[WIP] Portrait - Learning to paint, not draw!

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  1. #1
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    [WIP] Portrait - Learning to paint, not draw!

    I'm going through a bit of a "rediscovery" phase right now. I "drew" my whole life up to this point, but I never painted. That is to say, I have composed pieces in grayscale alone, never taking it upon myself to properly learn to paint with color alone, without relying on my pencil and a blending stump.

    I posted this small "test", done in Photoshop in my Sketchbook thread:

    [WIP] Portrait - Learning to paint, not draw!

    That was basically my first foray into "shading" with color instead of layering more black ontop of any color I'd laid down already.

    I started this portrait of a friend of mine tonight, and I'm sort of (but not totally) pleased with the way it's going thusfar.

    [WIP] Portrait - Learning to paint, not draw!

    For reference, here's the photo I'm working from:

    [WIP] Portrait - Learning to paint, not draw!

    I'm currently reading through "Digital Character Design & Painting: Photoshop CS Edition" by Don Seegmiller, to learn more about painting in color. Needless to say, it's a long journey.

    I'd appreciate any tips/thoughts/recommendations that anyone has on technique or anything else! Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    Well. Judging by your eye you painted there, and the beginning of your portrait, I'd say you're on the right track for sure. I am really quite new to painting myself, but I can say that (based on looking at the process that other people use) is to start with a simple lineart sketch, make sure everything is outlined the way you want it to be, then block in your colors. Start with your darkes colors and work your way to your mid tones, then add your highlights (although some artists argue that it's better to do it the opposite way). Start with broad strokes, and do smaller, more detailed strokes as you go. I could be wrong, those are just some things that i have heard floating around the forums.

    Sepulverture's Sketchbook Page 1 Page 19
    Sepulvertures Extended Studies Page 1
    page 2

    Tutorials Tips and Tricks needs you to stay alive!"
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  4. #3
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    go go go go go just keep going !!!!!! cant wait to the the final skin color!!! go go go

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    im sorry to say i cannot see any images.. try reposting cuz the work sounds interesting - JAG

    it's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sepulverture
    Well. Judging by your eye you painted there, and the beginning of your portrait, I'd say you're on the right track for sure. I am really quite new to painting myself, but I can say that (based on looking at the process that other people use) is to start with a simple lineart sketch, make sure everything is outlined the way you want it to be, then block in your colors. Start with your darkes colors and work your way to your mid tones, then add your highlights (although some artists argue that it's better to do it the opposite way). Start with broad strokes, and do smaller, more detailed strokes as you go. I could be wrong, those are just some things that i have heard floating around the forums.
    Hrm, that's an idea I hadn't thought of, laying down the darkest tones first, and then building up lighter ones until the desired skin tone is achieved... I will try that tonight when I get home from work!

    By the way, I have some tips for you in your sketchbook thread re: drawing hands/anatomy that I'll post for you when I get home tonight. Looks like you're off to a great start!


    (C):

    Of course I'll keep going! I'll try and post another "in progress" picture tonight.

    JAG:

    The images are not showing up for you? Can you get to my website? http://www.ramenbudget.com - it seems that maybe just you are unable to see the images. Let me know if you have problems loading my site.

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  7. #6
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    not tonight!!!!!!!!1 NOW !

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    alright i see it all now.. and its very good work. i think your portrait is coming out great so far. for your first treck to color, you're rendering very well. indeed, post the updates soon - JAG

    it's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything..
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    Thanks, JAG. I am still trying to get the hang of laying color. I found the eyes were good practice for that because I could try and layer colors in the iris to try and achieve the look that I want.

    I mixed an initial layer of red, with brown over that, and then orange, and then some highlights with yellow to get the "golden" shine look. Now I just have to apply the same stuff for hair. :p

    I have an "ok" sense of light and shade, but my sense of composition is absolutely terrible, when working from imagination.

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    by any chance, have you studied Linda Bergkvist's tutorials on rendering hair?? - JAG

    it's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything..
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    Yes, I'm familiar with Linda. She and I were both regular posters on the sijun.com forums waaaaaaaaay back in the day.

    I suck too bad to use her tutorials to any useful extend though. I need to build up a few more skills with color before I can attempt any tutorials by her.

    Here's a small update.

    [WIP] Portrait - Learning to paint, not draw!

    I really do not like the way the skin is turning out but I am at a loss as to how to fix it.

