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Thread: How to blend smoothly using oil brush?

  1. #31
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    I tend to lean in SOS's direction while tipping a hat to the truth, Steve, that our experience of creating art is for most artists also part of the fulfillment. I should not speak for SOS, but I don't think he would disagree. The leap is that satisfaction and fulfillment can be had during the process regardless of the medium used. If oil paints disappeared, we'll take pleasure in the process of making art with flyswatters and bean paste. If that is all that is available to me, OK, let's get busy.

    I think this translates to creativity and productive labor in most endeavors for engaged people, not just the arts. Bricklayers, accountants, and pasty chefs can share the same fulfillments in both the creative and production aspects of their labor.

    It is, of course, always different strokes for different folks. It seems one of the good things about the human spirit is that if their particular stroke (let's say oils or watercolors) just isn't around any more, people will find something else or invent something new to work with. The possibilities for fulfillment in a work process in life are not limited to the availability of water colors. I guess I can say I've had quite a few burger joints that I loved that went out of business. It was sad for day I must admit. But man, I've found some other really terrific joints that are even better. I might never have ventured into them if Bobby's Burgers around the corner had not burnt to the ground. In retrospect, the best thing that ever happened was that place went up in flames.

    Chinapete, thanks so much for reminding us to broaden our perspective. Your points in this conversation seem particularly relevant. I love your idea of the Turing Test for a digital calligraphy tool. The way you describe it, it maps exactly (yes?) for the two criteria outlined above for the Holy Grail of a digital painting tool whose goal is to mimic natural media. I lean to the case that it is the correct criteria, while reiterating there doesn't seem to be a long term cultural demand for it. There is only an interim one for those nostalgic for their current tools wishing to seem them embodied in the new rather than made obsolete. As digital tools evolve to do most anything, and current generations pass on, the new tools will prevail while buggy whips will only be found in museums. Even whole cultures will morph to something else as our global connectedness transforms and integrates Western and Eastern cultures into something entirely new and unpredictable. Most likely the artistic expressions that come forth will be richer for it. If I could have a wish fulfilled, it is to be around a century from now to see how it unfolded.
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B View Post
    That's interesting to hear, SOS. Are you a working professional, as an artist?
    I wouldn't label myself as a "Pro". I've been commissioned before, but never anything I could make a long term steady job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B View Post
    I ask because, to me, as a non-pro, I would say that process is paramount. If I don't enjoy the process of making art, the rest doesn't matter at all. Additionally, for me, the tools I use to make an image are absolutely part of the process. So, I would say that the _experience_ of using Acrylics on a big mural, or watercolors on a stretched piece of paper while painting outside, or working digitally at a desk matters to me, most definitely. I admit I often find myself less interested in an image once I've made it. The result matters to me, but not as much. It's the making that I find exciting.
    Ah, but there's the catch... To me, learning new ways of creating is the "exciting" aspect. Why stick to the known, when I can explore? Not being bound by a commissions expectation allows for that freedom and I enjoy it whenever I can. Sure I have set methods that I always return to, but what I know about ArtRage didn't happen because I settled for what I already knew. When I see a question in the forums, I try to answer it for them and for myself.


    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B View Post
    Simultaneously, I would say the _way_ in which you view a work matters as well. On a 10" computer screen? On a 20' tall mural at a restaurant? Mounted on a wall a living room wall? Resting on someone's desk? Absolutely, I would say, the _way_ in which I would view it would matter, and change my experience.

    I guess my point is that the image isn't the only thing that matters. The how of it matters too-- both in the making and viewing of.
    That's more focused on getting a specific result for a purpose. How one goes about creating art for that purpose, will depend greatly on ones experiences with different media. That comes from experience, which stems from experimenting while learning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B View Post
    True, but if your favorite paints went away, the way you painted would need to change, and probably the final image too. Of course you wouldn't stop making images, but I think it's a valid point to people can grow to like making an image in a certain way, that it gives them pleasure.

