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  1. #1
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    Question Where did you learn how to digitally paint (i.e. w/ Photoshop)

    I have been looking around at all the incredible works on this site and I was wondering who taught you or where did you learn how to digitally paint so well? Are there classes at art schools that specifically teach you the tools and techniques of photoshop or other digital painting programs? I know a lot of the paintings here are real paint, but there are just as many digital paintings (which are just as good!) I'll be going to Ringling next year and I want to learn to paint much better then I can now. So I am eager to learn from any source. Thanks all.
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  3. #2
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    Hey

    This may seem like a generic all encompassing answer but I hold dear to it because it helped me.

    I would just advise you to paint a lot in natural mediums first. All the Ctrl+Z and opacity changes in brushes in the world still can't hold a candle to just good solid ground in value, hue, saturation, anatomy, color theory, and lighting.

    Photoshop/ Painter are just tools, and the tips and tricks can literally be taught to you in one day. While the other topics take QUITE a while to pick up and stick

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    Kambei hit the nail on the head. For one thing, drawing with a wacom tablet and having your strokes scaled up to fit withe cursor on the screen is very different from making an actual mark in front of you. The skills for placing the right strokes are much better aquired through physically making strokes in front of you.

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    Re: Hey

    Originally posted by Kambei
    This may seem like a generic all encompassing answer but I hold dear to it because it helped me.

    I would just advise you to paint a lot in natural mediums first. All the Ctrl+Z and opacity changes in brushes in the world still can't hold a candle to just good solid ground in value, hue, saturation, anatomy, color theory, and lighting.

    Photoshop/ Painter are just tools, and the tips and tricks can literally be taught to you in one day. While the other topics take QUITE a while to pick up and stick
    Word! Worry about oils. Then Photoshop will be cake!

    -Joshua

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    I pretty much understand exactly what you guys are saying. I know any talented artist can be taught to use a computer, but not everyone who can use a computer can have artistic talent. I know this part, and I whole heartedly agree with you guys. The question i have though is once you learn to paint, where can you get these digital tricks taught to you in one day? Do artschools offer these kinds of classes or is it best to learn from the web, tutorials and other artist? I guess learning from every source you can is the best way, but where are the basic techniques?
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    oh see... i just figured everyone would actually try and teach THEMSELVES first, you know... using trial and error and stuff...

    but i guess i was wrong.

    i recommend shelling out hundreds of dollars for tutorial books on every aspect of photoshop.

    these people who have awed and inspired you have been doing this for years. so... um... yeah.

    i suggest giving up and going home if you can't learn every single trick in the figurative book in ONE DAY. because man.... if you don't learn it all in one day, you're never going to learn it. never. you're never, ever gonna learn.
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  8. #7
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    I started to teach myself how to paint with natral mediums when i was 18 (mainly watercolor), shortly after (maby a few months) I lost track and didnt do much with art for a few years (like 4 years. Now im 22)... but i found this great msg board in september and since then I have been inspired by members here and take art alot more seriously than i did then. Like, I sketch constantly every day as much as I can, and I love it! haha ... so anyways I just recently bought a wacom 9x12 and photoshop CS (it made me poor).Then I did the trial and error thing bizarre was talking about. It worked well for me and im still learning. Also, I try not to use the ctrl z thing. Still though, the watercolor thing helped alot.

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    I grew up on clarisworks on an old mac. Simple stuff like mouse-drawn pixel wide lineart with the fill tool. I then graduated to photoshop 3.0 and airbrushed the hell out of everything. Then I found Painter classic and it all went up hill from there.

    I don't really think there are any special tricks you need to know. The best thing you can do is play around with brushes and find something that suits you. Opacity, size, shape, smearyness etc. Layers are definitely important but if you know what you want to do with them, the manual will tell you how to do it.

