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10 posts tagged process

Process shots for The Young Man from the East (original post). Digital painting from references, Adobe Photoshop + Cintiq 21UX tablet.

Random related art tip: One of the great aspects of digital painting is the freedom to adjust the entire color scheme of a painting very easily. Notice I start with a very dull-colored sketch, then through Overlay layers and other tweaking slowly bring in much brighter and more interesting colors. Mess with the Levels/Saturation/Whatever CONSTANTLY during your process, not just at the end. Once you have a color scheme you like, use that eyedropper tool like crazy to make sure your additional rendering includes the new colors.

Process shots for He Who Fights with Monsters (print). Digital painting from references, Adobe Photoshop + Cintiq 21UX tablet. Mostly default hard-edged round brush with opacity jitter, some oil-effect brushes for early color blocking.

Random related art tip: Don’t be afraid to adjust the cropping of your piece even if you have done a lot of work already. You can tell from WIP 2-3 that I messed with the spacing on top, even though that involved repainting some of the background. Composition is very important, especially when you’re doing a portrait - your subject should be able to “breathe” properly, to live in the space correctly. If your character is doing this type of “dramatically looking down” pose like Reese is, the extra “white space” on top combined with downward brush strokes can really hammer the ~serious drama~ effect home.


Final process video (about 9 min) for my Sherlock violin painting. :) Will definitely try and put together a few more vids from my Livestream recordings! Thank you all for the kind responses.

My new YouTube channel: alicexzart

Gonna bring this up again because I’ve been getting a lot of asks along the lines of “how do you art…?” (said in very flattering and nice ways, of course.) This is a time-lapsed process video of one of my paintings and shows essentially what I go through whenever I make a digital painting - sketch first from however many reference images you need; then block out major color areas before working on details. I know that sounds terribly simple and you probably think it’s not at all helpful but I mean it! Never, ever work on details before “getting the big picture down.” Think of painting as slowly bringing a photograph into focus. I spend more time looking at the thumbnail of my painting then looking at it zoomed in. Always imagine your painting is hanging on a wall 10 feet away from you; if you always do this, then your sense of composition and balance will start to improve naturally.

Another thing people mention a lot about my art is my use of color, and a question I get asked constantly is “how do you decide which colors…?” There are, of course, a plethora of color tutorials out there and I could probably keep you here all day if I really tried to talk about it. But a simple rule I like to follow is to always try and keep your picture balanced. If you use a certain shade of whatever color in the foreground, put a bit of it in the background too. For example - and this is just an example, not a hard-and-fast rule - for example, if you’re painting a simple, straight-on portrait, and your skin-tones are all warm (which they often are) and the character’s eyes happen to be a cool color (just a quintessential example here, think Sherlock), then try making your background that same shade of cool color for an interesting contrast. Complementary colors are dynamic when put together. Keep photographs with beautiful color schemes (there are plenty out there) open on the side for inspiration. “Surprise” colors are also very crucial to an interesting color palette that will draw people’s attention - just throw in colors that you don’t think belong, and who knows, they might end up belonging! EXPERIMENT EXPERIMENT DON’T BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT - it’s digital, yo! You can always undo it, so don’t be afraid to douse your whole painting with random splashes of hot pink and weird minty green (like I did up there), then delete the ugly green and keep the pink that actually ended up looking quite nice. Or whatever, you know.

Gosh I am just tl;dr-ing all over the place. I just kind of brain melted here… anyway, watch my video! :)