Digital painting in PS
For those of you who are curious, I started this thread for the benefit of Teigrob, who asked me to please explain how I paint in PS. (I borrowed this from her thread. ) Before I go any further, I like to say, I am not an expert and just trying to show Teigrob painting PS is really simple, as there really isn't any guide or rules. Just like any other medium, it's whatever works best for you.
The whole idea was for Teigrob and me to exchange bit of our experiences in different field, she's god with animals and I have an idea how painting works in PS. So while I am trying to show her some basics, I am also trying to learn but this will definitely be more into technicality of PS and some of my habits as well as other tips in PS.
It's all about colours and values as far as painting goes, I am cursed with both, so I will blab on about brushes in PS. For colours and other important fundamentals look at the stickies.
[EDIT] check Idiot Apathy's Thread for COLOURS!! here
It's have lots of important stuffs in there!
Just briefly, I did this for work but saved the steps for Teigrob. Now one thing you probably notice is there aren't any really thorough tutorial on painting PS, you see lot of steps but not the kind of tutorial most beginners have in mind. I did lot of researching on painting in PS like 2~3 years ago but could never find anything. The reason probably is because painting in is complex and there's no simple way of paiting. But you already knew that. So some steps, brushes and how to work around ps is best I can show. SO some painting steps, here's it is.
Now I did it all in one layer, a bad habit in a way as you might find you are stuffed when you want to change the background. I suggest using few layers is a good idea, like the initial black lines could be on a layer underneath, unlike me who just painted over the top. It's a bad habit! I start out by throwing the colours at 50~60% and go over it if it's shadows, I don't use 100% because then I can't see where the black lines are..pretty stupid huh? WORK big and start gettting into details. Tools to avoid! Smudge tool and Blur tool. I know it's tempting but if you want to smooth out something try using a BIG brush at like 10% and sample the colour (hold alt) and paint. also avoid dodge and burn tool, if you want to lighten, paint with lighter colour and so on. Painting is simple so think simple.
see? no need to smudge and you have more control. Or I am just crap with smudge tool. the bottom is with smudge tool.
So paint in the colours first and then work your way towards details.
Engouh ranting, I will edit this when I get home.. Going to paint an apple or something. I will go over the details with brushes..
Last edited by bumskee; April 4th, 2006 at 10:36 AM.
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The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to bumskee For This Useful Post:
I am new here and first of all HELLO
The tips on blending were really helpful
I am keen to improve my Photoshop skills especially drawing and painting with the tablet and pen
I will post some of my work shortly and would greatly appreciate comments and tips on bettering areas that seem less than what they should be.
Thanks so much bumskee, this'll be really helpful. You asked how familiar I was with PS - well, enough to know how to alter the opacity of the brush, and which tool is which. I know how to make layers too...and make them a multiply or whatnot. I'll post my first effort tomorrow - thanks again!
Just few things in PS, short cuts and so on I use frequently.
CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+N = new layer
CTRL+J = duplicate layer on top
"B" for brush
hold "alt" while in brush to turn the cursor into eye dropper (sampling) tool.
hold "space bar" to change into hand tool
hold "space bar" + "CTRL" to zoom in
hold "space bar" + "CTRL" + "ALT" to zoom out
"TAB" to hide all palettes
"F" flips through three different views, normal, full view with menus and FULL screen mode. very handy..
WHILE PAINTING with "B" brush tool
"]" increas brush size
"[" decrease brush size
Hold "SHIFT" + "]" to hard edge default round brush
Hold "SHIFT" + "[" to soften edge default round brush
you will know what I mean when you try it..but default brush goes like below..and this is the short key
0~9 to control your brush opacity setting.
so hit "55" and your brush is 55% and "0" is 100%, "3" is 30% and so on.
You will see the numbers change up at the top accordingly and so will the brush edges and size. handy stuff.. Most of these are also same with painter too.
I am on PS 7 but should be all same for all versions. Only shortcut I think it lacks is the one to bring the colour picker window.. could never figure that one out.
I mean after a while I used less and less filters and hardly any blending modes especially when I am painting.. Oh and "D" to reset your foreground and background colour to default, black and white and "X" to switch between the two. I think these are my most used frequent short keys.. There are hundreds of short keys in PS but let's stick to what we need.. I will add more if I remember them but these will help you speed things up.
ashemoto, go NUTS~
Teigrob, I will do a detailed one on something when I get home tonight.
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All those shortcuts were really helpful, thanks! I knew some of them, but a lot I didn't, so that was great as a time saver.
Here's my horrid first attempt... The blob on the right is supposed to be an apple...sans ref...very bad...ref next time! Thank goodness I have this thread to post my sucky painting attempts in instead of my sketchbook thread! I'd kill it in no time!
Do you have a wacom?? or are you painting with a mouse?
I think it's a good try, but here's a big rule. Always work big with colours with digital painting. Go bold and block out your colours first and then get into details. It's a simple process so think simple. It's good you are trying to mix colours, but unlike traditional photoshop quite isn't all that flexible with the end results. Painter on the other hand can handle mixing paints better and does better imitating the real thing. I am "cursed" with colours so I will not comment too much on it.
Now I think you are painting with too low opacity. It's tempting to make things pretty from start but go bold. Also having a reference is a good idea. maybe try painting a sphere? try to render it in just black and white. Just to get the feel of the brushes in PS. OK..my apple.. had a ref sitting on my tablet and done in about 20 mins.
line drawing.. just so I know what the hell I am paiting..
basic colours, I was on 60% hard edge brush at size 40 with wacom, this is the original size of the canvas.
going to add details.. brush 20~30% hard edge
more details but I zoomed in 200% so I can see the the brush strokes. Work on hard edges in details like the stripes on the surface. opacity varied.
added the highlights, little dots here and there, added that thing, forgot what it's called. :< I didn't use anyother brush except for the default and only hard edge. I zoomed in 400% to work on that thing..forgot what it's called.
remember to use the hard edge, there are other people, very talented people who use soft edges to paint, but I could never use that just like smudge tools. Instead I sample colours a lot and use low opacity to blend.
