What is YOUR painting method?
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  1. #1
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    Question What is YOUR painting method?

    Just curious.

    Do you start light and build up?
    Start opaque then blend?
    Draw then paint on top getting rid of the linework?
    Start black and white for tonal contrast then add color?
    Start black and white for tonal contrast then do a whole new painting in color?
    Something else?

    What else can you tell me about your method?

    Thanks!

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    All of the above.

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

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    All of the listed stuff depending on context.

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    I paint wet-on-wet, alla prima method. First, I tone the canvas (I really hate white speckles showing through the painting and an undertone helps bring all of the colors together). Next, I'll place quick lines on the canvas to get the general proportions/layouts done correctly.

    Once I've gotten the layout done and it loosely matches my drawing, I start blocking in shapes using the average color of the area. This tells me if my color scheme works and if I get the feeling that the landscape recedes (aerial perspective). Once I'm happy with the general feel of the painting, it's a matter of working from back to front and adjusting the values/edges to get the final painting that I want.

    I usually come in the next day to put the ultra-darks/ultra-lights in because, a lot of times, I ended up putting on too much paint to effectively do it in my first sitting.

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    All of those you mentioned, and then some, but it varies a lot.
    In no two of my illustrations I follow the exact hundred percent same method; there's always some variations or adjustments in my "basic painting habit".

    Here's what I'm currently doing with a Norman-Rockwell-inspired domestic scene full of quaint, awesome vintage artifacts:

    Generally, I always start with a sketch, which doesn't need to be digital. In fact, I'm extremely comfortable with old fashioned pencil and paper.
    The sketch helps me to figure out what the idea could actually look like.


    Then I constructed the perspective from scratch, and gathered a ton of references for the many things in this illustration. This line drawing alone took me several hours, perhaps 5 or 7 or ten. I tried to take my time to get everything down neatly because I want a solid foundation that saves painting time later. (if you do see mistakes, feel free to PM me, I'll fix 'em)


    Underneath that line drawing, I made a new layer with a general color layout. All broad and flat, nothing wishy-washy. Ta-da! Now I have a quite good idea of what I'm gonna get; and so far it looks exactly like what I envisioned, yay!


    I haven't continued yet. The next step will probably be to make a new layer for each single object ON TOP of the line drawing, and give each object plenty of attention.
    The line drawing will gradually disappear under that perfectionist paint-fest.

    I've used a similar method in my recent work. OP, I hope this answers your question

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    slap it on until it looks right.

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    See "Process Thread" link in sig (sometimes).


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    Usually something like this:


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    An older piece but when I'm working from reference its similar. Without reference it's very different.


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  17. #12
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    Found another one that I saved.

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    Jay's CA.org Sketchbook:
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    I use my sketch pad and do some designs they are usually small, I do a few of them and decide which ones I want to make into paintings.
    To start of with I used to pencil in the design onto the canvas and then do the painting but the last few paintings I've done have just been painting straight onto the canvas without drawing the design on first.

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    Ok I guess this is as good a thread to pimp my newest painting as any : P

    Lately mine is the lazy way that is, the thumbnail sketch is generally what will end up being the final painting. It makes up for the fact that digital doesn't have a decent palette where you can mix you colours separately from the canvas and I don't like painting the same thing twice. So my sketch is the colour palette which I will use colour adjustements to alter because I seldom get the colours exactly as I wanted them from the get go. Especially as you're busy trying to get the other important stuff right.

    Simultaneously I render what I think needs it and try to leave the good bits alone. Sometimes I fail at that. But working with clients taught me to save the steps of an image and work on it over several days. That gives me time to forget about it and look at it with a fresher eye the next day. While going over the saved steps allows me to see if I overrendered something especially something that was sketchy but well drawn, then you wanna go and paste back the good bit.

    Layers: one for the dragon and one for the background which helps with edge overlaps; sharp across soft expecially.

    Name:  Emersal_steps.gif
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    Finished image: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=236714
    .

    Last edited by SM; May 23rd, 2012 at 11:28 AM.
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    SoufMeng, nice piece, but I really love the second stage. (That's the danger of showing WIPs !)


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    argh, I know, right. We all get those at least once; in my case, often enough not to ignore.

    If you like the second stage I should assume it has to do with the airiness of the colours... ? I'm all ears.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoufMeng View Post
    argh, I know, right. We all get those at least once; in my case, often enough not to ignore.

    If you like the second stage I should assume it has to do with the airiness of the colours... ? I'm all ears.
    It looks good as it is, but I actually prefered the dragon in the 3rd stage. While I think the final stage is well done I think that the veins in the wings distract the eye. Also some of the details I liked were painted out later. So I'd say I like the dragon from version 3 but the background from version 4. I like your style of painting by the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoufMeng View Post
    argh, I know, right. We all get those at least once; in my case, often enough not to ignore.

    If you like the second stage I should assume it has to do with the airiness of the colours... ? I'm all ears.
    Yes, the colors and contrast in that stage were more naturalistic, whereas the later stages are more photographic. I also got more of a feel of that cold upper atmosphere without the warmer/darker colors, which seems appropriate for a white dragon.
    Take it for what it's worth, it's not a matter of right and wrong, just opinion. Anyway, sorry for derailing the thread!


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  29. #19
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    I think also the clouds in the background are too dark, which distracts from the dragon in the foreground.

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    http://metalbandart.com/?p=2170


    http://www.doseofmetal.com/2011/06/metal-art/

    I did these gifs for a couple of guest articles I have done recently...that's the short version, anyway.
    It's mostly just blocking in basic flats and then building up highlights and then shadows.