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  12. #11
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    It looks like her skin is a tad darker than that, so adding a very little bit of brown into the overall tons might do the trick (at least part of the trick. Also, for your back ground neutral color, maybe try a color that will allow the skin to stand out more, so you can see it a bit better? For example, try blocking in the hair on (our right, her left), that should allow you to see the her skin better, which in turn should help you make better coloring decisions. Also, looking at the photo, and the painting it looks like you should terminate her nostrils a bit further from the tip of her nose, it (her nose) isn't that pointy. Good luck!

    P.S., can't wait for your crits in my sketchbook. If you have a sketchbook, why not make a link in your sign so everyone can enjoy your sketches easier?

    Last edited by Sepulverture; August 11th, 2006 at 02:18 AM.
    Sepulverture's Sketchbook Page 1 Page 19
    Sepulvertures Extended Studies Page 1
    page 2

    Tutorials Tips and Tricks needs you to stay alive!"
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  13. #12
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    Make sure the mouth is aligned properly and check the shape of the nose. Also, the upper lips aren't as thick, in the photo, as you have them in your painting (they're foreshortened). Let me guess, you started the drawing from her left eye didn't you?

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    I am more attempting to develop skill/techniques "painting" digitally, versus "drawing" digitally. I've "drawn" my whole life, but I haven't worked with color like I should have and my work is suffering now as a result of it.

    I'm not really trying to focus on sheer accuracy of her features.

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  15. #14
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    Well, sorry to brake it to you mate, but you should. The mistakes seem minor, but even the best use of colour won't bring back the loss of likeness caused by them.
    You're definately on the right way, but you should not forget the ways you've already trodden (jesus, this sounds poetical, doesn't it? ). The result will be much better.

    Anyway, keep on posting, it's turning out fine!

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    Hehe very true, and in fact, that's what I'm working on right now. It was bugging me so much I couldn't ignore it, and you bring up an excellent point. Why sacrifice what I've already learned simply trying something new? I might as well use it to my advantage.

    I'll post another update later on tonight.

    Thanks for the tips, everyone!

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  17. #16
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    very sound advice.. and the skin color was a bit bland. when painting digitally.. you have o risk of losing anything, thats the beauty of layers. Go crazy, take chances and experiment until you find what works for you. and with back up copies at your fingertips.. theres almost no reason not to - JAG

    it's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything..
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  18. #17
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    I basically started over from scratch last night.

    Here's a small update. Total working time on this "new" one is 1hr 15m.

    [WIP] Portrait - Learning to paint, not draw!

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    The very very top eye looks incredibly infected because of the pink in the lower lid. What little you can see of the edges of lids is never that florescent, and is not thick enough to be that extremely noticeable.

    Everything else you've posted? Love it. Especially because you are so insanely cute.

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  20. #19
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    Hate to break it to ya bro, but that's not me. :p It's a friend of mine. I'm using her as my learning-to-paint guinea pig.

    Here's another small update. I'm having fun learning to mix and match textured brushes on the paintbrush and the smudge tool.

    [WIP] Portrait - Learning to paint, not draw!

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    carfull with the smudge tool. some starting out use it as a crutch to blend to much and the final results come out fuzzy cause of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam278
    carfull with the smudge tool. some starting out use it as a crutch to blend to much and the final results come out fuzzy cause of it.
    Point taken. I'm still learning techniques to produce desired results, so bear with me!

    I'm struggling with realistic flesh tones...without drawing "lines" - that's really, really hard for me to grasp. I can't seem to get the correct blend of colors and shades together to get the look that I want. I mean, the nose looks better than the first incarnation, but it's still not perfect.

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  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visigothan
    Hate to break it to ya bro, but that's not me. :p
    aw ._. Hate to break it to ya, but I'm a chick. :p

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  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffingAmazing
    aw ._. Hate to break it to ya, but I'm a chick. :p

    ahemm.... lol.

    If i were you i would just miror your reference on your artwork to make sure you have everything aligned right. Your painting skills dont need many crits, but to just keep working at it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EffingAmazing
    aw ._. Hate to break it to ya, but I'm a chick. :p
    oops.

    Well then!

    Anyway, in regards to lining everything up, I'm terribly rusty. I've only started drawing again after lapsing for about 5 years. I seem to have forgotten most of my skills.

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    Sorry for the small update...Work has been crazy so I haven't had much time to draw.

    Mostly just playing around with brushes and color layering techniques right now...(Hence the differences in texture between the nose/lips and the eyelashes).

    [WIP] Portrait - Learning to paint, not draw!

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  27. #26
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    its developing nicely.. a few crits but they'll likely be gone by the next post - JAG

    it's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything..
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