View Full Version : Blending Challenge - for ArtRage blending masters

11-26-2014, 08:26 AM
NOTE: With the advent of the custom brush in AR5, blending with paint, and with depth (AR6) has improved markedly.
Many statements in this thread are outdated.


Hello all:

Challenge: Blend a very smooth sky gradient from moderately saturated skyblue at the top through to unsaturated very light yellow at the bottom using oil brushes (plus maybe the oil palette knife) only.

See the following YouTube video at times 1:50 to 2:20 (this is a real media example I would like to achieve the same result - using ArtRage oils)

Due to copyright I have not taken a screen shot of YouTube.

The tools and/or techniques I am using in ArtRage 4.5 are failing miserably.

If you succeed without too much difficulty or too many spurious colors please post your results and your technique!

EDIT: Some early submissions right out of the gate have some impressively effective and fast results. But we ALL know one could simply use the airbrush to get crazy smooth blends, and then fake it with tracing or layers to make texture. But the idea of this challenge is to stick to ArtRage's oil tools to get a painterly result, i.e. using ArtRage's touted capabilities to imitate real media: "take many of your familiar techniques and work with them inside the software" -Traditional Artists section of ArtRage website blurb.

C'mon peeps, a challenge is supposed to be challenging... roll up your sleeves!! Get a painterly effect using oils and the palette knife. I know you can make it happen!

UPDATE: Enug is in the lead. Only oil brush and hard smudge (palette knife) and very smooth results with minor color artifacts.


11-26-2014, 10:19 AM
How dose this try grab you?
Initially done on three layers, then all merged down to one.

Top layer is for texture.
Pure white Oil Paint. Blend mode = "Tint"

Mid layer is the blue and white.
Deep blue top and white at the bottom. Blended together with the "Frost" blender at a large size. Finally going over the whole layer with "Instant Blur" again set to a really large size.

Bottom layer is the yellow.
Only painted the bottom edge about a quarter the way into the canvas. Then did the same "Frost" and "Instant Blur" again to it to fade out the upper edge.

Just added a second try at this which I think came out better still.


11-26-2014, 01:01 PM
Personally, I'd use the Pastel tool (wax mode) to do the smoothing. Here's an example:

The image I ended up with:

The video of it's creation (minute and half run time):
Video Link (http://youtu.be/t4GIHu7D5Zs)


Slap Happy Larry
11-26-2014, 01:10 PM
This is actually done in Verve, in which blend is achieved by holding down shift, but I thought it would be interesting to see a side-by-side comparison of effects.

11-26-2014, 03:04 PM
This is not an answer to the challenge but an example of my best "cheat" attempt.

I use an airbrush to get a smooth but not "computer like" gradient.


I save this to a file and use it to trace using an oil brush. Voila:


A painterly cheat. BUT I do not presume to claim this answers the challenge., after all it is a hack/cheat... I leave the real challenge to the blending masters!

11-26-2014, 04:39 PM
I used an oil brush, Normal, square and blended with Hard out Smudge.


11-26-2014, 04:48 PM
Or with texture (as much as you like). I added another layer below the original I posted and applied an Impasto oil brush. You can vary the stiffness of the bristles to get as much texture as you wish.

11-26-2014, 04:54 PM
You can also apply impasto oil paint on the layer above (I used white paint) and use the Multiply blend mode and get the same effect.

11-27-2014, 04:22 AM
I used an oil brush, Normal, square and blended with Hard out Smudge.


Before Hard out Smudge were your oils already in multiple bands or was it a hard division with two colors? i.e. What did you have prior to smudging? Can you share the Hard out Smudge technique you used? Stroke direction, size, pressure etc? I like the results you are getting.

11-27-2014, 05:02 PM
When applying the three colours they naturally blend where they overlap.


The settings for the Oil Brush - Normal Square and Palette Knife - Hard Out Smudge are their default settings - I used the knife at a size of 500% The oils I used settings of 500% and 200%. No special technique in using the knife - back and forth horizontally, moving up and down as needed to blend.


Mick CrocKode
12-25-2014, 02:35 PM
Well... Not so easy to do.
I only used the oil brush, but it's difficult to have a good result on large areas. Works well on small surfaces.


You can see all the process at YOUTUBE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-A30C8QxcBc&list=UUtG4_kTC-7i7MdB0OVGIstg) in a small video.

01-03-2015, 03:06 PM
This is about 2 mins worth of work.. I laid the colors in with about 20% difference between them (2 Blues - Dark and Light; and then 2 yellows ' Light and Dark). I used the Normal Round Oil Brush at 100%. I then used the Palette Knife With the "Blur" setting 75% Pressure and 75% Softness going down the picture Vertically with about 4 or 5 strokes total (100%). There is only one layer.. no textures added (except done on a canvas preset for the paper).

This is the result:


PS - I noticed a Boo boo after I did this.. I saw the original post said to end in a pale yellow.. Oopsy.. I went to darker yellow on the bottom..

01-05-2015, 03:22 AM
Interesting challenge, thanks for that idea!

If the use of the 'blur/unsharp' palette knife is allowed, it's quite easy to achive very smooth results. I got the feeling, that you are asking for a more 'traditional' usage of tools... maybe you should consider naming the tools, that are allowed, exactly one by one.

With the blur knife at 200% I achieved something like that after a few minutes of toying around. I am totally unexperienced when it comes to oil and prefer 'dry' stuff like charcoal and pencil, so every other attempt didn't even come close to that. I still wanted to give it a try ;D

With kind regards,

P.S. Thanks again, I learned something new while doing this ;)

01-07-2015, 07:34 PM
Interesting challenge, thanks for that idea!

One of the best! Very well done!