View Full Version : First Attempts

07-05-2006, 03:19 AM
I downloaded the free version of ArtRage thanks to the promptings of cym, and I've been having so much fun messing around with it. I have only a mouse to paint with and I've never painted before in real life, so I'm basically starting from scratch. I know I have so much to learn, so I would appreciate it if anyone could give some advice on the ArtRage tools, painting in general... anything, really!

This picture I created by loading a sketch I made a while ago as a tracing image and then painting over it. It doesn't hold a candle to the awesome paintings I've seen in the gallery, but I was pretty pleased with it for a first attempt. But please, constructively-criticize away!

07-05-2006, 04:44 AM
First, I think it is a great job considering you used a mouse. Those of us with tablets would have a hard time moving back to a mouse and creating smooth shading and such!

The one thing I noted about the picture is that there is not much contrast in the head, so the features appear a little flat and less defined than might be otherwise.

Keep up the good work! You may find that if your budget allows $20 for the full version, that the use of layers can help you play with shading and keeping different elements separate. I'll often add my shading on a separate layer with the airbrush. It makes it easy to start over if I want and to see different versions of the shading.


07-05-2006, 08:01 AM
Thank you, drzeller, for all the advice. I agree about the shading in the head: I think one of my weaknesses is a fear of making something too dark or too intense, so everything comes out a little bland. I hope to work on this with ArtRage by messing around with some really bright and non-timid colors. The other part of the problem is that I don't know that much about human anatomy, but that I'll just have to work on my own. I tried putting in a bit more contrast, and though it could probably use more, I think it helped a little.

Aged P
07-05-2006, 08:14 AM
Hi Elinnea,

Quick tip, but it works.

At each corner of the mouth put a very tiny dark dot. It makes the lips look more 3D.

I can show you what I mean, but i won't tamper with your picture unless you say ok.

The other point is that one side of her face is in shadow, and one side of her nose is in shadow. But they're different sides. Move one of them over and see what a difference it makes. I always imagine a light shining in from over my left shoulder, it hits everything on the left brightly, but less so on the right.

Sorry! I missed out the fact that it was a good picture and well worth making small changes. :wink:

(It's hot, humid and a storm is circling round the neighbourhood.
It makes it difficult to think and type straight!)
.................................................. .................
Tiny tampering attached!
They are very, very small mouth dots. Difficult with a mouse.

07-05-2006, 08:59 AM
The second one is definitely improved. As AgedP mentioned, the shadows are inconsistent - I would move the nose shadow to the other side. I played around with your original a little to see what I could come up with (I do that to a lot of pictures just for practice). I overdid the eye sockets a bit, but I did move the shadows and further defined the shadows around the neck. If you are interested, I could post it.


07-05-2006, 03:53 PM
Both of you are welcome to mess around with my picture if it will help explain what you mean. I'm not making any masterpieces here, I'm just trying to learn.

I think I know what you mean though about the shadows. I've done studies of shading and light on spheres, but I have trouble applying that when the spheres have bumpy things like noses sticking out of them. I'd appreciate seeing what you could do with it. Thanks again for the advice.

07-06-2006, 04:28 AM
Elinnea, establishing a background color would help with defining the face,head,neck. Try using complimentary colors (purple near head, yellow near body in other words reverse the order of your colors)Blending of course.....

07-06-2006, 09:04 AM
Hi Elinnea- I like you painting a lot it has a nice mood to it, and i have utmost respect for anyone who can paint as well as Cym and you do with a mouse-if you can master that the way you have you can paint with anything it a great skill to have.

I agree with AgedP and Drzeller that a bit more contrast will really make the facial features stand out more....if your nervous about wrecking the painting why not make a copy of your work saved under a different name and mess with the copy...that way you can be bold and try crazy stuff and if your playing changes the painting in a way you hate you can just bin the copy and you havent hurt the original work


07-06-2006, 05:19 PM
Aged P ~ I see what you mean, the little dots do make a big difference. And you're right, they are rather difficult with a mouse. It didn't look good the first time I tried it but I'll experiment with different tools and see which work best.

ingie ~ Thanks for the suggestion! I never really considered putting in a background but that probably would help a lot.

Selby ~ What a good idea! The only danger I face is filling up my hard drive with saved copies of every picture at every step along the way. :lol:

Thank you all for the good advice and I'll repost after I try out some of these ideas.