UNDERPAINTING "Set yourself up for what you want to do with the pastel. For example, if I want to paint the shadow shapes, I'll underpaint lighter, and so on. Many artists use complementary color choices in an underpainting to add luminosity to the finished painting. I like to use this in some areas and go for the local color in others."
Video Download: Bold Underpaintings for Lively Pastel Landscapes with Richard McKinley | NorthLightShop.com
"Here's an exercise I like to give students to strengthen their intuition when making choices for underpaintings: Select a subject you have painted many times—not something intimidating or new. Work up a series of small paintings of this subject using different underpaintings. Start with one on a black surface, then a white surface, a mid-value warm orange surface, and a mid-value cool, blue/violet surface. After working on these flat-toned surfaces, try painting the same subject by blocking in major areas, utilizing color and value variations. Working on a white surface, do an underpainting in which you work with only a warm and cool tone, such as burnt sienna and ultramarine blue; then another in which you utilize opposite colors under the major color masses, such as a rose color under the blue sky; and finally, an underpainting in which you paint however you please." (source)
Keep in mind that the scheme ...here is based on RGB being the primary colors. In traditional painting, red, yellow, and blue are the primaries, and the complementary of yellow is purple, not blue as the color wheel pictures depict.
Think of color diagrammatically.Know that blue hue can be made by mixing blue with orange or green with purple. Think of blue and its related colors, blue-gree and blue-purple, as well as blue, an isolated color moving to orange.
Choose a dominant color and use its complementary color for accents.
"e.g. Using one color for the background and its complementary for highlight i = color dominance + sharp color contrast.
Example: "This one is the closet to the complimentary color scheme I could find at the moment. It is somehow on the boarder line...it could be split complimentary because of the range of hue in the picture. But you get the idea...it's still in the same family."
Pros: stronegr contrast maximum effect
Cons: Difficult to balance, especially with desaturated warm colors
Tips: 1. For best results, place cool colors against warm ones, for example, blue versus orange.
2. If you use a warm color (red or yellow) as an accent, you can desaturate the opposite cool colors to put more emphasis on the warm colors.
3. Avoid using desaturated warm colors (e.g. browns or dull yellows).
4. Try the split complementary scheme; it is similar to the complementary scheme but offers more variety.
*The split complementary scheme is a variation of the standard complementary scheme.
It uses a color and the two colors adjacent to its complementary. This provides high contrast without the strong tension of the complementary scheme. Pros: more nuances while retaining strong visual contrast.
Cons: harder to balance
"1. Use a single warm color against a range of cool colors to put an emphasis on the warm color (red versus blues and blue-greens, or orange versus blues and blue-violets)."
"2. Avoid using desaturated warm colors (e.g. browns or dull yellows), because this may ruin the scheme."
Color Harmony: Analogous Color scheme, basic Color Schemes for artists, illustrators, concept design.
The analogous color scheme uses colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. One color is used as a dominant color while others are used to enrich the scheme. The analogous scheme is similar to the monochromatic one, but offers more nuances.
Pros: The analogous color scheme is as easy to create as the monochromatic, but looks richer.
Cons: The analogous color scheme lacks color contrast. It is not as vibrant as the complementary scheme.
Example of Analogous Color Scheme & Harmony below
1. Avoid using too many hues in the analogous scheme, because this may ruin the harmony.
2. Avoid combining warm and cool colors in this scheme.
Monochromatic Color scheme and its meaning. What is monochromatic.
The monochromatic color scheme uses variations in lightness and saturation of a single color. This scheme looks clean and elegant. Monochromatic colors go well together, producing a soothing effect. The monochromatic scheme is very easy on the eyes, especially with blue or green hues. You can use it to establish an overall mood. The primary color can be integrated with neutral colors such as black, white, or gray. However, it can be difficult, when using this scheme, to highlight the most important elements.
*Monochromatic is not Black and White (Gray-Scale values) which often mistaken. Black and white rendering is officially called Achromatic. Both are great for practicing rendering value, and contrast of the painting.
