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I am personally not moved by overly blended, super smooth digital art that looks, well … digital. I love art where you can see the hand in the painting and want to reach out and touch the paint. These artists were all very expressive painters. Their brushwork feels alive to me.
They do not merely create textural eye candy nor do they only model a form with their paint. Their paint leads your eye around their forms. I use Photoshop for all my collage work, color correcting, fixing composition problems, and preparing for press.
Photoshop for Artists
I use Painter for all my brushwork… if you cannot afford both then hopefully this book will help you decide which program is right for you. In the end, software programs are just tools.
The book is divided into two main parts. It begins with the absolute basics such as file types, color modes etc. Throughout, the book covers both applications and explains the differences between the two and which is recommended to use in certain cases. The first part also discusses Layers, Masks, color and brush settings, printing, and many other features essential for a digital artist.
Each tutorial is numbered with a difficulty level of , from easy to more advanced, and focuses on a new subject for example applying patterns, kaleidoscope painting, digital collages, capturing light, watercolors etc.
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The last two lessons are a collaboration with artist Jennifer Morris. All tutorials begin with the introduction of a digital artwork, which is then followed by a step-by-step guide through the process of creating them. The application a tutorial is based on is indicated at the beginning of each chapter: some are either for Photoshop or Painter users, but 4 are doable in both applications.
There are surprisingly excellent options available, even at the lower costs. Walk through this experiment to get a better understanding of the brush tools available to you. This is a decent setting for your experimental brushwork. The same clicking and mouse dragging will now produce this color stroke, as it is painting a more translucent, see-through black with this opacity setting.
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Zooming in shows us how this same brush is drawn differently, in this repeating pattern. This is the major difference between the Opacity and Flow, and something that confuses even professional Photoshop painters. Nearly every version of CS Photoshop will have this airbrush icon in the options panel.
This is the correct brush setting to use for this demonstration. Click in your image and hold your mouse button down. It will also spill out from inside your cursor area. It can be helpful to know the difference, and to experiment with what works better for you. A brush stroke with increasing pressure creates this mark that starts small and grows. It is uniformly dark through out. This looks like so, with the grayer tones on the left, and the heavier, harder pressure tones on the right.
Some of them are strange and unusual, and react to your paintbrush strokes in weird ways. This one reacted to the tilt of the stylus in relation to the tablet. Others can create nice, naturalistic marks. You can see the opacity setting layering nicely in these brush marks.
In addition to pressure sensitivity, some brushes can be set to follow the direction of the brush stroke.
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A single brush stroke created all of this effortlessly. Similar to the stars, this leaf pattern scatters, rotates, and even creates leaves of different opacities based on pressure sensitivity. Rather than scanning, it can be quicker to take digital photographs of drawings for digital inking. You should work at good print resolutions whenever possible.
Enlarging this image to 10 inches in width will create a 3, pixel wide image, resulting in something over 12 megapixels. Work at whatever size suits you. Create a solid color adjustment layer on top of your photograph. Any color will do, although light ones work the best. Create a new layer on top to draw your ink lines in. Select the Brush tool or the Pencil tool to ink your image. Be sure to create it underneath your digital ink layer.