    You like a certain hamburger made at your favorite restaurant. It goes out of business. Are you going to stop eating hamburgers? No. But that doesn't mean you won't miss your old favorite hamburger, and that you might not hunt out a new hamburger that tastes similar.
    Yes, but if you know you're eating at different restaurant, then you know to expect a change in taste. We know we are not using actual oil paints, thus we should expect a change in how the tools work. I just find it's easier to use a tool for what is has to offer, than to expect the tool to bend to my will and be what's it's not. This isn't to say that things can't be improved upon. I just feel that the expectations of what a tool could do, were it true to its traditional counterpart, should not ultimately limit someone from using it for what can offer right now.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  3. #33
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    I must say it is hard to imagine a more spectacular name/handle, Byron, the very type of Romantic rebel, and Callas, equally brooding and powerful in her expression, the unsurpassed diva of the 20th century

    In all of my years of living in China, I never saw anyone other than calligraphists write with a brush ... Everyone of course used a ballpoint pen, or chalk, and later a computer or a cell phone -- whatever digital device made it easiest to choose a character

    But for calligraphy, one must use a brush, there can be no substitute ... Calligraphy has to be written in the traditional full-form characters, a skill lost to most Chinese who live on the mainland and read/write the simplified characters ... For these reasons, technically calligraphy already is a thing of the past, and while I agree that nostalgia plays a role in contemporary interest, it also is true that there are some things that ought to be preserved, and in China calligraphy is among them, especially if there is to be any truth to the claim of thousands of years of cultural continuity ... But calligraphy is founded upon a small but unchanging set of conventions which must be obeyed if the result is to be called calligraphy ...

    I remember that in 2008 or so, a famous calligraphist, professor Tian Yunzhang (田蕴章), recorded "a character a day" for a year on tv, I think I watched about 70 of his sessions on YouKu (it's the Chinese version of YouTube) ... In one, he said all the ancients agreed that the most important thing when learning calligraphy is how to hold the brush ... But, he added, the ancients themselves claimed there were no rules about this, and could not agree on how it should be done ... And yet--he said this with great emphasis--they all could write well ... It is this implied and yet real and verifiable standard that sets calligraphy apart from other art forms ...

    In my own work, I have tried for a fusion style -- so far the results please no one, Westerners can't read it and the Chinese ignore it

    ps: in the "Bluish" brush strokes to illustrate blending that Lima posted, has anyone noticed the whitish fringe that persists as part of each stroke? It is a tint that differs noticeably from the paper/background ... I have not found a way to eliminate it ... yet another reason to believe that calligraphy is all but impossible to recreate in AR at the moment ...
    Last edited by chinapete; 03-20-2013 at 11:06 AM.
    xiěyì, n. freehand brushwork, spontaneous expression
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  4. #34
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    Hi there, after all these nice thoughts, I have to slowly digest everything that’s been said, so I read, read, read and will try to pass my ideas through, hoping that I'm not talking nonsense.

    I focused on the objective visual observation that paint with a viscous aspect is smeared and daubed with the soft knife, which can be seen visually. The consistency of this viscous oil paint could be tweaked by the thinner function? In a way that paint released by the tube tool paint could show different states of viscosity? i.e. pasty, gummy, stiff, buttery, creamy, oily... ?

    Now, a correlated thinking. The program has among other things:
    • a pencil function – that looks like pencil.
    • eraser - works like an eraser
    • watercolor – that looks like watercolor
    • oil paint - and thinner – that looks like oil paint... in this case the thinner, however, just flattens the paint.

    Than, oil viscous paint in a state of being pasty with variations in consistency could be a new feature? Why not? It would be just an AR variant tool!, an improvement.

    Byron you are right about Baxter thesis year of publication. However it seems that his thesis calculations still apply today and it is a sort of mandatory lecture reference for the guys that work in this area. You mentioned he sold a patent to Microsoft in 2010… interesting, Microsoft in 2010 published this work and Baxter is a solid reference. Really nice read.. Baxter extensively studied this sort of subject and is involved with Project Gustav. Baxter explains some of the developments of his studies. His work is pretty much referenced in other works too, as can be seen in this thorough and nice multimedia platform revision work dated from 2009. And also, some of Baxter Publications and recent work and also this and this where you can see Ambient Design ArtRage mentioned. Here is some new developments that can be seen here Reality Based Interaction and Simulation in Painting 2008

    Ambient Design is certainly on the border of this matter (paint viscosity, liquidy paint). But so far they have not said a word about it.

