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Thread: Watercolor WIPs- Sharing and Learning

  1. #31
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    Did these pears in the DAA class I'm taking. I'm mostly working on getting good dry textures when I want them and good wet into wet effects. I'm also playing with just using the Settings Panel more aggressively, instead of using quite so many layers. For example, I would sometimes lay down some wet into wet colors (like on the red and green pear), and then hit the Instant Dry toggle, reduce the loading, and lay down a rough dry edge to the brush stroke here and there, then blend in with Tiny Frost or something approaching it in the Settings. This might be something I would normally do with a couple of layers, but here I did it in one. You can see it around the edges of the pears, mostly on the bottoms.

    Of course, I'm still a layer whore, so I must have used 10-15 for these pears alone!!! LOL.

    Another fun thing I tried out that's related was to lay down color, toggle Instant Dry, lay down a new color on the same layer, then blend the two only on the edge. This lead to a relatively convincing "back bleed" where it looks like the two colors are only truly mixing at an edge. You can see this on the yellow pear in the shadows around the stem, for instance, as well as just above it where the brown shadow bleeds into the yellow, and we get a little rim of green.

    The other thing I did was import a nice textural watercolor image first, before anything else, desaturate it, set it to Overlay, dial down its Opacity a bit, and moved it to the top of the layers. Then all my painting occurred under it. This allowed me to get some very nice mild textures in real time as I painted. I see the benefits most easily in the cast shadow of the yellow pear, which I find subtly more convincing in the final image with the Overlay. It's just, IMO, too smooth in the image with no Overlay.

    Finally, I also used the Splatter sticker spray from the Art category to put a bit of "pepper" on the fruit. Then I dialed it down to let it be very mild. I shamelessly admit :P that I stole this from Someonesane's post in the first thread I linked to in my Tut #1-- its from last years DAA class, where they also made pears. You can see some other examples there.

    The class has been fun so far, and I'm glad I'm taking it.

    I've included down at the bottom a version of the painting without the importing texture image Overlay, just to give a sense of what it's providing. Of course, it lightens the image, but more important to me is that it adds just a bit of grit.
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    Last edited by Steve B; 04-16-2012 at 04:05 AM.

  2. #32
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    those are beauties Steve. I really like the first version with the texture added that appears as less worked. it really is convincing watercolor. love the textures and colors you achieved. in the first image (texture added)the green pear skin just shines like it is catching light. amazing!
    Last edited by screenpainter; 04-16-2012 at 08:29 AM.

  3. #33
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    Thank you SO much for taking the time to make this thread, Steve! Your WIP tutorials are really, uber helpful to me. I'm only slightly embarrassed to admit that I've copy/pasted your tuts into Word so I can read them offline while I paint.

    When you talk about importing a watercolor "texture" to use as an overlay and then paint under it with real-time texture interaction, it's a little hard for me to understand. I think I'm still in CS4 mentality, where there is no texture changes underneath with brush strokes. Are these imported textures that you use scans of actual watercolors to help convey the overall "real" feeling of the digital watercolor? (I have used scanned real watercolors in CS4 many times, for that very reason.)

    Thanks again for your effort and wisdom in this thread. My learning curve thanks you too!

  4. #34
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    I thought I had commented on part of this thread. Hmm. . . Oh well. I feel remiss.

    This is an extraordinary group of paintings and exploration of the watercolor effect. I love it. Really impressive. Plus you make it look quite fun. Congrats!
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

    Finally, I also used the Splatter sticker spray from the Art category to put a bit of "pepper" on the fruit. Then I dialed it down to let it be very mild.
    I don't have a group called Art category in my sticker presets. could you point me towards where I could get it?
    I have one called art brushes, but there isn't a brush called splatter in there. any idea where you got the Art preset group? maybe it is one you made?

  6. #36
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    Thank you guys! It's just nice to think that some of my pseudo-egotistical, "I think know it all" ramblings have some value to others.... LOL! Of course, when I'm working it's still much of an exploration and a testing-out experience.

    In terms of what I'm calling "Texture Overlays"- yes, these are imported images of natural media watercolors that I'm importing to Artrage, usually after I've done my pencil sketching but before I lay down any paint. I then go through the process of expanding the imported texture image to whatever size I want, desaturating it to black and white, and setting its blend mode to Overlay. Then, when I go to start painting on layers below it (each of which I set to Multiply), I get those nice mild ambient "inner" textures I'm looking for in real time, as I paint. It ends up making it all feel much more like painting with natural media watercolors, because I really feel like I'm building the image, texture, value, color, and all, as I go. That, to me, is the most pleasing and exciting part of this work flow process to me, and why I do it in that order.

    Now, simultaneously, I am also futzing with textures that I import to Artrage to be used through its own Edit Layer Texture interface, not as imported images being laid down on a layer. Having a good assortment of Layer Textures available in Artrage has been really critical for me to get what I call good "rim textures", or essentially how the edge of the pigment interacts with the "geography" of the Layer Texture you're using. Pushing the Roughness and Grain size of the Layer Textures up some (often to the 60-80%) is how I get the "rim textures" for those area where I'm playing with a bit of dry brush work.

    Maybe using these pears as a starting point for a tutorial might be useful. I still have all the layers, and I could take some screen shots that I could edit. I doubt it'll happen today, but it might over the next week or so.

    I have to admit that I spent last summer spending many hours (more than I care to count!) reading over tutorials and watching and rewatching many of those I linked to in my Tutorial #1. I even took notes that I typed out in Word to have as a good quick reference when painting. So, I think that approach has value Karied!

  7. #37
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    My bad screenpainter. I used the Airbrush Spats right at the top of the Art Brushes category of the Sticker Spray tool.

    In re: to the green pear and those nice reflective bits, etc.-- it's my favorite of the two. The cool thing about painting it was that rather than the old way I've been doing things--

    paint with watercolors>import image for texture, etc> hmmmm.... that changed things> futz with filters, etc.> rework drawing, etc.

    I actually got to build the drawing in real time with the texture, and all of its effects in place (both in terms of visual "grit" and in terms of Brightness and Contrast) with each and every brush stroke I layed down. Thus, it wasn't like I did the bottom image first then added things in and revamped the image to improve it. No, I built the image with the overlay texture in place, and thus that's the way I always presumed it to look. The bottom version without the overlay in place is, in my mind, some sort of funky not-the-actual-image version of my pic. Like its' been Photoshoped or something!

  8. #38
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    Watercolor- Winding Creek

    This is one I did a few weeks ago. Paint Tool Sai and Artrage.
    Perhaps 1-2 hours of noodling.
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  9. #39
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    This is a water colour I did as an exercise for the same DAA class that Steve is doing. It also uses Steve's technique of using a texture in overlay mode.

    Brett
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    Visit my gallery here.

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  10. #40
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    Jan 2011
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    Hey Brett!

    Very cool to see you here. And I'm glad to see others such as you using this thread. The original intent was for it to be a kind of repository/home for everyone to share their watercolor work, techniques, etc and receive feedback at the same time they're teaching others.

    On the theme of all these pears everywhere, here's a pear I did last fall while taking a class in Painter 11. I thought it would be helpful to see how each program comparatively seems to provide textures and mix paint. Now, I've learned something since Sept when I did this, so it might look better if I did it now, but still, it gives you some sense of how the watercolors were working. In the end, I preferred the look of Artrage and Paint Tool Sai, but I was glad I explored.
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    Last edited by Steve B; 04-17-2012 at 10:44 AM.

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