Basic explanation of my hand painted digital oils.

Basic explanation of my hand painted digital oils….

To create a painting I normally start with a digital photo which I have taken. If necessary I will alter the photo to suit, i.e. may change the sky, add more people, and delete items I do not want in the painting. I usually use Photoshop for this part.
When the photo now represents what I want to paint, it is ready to be loaded into ArtRage as a reference image pinned to my blank canvas.
Paper size and texture is then set up. The parameters for brush size texture of paint, thinners levels are set to a starting point which suits what I am to paint.
As I progress with the painting these are also modified, just as you would with traditional oil paint.
My photo is now added as reference image. From this point I have various methods I use for my colour palettes:
The main one is to set up a custom colour picker from the reference image; this becomes one of my palettes.
Next is set up a colour sample panel with all my primary colours on as one of my palettes.
Thirdly I will often select specific colours from the custom colour palette originally made, paint these into my canvas and then save a new custom colour picker as a new palette.
These palettes are now available for me to use as required.
With everything cleared from my canvas I can now add my first new layer. This is an important step in digital painting as with traditional painting. You can lay down the background, then blocking in the big masses with the three main values (hues) I have chosen for this particular piece. Now I will map out my shapes linearly just to get an idea of whether or not my big shapes I started with are going to work. I usually set up the average colors for these areas without blocking them in entirely. I want to be able to make clear decisions about changes or not, and the only way I can do that is by putting swatches of color near each other to see how their relative values contrast one another. Then with subsequent layers add the various levels of the painting blending and shading as you progress.
Next, I will start blocking in the rest of the color for each of the major plane changes, that is, not worrying about small details, just thinking in planes. And I continue to do this until it starts to feel three dimensional…
I make a line drawings and perspective lines in a layer and set this to approx. 70% opacity. Next can come the brushing in of the colour scheme.
The rest is painting in layers as you would normally with traditional painting. Now I am concerned with finishing, softening back harsh edges if there are any, losing significant details that are not required also at this time fixing things that maybe wrong.
Making sure that the overall image I started with, those three big color blocks are still present.
At the end you can merge the layers and start tweaking the colours, blending the layers and smaller details with brushes and palette knife
There are of course many details that I cannot cover here, such as hair painting in layers, lips, eyes blending techniques etc.
In my case I usually transfer this back into Photoshop for printing.
I continually save the painting in the Artrage format. When completed I save as a lossless TIF file so as not to degrade the image. Finally convert to JPEG once only for printing.

Journal Comments

  • Jan Szymczuk
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