Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Painting with Photoshop

I have for quite some time wanted to paint with a digital application and finally I have done just that using Photoshop.

I've used illustrator to create some vector art and wanted to paint using the same program but most reference material indicates that photoshop is the desired application so I decided to give it a go. Don't the pro's make it look easy, well it's not... at least not for me.

Even with the little Bamboo tablet that I bought when I got the iMac, I thought it may help and it certainly has but it is taking a bit of getting used to. I'm sort of flicking (in ultra slow motion) between the mouse and pad with the stylus. I'm all thumbs as I try not to keep pushing the stylus buttons with my right finger and thumb while I try and avoid the buttons on the pad. Cursor is down when it should be up and I'm opening tools and panels willy nilly as I try to remain calm and patient.

Then of course, what to draw or paint. My daughter tells me that she loves foxes, roses and butterflies, I have painted, sketched, carved and tattooed the later two so I thought I'd give the fox a go. The first attempt was shocking but relatively easy, just slapped on a bit of colour and pushed and pulled things into place with the smudge tool to have a little jumping fox (of sorts). Not great and you could almost make out what it was meant to be so I thought I would try a portrait (of a fox) next and get into a little more detail. 

I have always had a problem drawing and painting hair and fur, especially the latter so what made be try to paint a short haired fox - all fur, I don't know. Well it took me three times longer than anticipated and I kept getting lost with colours and brushes but I did learn to create a colour palette on its own layer so that I could keep going back to the exact colours used now I just have to create my own set of fur brushes as there are so many settings and I kept getting lost.

I'm not at all happy with the end result but I am satisfied with my effort since this was my first photoshop animal portrait. Practice makes perfect so I shall keep trying and I've no doubt that I will improve with each attempt. 

Fox_Face - first portrait with 3 roses for my daughter.

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