Bark painting techniques in digital medium

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    Bark painting techniques in digital medium

    Hi. I've been doing physical art for the last couple of years, and recently I took up digital stuff again, trying my hand at speedpaints etc.

    I recently painted a tree scene and I was curious if anyone hand any tips, techniques, tutorials or suggestions on how to render bark well? Any way of approaching it, or suggestions would be helpful. Thanks!

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    The upside of Digital is you can cheat a great deal with texturing, overlaying a texture image over whatever you have created intelligently can get you around this...

    i cannot direct you to anything specific, however krhart.deviantart.com did a study a while back, and if you're any good at deriving how certain things were done they should be rather useful.
    Bark painting techniques in digital medium
    Bark painting techniques in digital medium


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    Thanks. Thats some cool stuff.

    I'm unsure about applying photo textures because I'm thinking that will look too digital or gimmicky. I'll try it out a bit.


    And for people's reference, the speedpaint I was having trouble with was this one:

    Bark painting techniques in digital medium

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    The issue in that picture is with lighting, not texture. With correct lighting it would look like tree bark even without much texture.

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    Okay. Thanks. I felt they were coming off flat. What is the issue with the lighting?

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    Slapping photo textures on things if you don't know what you're doing almost always looks bad... (And if you're doing something for learning purposes, you'd learn more by trying to paint them yourself.)

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    1: "Bark" isn't just one thing or texture. Different trees have differnt kinds, some rough, some smooth, with the texture forming different patterns at different scales. Like "how to paint" everything else, observe, gather reference, analyze.
    2: That said, in general, build your textures from dark to light.
    3: Texture tends to be much more evident in the halftones than in either the light or the shadow.
    4: Use an appropriate brush (real or digital) for the kind of texture you are painting. Marks are important.


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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    Slapping photo textures on things if you don't know what you're doing almost always looks bad... (And if you're doing something for learning purposes, you'd learn more by trying to paint them yourself.)
    That was my thought process, thats why I haven't used textures etc. I'd prefer to learn to do it myself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    1: "Bark" isn't just one thing or texture. Different trees have differnt kinds, some rough, some smooth, with the texture forming different patterns at different scales. Like "how to paint" everything else, observe, gather reference, analyze.
    2: That said, in general, build your textures from dark to light.
    3: Texture tends to be much more evident in the halftones than in either the light or the shadow.
    4: Use an appropriate brush (real or digital) for the kind of texture you are painting. Marks are important.
    Thanks. That was really helpful. I didn't know the halftone thing specifically. What kinds of brushes are appropriate? What kind of things should I look for in a brush to classify it that way?

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    The right brush is the kind that makes the right kind of mark for what you're painting. Sometimes that will mean soft, sometimes hard, sometimes round, sometimes square, sometimes irregular, sometimes smooth, etc. Give it some conscious thought, and experiment.


    Tristan Elwell
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