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Thread: How to blend smoothly using oil brush?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    How to blend smoothly using oil brush?

    I just started to play with artrage on an ipad. Since I'm taking oil painting lessons, I decided to use the oil brush to draw a classic sphere.

    I only used about 7 grey values to create the initial painting, and then tried to blend the adjacent grays into a smooth gradient.

    After playing around with the brush settings, I still couldn't smooth out the gradient so that no contour lines are visible. When painting with real paint, all I have to do is load the brush lightly or none and then paint on the contour line -- kind of like mixing color on canvas instead of on the palette. I tried the same in artrage but it just creates new contour line at the edge of the brush.

    I don't have a pressure sensitive stylus; just using finger.

    Any suggestions? I don't want to "cheat" and use other drawing tools; just the oil brush. Is it possible?
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  2. #2
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    I wouldn't consider it cheating. To use the tools at hand to your advantage is a part of what art is about. When you do traditional oil painting, you'll likely use linseed oil and thinners to change the viscosity of the paint, or to prolong the drying time, or to create a glaze. You'd also probably have a number of different brush types to use. Is all of that cheating? I wouldn't think so. Considering that we lack much of these items while using only the oil brush tool, I think it's perfectly fine to look to the other tools for help with certain areas.

    Anyway, if you must stick to only the oil brush (meaning no Palette Knife, and no eraser), then I suggest setting the Thinners up to about 90% or higher so that the paint becomes nearly transparent, and then set the tool to use Insta-dry (yep, dry so it won't take up paint). Then lay down glazes over the harsh edges to gradate them.


    EDIT - Wanted to add some links in, since I'm not in rush to get to work now. The following examples weren't made on the iPad, but they the technique used in them would work just the same.

    Blue Bird: Video LINK



    Ah Ha! Face Study: Video LINK



    James Jean painting Study: Thread LINK

    Last edited by Someonesane; 01-30-2013 at 11:43 AM.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  3. #3
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    Just a bump, to note that I added some examples to my original post.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  4. #4
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    The Bluebird video was a joy to watch.... Thanks for sharing.....

  5. #5
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    Mar 2009
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    Hi Draw, in a painting, you will want to keep in mind "what type of edge do I need" for every stroke you place on the traditional canvas. You'll have to construct the softness or hardness of edges with your brush, fingers, palette knife or any effective means.

    I got interested in this subject and here is my answer: It is possible to blend soften edges using only the AR oil brush as SOS pointed out, working with the settings he indicated, as well as using other settings; It is a tricky and boring stuff to do, but it is possible! as you can see in the image.

    Therefore, SOS advice applies and is the best and easiest thing to do. Just use the AR tools broad possibilities!!! It is the same ratonale...or not? except for the finger.

    Draw, that is the way to go... nice start in your sphere of values. Values are judged in terms of a grey scale usually 2 to 9 steps (1 black and 10 white, can't be obtained); you've used 7 steps, out of nine possible. See the image of sphere below for you to compare. Good luck.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    601
    I would also just say that Artrage happens to separate out into different categories tools which blend versus tools that lay down color (thus, say Oil or Chalk or Pencil or Crayon versus the Blender tool). In a program such as Corel Painter, these different functions (laying down color and blending it) are actually combined into one label or brush set. This may make one feel that one is doing it more "realistically". I'm not sure. But in Artrage, those functions are intentionally separated for greater control and ease of use. Their locations in different categories is really just a fluke of programming and labeling desire, not intended function.

    Artrage also separates out tools which it thinks you'll use for different functions, even if its quite "flexible" in what it emulates (thus, for example, the Felt Tip Pen can often be used as a Watercolor tool, even though it's not labeled as such). These are intended to be helpful labels, but in truth are totally arbitrary. I would not let the labels decide how you use the various tools. It's only my opinion, but after using the program for a few years, it in fact seems to me that, say, the Oil or Watercolor tool is clearly NOT intended to do everything an oil brush can do. The Blender, for example, is utterly critical, and is clearly intended to accomplish many of the things you would normally do with your brush (or with water, in the case of the Watecolor tool). They're just separated for clearer navigation of a complicated set of tools.

    I used to think using tools from other categories was "cheating" too, but once I understood that all these functions could have been in the category I was working in if the AR team had just preferred to label it that way (and in fact were, in different programs), my opinion changed. IMO, I'd use them all, for what it's worth if it creates the mark you want to create. They're all just digital marks.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Steve B, I highly recommend your YouTube ArtRage video #5 for anyone who wants to see AR's blenders in action ... I will say, though, that separating out the blender and its functions from the w/c and other tools always seemed to me a bit counterintuitive, because for my style of painting, I want a single brush stroke to accomplish everything at once, pressure, blend, opacity etc all should be set beforehand ... But that's just me, I guess ... Still, since we recently have been alerted to a beta AR 4.0, I wonder if the separation of function and stroke will persist ...
    xiěyž, n. freehand brushwork, spontaneous expression
    Artrage Gallery
    / Leaning Tree Ink Studio

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    601
    Chinapete,
    Your point about multiple actions combined in a single tool is valid (as in, applying pain and blending it), as this is what natural media tools do. It also allows a lot of flexibility and in-the-moment decisions. I like that too. However, if one looks at the experience of using Painter, the problem is that the controls become over bearing. Imagine trying to combine all the controls of the Blender tool with all the controls of the Watercolor or Oils tool. You'd have 10-15 controls to try and work out just to make one brush. Mutate what you get in Painter, and although that allows some sophisticated brushes that both apply and blend color, it ironically seemed to suck the life out of the experience instead of improving it. Atleast that's been my experience so far. Maybe that'll change some day. But I find people go around hunting for that perfect. brush a lot in Painter. That's not something you gt in the AR community as much, where people just seem to get down to painting more.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    ArtRage tools are not intended to do everything traditional art tools do, for sure.
    The fundamentals of any painting are no different even though any unique medium requires a different technique that includes: good drawing skills, good color theory and good composition no matter the medium you choose.

    Most digital artists get caught up in mimicking the look and feel of traditional paints. I have no restrictions on this, although many people do not like it. In my humble opinion, we should rather learn how to emulate the many diferent aspects of a traditional painting. This trains you and over time, you can create your own style of painting digital and/or traditional, so that you can use them as complementary techniques in your benefit.

    For me, I just believe that ArtRage is it's own unique medium with it's own unique look and it's own unique workflow.

    But you can use ArtRage in its extreme limits, as for example, trying to soften edges. So, I would like to emphasize that it is indeed possible to do it with the ArtRage brush tool (although tricky and boring as I said before) See figures.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Rio de Janeiro
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    continuing...
    For sure you can mix colors with the brush, everyone does it; and still get the resulting mix loaded in the brush to continuing painting.



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