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    Ok just so you know I was just quoting the "learn it in one day" thing from Kambei. I know it will take me years to get as good as I want to be, my whole life probably. I'm not looking for the easy shortcut. I am looking for directions just to get to the long and rigorous road. That's the one I want to take. Just looking for information and education. Is that such a bad thing? I have been TRYING to teach MYSELF it's just that I know there are people out there that are much better then me and CAN and ARE willing to help me. Photoshop is not the only thing I want to learn either. Just digitally painting as a medium.
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    eek. sorry about pms'ing earlier.

    okay. the only helping hand you're ever gonna need is at the end of your arm. heh.

    but seriously, it's like a jigsaw puzzle. there's no linear progression. it's just a matter of learning one thing and then that teaches you that you need to learn another thing, and in turn that opens the way to more knowledge.

    look. you've made an excellant step by joining these boards. these people have a lot of info to share and if you're willing to learn, oh my god... you will. i mean, this place is crawling with information. you're gonna step in some someday.
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  12. #11
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    Hett15 - I'm saying this from what I've experienced, you don't have to learn oil painting or any other traditional medium to learn how to paint. Learning how to paint with a computer, or oils, or gouche, color markers, etc, it's all just different medium and all the medium react and work differenlty. The medium is just a way to apply your art knowledge to create art. Learning the medium is a different story. And just because someone knows how to paint with oils, doesn't mean that they will magically know how to paint in photoshop because it's an entirely different medium. Like Gouche, I know how to paint in oils and photoshop, but Gouche is more difficult for me because it's a different way of painting, and I haven't used it enough to understand how to use Gouche, but I know how to paint. I learned how to paint by oils first, but I've met artists whose never touched oils or any other traditional medium, and they paint extrememly well in photoshop and painter as if they HAD used traditional medium before. That proves that it's not about the medium you use, it's about the knowledge of art you have before using the medium, and then learning more about art by using what ever art medium you choose, whether that be traditional or digitial.

    Also, your question was, how to learn how to paint digitally with good techniques, etc? Well, most digi painters on the Sijun forums learn by analyzing what good digital painters like Craig Mullins has done. The fact is, Mullins was one of the first digi artists to use digital medium in a more traditional way, and by showing his work, he showed other artists what you can DO in photoshop. Before I and most artists saw his work and other good digi painters work, most people like me didn't know you could create you own brushes or even come CLOSE to making your work look more natural in photoshop. Before I saw 'Good' digital art, I though that you could only make cheesey looking work with digital medium because thats the only digi stuff I ever saw before. I went to college and they never taught anyone, 'How to paint in photoshop'. Instead they taught us, 'This is a Jpg, and this is the Lense Flare Tool. PS and other digital tools are new tools to the art world, so most teachers in school don;t really teach it, at least not when I was in college. I say the best way to learn is by learning from other digi artists, analyzing their techniques, and learning your own unique ways of painting in digital medium after learning and playing with the program.

    For example, I just set up a cool brush in photoshop the other day that looks EXACTLY like a real art pen (textures and all), and works almost more efficiently. All I did was I scanned in an ink drawing, and played around with the photoshop brush settings, until it matched the origional pen strokes from the scan. Thats one way to learn some cool tricks.

    Take what I say with a grain of salt, because you and others may disagree, I'm just speaking from what I experienced.
    Last edited by Chris J. Anderson!; April 26th, 2004 at 06:56 PM.

  13. #12
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    Chris I am thinking more about the knowledge you will learn from a class using oils. Priceless. I'm sure many artists that learned just the digital medium are lacking many fundamentals and take the many short cuts like colour picking and so on.

    I don't believe there is a better way to learn than the hard way first.

    -Joshua

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    btw....What the hell's been goin on Chris??? I haven't heard from you in a grip!


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    colour theory doesn't depend on any medium in particular does it?

    Tool-wise, yes, if you're confident with brush and pencil, you're probably gonna take to digital painting well.....but I bet it'd be the same other way around...knowing the best strategies for digi-painting might help you take to natural painting faster too.

    I don't see why ctrl + z is bad either....probably a much more efficient way to test out what works and what doesn't....
    laying down a stroke in actual watercolour is a lot tougher to fix if you've really fudged it up.
    I would imagine that the more ctrl+z-ing you do, the less you'll end up needing to ctrl+z anymore. It's an advantage not a hurdle.

    I'm sure many artists that learned just the digital medium are lacking many fundamentals and take the many short cuts like colour picking and so on.
    quite possible, but it would be an error in logic to say that the reason they haven't learned the fundamentals is because of their choice in medium. If the fundamentals can be applied in one particular medium, it's sensible to believe they can be taught in that same particular medium.

    That said, take it with a grain of salt....I'm far from a great painter with either medium...I don't speak from experience....just observance.

    If it's true that one should learn with real paint first though, I think it needs to be expressed more clearly as to what the reasons are.

    -Rob
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  16. #15
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    Thanks you guys. This is the kind of information I am looking for. Real experience and preferences about how to use it. I think the more different opinons about it the better.
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    I completely agree with Rob.

