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Professor Smeargle: Digital Art Tutorial / Tutoring Thread

Discussion in 'Smeargle's Studio' started by Chou Toshio, May 4, 2011.

  1. icepick

    icepick she brings the rain
    is an Artist

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    Most tutorials deal with a line art style, and since I usually paint without line art, I want to demonstrate a basic method I often use.

    tutorial (open)
    Preliminaries:

    -Knowledge of anatomy, shading, etc. This guide isn't intended for people who are only beginning to learn drawing, though certainly they can still learn something.

    -Tablet. I have six shortcut keys and a touch ring on mine, which are invaluable for quickly switching between tools and changing brush size. I recommend eye dropper (i), lasso (l), and step backwards (alt-control/command-z) set onto the shortcuts, brush size set to the touch ring, and on the pen, brush (b) and pan (space) set on the pen.

    -Canvas size of at least 1500-2000 x 1500-2000.

    -Brush. The only brush needed is the hard round brush with tablet pressure controlling opacity.

    Step One
    Start with a simple sketch. No need to worry about cleanliness or detail, the only thing important here is to get an idea of the composition and get the anatomy right.

    [​IMG]

    _________________________________________________________________


    Step Two
    On a new layer, lay down the base color of the pokemon. Choose a low saturation midtone and paint in the silhouette with the largest brush practical. Erasing can be used for sharper shapes (observe how the tail of Eelektross was created).

    [​IMG]

    _________________________________________________________________


    Step Three
    Still using large brushes, continue blocking in colors using low saturation midtones. A common mistake people make when choosing colors is allowing the subject to determine which colors to use. Do not assume certain objects are always certain colors; they must work within context. One way to approach this is by blending colors. In order to paint the lips of Eelektross, I started with a salmon hue, lightly painted over the blue of the body, and color sampled the resulting color. The usefulness of blending colors is why I recommend having eyedropper as a shortcut key.

    [​IMG]

    _________________________________________________________________


    Step Four
    Before beginning shading, a light source needs to be chosen (though it is more prudent to choose the light source during the sketch phase). Here, the light comes from our left and in front of Eelektross. To choose shades, color sample the base color, and change value and saturation to fit with the light source. The hue may also need to be altered, depending on the color of the light source (here it is white, so it's not necessary). It is essential to start with large brushes and reduce size while painting, rather than using a small brush and trying to capture all the details in one go. Not only is this more convenient, but also colors and details are preserved, and smoothness is easier to achieve.

    [​IMG]

    _________________________________________________________________


    Step Five
    Start cleaning it up. Get edges sharp either by erasing or over painting with white. Blend the shades by color sampling intermediate shades, but don't overdo it. Extremely smooth blending looks unnatural, and colors will be muddied.

    [​IMG]

    _________________________________________________________________


    Step Six
    Begin to detail. Now is the time to render textures, and references are handy here (admittedly I didn't use any). As a corollary from step 3, when painting normally white objects (teeth, eyeballs, specular highlights, claws in this case), don't be hasty to use white. Use subtle hues or gray instead.

    [​IMG]

    _________________________________________________________________


    Step Seven
    Finally, lighting effects can be added cool effects and colors. Use a soft brush set on overlay to achieve this. Keep in mind that effects are often new light sources, so surrounding areas should react accordingly. The red from the lightning also makes the inside of the mouth and lips reddish.

