View Full Version : My findings about digital sketching using ArtRage

Henry Stahle
10-24-2013, 08:09 PM

I am almost always using pencil and paper for my sketching. This is the first one done just using ArtRage.

Henry Stahle
10-24-2013, 08:11 PM

This one is a little tinted, a bit warm "graphite" tone instead of the pure black-gray-white in the previous sketch.

Henry Stahle
10-24-2013, 08:20 PM

This is what my sticker looks like,...made in ArtRage original size 600 x 600 pixels...


These are my settings and the spray rate is set to 100%. It makes a good looking "graphite" line I think. Now I am in the search for a charcoal stick...

10-24-2013, 08:21 PM
Blimey. Everybody's drawing me looks like it was sunny for a change :D:D:D:D:D:D SLAINTE

Henry Stahle
10-24-2013, 09:59 PM
Blimey. Everybody's drawing me looks like it was sunny for a change :D:D:D:D:D:D SLAINTE

I had a much different body then from now. Twenty years later I am more than 20 kilos lighter...thin as a reed... Anyway, I just made my first digital charcoal sketch using my brand new ArtRage charcoal sticker. So this is a common rook, the ones that invades the harvested fields around here this time of year.


Henry Stahle
10-25-2013, 03:05 AM
Here is how I made my charcoal stickers:

I scanned IRL charcoal line marks on different papers and used some different scaling and resolutions for experiment.

I used Corel Painter to straighten the lines and to remove all white by selecting and deleting. That way I had a transparent background. I locked the transparency and painted all red (255R 000G 000B). And expored the image at the size of 1500 width x 200 height pixels or even 3500 x 250 pixels. Just like the top on the image shows.

In ArtRage I opened the sticker pod and imported my image by clicking the top ”Color”. I also gave may sticker a unique name. The settings were 24 columns and 1 row. The rotation of the sticker is set to 0 in the ”Spray Variations”. Spray rate about 95...

These are some of the charcoal stickers I have made today and I am quite pleased with the different looks, gritty and rough, just like I like it...


Henry Stahle
10-25-2013, 05:47 AM

ArtRage charcoal sketch...

Henry Stahle
10-30-2013, 08:22 AM

This the View from my Bedroom looking to the South. Bad weather. ArtRage sketch.

D Akey
10-30-2013, 08:59 AM
Great effects. It seems like sometimes the technique dictates the style of the picture as well as the other way around.

Looking very natural.

Henry Stahle
10-30-2013, 06:36 PM

I have soon made a good graphite tool. I just need some more texture to it. I find this graphite looking sticker far better than the AR pencil, but not yet perfect. The line far left is the real graphite on paper that I compare to.

D Akey
10-30-2013, 06:49 PM

I have soon made a good graphite tool. I just need some more texture to it. I find this graphite looking sticker far better than the AR pencil, but not yet perfect. The line far left is the real graphite on paper that I compare to.

You mentioned that the pencil does not react to the paper texture. Do you remember in AR version 2 (I believe) that there was a way to create a texture map out of a black and white image. I'm not sure that is what it was called, but you could take a black and white bitmap or jpeg or something and make it into the canvas. What I had done with it back then was to make it look like thick gesso had been painted onto a board with the ridges and irregularities of the white surface in that case. And when painted over and I think when drawn onto, it did seem to react in a natural way to the peaks and valleys (marks on the peaks and none on the valleys) of the textured gesso surface.

It was a long time back and when there were later versions of the program I stopped thinking to do that. I don't know if you can import your own custom made surface anymore. But if you can make the surface irregular enough it might work to break up your line. I don't know if that would work with a sticker since I never worked with stickers.

But you could perhaps overlay a garbage matte (meaning something to give the appearance of texture as a fake after the drawing is done). And you could use one of the blend modes so it doesn't interfere with the rest of the page. Or if there was a way to save selections you could overlay the selection with fine irregularities and cut out bits of the line to make it look more irregular. Right now, I can see doing that in Photoshop, but perhaps ArtRage can do that as well. Not sure if you can import selections from that program or in files from that program.

Or you could maybe use the sticker on such a textured custom surface and erase back working with the tooth.

Or you could perhaps program something where the sticker would cycle varying shades of gray in an irregular sequence making it look like there are gaps in the line similar to the sample you have of the natural pencil you used as a model.

Anyway, very exciting stuff, Henry. You're super close and maybe close enough for most people already. Well done.

10-31-2013, 04:45 AM

ArtRage charcoal sketch...

HI SLim :D:D:D I think I've seen one of those the cow that is not the rook prehaps when I get my Wings ( thats if I'm not down

the Pit )I' ll be able to chase them ;) :D :D :D :D :D :D

10-31-2013, 07:06 AM
Outstanding findings....look forward to more of your exploring....:cool::cool::cool::cool:

Henry Stahle
10-31-2013, 08:50 AM

I am currently working on a Picture story (iOS, Android, Kindle, Nook and maybe paper print) and this is one of the reasons to examine ArtRage closely. I am used to sketch on paper and I usually use my preliminary sketches and refine them into something useful. The first, to the left, is a sketch on paper. The one in the middle is corrected in ArtRage and it is here I have a good use for natural looking graphite/charcoal brushes. I don't want the correction to look to much digital, it woud shame the original sketch. The line would look different. Finally I have used the smeary crayon to add some colour to this character study... I think it still got a lot of that organic, grungy look that I like...not looking cold, stiff, and digital too much.

Once again: thanks all for your comments.

10-31-2013, 10:19 PM
Maybe You may flatten Your stick on the sheet or just blend texture (add or substitute) to then use the erase at very low pressure (not sure if very hard or very soft for the eraser, the former maybe). I didn't try it as yet, but it may possibly enhance texture effect.

Henry Stahle
10-31-2013, 11:52 PM
Thank you Ceasar, I will try that, but I whish it was like in Manga Studio, where you assign a texture to the pencil tip. Or like in Painter where the tool can be set to pick up the canvas grain... it is both quick and easy in those software...I guess ArtRage will include one of these solutions in the future.


Darkness sorround us...huuh...! ...and this message ends the session of my graphite and charcoal experiments... :)