Monday, 23 February 2009

Step by step WIP .....

Many people have all sorts of opinions ( and strange theories !) about digital painting. To allay one urban myth, the software doesn't do it for you, the computer provides a very unique set of tools that not only replicates traditional painting it adds dimensions to go far beyond those mediums. It is very slowly breaking down barriers into art circles which tend to view it with disdain usually due to a confused logic regarding 'real' art and perceived cheating. I have had work refused in local art shows that allow photography to be exhibited - I scratch my head on that one ! (Every photographer I know enhances and manipulates everything through a variety of software)

My method is demonstrated above. I start with a rough pencil sketch of the subject which I scan in and fill with a skin tone (65% fill) and then paint over the top of it. I do it all on one layer unless I'm adding glasses which I'll draw on another layer. There is no 'magic' involved in fact it is pretty close to normal painting. I don't use a huge brush and block in areas, as some do, I slowly fill each area and use a limited skin tone palette. All up the face is around 3 hours work - perhaps longer - rarely in one sitting. I usually have about six commissions at any one time and I hop from one to another - you get tunnel vision looking at the same painting all the time and often coming back to it later you spot changes that are needed you couldn't see before.
I only use three brushes for 90% of painting. I used to use a massive array but got rid of them bit by bit. Altering the Brush presets gives you much more versatility. 
( Larger version of the WIP is HERE)

I use Photoshop, CS4, as my tool of choice and also use Artrage for preliminary work. If you moving down the digital path and want to start out without the expense, and complexity, of Photoshop I can thoroughly recommend it - Check it out HERE.
I have used Painter IX, which some people swear by, I've never warmed to it, the GUI is far too complex and it isn't as intuitive to use as good old PS. I'm also too old to learn a new set of keyboard shortcuts.

Oh, and naturally I use a Macintosh !! (I'll get a bite there from someone ........ )

The WIP above is a current commission which I will post when the whole theme is completed.

26 comments:

Anthony Pascoe said...

Great post Terry ! Your digital process is very close to how I paint traditional dry brush Watercolour. Unfortunately there are people ( usually Crusty old traditionalists ) that can't get their head around digital Painting/Art...I know it can be frustrating, in time things will change.. keep pushing your Art ..your work is a inspiration to many

cabap said...

very interesting Terry,
thanks for sharing this way of working,
jan

Pavel Jakubec said...

Hi,Terry, very interesting style!!

Niall O loughlin said...

Great stuff Tel I never doubted you!!!

Tel said...

Thanks Anthony - the important thing is Joe Public and the corporate world have no problem whatsoever with digital !!

Thanks Jan.

Thanks for dropping by Pavel - 'interesting style' - call back again I'll have checked out Tom Richmond, Chris Wahl or Joe Bluhm's Blog and it's 'all change'

LOL - Niall that gives me such a warm feeling !

Nico Di Mattia said...

Great explanation Tel. The digital process is certainly a huge and an unique tool.
Cool painting by the way!.
cheers.

tallwill said...

Hi Tel! Your work is stunning! Just a quick question - what sort of graphics tablet do you use? I have been lusting after a Wacom Cintiq as championed by Tom Richmond for some time as it must be great to draw on 'digital paper'. As the 'credit crunch' bites, however, I'm wondering if a far cheaper 'draw-down-here-but-look-over-there' style tablet is a better idea? Have you expeience of both?

Tel said...

Thanks Nico - appreciate that.

Hi Will - I use an Wacom Intuos 3, A5 tablet had it about four years and have no ambitions of moving on to a Cintiq. Tried one I found it really annoyed me that my hand got in the way !! - just like in real drawing - explain that !
Top of my wish list is a 30" monitor ..... lot cheaper than a Cintiq !
Thanks for the kind words and for dropping in Will.

Rich Conley said...

Thank-you,thank-you,thank-you !!And now I know all of your secrets, the world is my oyster !! Now I can finally paint digitally the right way !! As always, love your work.

hanzz said...

Oh, it is done on a computer ? OK, it's easy that way.
I even have an "art-button" on my keyboard.

ROFL

J.BOSCO said...

great works my fried Tel!!
fantastic!!!

manohead said...

great job

Tel said...

Thanks guys.
I don't know if I've given you any secrets Rich,having seen your latest work I want a WIP off you !
LOL - I remember that Hanzz you're lucky, where'd you get the keyboard and how much ?

Arun said...

awesome stuff !!!

Tel said...

Thanks Arun - thanks for dropping in.

Francisco Martins said...

Really cool...great job!

Francisco Martins
www.subversivetales.blogspot.com
www.subversivetales.com

Tel said...

Thanks Francisco - great you dropped in.
You have some really unique work on you Blog - top stuff.

Maritze said...

Thanks for posting these Tel. Always love to see a progression like this.

Tel said...

Thanks mate - wish I'd chosen to do it on a nicer three quarter view job - never mind.

jert said...

Hey Tel nice step by step. Your caricature work is really super solid. I like that your digital work doesn't look like it was done on a computer. it looks more like a traditional drawing. cheers

Tel said...

G'day Jeremy - you're a long way from home. Thanks for your comments I appreciate that, I'd love to get the kind of commissions where I can push the barrier like your stuff !
Thanks for dropping by.

Marc Poulin said...

Very informative Tel. I was actually going to ask you for a demo of your process. I think yours is the best out of those who do this type of caricature.

Keep up the great work!

reelsinmotion.com said...

Thanks for sharing your progression of your design process.

I'm always in love with seeing the creative process and getting a glimpse into the mind.

Scott

Tel said...

Many thanks Marc - cheers !

Thanks Scott and thanks for dropping by - I know you, you're 'IT support' for the very talented Angie - always glad to say Hi to a fellow Maccie !!

Patrick LaMontagne said...

Really nice WIP, Terry. More people should be made aware of the process.

Tel said...

Cheers Patrick - thanks for dropping by - yep, as you know, there's no magic wand in the software is there ?