Illustration Tips & Tricks: Digital Painting

Forums Resources Illustration Illustration Tips & Tricks: Digital Painting

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    Animation Pagoda Staff
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    Digital Painting

    Mastering digital painting takes a lot of practice. It is recommended to take art and painting courses, since the same theories apply to digital compositions. The biggest advantage of digital painting is that you can produce more work in less time than traditional painting or drawing. Instead of mixing paints, you just grab from a premade color palette and adjust layer opacity to get the right tones. Colors and contrast can be adjusted with a slider tool. You can duplicate images by simply copying and pasting. It is possible to import 3D models and reference images directly into the canvas to trace over. A common trick for character model sheets is to draw one side of a character and then mirror it, saving a lot of time.

    There are a gajillion tutorials for digital painting online, but most of these are a little advanced for newbies. It’s recommended to start out just learning to sketch on paper before even picking up a tablet pen. Build up skills gradually instead of trying to create a masterpiece on your first try. Test out different brush tool types and thumbnail sketches, then move into rough greyscale sketches. After that practice tonal speed painting that uses impressionistic colors to indicate form. Study anatomy, lighting, movement, and reference images. Detailed compositions combine all these elements

    LeslieLuMarie: Beginner Digital Art Tips

    Schoolism Bobby Chiu interview with Karla Ortiz

    Schoolism: Interview with Stanley Lau (Artgerm)

    Schoolism: Interview with Lois Van Baarle (Loish)

    Creative Bloq: Speed painting tips

    Drawing Circles develops muscle memory to draw curves smoothly with a tablet pen


    Color Swatches and Palettes

    Color swatches are used to quickly pick colors when speed painting. A limited color palette helps maintain a consistent color scheme in the composition.

    Blender Guru: Understanding Color

    Color Relationships


    Creating Custom Brushes

    Brushes can be used to create various types of line weights and texture effects. The main types of brushes are the default solid edge round brush, fuzzy edge tool, the pixel pencil tool, and the calligraphy pen. These tools are generally used for linework or cleaning up edges.

    There are also various types of brushes that can imitate drawing and painting tools, such as the chalk brush, charcoal brush, bristlebrush, airbrush, acrylic brush, etc. These brushes tend to be used for adding texture or color overlay layers.

    Illustrator and Photoshop come with a pre-built library of brush options, but it also relatively easy to create your own. Custom brushes are most commonly used for digital painting. There are endless possibilities for brush types

    Hodgepodge: How to Make a Custom Brush in Adobe Photoshop

    Matt Borchert: How to Make a Texture Brush in Adobe Photoshop

    Trent Kaniuga: Brush Editor Tool

    Scott Robertson: Advanced Brush Settings

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