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Thread: A pencil artist trys painting...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Oh, look we are in Kansas Toto.
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    Red face A pencil artist trys painting...

    I feel if you need help, ask. So here I am. I know there are a bunch of great painters on this board, so I figured I ask for some help. I normally draw with pencil if I do paint I use an airbrush, this is both in real life as well as in Art Rage. I can see the lights and darks, so I've started doing an underpaint in pencil, hoping it will help me get the color where I need it...no luck so far.

    So enough dilly dally....here's my pic and the ref image I'm using. Cut me up, tear me down...let me know how I can improve it.

    Thanks!
    John
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  2. #2
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    Are you using the full version? Working in layers with the underpaint in one layer and colors in another might work. But it's tricky. I did some study and a kind-of-tutor bout it a year back.
    But I like the style presented. Doesn't have to look like the ref. Just go along. Maybe some texture would help. To 'dirty' things up a little. Might be too smooth. Again using layers. Ceasar, Rick and MisterPaint has investigated into such techniques. Look'em up. Anyone?
    Also try the 'Crayon'. I think it comes close to color-pencils working layered (that is on same layer but using different crayon colors again and again on low pressure).
    DoodLS

  3. #3
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    DoodLS, yes, I am using the full version. I'm using layers, lot and lots of layers. I've got the sketch on one layer, the waterfall on another layer, an underpaint layer and then everything else is shoved on a painting layer.

    Thank-you for the comment about the style. Ha, and my wife says I have no style. Oh, that was the way I dress...never-mind. sorry. Also, thanks for the tip about just "going along" with the reference. I tend to be slavish to my ref pic. Maybe I can loosen up a bit... well, I guess we'll see if I can anyway.

    I think you hit the nail on the head...everything is smooth. Not a lot of texture to the picture. I normally do portraits in pencil so smoothing is necessary...maybe I'll just quit smoothing it so much.

    Okay, and since I'm anal like that, I'll insert my latest and then once I've followed your advice I'll upload another...you know, for comparison and all that.

    Again, thanks so much for your input.
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  4. #4
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    OK. Sounds like you know your way around. I think digital sometimes goes a bit too smooth. It's too good.
    One last tip I use a lot. Squint your eyes. Do you have all the shadows you want? If not add a new layer, change it to blend mode Shadow and shade using medium gray to black (without destroing the color/underpaint).
    Being a pecil artist you know bout hatching/cross hatching. Try also using that for shading. Again adds life/dirt to the painting.
    DoodLS

  5. #5
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    Mar 2009
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    Little_John -- you might want to try a more "impressionistic" approach. Until you find a competent teacher, I'm here to share my ideas :-)

    What I see is you making great sweeping swathes of color (which is great, if that's what you're after). Believe me, I find it way too tempting too. Here's a demo of a technique to try to help you break it, which should help in general.

    The idea is to think like an impressionist, and try to get tiny blocks of color, but each one correct for where it is. Here I'm working with a small paint roller to force myself not to think "brush-strokes". You're trying to break the "pencil" habit, perhaps the brush would be better for you.

    So here are three steps towards doing your waterfall picture... I couldn't NOT do the big stroke to begin with, just to give myself SOME structure to work from. Then, as you can probably tell, I'm just working around the picture, trying (as I said above) to get just the right blob of color, JUST for where I'm putting it. And I'm doing the watercolor-like thing of just using the blank page for white. OH YEAH: I did these at 768x1024, then made them smaller to keep them reasonable from the forum's point of view.

    And, of course, these aren't finished in any way... once you've got this kind of structure, you can go in with finer detail, different tools, etc. But it's a place to start from. And I think it's easier to get more "natural" colors this way, rather than working from big slabs of specific colors.

    And that's it... let me know what you think.
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  6. #6
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    mmm, me, for texture like that, I'd probably use the glitter tool - on it's own or UNDER the current layers to create texture without changing colours.

    You can mix sizes and maybe blend it a bit, see what happens.

    Or any thick paint, as texture *shrugs* - it's just the bush looks a bit knobbly, so I'd pick glitter.

    And for shading, I generally ignore the layer tweaking and just use very thinned paint of darker shades (on the other hand, this is partly to stop my computer freezing, so you may find layer-tweaks, as menationed above, easier)


    Also, are you using the palette knives to blend much? I find them invaluable.
    Last edited by Flynn_the_Cat; 04-13-2009 at 02:37 AM.

  7. #7
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    DoodLS - Thanks again for the comments. Yep that's what I want, a little dirt on the pic. I'm trying to stay away from the pencil with this one, but it's really hard for me.

    yachris - Yeah, I think I need some instruction, but I tend to just view tons of art and see how others have approached something and try to duplicate that. I love the work of Frank Frazetta and I was thinking along those lines when I started this. Kind of a dark-ish fantasy pic. Maybe put some elves or something by the water. I dunno. Thanks for taking the time to do that drawing, it gives me some ideas about how to do a layer for texture.

    Flynn_the_Cat - Very good idea about thinning the paints and making them darker. Thanks. I LOVE the pallet knife, I think I use it too much, especially in this picture, that's why they look like big color blobs. I mostly use it on soft, as I said, I'm a pencil artist so I'm accustomed to using stumps and chamois cloth for blending.

    Thanks everyone, I'm going to attempt to put some of these great ideas to use at lunch and later this evening, so I'll most likely be posting an updated picture soon.

    ~JL

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