Pros: The monochromatic scheme is easy to manage, and always looks balanced and visually appealing. Great practice for values.
Cons: This scheme lacks color contrast. It is not as vibrant as the complementary scheme.
1. Use Values (tints, shades, and tones) of the key color to enhance the scheme.
2. Try the analogous scheme; it offers more nuances while retaining the simplicity and elegance of the monochromatic scheme.
This is acromatic.
here are the step by step how to set up your illustration and concept art project from the beginning to the end. But really there is no set in stone rules, it's a preference. Each artist has different way of working progress, whatever they are comfortable with.
The BASIC idea of how to determine your image (canvas) size to work with is simple. I usually work 2 or 3 times the FINAL size.
1) Thumbnails stage: You scribble a bunch of idea out within the guideline provided. For example this one is "space marine light-fighter suit"
Or some environmental thumbnails
Usually at this stage I work really small. On 9 x 12 sketch page, I could fit in about 12 of these figures (three on each roll with four rolls vertical.). Or in Photoshop, I would create 350 x 500 px canvas. Then I fix four of them as shown above.
2) I will pick three final design candidates and blow each one of them up to 700 x 500 px. At this stage I will make another layer on top of it so that I can work on the detail a little more and possibly assign quick color and composition. (I believe I always talk about it on the vids)
3) Once I have the basic design with color scheme, I will once again blow it up to 1,400 x 1,000 px. At this stage, I will try to find basic value using layers:
-Overlay (use dark gray if you want darker value, light gray for lighter value)
-Multiply (use local color for darker value only, same apply to dark gray to black.)
-Screen (use local color for lighter value only, same apply to light gray to black.)
4) I might use overlay again to accentuate more saturation and hue of some area, especially around the focal point.
5) Once I have these quality in place, I will process to bigger
a) Readable Silhouette
b) Lighting (over all value)
c) Color balance
d) Big detail
e) composition that have define focal point
*Once you have all that goto 6)
6) I again enlarge the image for the last time to abour 2,400 x 2,000 or bigger
**(traditionally, whenever you enlarge the image, you are basically re-draw, re-paint and reproduce the whole picture. Thanks to digital ages.)
***(for printing purpose if that apply, should consider a size of the assignment and set it at 200-300 dpi/inch.) I have never yet work on anything that is bigger than 3,500px and up. The bigger it is the better the quality, but keep in mind that it means more area you have to work on.
TIPS: Once your image is big, lot of beginners tend to zoom in 100% and work on little detail. Don't do that unless you must. It will deceive you when you zoom in. Constantly check the overall value of the whole image and color balance by zoom out. Check thumbnail often.
7) At this final size, I rarely use any special layers. There is no need because before you get there, you should already have all or most of the value you need to achieve the final illustration. Just paint on the actual layer or normal layer. I keep painting over using the establishing value and color until it's finish.
*Tips: think clean up and simplify, not adding more.
8) Final touch up stage: I might add hot spot or increase color saturation here and there around the focal or necessary area.
FOR WEB PUBLISHING
I usually base the format sizing on standard paper or illustration sizes are 5x7, 9x12, 11x14, 11x17 inches. Then I set it at the 72 dpi. So if my final size is 9x12 at 72 dpi resolution, I will have to work 2 times bigger.
So it would be
18 x 24 at 72 dpi
9 x 12 at 144 dpi
FOR PRINT, this will required a higher resolution.
I usually base the format sizing on standard paper or illustration sizes are 5x7, 9x12, 11x14, 11x17 inches. Then I set it at 200 dpi. (200 to 300 dpi is best for printing resolution)
So if my final size is 9x12 at 200 dpi resolution, I will have to work 2 times bigger.
It would be
18 x 24 at 300 dpi
9 x 12 at 600 dpi
Hope that make sense,
This video tutorial show you how to setting up your brush pen and tablet in Wacom Photoshop to increase workflow and keyboard shortcuts, hotkeys for artist, drawing, and painting. If you are using photoshop for digital illustration, manga, anime and comics then watch the tutorial.
