So… here is not terribly informative or helpful painting tutorial that briefly outlines how I paint these days. If you really want to follow along, I’m using Open Canvas 1.1.072, with an image size of approximately 3000 x 2000 pixels (any smaller and you really can’t do details, etc), but I’m sure you can find a way to make it work in other GFX programs.
So here we have our sketch. Done in pencil, scanned at 200 DPI. You don’t need a very high resolution because we’re not going to be using this sketch for anything other than an outline.
Digital inking. I’m a really shitty pen and paper inker, so this will have to do. I usually usually alternate between 1, 2, and 3 pixel brushes to ink various elements of the image. I’m not too sure how I decide where to use a 1, 2, or 3 pixel line. Either that or I don’t know how to explain it. (2) is a 2 pixel line, (3) is a 3 pixel line.
So we want to do this cool thing to our lineart. We want to (4) sharpen points like these and (5) “Fill In” corners and intersections like these. With (4) you’re using the eraser, with (5), you’re using the pen tool.
And if you keep at it for a bazillion years, you eventually get something somewhat sexy like this. You can now see the introduction of *gasp* 1 pixel lines in the hair and collar.
At this point I like to make a “Working Layer” to (a) indicate how I want to shade, indicate where light is, indicate some other random stuff that comes to mind, and (b) place my palette.
Now, before we can go onto painting, we need to create a palette. I always paint skin first, so this is a palette for skin. I use three colors for the lighted part of the skin, and three more the shaded part of the skin. Some people use more colors and incorporate an “in between” selection of colors, but in general, I think six colors on a layer is plenty. (Though on a painting I’m doing right now, I’m using up to 10).
So you start with the base color, that’s the middle color on the light set of colors.
Then you do a brief (And somewhat shitty, it doesn’t need to be neat) shading with the middle color of the shaded set.
Now we can sharpen the areas of “hard” shadowing (6). I don’t know how to define “hard” shadowing. It’s like the shadows of a box versus those of a sphere if you want an analogical explanation (See, this tutorial really isn’t all that helpful)
We get to use those other colors now. In “hard” shadowing the area closest to the transition between light and dark is supposedly the darkest, so we use a blurring brush to apply a darker shade of brown to those areas (7). So we are manually creating a gradient using the three dark colors, the darkest color being the one closest to the light section, and the lightest color being the one furthest from the light section.
At this stage we can also do the “soft” shadow. The sphere one. In that case you just reverse the gradient.HOWEVER, in “soft” shadowing, you should never go as dark as with “hard” shadowing (Or according to me you shouldn’t). Thus, you use the darkest of the “light” colors, and the two lighter colors of the “dark” colors to create this gradient.
(Somehow this picture came out shittier than the rest) And now since you’re all so confused anymore, I’m merging another two steps into one. I’m going to touch up the areas in (9) and then gently go over some arbitrary portion of the “light” section with the lightest of the “light” colors with that blurring brush (10). Then I’m going to erase the edges.
Finally, if you repeat a bazillion hojillion times, you can paint the whole picture.
If you think it’s gonna take forever, I’ll just say I can usually do a layer in about 10-20 minutes: It’s the erasing that actually takes a long time, and this can be avoided by not using Open Canvas.
Umm, ok, I’m done.