    Imho the various AR digital tools are not to copy real world and make bad art, but to make art! As I commented before, 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 opinion, we should rather learn how to emulate the many aspects of a traditional painting. This teaches you and over time, you can create your own style of painting digital and/or traditional, so you can use them as complementary techniques in your benefit.

    [I would imagine that kind of vision will come, perhaps, some day, from younger artists who learn to paint digitally and never think twice about it, and end up not wanting "a car that acts and looks like a horse and buggy"], as you so elegantly put it!

    At the present time and also in the future solid foundations is the core for whatever essential activity one is involved with.
    In 1983 I participated in the first successful lung transplant performed in the world, at the Toronto General Hospital. The fundamental technical aspects have not changed .. what has changed is the infrastructure of hospitals, new medicines, gained experience, etc…

    So, I think, in painting art, for centuries to come, foundations will still apply be it traditional or digital art.

    • Line,
    • Organic and geometric shapes
    • Value
    • Scale body
    • Space perception Negative space Positive space
    • Form, volume, structure, proportion
    • Use sketchbook as tool for visual thinking
    • Drawing from imagination, from memory
    • Composition
    • Linear perspective
    • Color theory and color mixing
    • Hue, Value and Chroma
    • Color harmony
    • Contrast tone and textures
    • Light
    • Painting techniques: direct and indirect painting, scumbling, glazing, transparency/opacity
    Sduty of the masters and contemporary art
    • Self critical judgement, etc…


    Gaeton ,

    "I just feel that the expectations of what a tool could do, were it true to its traditional counterpart, should not ultimately limit someone from using it for what can offer right now." Vary true, but in this case, ArtRage, there are 2 possibilities available regarding paint and one of them is viscous paint. It is there and it is a wonderful way (also) to learn how to mix paints.

    I also tested it for fun in some sort of art as you can see in the image below.

    "I could wake up tomorrow and find that my favorite type of oil paints are no longer available. What then?" Regarding paint, The great spanish master José Parramon (in spanish) showed how you can mix all hues using just 3 basic colors plus white... I did a digital study about this that is published here. Although chroma decreases with the mixing, this is the way to go.

    "Stop painting, because the rest of paint doesnt flow the same way, or adapt to meet my new criteria? " As you know in the real world, "flow" can be regulated by adding linseed oil and thinner to the paints. And that's all that's required. Just use a 50/50 mix of linseed oil and solvent), and add just enough to the paint to make it flow.

    Pete, they are the impression of the brush strokes I used as a base for the blending. They are light reflexes of the program inner light.

    Nice of you all.


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  5. #35
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    Hi Lima,

    I'm sure everyone will join me in thanking you for this exhaustive "summa" of the state of the art, for the useful links you've provided (I happen to have the 1989 edition of Parramon's Color Theory), and for the time and effort it must have taken to set down your wisdom gained through years of experience and passion for painting I can only hope that isn't a portrait of yourself after writing that you appended

    You have said everything of importance about the physical properties of oil paint, especially viscosity, and I have nothing to add ... To your list of foundational elements of art, I wonder if you would also want to include the physical interaction of the elements you describe, because in addition to viscosity you mention glazing, scumbling, transparency/opacity, and it is just this physical dimension that is lacking in the digital realm...

    As I have been saying for some time on this forum, what is being subtracted from the experience of art is the physical interaction of the elements (support, ground, medium, brush and so forth) and by extension the artist's physical presence ... So I predict that one day there will be a movement against digital art, a "Salon des Refusés" of artists whose work is rejected as not being digital enough, haha ... These artists, one day in the not too distant future, will insist that no art can be made on a computer, "true" art can only be made with physical elements that interact in the real world, etc. etc. ... You can imagine the manifesto ...

    For example, a credible gesso is missing (I suggested it on this forum but got no response) ... This is important because the preparation of the ground determines to a large extent what will happen on the surface ... Right now I must use the oil tool for underpainting (it doesn't quite work for the all the reasons you mentioned related to viscosity), or search for textured papers and figure out how to import them into AR (for use on the iPad, my preferred platform, along with the lowly iPhone) ... I don't think this is nostalgia for older forms of art, instead, it could be thought of as part of the craft of making something that exists in the real world ... Who knows, maybe the advent of 3-D printers will change the paradigm again? ...

