just looks so... random? Here's a close up of that digital horrible random brushy mess that I'm talking about:

    NSFW: Nudity - I need help! My Painting Style is a MESS! I'm lost...

    And behind her face:

    NSFW: Nudity - I need help! My Painting Style is a MESS! I'm lost...

    I HATE IT! I think I've painted over the background 20 million times now? And it still ends up looking like shit.

    And btw this is all on one layer *facepalm* should I just cut the girl out and start a new background? or...

    Anyone have any suggestions at how to get a more painterly style? I really want to buy that "Crypt Crawler - A Hostile Takeover" Tutorial... but I am COMPLETELY broke. I just wish I could watch one of these artists paint using photoshop. Because I KNOW my method is absolutely wrong... I just don't know how to fix it!

    PS: I have spent literally an hour writing this thread... I don't even know what I'm asking at this point I'm going to just post this in hopes that someone can point me in the right direction.

    Sorry for writing such a long thread... lawl. I thinking my major problem is that I'm just too much of a perfectionist/ over-thinker/ INSANE.

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    Last edited by cuptow555; April 18th, 2010 at 03:24 AM. Reason: Uploaded Crahzz's art on Photobucket since dA links don't work...
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  3. #2
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    Oh and BTW I have a background in oil painting... I went to school for oils and have absolutely no educational background when it comes to digitally painting. Maybe that's my problem.

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  4. #3
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    A lot of people who paint digitally with painterly look use Painter or one of other programs that are designed to approximate traditional painting digitally.

    I like how you can shade skin... I have problems with that here:
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...34#post2706134

    Last edited by Walter-NEST; April 14th, 2010 at 02:50 AM.
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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter-NEST View Post
    A lot of people who paint digitally with painterly look use Painter or one of other programs that are designed to approximate traditional painting digitally.
    Yeah I know DAMNIT! I want Painter so bad... but I just do NOT have the money right now.

    There has to be a way to achieve a more painterly style using Photoshop!

    PS: I left you a reply on your thread. Hope it helps a little...

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  6. #5
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    I love where you are going with it, but in the future please remember to add NSFW in the title if there is nudity.

    Might be a little late for this, but I think with the arms pulling out like that the breasts would not be aimed quite so forward. It also might be a bit of problem with the shading for the foreshortening, but her right leg looks out of proportion with the rest of her.

    What are you planning for the background? It is looking pretty cool.



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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bai Fan View Post
    I love where you are going with it, but in the future please remember to add NSFW in the title if there is nudity.

    Might be a little late for this, but I think with the arms pulling out like that the breasts would not be aimed quite so forward. It also might be a bit of problem with the shading for the foreshortening, but her right leg looks out of proportion with the rest of her.

    What are you planning for the background? It is looking pretty cool.

    WHOOPS! Sorry! Didn't know I had to do that. I will remember next time.

    And thanks! I have no idea what to do about the background. I'm completely stuck. I'm seriously drained from reworking the background so much. I think maybe I should do some studies of fabric or webs or something?

    And I will think about what you said about the anatomy. I agree with the shading on the legs. It's off and drove me insane. I finally was like FUCK IT, its good enough *shrugs* The background is what is really bothering me at the moment. Once I feel better about that I will be able to go back and work on her form.

    As for her breasts. Hrmm... here is the reference I used: (NUDITY WARNING) http://fav.me/d2kzlz5 mine are definitely more... solid looking? Less natural. Thanks I didn't see that before! I'll work on them!

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  8. #7
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    Sorry man, but I am not going to join DA. That link brings me right to a join page. Adding a link to the image itself would be better. Regarding the background, you might want to refer to some of Geiger's work because it has a similar feel and you can see how he tackled the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bai Fan View Post
    Sorry man, but I am not going to join DA. That link brings me right to a join page. Adding a link to the image itself would be better. Regarding the background, you might want to refer to some of Geiger's work because it has a similar feel and you can see how he tackled the problem.
    Hrmm... weird I didn't know it did that. Must be because it contains nudity *shrugs* I'll just post it on photobucket--

    (NUDITY WARNING) http://i969.photobucket.com/albums/a...TOCKCApost.jpg

    (***I didn't take that image just FYI! Not claiming it as mine! It is owned by http://erieye-stock.deviantart.com) <--- just want to put that out there. Lol.

