Closed Thread Icon

Topic awaiting preservation: Digital Painting Techniques? (Page 1 of 1) Pages that link to <a href="" title="Pages that link to Topic awaiting preservation: Digital Painting Techniques? (Page 1 of 1)" rel="nofollow" >Topic awaiting preservation: Digital Painting Techniques? <span class="small">(Page 1 of 1)</span>\

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 01-02-2004 17:38

I'm not looking for advice, just a discussion really.

Personally (and I think some here will disagree with me), I don't think there's a right and a wrong way to paint digitally. I'm sure that some methods are more productive than others but that doesn't mean all other methods are bad. I've tried the smudge tool and it isn't for me but some use it to good effect. Same with soft brushes, layers, dodge and burn. I think the key is the end result, not necessarily the method. Some of the best digital artists I've seen use techniques purists would turn their noses up at. I'm not bothered if the result was achieved through a layer effect, the smudge tool or through brush strokes. Whatever works.

With that being said, I'm a firm hard brush/low opacity type of person but I like to try out new techniques when I see them. I don't think that using dodge or burn in a digital painting is cheating in any way. I think the tools are there to be used any way they fit. If I want to do a true painting, then I'll use a canvas and paint. I sometimes get the feeling that some people consider any deviation from a hard digital paintbrush to be wrong.

What are your thoughts on this and what techniques do you use in your digital paintings?


Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Adanac
Insane since: Oct 2000

posted posted 01-02-2004 18:02

I totally agree with you Amerasu, painting in any medium is a very personal form of expression. Use all the tools you can get your mits on, experiment til you find a technique that is you. In the end if it is just technique and "art for arts sake" then you may be better off looking into the plumbing profession.
Having had many years painting on canvas (before turning my focus to sculpture) or whatever material I fancied, covering with paint I soon learned that it is the process to me that was important.
For me I had no desire to do photo relistic images, I'd rather than push the materials around to exprees some natural organic form.
So yeah use all the tools...I have said it more than once....
if Michelangelo had access to an air compressor I am sure he would have used it.


Everyone has different tastes in what a finised masterpiece should look like.
It's up to you to observe nature and interpret it in your own form and frame.

Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Cell 666
Insane since: Mar 2002

posted posted 01-02-2004 19:04

There is no "cheating" when it comes down to painting. Why use a spoon to cut cheese when you have an automatic slicer at your disposal? Seems silly to me.

Do whatever comes easiest to you, but if it's clear that you're struggling, then others will make suggestions like "You're abusing the dodge tool, it's quite evident. Try doing [this] instead."

That's my outlook on it.

"Nothin' like a pro-stabbin' from a pro." -Weadah

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Mexico
Insane since: Dec 2002

posted posted 01-02-2004 21:57

I do not have an specific technique, it all depends on whta i do pretend to do (be either some kind of style, or just expriment with something new). For gloomy-styled stuff, i usually make everything in greyscale, then just put a color layer in multiply mode, when i make dark regions darker, and birght regions...whatever fits. For some other stuff, i pick the bright and dark colors myself (dont rely on a grayscale shading first), and whatever suits. I hardly pick a pallete when in photopaint/photoshop, which may be a bad habit, but i do use pallettes when in an Oekaki (specifically PaintBBS), although that may be because its much harder to make colors.

My tools are often not so hard edged brushed (not so soft either). For grayscale, i use the Photopaint brighten/darken tool, which works more or less like the burn and dodge tool, but with a handier brush customization.

In canvas painting, i usually adhere a bit more to the prestablishe rules because of convenience. Making color in charcoal is almost imposible :S


Sexy Demoness cel

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: *land
Insane since: Nov 2000

posted posted 01-08-2004 20:52

Well... I kept puttin' off replying to this until I had some time to sit down and really think about it ahead of time.
Apparently that's not going to happen..... so I'll just shoot from the hip, real quick-like.

I'm certainly not the best person around here to be addressing painting techniques... and I'm a little bummed out that more people haven't tossed their thoughts/ideas in here.

I can only imagine that this thread has been spawned because of a few others that we've had here recently....
2 in particular that I can think of right off the top of my head.
I recall Alevice saying,

"I dont know where I am driving my post particularly. Maybe its because some people here seem to think hard brushes are the only way to go, or at least i felt like that."

That kinda ate at me a little bit. I actually started back-tracking
into older threads to see what's been said by those who frequent the painting threads.
I'm usually an active player in painting threads... so I wanted to see if I was beating that drum.

