Digital Painting Tips and Tricks
 By Llama In A Box   •   12th Jan 2010   •   7,900 views   •   3 comments
When it comes to Digital Painting, I've always found that there are some amazing people who create this stunningly realistic digitals, yet when I try, it looks like a furry catipillar with fifteen eyes. What did they do to make it work?

Well, that's what this tutorial is about. Giving you a few tips and tricks for making that extra special painting, extra special. I use Photoshop Elements 8, and a Bamboo Wacom Tablet - but these tricks can be done with any photo editing program and no tablet. =D

Digital Painting Tips and Tricks

When I'm working on digital painting, I try to not make my work to blurry. That means no smudge tools and no blurring tools. They make the image look runny, and give it that "far off" look. Instead I make my image as soft, instead of blurry, as possible. When I "block" my base colours, I use a brush at 60% opacity, size from 5-25. I will have a dark patch colide with a light patch of colour, and that doesn't look at all realistic, unless that's the style of digital you're looking for. I create a new layer above my block layer, and grab a colour using the eydropper tool, that's a bit between the dark block and the light block. I grab my brush tool, set opacity to 35% and size to 14. Then I go over the blocked colours, and it magically blends them together.

When choosing your colours for your blocking, make sure you have some DARK and some LIGHT colours. Every image has a light side (where the light source is making contact) and a shadow side (where the object is blocking the light source and therefore making that part darker)

If you want that rounded look, you'll have highlights on the top rump of a horse, a middle light around the ribs and a shadow underneath the stomach. This gives the effect of the light part being the top, the ribs coming out towards you in a mid-tone and the shadow being underneath the ribs, and the top of the rump. Sometimes it's just trial and error to see which colours work, and that's the beauty of art on a computer. There's always that 'undo' button. =D

Realistic eyes, are a demon in disguise. They plant themselves in the toughest situations just to catch you out, and even if you have a realistic horse with gorgeous highlights and shadows, a mucky eye is going to detract completely from the image. For some reason, the human eye is drawn to the 'focal point' of the image, the main point. I'm always drawn to the head, rather than the feet for example, since it's much more important and it looks nicer! That's why I spend ages working the face details of humans and horses in my digital art. Small things make big differences.

Digital Painting Tips and Tricks

One of the attached images is of a "Tear Of Hope". I made this as a practice piece for highlights and shading, because they're vital componenets to make the tear real. On the underside, I have the shadows, and again on the top and the edges - I have the highlights. I used a midblue for the base colour, a darker blue for shadows and a near white for the highlights. I went over the shadows using the Burn tool to blend them (15% strength) and the dodge tool over the highlights (also 15% strength)

Well, I really hope that this tutorial has helped you with some of those nit-picky details that just make that finishing touch. Any questions? Feel free to ask. Thanks!
Horse News More In This Category:  Graphics      Horse News More From This Author:  Llama In A Box
North Falls  
Thank you Llama!! This helped!
  Jan 26, 2010  •  4,349 views
Very nice tutorial! I love your paintings 3
  Jan 31, 2010  •  4,352 views
Llama In A Box  
Thank you! =D Glad it helped.
  37 days ago  •  4,298 views
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