    Ok and are you talking about HR Giger? I had never heard of him until I searched through google. WOW! He is INCREDIBLE! I of COURSE know of Aliens but had never heard of the artist. He has a SICK mind and I love it. I wish I could find better images of his work! Thanks for the recommendation!

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  10. #9
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    *facepalm* just noticed the sticky about Deviantart links. Sorry! I'm sure that gets old...

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  11. #10
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  12. #11
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    If you want to make the BG stand out more you may try to add some lights in it, or some different colour. For exemple some yellowish or white highligts on the more prominent strings and some greenish or violet shading in the lowest (3D speaking) parts of it.
    If you want a more painterly stile (in the bg, the girl seems ok to me) try to use a softer and bigger brush, to smudge the harsh feeling it ahs now..
    This are just advices, I'm not a great painter, just thought that you can try them. I hope they will help you!

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  13. #12
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    You are overthinking it cuptow555.

    This is a really good painting that only needs some refining to be great.

    You have the talent you need to finish it. Relax, go for a coffee and come back to it when you've had time to forget it. Only then will you see the value in it.

    "Creativity emerges only when the imagination is given the freedom it deserves."
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    Wow, that's better than many posts here, I like how the woman looks, don't know how much I could help, but I'll try to make some time apart from work to look at it better and give some constructive critic...

    WHO'S THIS? HELP!!

    Jack Bauer caricature

    Barbarian rockstar

    My sketchbook

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  15. #14
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    wow, reminds me a little of the film 'the cell'. It's kind of a mix between that and Giger (except no biomechanoidal phallic ...stuff).

    I really like it, the background looks good to me, just looks like it is at an early stage is all.

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  16. #15
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    "Penance" is a good painting.

    If you want a smoother style (not "scribbled") you might want to go over to smudge tool highlighting, using various types of brushes. That seems to be the best way to mimic oil painting in Photoshop.

    Your style is also a cartoon stylization, like WoW, and you might try for some more realism in proportions. If you want a painterly style, you might want to copy oil masters like Sargent.

    I just wouldn't worry about it if I were you. You are already much better than most people on here (me included) and with practice you will only improve.

    "I know the Way, know the Way, know the Way, know the Way" -Achilles' Last Stand

    Tutorial: Realistic Perspective Renderings from 2D Line Art
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  17. #16
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    Huh. I would have to say that the proportions are pretty accurate other than the foreshortening issue in the leg we were talking about earlier.

    I think you might want to check the shadows on your reference again for help with that right breast (her left). In the painting you have a bounce light on the exterior side of her nipple that really flattens out the form and makes it appear that the nipple is facing more forward. I think if you add a bit more shadow it will read as drafting and look a bit better.

    That is a small change though.

    I would say that it is time to decide what she is doing with her hands and start painting those bad boys in there.



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  18. #17
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    I'd give artrage a try its free for the older version and its only around 85 bucks for the pro version. See if it has what you want.
    As for the background right now the brush work is competing with the figure.
    I would lessen the contrast and on the forms more and maybe drop the value a little. You can also paint with the eraser tool to work the negative space or use masks to give you more edge variety.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cuptow555 View Post
    I know it's because I'm doing it from imagination that the colors look so flat in the background. But I don't know what else to do.
    I'd suggest a still life or three. Paint something that's in front of you and practice "painterliness" on that, instead of trying to make stuff up out of your head. I don't think the answer to "scribbling" is "scribbling + smudge"... it's knowing what value and what size brush you actually need to use in any given area. Easier said than done... but easier done when you're not working from imagination.

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  20. #19
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    I guess I should mention that I have been assuming that you are intending to bring the level of work throughout the rest of the piece to similar quality as the torso and face. Are you intending the piece to be complete as is?