    Josh, you mentioned
    I'm sure many artists that learned just the digital medium are lacking many fundamentals and take the many short cuts like colour picking and so on.
    Thats assuming that all digital painters rely on short cuts to create digital paintings. If they do, of course they will learn nothing. But if you use Photoshop for example, like a traditional medium, and paint without cheap shortcuts, it's no real difference than using oils. In both medium you use your paint brush to create paint strokes using color and value. What is the relevant difference?

    Josh, you also mentioned
    I am thinking more about the knowledge you will learn from a class using oils. Priceless.
    I'm not trying to be rude at all by asking this, please explain what relevent knowledge you learn from oil painting that you can't learn from digital painting. Explain what equates, 'Priceless' as you say?

    And what if an artists took their powerful labtop to a traditional painting class and painted digitally with that while the teacher taught you how to paint? The only thing he probably couldn't teach you is, real world brush technqiues. You'd have to have a digital painting teacher show you how to simulate oil paint brush stroke looks. But the fundamentals of color, value, and shape, etc, will still be there regardless.

    Josh, and you also mentioned .
    Word! Worry about oils. Then Photoshop will be cake!
    But I've seen artists who were great at oil painting, but sucked at photoshop. How can you explain that?

    Josh, yep thats right you also said,
    I don't believe there is a better way to learn than the hard way first.
    By what you mean by, learning the 'Hard Way First', you mean learning, Traditional, first. But from personal experience, I actually found it easier to learn traditionally than to learn digitally, because traditionally, your tools are right there in front of you, and you use it as is. In Photoshop, not so, you have to go in and tweek brushes, and tool settings first, and you have to know where all the buttons are and what they do, etc. The digital medium was a much steeper learning curve than oils for me. You can actually blend colors together effortlessly in oils, to get certain correct colors easily, where as in digital medium, like photoshop, you can't really blend color very well at all, you have to create what colors you think belongs after putting two colors together, meaning, you have to have a better understanding of color theory to use it well, almost exactly like using Gouche paint. You gotta be pretty damn precise with color and value to use Gouche paints well.



    By the way Josh, yo, you haven't heard from me in a while? I gave you an email the other day. Check your mail dude.

    Hett15 - I'm learning more as we all disscuss this interesting topic. it's good that forums like this exist so that we can talk about this kind of stuff. I think it's important. Kind of like, art philosohpy class without the college.:p
    Last edited by Chris J. Anderson!; April 27th, 2004 at 01:47 AM.

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    I'm not really comparing the medium, more or less the learning. In painting class you will learn more than sitting on your arse copying photos and colour picking. Having your teacher and peers around you makes and infinite difference. Blah, sure you could lug your yuppie laptop into class.

    I am not going to back down and say sit your but in front of your computer and learn to paint. Initial life study is key.

    -Joshua

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    Josh, you mentioned,
    I'm not really comparing the medium, more or less the learning.
    You've changed your arguement from "worry about oils and photoshop will be a piece of cake", to " I'm not really comparing the medium, more or less the learning." Well if your argument is about what you learn, not the medium, then we are in agreement that it doesn't matter what medium you use, it's about the art knowledge you learn, as I stated earlier.

    Josh wrote
    In painting class you will learn more than sitting on your arse copying photos and colour picking. Having your teacher and peers around you makes and infinite difference.
    Not all digital painters learn by copying photos. I agree that many do, and that is why they don't learn nearly as much as they could. But those who paint from life with digital medium, succeed as well as traditional painters.

    Josh wrote :
    Having your teacher and peers around you makes and infinite difference. Blah, sure you could lug your yuppie laptop into class.
    Then we are in agreement that if you bring your labtop to class and sit around your peers and your teacher, you learn just the same, doesn't matter if it's computer or traditional. Also, you would be suprised at how similar learing to paint while being on the forums, posting your work and talking to peers and professionals, is, compared to learning in a class room. And what if all the students in your class suck, and your teacher sucks? I've experienced that as well as having great peers with intelligent teachers. But what if they all suck? Your not going to learn much from them. My point is, it's not about where you are, it's about who's around you.

