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  1. #1
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    Learning to paint in grey tone - most basic level

    This is one of my first full digital paintings. I'm trying to start with very basic grey values and gradually build it up but I'm finding it's really hard to do. Any advice would be great.

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmullet View Post
    I'm trying to start with very basic grey values and gradually build it up but I'm finding it's really hard to do.
    Everything you just described here is the exact wrong way to do what you're trying to do.

    When they say work vague to specific, this isn't what they're talking about. You're going to need to read up on how to compose in image. This is because you'll need to be familiar with the concept of arrangement. You can then apply this concept to values. Once you're thinking in terms of arranging values, you begin to make better choices about how your image is supposed to look.

    So google things like: "rules of composition" "cinematography" "negative/positive space" and "notan." Don't worry if it's a lot. Nobody takes it all in at one time. Just familiarize yourself with the concepts until you're used to thinking about them. There are of course a myriad of other fundamental skills you'll want to be working on besides these things as well. Each builds off of the other and it takes time. You'll also want to be familiar with the concept of thumbnailing. It's a more effective method of working out the kinks in your painting before actually committing to any one idea or arrangement.

    Always remember that people will look wherever there is most contrast. If the whole image has a lot of the same contrast everywhere, nobody will know where to look. It's up to you to decide where to make us look. So learn to arrange your values.

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  5. #3
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    Whatever technique used for the values, I don't think it came out too bad, I assume you've been using a good reference. But your highest and lowest values seem too exaggerated. If you're uncertain, just make a greyscale image of the reference and reduce its range of values (either turn it into a bitmap of low size or use a filter). Not sure if you're planning to keep outlines (it usually works for cartoon images), but if you do, sharper transitions and crisper colors complement the linework better, as does a color for the lines, which doesn't dominate (I usually pick the same color I define for my shadows).

    As for composition: I think for character designs, or pictures in motion, compositions with single focus point and crossing lines work well, yours is more like a triangle that leads the view across in a zig zag. That's okay and very dynamic too, but the problem is, that your characters look at each other, which means, we're mostly paying attention to that diagonal line, when the ball and the foot that kicks it should be more interesting. Maybe try aligning a line with the ball, reposition it, make it bigger, make him look at the ball. Add the kicking foot either to that line, or close to the ball, you can also try adding some motion by blurring or adding some other types of effects that indicate movement.

  6. #4
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    Many Thanks for both of your comments! Soaking in the rules of composition is tough and I see now how it will take time. I re-did the drawing by turning the Orc's ( the one slide tackling ) head to look at the ball. The thumbnails on top are helping me establish values and find a focal point. I think I will have to re work this one again and think about some of the new things I'm learning.

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  7. #5
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    This helps me see the painting better.

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  8. #6
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    When building up value, I'm using just a basic round brush in PS. It seems to work fine. But as I progress to the more finished tones and detail should I be thinking of textured brushes? ie for hair, leather and other various things that have textues....?

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