OK! hopefully I didn't talk about crap.. now I better go and draw some skeletons. cheers,
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I do have a wacom tablet - thank goodness!
Okay, second attempt:
solid foundation colours...
So? Whatcha think? Much better this time around! More practice?
Thats pretty nice Tei - what kind of animal is it? Hehe, just kidding - good job - i feel like taking a bite - and a great idea with these threads too! Gonna keep an eye on this for sure!
Much Much Much Much better, but more practice just for you to get the feel of the brushes in PS. Is my personal webspace down at the moment? none of my images are showing up, never happened before.. :< did you get to see my apple attempt? Better host it somewhere else. Ok back to your painting. Looks like you are getting along well with your PS, so that's good. We'll have another go at the apple again next, but this time let's try adding a tint of blue or green. Or should we limit out palette to two colours or something?
When I want to darken certain colours, I simply hit "d" to reset my foreground and background and hit "1" for low opacity and paint over the top. The black darken it, but I think it tends to lose saturation. If that's not the colour I wanted I will then go and pick the right colour from the colour picker window. Same goes for lighter colours too. I sample a lot as I said before by holding "alt" key to blend or switch colours. This does tend to desaurate colours a lot I think so once in a while when I think it's getting a bit dull I go and get my colour again or sample it off the original ones.
I also noted you scanned your lines in? try drawing them straight in PS, use like 5~7 size opacity 100% and just draw some lines. What size tablet do you have? it's always a bit wobbly but you get used to it.
I think you did very well this time and you must be pleased. I am!! Ok one more apple? or orange? I will do another one when I get home tonight. but like I said let's chuck in a tint or distort the colours slightly. So you get used to grabbing colours you want. Then we can sort of look at "brush" palette, make some custom brushes.
Fellah, hey yeah Tei's helping me with the animal.. and I am showing her how to use that brush in PS and working around in PS.
ok.. apples and oranges to come later..
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Ok... apple but flipped it.. thought we go apple once more.. how about we attempt to apint one of your drawings??
again lines..so we know what the hell we painting..
blocks and chunks.. lots darker than yesterday..maybe because I flipped it.
more details, zoomed 400% to blend the colours, big brush and low opacity. sample and stroke, sample and stroke....
The easy thing about reference painting is, you just paint what's infront of you. add some dots, high lights here and there. done. overall 30mins..
ok...really promise myself to go over the brushes this weekend.. ok skeletons skeletons..
The Following User Says Thank You to bumskee For This Useful Post:
wow. thats really cool Bumskee... glad to see your keeping your hands busy... i really need to learn how to paint in PS... Keep up the good work...
grrr...okay, I don't think I'm quite getting how you blend so well. My efforts look more like hen scratching than anything else...
sketch (in PS!)
and finish with highlights...
See? gah, bah humbug...is it just repeated sampling or what? Yours looks almost like chalk pastels until you add the final details.
Teigrob, better! But yeah.. blending? hmm I use a big brush, and zoom in quite a lot like I said 400%. But usually I work with bigger canvas so would only need to zoom in 100~200% to do the details and paint normally at 25~50%. Low opacity and sample along. like the STRIP sample. Blending is easy, I think it's more important for you to observe where the soft blending happens and hard colour shift happens on the apple. Also use "[" "]" to change the brush size, I see you just used a smaller strokes, I used 40~50 to blend I think.size 4 to draw (100% opacity), 40~50 (40~60%)to paint areas and 80~110 (10~20%)to blend. I guess I am just used to changing brush size and opacity with keyboards.. It's lof sampling but if you zoom in and paint with big brush you can see the colours blending.. It's like sample and few strokes and then sample that and few more storkes but moving .... ok I will try and make a diagram of some sort.. I think we should try and do some blending exercise.. and more apples..
vigostar, yeah I sure am... my horses according to Teigrob is going to be a handful.. :X hehe Grab a tablet first though. I know you are meaning to buy one..
This should be a sticky. Since I'm just learning to digitally paint, this is exactly the information I need all in one compact thread.
I could find all kinds of step by steps, but no one really explains how to set up your brushes. I had to come up with my own process based on a many posts from half a dozen forums. It was a gathering of unorganized information, and that has probably made my learning take much longer than it should be taking.
There's some really great stuff here. I picked up a couple of things I hadn't thought up on my own. Otherwise I pretty much use the same techniques.
One additional thing I do, is I sometimes use the Flow setting as well. It works like the old Airbrush tool. For instance, if you set Opacity to 100% and Flow to 1%, you'll get transparent color that builds up without having to pick up the brush/stylus. Where if you keep Flow at 100% and Opacity at a low percent, like 15%, you have to pick up the brush and put it down again to build up the color. So, setting the flow and opacity low will give you more control and softer buildups of color. I still use the low opacity/100% Flow brushes though. They give a different texture.
I've also set up a series of brushes in the Tool Preset Palette so I don't have to keep changing the opacity and flow settings. And whenever I find a setting I like, I just save it as a new Tool Preset. In fact, I made up a new blender Preset because of this thread
Thanks for all this great info bumskee.
All right, my third attempt. Hey livtf - thanks for the suggestions!
My blending was better - but not by much, I think. ~sigh~ I'll get the hang of this eventually...
Sketch...probably don't need to post this anymore, but I guess it's habit...
solids...hehe, a little frustration...
and finish! Whatcha think?
Actually, I think it's not bad at all...hm. Think I'm actually getting the hang of this?
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