    I also want to ask if you could clarify your statement about the whitish fringe that accompanies most brush strokes in ArtRage (in the attachment, you can see that a simple charcoal pencil stroke on toned paper produces that fringe, it is most obvious in the center dark stroke, I've blown the image up a little for clarity) ... You said "They are light reflexes of the program inner light" ... I'm not sure what that means, but I wish there were a way to eliminate or reduce it substantially ... (It may have something to do with anti-aliasing, at least Dave Rage explained it that way back in June of 2010, I'm not sure but there isn't an anti-aliasing feature for the pencil as far as I can tell)...

    Thanks again to you, and to everyone, I have learned a lot from this thread ...

    - Pete
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    Last edited by chinapete; 03-22-2013 at 12:48 AM.
    xiěyì, n. freehand brushwork, spontaneous expression
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  6. #36
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    Pete, that is a Viscous face

    A viscous and sticky methaphoric face. The transparent smoke is just a rethorical image that I wanted to make to show viscous transparency againts the sphere. In other words, viscous paint and transparency trying to be a digital reallity contrasting with a solid air brushed red sphere. The surrounded darkness is just what is not yet known!

    I'm including another viscous paintings images, an experiment made with available viscous oil paint, hoping that maybe viscosity will be tweeked for good in the near future by ABD team. Images below.

    Pete, it is possible to glaze and scumble with ArtRage, I'll talk about in another thread, OK?

    I misunderstood your question about the whitish fringe. I think it has to do with pixalation, see this site here. It happens with all AR tools... I made these examples in Photoshop, observe, in long horizontal end vertical lines it also occurs, kind of black and gray sequence pattern... but inside the lines!!! maybe it is a limitation... Matt will explain this to us. See the images, as size increases pixalation increases.

    Pete, thank you for your words.
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    Last edited by Lima; 03-23-2013 at 10:38 AM.

  7. #37
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    Well...! Terrific thread, but so involving. I only hope that "drawn", our recent new member who came with his first post... won't run away . Please drawn, stay with us; your question is really interesting. You are Welcome.You asked in your post:"Any suggestions?".
    Just after the debat shifted to the question about realistic or digital art (and that is a question that I stopped to ask to myself), were I agree with everyone in your approach (SOS: "the end result is all that matters"; Steve B: "If I don't enjoy the process of making art, the rest does not matter at all", and so on...) I was remembering that since the primitive cave wall paintings, through the middle age, artists were waiting, integrating and sometime steeling what come out of "new technologies" in there time. The discovering of new tints (chemical colorant replacing expensive old colors...), acids in the engraving, new long lasting pigments, and other things that I forgot, they all never asked themselfs any question when they made those new discoverings there owne. Does that new invention simplify their work? Yes. They use it. Point.Does that new "tool" called ArtRage simplifies my work? I use it. Point.ArtRage can simplify my process to discover and enjoy being creative? Yes. Is the way full of joy? Yes. Is the target a joy? Yes. So: I use it. Point.
    But I like, I love, I appreciate to read your comments and discover your different points of view. For me, all that mixing: you, me, the way, the target, the past, the present... your point of view, the mine... all "that"... IS "ART". Is real, living, loving, everlasting, universal, personnal, only "ART". You name it.

    So, Someonesane gave to drawn a first suggestion in #2 about how to make a "gradation" between two flat values of grey. Drawn, I am a newbie like you and I will try SOS's technique. I will also try Lima's approach. And thank's also to Steve B who pointed the use of Fashmir's Oil Brush set "Badger Hair Blender": I will try it to.But like Steve B mentioned it, he uses "non conventional tools", even those who are not "well named" to achieve a picture as the felt pen. So do I. I use for that approach a non-conventionnal tool.
    My suggestion: (and I hope I won't have to run away after my suggestion , it's a simple suggestion written for dawn, please boys don't hit me )...is to use.... TaDahhh, the airbrush.! A non-conventionnal tool, a motor driven air flow who pushes the pigment, a non-classical tool, never teached or used by the classical masters from the past, a technological underground wall weapon usualy used by modern cavemen. Sorryyyyyy, I won't do it again.