    Josh wrote:
    I am not going to back down and say sit your but in front of your computer and learn to paint. Initial life study is key.
    Not going to back down? Ahh, so is this more of a pride issue rather than debating to find the truth of this matter? I agree that intial life study is key, all I'm saying is that you can do life study with a computer or traditional, it doesn't matter which one, the knowledge you learn is all the same. Unless, as you pointed out, you only use all the bullshit lazy techniques the computer has to offer. But not all digital painters do that. The good ones usually use it to really "Paint" with, like you would do with traditional medium. (EDIT: It's okay to use a few cheap tricks here and there, so as long as you don't abuse them, if you abuse them, as a painter, your not going to learn much with each painting you do)

    Yo Josh, just to let you know, I'm not trying to argue against you on purpose just for arguing's sake, I'm speaking from what I have experienced. It's kind of like if someone tried to tell me that 2 + 2 = 8. I know for a fact that it equals 4, so I have to say something about it. I have to challenge arguments to see if what I have experienced and know, is true or false, and why, thats all. It helps for being a better artist, because I'm actually thinking of getting a labtop so that I can paint people from life when ever I want and not be confined to only painting at home. It;s kind of lame that I can only paint from life confined locations, and not anywhere I see a real life inspiring image.
    Last edited by Chris J. Anderson!; April 27th, 2004 at 01:01 PM.

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    Um, apparently I was not clear. I should have stated that through learning with oils in the class setting you would learn the fundamentals faster. I didn't not change my opinion at all, nor my arguement.

    Yawn.


    -Joshua

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    With a labtop and proper digital painting tools, in a class setting, you would learn fundamentals equally as fast.

    It's alright if you dissagree, and I apologise if you think I don't understand your argument. We all know what we know through life experience. To each there own.

    -C
    Last edited by Chris J. Anderson!; April 27th, 2004 at 02:31 PM.

  22. #21
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    Originally posted by Chris J. Anderson!

    Explain what equates, 'Priceless' as you say?

    What is priceless is the experience of having the teacher and your peers. To be able to learn from them. There is much that comes from that. And I believe it is priceless.



    Originally posted by Chris J. Anderson!

    Josh, and you also mentioned . But I've seen artists who were great at oil painting, but sucked at photoshop. How can you explain that?

    Simple. Practice. I was ass in the beginning and then became more fimilar with the brushes I liked and always referred back to fundamentals from painting class. It seems to me that you are ignorring the fact that you do the same...perhaps I'm wrong.


    Anyhoo...I'm lost I'm not even sure what the heck I'm arguing about. I love both digital and Oils. I have learn much from both. It's just that any people I know than can paint well with photoshop have learned everything then need to know from painting class. There is no magical tutorial that with tell you how to paint in a digital medium. It's all about just learning to "Paint".

    -Joshua
    Last edited by JoshuaTheJames; April 27th, 2004 at 02:46 PM.

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    I was wondering if you thought it is was easier to deal with colour in a digital medium or traditional. I think with the digital paint you have soo many accessible shortcuts that traditional paint may give you a more solid understanding in a fundamental way.

    "and I apologise if you think I don't understand your argument"

    I am not sure I understand what you mean by this...But, you couldn't have know because I wasn't clear and that was my mistake.

    -Joshua

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    Josh wrote:
    I was ass in the beginning and then became more fimilar with the brushes I liked and always referred back to fundamentals from painting class. It seems to me that you are ignorring the fact that you do the same...perhaps I'm wrong.
    No, I'm not ignoring that I learned fundamentals of how to paint in painting class. But I am pointing out that, although I learned a lot of fundamentals from painting class, I learned a lot of fundamentals painting digitally as well, that I didn't learn from painting class. In fact, I learned a little more in terms of the fundamentals because I've been pianting different subject matter in different lighting. In oil painting class, I learned how to paint the figure and still life in the same sorta of redundant set ups, like nude woman sits behind red drapery in florescent lighting. After a while, an artist need more variety to learn more fundaments. I never really learned how to paint subject matter beyond that until I started painting illustrations in photoshop. And I've learned different fundamental things about color and lighting, etc, that I didn't learn in oil painting class. But I'm not saying that I couldn't learn those things in oil pianting class, just that I never had a teacher teach me the way Picosso and Bougearou was taught, which was more hardcore than how your taught in most art schools today. So I learned a lot of the fundamentals on my own. A 4 year college with only taking oil painting two times a week and painting the same kind of things is only going to teach you things to a certian level, if you know what I mean.

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    hett...are you the hett from AWN Forums hett? If so, have you seen the new format of the AWN forums? We all have to re-register; all the posts/threads have been swiped clean. Sucky!:mad:

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