    [​IMG]
    Painting complete!
  2. Furosuto

    Furosuto

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    Hi there. While I'm a pretty good sketcher, I know pretty much next to nothing when it comes to digital colouring and lineart. Would it be a good idea to get a tablet then? If so, which kind? I am using Mac photoshop for colouring and I'm thinking of using nastyjungles tutorial as a reference.
  3. Nastyjungle

    Nastyjungle fat and sassy
    is an Artist Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnus

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    if you are serious about doing art (or just really enjoy it as a hobby), then a tablet is a good idea.

    a bamboo fun small is a good starter tablet I think, its pretty sturdy, works well, and is cheap (you can get them for around 60 bucks used) so if you decide digital art isn't your thing then it isn't too huge of a dent.
  4. Furosuto

    Furosuto

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    Alright, thanks nasty! BTW, What are the things limited if I get a Bamboo tablet? And where can I find them?
  5. Nastyjungle

    Nastyjungle fat and sassy
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    i found mine on amazon.

    things limited? nothing i guess? i mean its a small workspace (4"x6" iirc) but it works with all software and whatnot.
  6. Furosuto

    Furosuto

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    Alrighty, thanks again Nasty! Are there any other cheap tablets that maybe have a bigger workspace?
  7. Lemonade.

    Lemonade. formerly V0x
    is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris an Artist Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

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    byproduct of anatomy

    Yeah so I took anatomy blah blah blah. Maybe it's helpful?

    Drawing real people while imagining skin over them is rather hard, actually, as the shoulders don't actually flow nicely into the neck and stuff. So hopefully this will help you visualize how the upper body actually looks. Ignore the head.

    Note the particular shape of the deltoid (shoulder). Trying to image the neck flowing into this is actually kind of hard, so visualizing the should as this shape can really help in making it look realistic. It sort of covers the pecs and upper arm.

    Arms are also hard to draw, but once you look at the muscles, it becomes much easier. You don't have to learn the names; rather, just grasp the general shape and size relative to the other muscles and how they are layered. For example, the blue-colored muscles sort of creeps up on the elbow area.

    Another thing about this: it can be used to estimate movement, and potentially make poses look more realistic. Basically, the tops of the muscles are fixed, while the bottoms are the move the bones. The lines provided indicate the direction of muscle fibers, so a contraction along those lines will approximate the movement that muscle performs. For example, look at the biceps. If you imagine that contracting, with the end closer to the elbow moving, you will see an image of the forearm coming up, as in a bicep curl. Likewise, deltoid contraction lifts the entire arm upward, etc.
    [​IMG]
  8. Pravinoz

    Pravinoz

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    Yes/No?
    Pros/Cons?

    Open Canvas
    Paint Shop Pro
    Adobe Illustrator
    Paint Tool Sai

    Or just stick with PhotoShop CS5?
  9. Shining_Latios

    Shining_Latios

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    Are you using a paint tablet?
  10. Moo

    Moo Professor
    is an Artist Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

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    I know a website that's very helpful with that sort of stuff!

    Show Hide


    Illustrater is for vectors, sai has a smoothing option over photoshop when drawing, and idk much about the rest. No real reason not to use cs5 if you have it
  11. Shining_Latios

    Shining_Latios

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    CnC PLEASE. It's my first ever drawing.

    [​IMG]
  12. blastoiseboy19

    blastoiseboy19

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    I THINK this is digital, but an iPod can only zoom in so much. It looks like you blurred it a TON. And also: that eye. NEVER us a shape making tool in your final product. It can be quite obvious and draws attention away from your art. If your program has layers, create the shape on another layer (possibly the sketch). On the final, zoom in really far and trace the circle as carefully as you want.
    Hope this helps.

    On another note: iPod guide!
    I know Ritter already posted something similar in the beginning, but I want to post a "guide". My computer is broken for now so I can't type much now but I'll do what I can.
    ArtStudio: really good. Layers, transparency, brushes, really good and only $3. Unfortunately, unless you have a 3rd or 4th gen, you can't have a canvas with a size bigger than 512x512. So unless you were made of money, don't waste the cash on the full version unless you don't need big canvases. Speaking of versions: Lite version...
    I'll finish my lite version coverage and my guide later; it's 2:00 am. -_-
  13. Shining_Latios

    Shining_Latios

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    I didn't blur, I smudged.
  14. ssbbm

    ssbbm

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    C&C please; I just got a tablet and i tried to copy icepick's style (no lineart, just painting).
    [​IMG]
    software: autodesk sketchbook (because i made this before i downloaded photoshop)
    time: 1 hour

    @shining latios: the problem with that pic imo is that the coloring is basically just smudged in, and there's no solid colors to that magnemite. what you should do is make lineart (which you did), lay down base colors and then add highlights / shadows (i think >_<)
  15. Chou Toshio

    Chou Toshio @Fighting Necktie
    is an Artist Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

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    It looks like you're getting a feel for the tablet and a sense of "mixing."

