View Full Version : Digital Painting (my process in PS) *COMPLETE*

06-18-2006, 02:12 PM
A few people have been asking me about my approach to digital paiting and I thought, why not make a tutorial? Well, here it is, its not the best, I admit it but its a first for me. I still paint with a mouse by the way ;).
(Im working from a reference: Rembrandt's self portrait)


Step 1 - The BG.
Usually I start with a random pattern of splatters or some kinda gradient. Since Im working from a reference, then I just create the bg as is, just a lot more simplified. Using a big custom brush set to Opacity 60% and Flow about 75% I slap on a simple bg.

Step 2 - The Lines
After that, I take a small round brush, maybe 4pxl, and quickly sketch in the countour of the foreground character. Make sure to keep it simple in this step, forget the details and foucus on the main points. Im thinking about the negative spaces as well as the positive ie: the shape his shirt will make with the edge of the canvas, and copy it. Also I measure the angles of the the lines and sketch them in. And of corse check vertical and horizontal plumb lines (like if you were to grid the whole canvas and measure what matches up with what ie: his eyes, the inner edges of his hat, etc.
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Step 3 - The shadow side.
Here I filled in all the shadow areas in the picture, matching the color as best as I could with the original (without using the eyedropper, you cheaters you :unibrow:) Just keep in mind that youre gonna overlap the shadow with the light so go ahead and go over the edges, just make sure the lines are on their own layer. That way you can erase parts you dont like and not hurt the lineart.

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Step 4 - The light side.
Same thing as the shadow side, just squint and see the general color, dont overcomplicate, simplify simplify simplify! And fill in the light side. (I started to model the light side a bit in the face and the papers hes holding, bad me =\)

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Step 5 - Details/Modeling form.
This is the longest step of them all, the fun part ;). When modeling form, usually the light side gets the most attention, because thats where the light is hitting the subject and the details stand out more, in other words absence of light = absence of detail. We dont need to see every wrinkle in the shadow side, it will read perfectly without detail. Also, think about the plane changes as well as temperature changes (blue = cool / red = warm etc...) plane change = temperature change. I begin to add details (on the light side), still using a relatively flat brush and some texture brushes here and there, like on the highlights on the nose for example. This is the step where you can zoom in and fix the little details, match things up better. You can still re-adjust compositional elements at this stage, but after this it should be pretty much fixed in place.
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Step 5b - More details/Selecting.
Still adding details to the face, Ive decided to keep everything else relatively simple to draw attention to the face. What I mean by selecting is, you dont want to add allthe details that you see in the original. Be selective! Choose what plane change/temperature change you need to add that will work with your painting. (I may be going a bit overboard with it here :ugh:)

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Step 6 - Tightening Up
This step is where I tighten my picture up. Adding details here and there, using custom brushes... Just make sure you dont overrender the piece, keep some parts simple while others are complex. Variety is the key here.

I shouldve tried to make it better but, I got lazy :runaway:.

EDIT: Highlights should most of the time be a cool color.

06-18-2006, 02:19 PM
So far so good. I immediantly recognised rembrandt and am anxious to see the rest.

06-18-2006, 03:51 PM
Hey, this should be good. I'm doing something quite blocky at the moment too :)

06-18-2006, 04:51 PM
Nice process so far, I'll be hangin around for the next part :)

07-17-2006, 04:36 PM
...is complete :)

07-18-2006, 03:56 AM
nice one

07-18-2006, 08:50 AM
Absolutly love it. I learned a few new things about detailing and texture. :)

07-18-2006, 08:56 AM
Wow, I learned some stuff here! Good job!

07-23-2006, 07:47 PM
thanks guys, wow, makkon? Im honored that Im able to provide you with insight =]

10-31-2006, 02:42 AM
Fantastic, I don't want to hear excuses from people about drawing with mice any more ;)