    First step: draw a sphere with the airbrush using a grey only color to fixe the "value" of the spheric form.
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    Second step: create a new layer over that sphere and set in on "color mode". Select the sphere (in the layer under the new one) and activate the new one so the painting
    will stay in the circle.
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    after that: it is possible to use other tools like watercolor and a mix of tints.
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    and also use the chalk and apply a texture (stencil).
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    Hope that helps.
    And a last word for dawn whom I wish a great Welcome like "jibes" welcomed me at my first post. I do remember.

  8. #38
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    From my point of view all those that come to the forum are more than welcome. This is the place to be, for sure.

    This was drawn question:

    1st intention - 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.

    2nd intention: Any suggestions? I don't want to "cheat" and use other drawing tools; just the oil brush. Is it possible?

    I welcomed drawn in this way: “Draw, that is the way to go... nice start in your sphere of values”... Good luck and having said that, I feel really good.

    SOS and myself, we gave drawn solid answers, for example:

    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), observe, the ArtRage Brush Tool.

    Than I made the following comment: When forum user drawn asked how to blend smoothly using a digital oil brush ...clearly his intent was to emulate the real thing, and probably show the result to his traditional class teacher and his class mates, maybe!!!???

    Even than, drawn never reapeared!!!
    O1/29/2013... today, 03/22/2013.

    Drawn 2nd intention pushed all of us to a parallel spontaneous fantastic conversation where I can reassure you, I learned a lot, specially concerning the concept of oil paint viscosity.

    I only hope that "drawn", our recent new member who came with his first post... won't run away . Please drawn, stay with us; your question is really interesting. You are Welcome.
    (again and a mon avis drawn was and will be always very much welcomed, I am sure this is the same feeling from all those brilliant minds that participate sofar in this maybe vanishing thread) ... …….You asked in your post:"Any suggestions?",... note that the 2nd intention can not be isolated from the 1st intention, correct? But, by the way, why should he run from a profound, full of terrific new insights in digital way of rational thinking? and, by the way why should he run off if his questions where prompt answered?

    Being a polite old guy, and after reading your words, I would sugest to our fellow forum user drawn (If he did run away, but still reads us once and while) that he consult the following links: forum user GMS shading practice thread and the spectacular Mike Mahon movie posted by forum user, great artist Juz...and also some of my work about the subject. HERE AND HERE

    Mike I know your wonderful watercolor work, I read before today. Your spheres are beautiful, well done, and in all is a good work, but desolé, they don't answer drawn intentions.


    Regards
    Oriane Lima



    Last edited by Lima; 03-23-2013 at 02:22 PM.

  9. #39
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    Hi Lima,

    Thanks for the further demonstration of viscosity, I also hope and expect that changes will be made in the AR platform to accord with your views, it will be a benefit to all of us ... Also very much appreciate the links to the Munsell color charts and interactive tests, I've discovered I'm tone blind

    And yes, what you describe as pixel-based distortion is what I think has also been called anti-aliasing ... I hope more explanation by the AR team will be forthcoming ...

    About glazing, please don't trouble yourself with any further explanations there, unless you feel you have something you want to say to the general forum audience ... What I meant was that in traditional media, say with oil paints, there are chemical reactions at work that affect, and are affected by, what's underneath and what's above each successive layer ... I meant to say that these chemical reactions aren't really captured in the digital software ... We get a good proxy for light (and color) as it might appear to change when a digital "glaze" is applied, but it's all light driven, of course it can't really be "chemical" and that's understood ... Maybe there's no reason quick drying versus slow drying mediums should be carried over into digital -- but then again, maybe there's something to learn there, and if so, we should hope for improvements in the tools we use ... In some programs, watercolor can be made to evaporate slowly or quickly for example ... My working motto when painting is "surface and depth" -- but that's only my personal preference, others of course will not feel a need to explore those dimensions, or sense any lack in the current state of the art ...

    - Pete

    ps: Thank you Mick for your insights, it's all good, even if drawn has withdrawn
    Last edited by chinapete; 03-24-2013 at 03:06 PM.
    xiěyì, n. freehand brushwork, spontaneous expression
    Artrage Gallery
    / Leaning Tree Ink Studio

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