-After looking through a lot of stuff... easy to admit, I definately do. And honestly, I'm not too broke up
about it. I'll get into this more as my post progresses. (I hope)

Ironically... though opinion based... This is a tough topic.
I fully agree that there isn't nessecarily a "right" and "wrong" way to paint digitally.

However, because of the threads that I consider 'the roots' as to why this one was started, I feel it nessecary to identify some factors that currently exist before we start taking each other's words out of context.
The phrase "whatever works" is a little too 'loaded' in this discussion...
people in the forum are generally looking to achieve a somewhat "real" effect with their paintings. (many are new to it)
People do not set out from day 1 to have their own style (generally speaking)... therefore they must be fed the basics. No one will ever come to the asylum, and right off the bat tell us that they want to have their own style.
IF people are saying that... I believe that most are only uttering those words because they've already partially given up on what they think they are capable of accomplishing when they paint.
Am I making any sense here?

Somewhat switching gears, now...
As kromaZ said:

"Use all the tools you can get your mits on, experiment til you find a technique that is you."

Brilliant advice, really. But alas... in this digital forum no one has the time and especially the energy to lead people on in that direction over and over and over and over and over again. If you try... you'll continually lose people's attention. Individuals often just want to be spoonfed too much of the information at the beginning.

As a side-bar to this whole thing.... we can all reflect on the, "look at it, and paint it" opinions many people in the asylum have.
Honestly... I agree... and I disagree with handling threads like that.
Here again, individuals want to be spoonfed.
I would venture to say that some individuals here have fielded so many of those threads that they just lack the energy to hold someone's hand through the process for the gajillionth time. I certainly don't frown on those people for just popping in with the "look at it, and paint it" comments. They aren't blowing smoke up someone's ass... and at least they're saying something.

On the subject of smudging...
If someone comes into the forum and says "hey... i made this thing...
I smudged the whole thing to completion".......and it kicks ass?, I'm not going to turn my nose up.
I still retain my views that the smudge tool is something that should steer far clear of in the early stages of learning to paint........ and it all stems from personal experience.
Personally, I think one of the big problems with it is that it gets addictive. It's a sort of "quick success" when people start using it. Smudging pixels all around seems great at first. You're quickly making smooth transitions and gradients.... and all the while, you're most likely taking the imperfections (that make things seem "real") out of the image.
All the same though.... a person jumps into the fray with a smudge factory painting..... and then gets a little appreciation from the mob that they've done a great job for the first time out..... and then they continue on with the smudging stuff. Appreciation can be like cocaine to people who are still new to painting. (and even to some that are not all that new to painting) They get a little... then they want a lot.
If people, in the beginning, would spend more time painting their transitions rather than smudging them over....... they will indeed evolve faster and better as a painter. I believe that.

Soft brushes? I can only shrug my shoulders. I think a whole bunch of great things get chucked right out the window when you start using these too heavily.
Dodge/burn is something I definately don't consider a manner of cheating. I think they are vital tools that people are foolish not to utilize.

A lot of this obviously comes down to a question of "style"

As for my own "techniques"......
I'll have to save those for another time, and another glass of wine..... I'm hungry.
Hopefully some of this ramble makes a bit of sense to someone out there.

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 01-10-2004 19:17

Hmm.. thought provoking. Truly. In case you're really wondering, Michael, your post made a lot of sense to me. But I've been thinking a lot about digital painting lately. I'm not as good at it as I think I should be, and I keep analyzing techniques. That's neither here nor there - I haven't got a lot of time on my hands for practice either. *shrug* It's a hobby.

Any road - There's a huge difference between actual, physical painting, and an application like PhotoShop. The learning curve involved with mastering the use of the tools in it to mimick what you can do with real paint is immense! These quick little tricks to creating digital imagery get eaten up by interested but inexperienced parties interested in turning out pieces similar to much of the stunning stuff we see around here. We're an instant gratification culture. Sucks sometimes, but it's true. So I can totally understand folks wanting to learn a quick technique and then use the hell out of it. Not sure if that's a right/wrong or totally subjective thing either.

Paint blends in a way that pixels never will... You can make a digital image look like a painting, but it's not a really easy task. The trasfer of skills from one medium to the other has been a welcome, but very real challenge for me. And I've tried a variety of techniques. I now tend to lean towards "use whatever you can get your mits on". For me, it depends entirely on the effect I'm trying to achieve and what tool will yield it. At this point, I'm not even thinking about my style! That'll come later, on it's own.

