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Thread: Opacity/ brush question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Thanked 16 Times in 11 Posts

    Opacity/ brush question

    I'm sure this has been asked before, but I was wondering what you guys prefered in regards to brush settings.
    Low opacity or high opacity?
    I've seen a lot of artists go both ways and get great results, but I feel like a high opacity might result in a more solid piece, obviously when blocking in color I use 100 percent opacity and flow, but after that I drop it down to the thirties. Any and all thoughts appreciated, I just want to make sure I'm not making a mistake on the technical end.
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Ottawa, Canada
    Thanked 1,439 Times in 748 Posts
    I almost always use 100% opacity with my brushes set to pen pressure. With a light touch I can have all the control I need this way.

    "Complacency is the womb of mediocrity. " -- Jason Manley

    "If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." -- Bruce Lee
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Long Beach
    Thanked 16 Times in 16 Posts
    I like 100 percent but with pen pressure. But I LOVE Big fat brushes with pressure opacity and dual brush on, cause sometimes when I'm alone I'll praise myself for painting things with just a few stroke like singer sargeant. But that doesn't happen often and I usually mess it up by going over it with smaller brushes and doing details. Im pretty terrible at it actually(that's why I praise myself)

    See I am giggling like a girl thinking about it.
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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Thanked 1,240 Times in 800 Posts
    I think it depends on what style you're going for. If you want a very smooth, blended, classical look, it's probably best to use many thin wash-like layers using a lower opacity brush. If you want a brushy, spontaneously painted look, keep your opacity high and your brushes big. Overall though, I think most people start off with large high opacity brushes and reduce the size and opacity (or flow) as they progress through the image.
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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Thanked 6,103 Times in 2,488 Posts
    Doesn't matter, I use whatever opacity gives me the quickest result, same with brush hardness and size and brush dynamics. When you are working no one cares how you did something, if it satisfies their requirements and looks good.
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  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    In a peanut.
    Thanked 7 Times in 6 Posts
    I guess it depends on how you go about making your work. I also feel like 100% opacity feels more "solid." It's easier when you're a traditional painter moving to the digital world since you already (most probably) have a "workflow" – how thick your pigment is in ratio to water where more water means lesser opacity. I tend to paint with 50% water and pigment because I go layer by layer. In the end, it's all up to you – your workflow.


    The soul traverses every road to find not only happiness, but pain as well — the contrast that puts joy on a pedestal.
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