Just diving into values with color
I did this 2 hour studies to practice. My goal with this exercise was to paint correct values, with complementary colors, without an underpaint. I always struggle with digital because I depend too much in layer modes. Usually I do a black & white underpaint and color with a new layer on top in either color mode or multiply. I know a lot of artist do this and get amazing results, but personally I get too frustrated with this workflow, I want to be able to paint with less layers. I will appreciate if you can critique these paintings, if you have any tips to improve, it will be helpful. Thank you for your time, and I hope you have a good day :)
Hi @Graciela Hinojosa, I can definitely relate to your frustration in learning how to paint digitally while trying to get that painterly look. I think that digital painting is much harder to learn than traditional painting because it is much less intuitive. Here are a couple ways that you can tackle the issues that you're running into: 1) If you want a process that involves painting with less layers, then I highly recommend that you focus less on digital painting, and transition into traditional painting. Traditional painting will force you into the habit of making really well thought out decisions because you are limited to only '1 layer' (your canvas). As you become proficient as a traditional painter, those decision making skills will come through in your digital art work, allowing you to work on fewer layers 2) This is the 'faster' method that I probably wouldn't recommend: find digital brushes that give your work a more traditional feel. The reason that I'm hesitant the recommend this right away is because it would be hard to utilize these brushes to the fullest without investing the time in suggestion #1. However, I did run into major roadblocks with the look of my work because I was stubborn about using crappy brushes. Honestly, the default photoshop brushes are not very good at achieving the look that you're looking for, and taking the time to find a really good brush set that works with you can be extremely helpful. Don't shy away from using the mixer brush tool and the smudge brush, because adding these to my arsenal helped me find that more 'traditional' feel. One thing I would like to point out is that getting that 'traditional look' does not always mean that you work on fewer layers. I've attached two paintings from artists that I really like: the first is John Park and the second is Joon Ahn. I've taken classes with both of these instructors, and they work by separating their piece into a lot of different layers (staying organized of course), which allows them to make adjustments on the fly without setting them back. Both of them are able to achieve that painterly style, while working with a bunch of layers. Just something to consider. (However, I do realize that if you find it less fun to work with a lot of layers, then it is best to learn to work on less layers like you mentioned. I didn't want to make it sound like I didn't fully read your post.) Hope this helps!
I do digital, and I generally use 2 paint layers and 1 sketch layer. I have a background layer where I paint background colors so they go behind the portrait. I have a sketch layer where I do a quick lay in sketch (and that layer gets turned off later). Then I pain the portrait on 1 layer. I don't like the black and white with color overlay. I agree that some people get great results, but they don't look as authentic to me. They look more digital. I go for more of a traditional painting look with my digital work.