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  21. #20
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    I feel extactly the same when I view these painterly masterpieces and feel at a loss as how to achieve that style.
    The good news is that your skin tones are achieving the painter look in my opinion.
    The bad news is that background is not achieving anything sadly.

    I think you should work on applying the same technique as the body onto the background .

    Also I have found that creating multiple layers with "overlay", "softlight", "vivd light" and some others achieves the painterly digital feel we all want so much.
    So try to make a new overlay layer, get a splattery looking brush, and use it to texture. Is that what you are looking for?

    Hey, I am extremely desperate for criticisms on my W.I.P. Batman in this same subforum. If you could offer your opinion and criticisms, I would be indebted.

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  22. #21
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    Wow! Thank you SO much guys! You all have given me the motivation to work a lot more on this piece.

    Razorleaf I completely agree... I over-think EVERYTHING. That will probably be my downfall. *goes and gets a coffee*

    dpaint I started off using ArtRage. I LOVE ARTRAGE! But when I got a new computer and I installed it on here... my graphics tablet reacted weirdly with it. It's only on ArtRage and and only on this computer, I have NO idea why. It's extremely frusterating. Everytime I touch the pen to the tablet it does like a... loopy mark. It's really weird. So I gave up on ArtRage

    Morgan_R I agree with you. I need to take a step back and work on some still lives. I'm going to work on some now I think. Thanks!

    Bai Fan I do want to bring the level of work up on the background similar to that of the girl. I see this painting as no where near finished. And yeah I don't know why I'm procrastinating on her hands and arms. I will get those out of the way soon lol.

    Pavel Sokov I'm glad I'm not alone! Lol. I'm gonna try messing with layers etc. See what I can do. I'll probably do some still lives and mess with layers as a learning process. *shrugs* And I will definitely check out your WIP right now. I'll try and help.

    Thank you for all the comments! I'm so glad I joined this forum. Such good advice and motivation! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! lol

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  23. #22
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    I think it looks quite good and most of the other posters have covered anything I'd say about it. If you want to break out of the scribbly style, the best way to do that is to just use a bigger brush, same as oil painting. Start big and then work your way smaller. Good job so far though, I like it.

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  24. #23
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    UGH Photobucket SUCKS! What is a good image hosting site that won't remove my shit just because it has nudity in it

    Anyways here is her torso again (the one photobucket removed)

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  25. #24
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    Lets see an update where some other parts of the image show the refined quality that the breasts and the face have.

    And enough with the huge detail shots of the breasts. Some of us are not quite used to being single again.



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  26. #25
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    I think it might look a bit more dramatic if you upped the lighting a bit. The background is still wonky but I think the skin reads a bit more volumetric.

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  27. #26
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    Hey - I am in love with photoshop, and I think you ca do altot of things with it too. I like painterly styles alot too so here´s some thing I noticed while trying to achieve one:

    -I never smuge - smuging is an effect - like a filter - it is for photoretouching and mostly you can identify very fast where an artist used it. Instead look up and use the flow options (using them really changed my way of painting) and use brushes like chalk (I prefer chalk 44 and 36 ) that have rough edges.

    -I do not lower the opacity too much if I am aiming for a rough style.

    -don´t go crazy with layers and wait with the layer styles, and color corrections till the end - or merge them down. (unless you color a grayscale with overlay ect. ofcourse)

    - I use big brushes and only gradually make them smaller. detail only the important places.

    I like you picture so far. What is bad about the background is:
    -it´s colored with the same intensity too much. - it´s missing color variation not only in the same range. try to play more with a little cooler tones and a litte orange near the figure. really just a small change can do so much.

    -the lines are all more or less equal. why don´t you have some of the lines vanish in the background and some come forward to the viewer? Maybe establish a soft background light that shines through the vails.

    - also while your figure has shadow and a form - the background appears to be only a flat net of very graphic lines - try to give them some form too to match the figure.

    so far from me - I hoped I could help you a bit

    (Ps. sometimes people here sound like deviantart is just for retards - but it helped me alot and I like the site )

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