Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Digital Walkthrough

First of all if you missed yesterdays videos as I've heard some of you did - go back to yesterdays post and watch them - and laugh.

A good friend asked me "What's a digital painting?" and I emailed her a very long wordy explanation. Today I am down with another migraine - and working digitally on my laptop when I feel OK enough to. So I got the idea to try to show a little bit of how I work digitally. PLEASE understand I am a NOVICE! I am certain that there are better easier faster ways to do this - and I am still learning. And those of you who do know how to do this - please feel free to send help ;)

I did this painting a couple of years ago when I was first trying to learn to use oil paint. It was painted from a photo I took at a fashion show with tiny little toothpick girls with great big hair and cheesy clothes. So I have this painting sitting around - I like a few things about it but not much, but it seems wasteful to just throw out the canvas, especially if I could rework it. I will try to save and improve what I like and change what I don't or what is not interesting to me. So let's see what I might be able to do if I painted over it. I have Photoshop CS3 and Corel Painter X and I switch back and forth between them. Most of this was done in Painter. Here is the original painting:

The first thing I do of course is get the photo in the program - choose a method to work - in most cases I use some kind of oil brush. I seldom plan on any of my digital work to be art in itself - it is my sketch book - so I am not too particular or exact or careful - I am sketching and thinking and seeing what happens. It is important for me to "wreck" it right off the bat - to break any feelings of preciousness I may be clinging to. So here I just started scribbling some paint on...then I realized I forgot to add my layer, oops. That's OK though.

In the following picture I have added a layer and painted some more. Adding a layer is sort of like laying a clear piece of glass over the painting - I can see what I have underneath and I can add to it or make changes without disturbing the work underneath.

Here I have added another layer and I am just playing with color and shapes and values - just seeing what happens and painting instinctively-

Another layer and more adjustments - some of which I don't care for - I may either throw this layer out or switch it with another layer

Here is layers 2 and 3 switched - not a good example because the changes are quite subtle and I uploaded it wrong so it's small - but you get the idea.

As I work I begin to play with the size of the image - shrinking it has a similar effect as squinting or stepping away from your canvas - and I rotate it a lot. When the image begins to "work" as a landscape or an abstract then I know that I am getting close to having something. This one still needs a bit more work and play time but I am bored with it for now...

I like it horizontally - that is starting to work for me...And there ya have it - that is one way I do a digital painting. My goal when I do this is to "close" - to get the colors, shapes and values pretty much where they work - and the when I paint it I want the freedom to adjust, add texture and lines and change it as I go too. In this case I started with an old painting - but often I will just start with a digital drawing like with the bugs - I just make a sketch and add layers and build up colors and shapes until I get something that interests me. Now I am going to lay my pounding head back down. Tomorrow is another day-

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