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  32. #21
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    AWESOME! This is great feedback and I LOVE seeing your stages or work progress! Thanks for posting all these!

    Let me ask you this:
    What about brush setting?
    Are you just picking color and painting like you would in traditional media?
    Or are you using effects like Screen, Multiply, Color Dodge, etc. to get the color blend you want?
    Layers or flattened?

    What else can you tell me about the way you work?

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    These are very specific questions.
    I like.

    What about brush setting?
    Opacity 100%, always.
    Flow between 30 and 100, depending on the effect I want to achieve - "clear or cloudy".

    Are you just picking color and painting like you would in traditional media?
    Yes, pretty much.

    Or are you using effects like Screen, Multiply, Color Dodge, etc. to get the color blend you want?
    As layer modes, sometimes, if it gets me the effect, look or texture I want (not necessarily the color)

    Layers or flattened?
    Layers, always. As few as possible and as many as I can get away with without becoming confused what is where.

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    Here are some of my process videos (how do I embed video in here?? Scratch that! Figured it out!): http://www.YouTube.com/RAYDILLON

    Missed the initial sketch stage in recording, but basically light sketch and blocked in some grey tonal work:

    WARRIOR WOMAN After Larry Elmore for Big Iron Vault
    - Missed the initial recording, but basically light sketch, then soft blocking in grey tonal work, then painting on top of that.
    http://youtu.be/DST9wWE1Xew


    BEARDED BROWNIE & MOUSE For a video game
    - Blocking in shapes and colors, now drawing
    http://youtu.be/ZE0ptlP46sw


    TMNT / MICHELANGELO For TMNT: DawnOfTheNinja.com
    - Kinda all over the place. Drawing, painting, lassoing like a comic book or airbrush mask, more painting, texturing. I was really trying to figure out what I was doing on this one. Years back.
    http://youtu.be/DjVJ-ni9llg


    Last edited by Ray Dillon; May 24th, 2012 at 04:05 PM.
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  36. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Dillon View Post
    Let me ask you this:
    What about brush setting?
    Varies. Black and white I'll use brushes as low as 5% opacity to push and pull forms. Normally 70% opac 70% flow.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Dillon View Post
    Are you just picking color and painting like you would in traditional media?
    No. I try to avoid picking color from my page. I don't work at 100% opacity and when you color pick you images lose saturation very quickly. Pick from your pure palette if you can.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Dillon View Post
    Or are you using effects like Screen, Multiply, Color Dodge, etc. to get the color blend you want?
    Use whatever works.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Dillon View Post
    Layers or flattened?
    Both

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Dillon View Post
    What else can you tell me about the way you work?
    I struggle still.

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    I use an unusual method born out of the nature of acrylics and a a bunch of stuff to do with the philosophy of what it means to hand make an image.

    Here's a process shot:

    Name:  Caratydes progress.jpg
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    From Gegarin's point of view
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    What about brush setting?

    I like to set flow and opacity on pressure control, but I keep the minimum opacity at 70 percent to avoid it looking too transparent.

    Are you just picking color and painting like you would in traditional media?

    Yes and no. There are obvious differences between digital and traditional, but I try to keep the method as close to "real" paint as possible. I come from a background of using an airbrush so I like to use pressure as an opacity controller (like you would with an airbrush) as well as the lasso tool (like a freehand stencil.) But I color pick all the time. Really I set up all of the colors I use in the first 20 minutes or so.

    Or are you using effects like Screen, Multiply, Color Dodge, etc. to get the color blend you want?

    Sure, if I need to.

    Layers or flattened?

    I often Select All - Copy Merged and then paste on it's own layer, so I merge the whole image but still keep the separate layers just in case I need them.

    What else can you tell me about the way you work?

    I like to use the smudge tool like a fan brush. I have it set to scatter and angle jitter so that it smudges like a real brush would (and with a textured square that looks a little like a brush stroke.)

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    OmenSpirits is offline Commercial-Illustrator in-training, NOT an artist. Level 13 Gladiator: Retiarius
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    Canvase + can of human feeces = gallery art and I get PAID!

    That's my process.

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maidith View Post
    Opacity 100%, always.
    Flow between 30 and 100, depending on the effect I want to achieve - "clear or cloudy".
    I never really understood the difference between flow and opacity. It always seems to me it does the exact same thing... I found I like to change the pen pressure settings of my wacom during the process instead of using either of those.

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    D.Labruyere, as you know a brushtroke in Photoshop is made out of the repitition of one custom shape over and over. What flow does is it reduces the maximum opacity of every single repeated shape in the brushstroke but conversely to the opacity jitter, it lets the opacity of each single shape add with that of the next creating a darker value where they overlap. That produces a particular kind of soft edges because the closer to the outline of the brushstroke the less overlapping and the more transparent the edges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by D.Labruyere View Post
    I never really understood the difference between flow and opacity.
    Opacity is how much your paint is diluted, flow is the amount of that diluted paint that is laid down. Part of it is just the Photoshop way of life, unlike anything you would experience in natural media.

    You can build up paint in one stroke using flow, like using a spray can, that is without releasing your mouse button.

    You cannot build up paint in one stroke using opacity.

    (you can see the difference if you make one stroke that crosses itself)

    I feel that flow is only natural in combination with the airbrush setting, where the amount of paint built up depends on the time the mouse button is pressed, which is exactly like using a spray can or air brush)

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