Carl Stoveland Photo and Art | Digital painting a few tips

Digital painting a few tips

December 29, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Burt Boice on Bass

Today's post is a recent painting of bass player Burt Boice at Jazz on J Street.  This one will not be in the upcoming show called 'the Art of Jazz on J Street'  it is not quite done and I won't have time to have it ready for the show.  It is also a bit different from the rest of the work in the show.  I know you have not seen most of the work I am putting in that show yet.  That is by design so it will be new to everyone who sees it at the gallery.  I will post those pieces on line once the show starts.  For this painting I explored more of the new dry brushes available now in photoshop.  It has more of a pastel look than the rest of the Jazz on J art I have done which has a rich and creamy oil painting look.  I hope you like this one.  I did not know what I wanted when I started and was playing and learning my way through the work as I learned about some of the brushes.

As my end of year gift to you my blog readers and Facebook followers I will share a few tips with you on digital painting.  I still have a lot to learn and these are just little tips to help you if you decide to start trying to do digital paintings.  The reality is this is exactly like painting.  No matter what tips I give you there is no shortcut.  You have to put in the time practicing, learning and developing your style.  Ok with the warning out of the way.  Here are three tips.

1.  There is no shortcut for learning photoshop - I'm sure you have all seen sketching and drawing apps on social media.  They can be fun and a place to start if you don't know where to start, but will not let you have control of your image to let your creativity flow.  I have been using Photoshop for 23 years.  I know the program pretty well and am comfortable using it.  This is key for me because when I want to do something I know what tools I want to use and when to make new layers etc.  If you want to do this well spend some time learning Photoshop or you will get frustrated.

2.  Learn what your brushes can do - Photoshop brushes have come a long way recently since adding Kyle Brushes to the program.  They are a free download from adobe and you must be on the latest version of Photoshop to use them.  It can be overwhelming there are a lot of them.  Try them all paint away.  They work best with a wacom tablet to control flow.  A mouse just does not work as well with these brushes.  Make a new folder in your brushes called favorites and add the ones you like to it so they are easy to find.  Just like I reach for 2 or three of the same brushes all the time when I paint in the real world I have found a few favorites that I like to use.  That said once in a while play with new ones and see what works for you.

3.  There is such a thing as too many colors - One of the things that can help make a digital painting look like a real painting is limiting colors and the choices of colors.  I work with a bigger canvas size than my final digital painting.  I leave white all around  When I am picking the colors for the painting I paint some of the colors on the extra white outside the image area.  This does two things.  It helps me see how they look together and help me decide on my final palette for the painting.  Once I have my colors picked out I can simply sample them over and over to keep using my 'theme colors'.  When the painting is done I trim it down to final proportions in the painting.

That's my tips for you brave souls who like my work and want to try painting in Photoshop.  There is no secret sauce except to try things and see what works.  The beauty of digital is you are wasting no paint or canvases so keep trying.  If you do dive in and start painting in Photoshop show me your work.  I'd love to see it.


Happy New Year! and Keep Makin' Art!



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