    Try:

    -looking closer at models/source images for more realistic proportions
    -more contrast
  16. ssbbm

    ssbbm

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    thanks for the rate :D
    and yeah i was getting used to the tablet :x
  17. Furosuto

    Furosuto

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    OK, ummmm....... I have like, no experience with paint shop pro. I have it for apple mac, and I always sketch things out on paper, then scan it. Is that a good idea? And after the sketch, what would be the best way to use photoshop for COLOURING AND LINEART? I don't have a tablet, but I'm thinking of getting one soon. Help please?
  18. Fatecrashers

    Fatecrashers acta est fabula
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis an Artist Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

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    use the pen tool

    follow moo's vector tutorial but use your own scanned sketch as the base
  19. Furosuto

    Furosuto

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    Thanks Fate. This could get complicated though. See, the drawings that I do are trying to make pokemon realistic. Sort of like the MAC theme we have going on. I'm not too sure if I could be abble to do it with Moo's tutorial. I also kinda want to put in shading, which he doesn't show.
  20. dreamTech

    dreamTech

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    For everyone who wants to do digital art--stop.

    If you want to succeed, start with traditional. Yes it's boring. Yes it's not cool and techy. But it's probably the only way you'll build solid foundations. If you start with digital you'll end up using it as a crutch. Don't even think about buying a tablet until you've bought some pencils and a sketchbook, then filled that sketchbook with life drawings. If you go straight for digital, everything will end up looking rather "cheap"

    Preaching aside, I got a new commission for a nature shaman, here's the WIP (may be NSFW):
    Show Hide

    [​IMG]


    As you can see, I'm fond of being messy when I work. Several artists here enjoy clean lines, and some don't (like me). Experiment with styles until you find something that feel nice to you.
  21. Furosuto

    Furosuto

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    Well, then I'm in luck, because the first kind of art I did was sketching. You could say I'm a Tracey sketchit. I understand what you mean though. I still don't have a tablet yet though. I'm getting confused because the Ipad is also known as a tablet. What is a good tablet that is around the 60-110 dollar mark? Hint: Canadian dollars.
  22. ssbbm

    ssbbm

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    wacom intuos or wacom bamboo

    intuos : better but more expensive (duh)

    bamboo: still functional and pretty good if you're just starting

    oh and they both come with photoshop (albeit pe9)
  23. Furosuto

    Furosuto

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    Nice. Thanks! Just a couple of more questions to finish this madness. What would be the better computer to use for the Wacom tablet and photoshop? Would a PC work? Or should I use a apple Mac? We have both, so it doesn't matter. Although i think my family would want me to use the PC. And what if my computer already has a photoshop elements downloaded onto it? It's an older version (8) and it's on the MAC. I want to be sure I'm getting the right thing so I don't waist a bunch of money.
  24. Nastyjungle

    Nastyjungle fat and sassy
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    i can tell you right now that no good version of photoshop comes with a tablet

    and despite what people say there is really absolutely no difference between using photoshop on a mac vs a pc

    also the only intuoses you will find in your price range are going to be absolutely ancient

    id just go with the small bamboo fun, honestly it is really really cheap for a tablet that works well and it will suit pretty much every casual drawer, i used mine for about 4 years with no problems
  25. Furosuto

    Furosuto

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    Alrighty then. Guess I'll just stick with photoshop Elements 8 then. I heard that the bamboo has a REALLY small screen space though. Does that sometimes cause problems?

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