Considering how hard I've worked to learn the application, and from this point forward, practice with it often, and I have studied art for a long time, I'm very sympathetic to the new user who has even less experience with creating art. Little or no skill in traditional medium makes for an even broader learning curve. One should feel comfortable using whatever step up one finds to narrow the gap.

I really enjoy the WIP threads we see around here, and I remember that when I first started lurking around here, they were a lot more plentiful. I enjoy seeing the things others create, and also the opportunity to provide and receive constructive criticism. It aides the learning process. Critiques are a big part of art study. Not so much of technique, but of the other building blocks of a piece; composition, perspective, form... that sort of thing. One's technique is simply what one is most successful in using to create what the individual sees as a finished piece.

I'm not certain if there was much constructive in the above comment... but it feels good to ramble a bit anyway!

Bipolar (III) Inmate

Insane since: Aug 2003

posted posted 01-10-2004 22:01

OK, i've wanted to post a topic about this picture from i don't know who - But I think it's the best digital painting i've ever saw... both technical and grammatical "i don't know what that means", anyways... Do you think he did it in photoshop or pain" shop? What method did he use for painting? I especially like to know how he/she painted the girls body... guesses anybody?

Bipolar (III) Inmate

Insane since: Aug 2003

posted posted 01-10-2004 22:07

Sorry, forgot to post the link -
Oh, by the way, please forgive me for my english <--- there, no reason to stab me anymore.
AND if you people know this artist please inform me . Can't have his/her picture in my gallery.

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 01-10-2004 22:18

Armen: I think this has less to do with the medium (although if you don't know who the artisit is are you sure its even digitial?) and more to do with skill, imagination, etc. - the most important thing is to make sure you get a lot of practice in with the graphics package of your choice.


The Emperor dot org

Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 01-11-2004 00:23

armen: have a nose around over at Ballistic Publishing. that picture was on the cover of EXPOSÉ 1.

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: *land
Insane since: Nov 2000

posted posted 01-11-2004 00:43

Don't bother going to Ballistic....
The artist is Steven Stahlberg.
More work of his is here:

Okay... back on topic, now...

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: in media rea
Insane since: Jul 2000

posted posted 01-11-2004 00:51

Painting's for chumps.

Filter it.

Eye Blade....or Alien Pro. Easy and short, definitely the way to go. Learning a craft is a waste of time.

Maniac (V) Inmate

From: The Pool Of Life
Insane since: Feb 2003

posted posted 01-11-2004 22:14

I have been putting off replying to your question for long enough Amerasu so here goes
My Ozone Asylum 1st "birthday" is next month, I mention this because even though I had used PhotoShop for at least a year before joining, and attended a course covering basics, I feel I truely started to understand things with the help I received here in these forums.
Up untill two months ago I had not even touched the brushes pallet. All of the work I have done has been with the other tools. Then I decided I wanted to open up this facet of PS to see where I could take it. I got myself a tablet (That's graphic tablet, not one of those pills ) and began. Then I remembered I had not actually drawn anything since I was a "whippersnapper" at school, and those drawings were terrible!
So it really is back to basics for me. I have spent a lot of time reading how different people approach digital painting. I have been to your site Amerasu and found it very helpfull, your advice on brush type style and opacity, has helped me overcome the first few hurdles.
One of the first things I noticed was that a lot of the advice/tutorials/walkthroughs "out there" presupposed I would be drawing or painting outside of the computer and then scanning it in. What I needed was basic technique about drawing or painting inside PS. This might sound daft but I think it is essential. Drawing an initial draft on a piece of paper is a lot more forgiving than doing it digitally, at least for me. This is where turning the opacity down helps.
Another aspect I found encouraging was that there seems to be as many different approaches to digital painting as there are digital painters. Reading the comments above confirms this for me.
Ooops, I think I'm starting to ramble now.
So what is it I'm trying to say?
For me, painting digitally, as with all forms of artistic expression, is a personal thing. You have to decide what it is you want to do first. Then find ways of doing it, for there will be many. Then do it.
I realise that this rambling of mine is not much help, I just wanted to add my POV. I nearly gave up painting digitally, seeing it as some kind of mysterious arcane knowledge that only the chosen had.
I now know that with practice I can learn techniques that will help me with the process. I still have a very long way to go but now the way seems less bumpy.


« BackwardsOnwards »

Show Forum Drop Down Menu