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I'm new to color, and to Painter (I'm using classic).
This is the first thing I've done that actually looks like it might turn out OK, but the more I tried to color, the more striated it looked:
Looking at the brushes I had available (trying to find a Blend or Smudge) I found the Smeary Round, and am fairly pleased with the result:
I realize some of the depth was lost, but I figure I can bring that out with some touching up.
My question is: Am I "cheating" by smudging? Is the Smeary brush a crutch, retarding people from properly applying color and brushstroke theories? Or a legitimate tool, used to soften edges of brush strokes like can be done with traditional media?
I ask because as a beginner, I don't want to learn with sloppy practices.
"It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf." -- H. L. Mencken
"If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity." -- Bill Vaughan
I just took a Painter class 2 quarters ago, and half of the class was properly setting up brushes specifically for blending, and blending techniques. So no, using a brush to blend colors together is not cheating. Try modifying a large chalk brush to use as a blender, I found it to have the best results.
People love painter for its smearing/smudging capabilities. There are many ways people blend using traditional painting tools--I just think it's a matter of style choice.
I must say that it can be harder to paint without blending. Because then you have to put down each stroke carefully and not rely on the fact that you'll smooth it all out later.
I often paint without using the blending tools--I like that particular style and I like testing myself to make the right brushstrokes.
But blending or not blending are both totally legitimate ways to paint--it's just what you prefer.
its all dependant on your style, as has been said.. but my advice to you is not regarding painter.
Stay away from digital. Seriously. Stay away from digital and colour right now. Learn value first! You are not ready to be doing digital color work.
Do still lifes and cast drawings - at least 50% of your drawing time should be dedicated purely to value studies. Do short ones to capture the 'essence' of a scene's lighting, and do longer 20-30 hr cast drawings (any white object on a black background NO PHOTO REF MUST BE STILL LIFE)
You dont have to take my advice, but i went through exactly what you will go through. I tried to do everything at once, and eventually Jason Manley taught me the importance of working up through the basics. My current schedule consists of 25+ hrs of cast drawing a week, then about 10 hrs a week of creatve stuff, 5+hrsof history/theory and as much time as i need for freelance work. Until I have mastered my understanding of value I know im not ready to start working digitally.
One step at a time,
And no that brush isnt cheating