Questions from Viewers:
Q: I would like to know which graphic tablet would do for me as a begginer the wacom intuos3 or the genuis mousepen graphic tablet? cause i want some thing that would do a good job good for me.
A: Thank you for your kind words, I am flatter. Tablet? If you are serious about doing art and such, I would recommend for serious beginner Wacom intuos3. It's worth. I am using intuos 2 & 3 and still love it. Keep on drawing and do your best.
If you are on the budget then go for Genius mouse pen, I heard that they are also great.
Q: Hey I was wondering what program and what brush settings you were using when you were drawing.
A: It usually OK to do LOW opacity (30-50) when you doing rough or preliminary. But then I recommend 75% - 100% for your mid way to final. Define soft edge and hard edge (I should make a vid about that.). Anyway, clean solid color is the way to go when finishing up. It will keep your image clean, fresh hues and increase readability. If you use anything less than 80%-90% when paint over and over it could make your image looks muddy and washed out.
**Always make sure that your wacom pen has opacity sensitivity "ON" It should be able to taper out and fade out when you draw soft, just like pencil or graphite or any traditional medium.
*** But really YOU HAVE TO FOCUS on the OVER ALL values and place them in the RIGHT PLACE. NO matter how many fancy layers you have, they won't do you magic if you DON'T UNDERSTAND BASIC VALUEs. SIMPLIFY when try to finish up, don't over do values in the certain area. Put light in the light, put dark in the dark. And make clean clear area of light and dark don't muddle them up. Craig Mullins said it best here, ""Decide what is in light and what is in shadow and don’t mix them up. Think like a comic artist. Two values, but if they are well thought out and designed and drawn they can look totally real. Think like that, but instead of making the light white and the shadow black, make the light a 7 and the shadow a 3. Then go ahead and use 5-10 in the light and 1-3 in the shadow to pull out sub forms. DO NOT use 1-5 in any part of the light, or use 5-10 in any areas of the dark. Keep you edges a little softer in the shadows, a little sharper in the light, you are done. (0 is black, 10 is white) Deciding what is in shadow and light for a particular object is pretty hard in words. I will leave that up to you and that is 99 percent of the struggle." and "Hierarchal significance for any color: 1. Value 2. Saturation 3. Hue" -Craig Mullins
Q: Did you tweak the pressure settings for the tablet pen? And what is your setup for the layers (multiply, add....)? Any details are appreciated.
PHOTOSHOP BRUSHES HOW TO I usually use 60% opacity when I sketch in PS. Then when I paint I usually use 50%, 80% and 100% depending on the purpose and brushes I use.
Here is How to make an easy custom brush in photoshop: video 1
Learn how to make Photoshop custom brush: Ring Necklace brush for Drawing and Painting.. This is a basic video tutorial or lesson of how to make easy custom brush in photoshop. The particular brush I am going to make will create a chain ring like as you glide your tablet pen along. Though can customize it to your own preference. I usually use 80 - 100% opacity when I use this brush tool.
This video tutorial show you how to create a color palette in Photoshop to increase workflow and keyboard shortcuts for artist, drawing, and painting.
If you are using photoshop for digital illustration, manga, anime and comics then watch the tutorial.
Here are some questions from viewers:
(Again, I will try to response all the questions I recieved. I apologize if I cannot answer to them all at once, but I will make sure to get to all of them little at the time and will try my best to cover all aspect.) :)
Q: I've been wondering is where do you get inspiration for your poses? I've been having trouble recently creating any interesting pictures because I cannot move from just the flat head-on picture Q:I am getting better, but I am bad at making life like poses. They're all stiff.
A: As for poses you can practice drawing many many times from life model (street, train, coffeeshop, or college or private art local life-drawing session)...you have to be quick and do a lot. Don't be discorage drawing from life, it takes time to perfect. Just keep up the drawing and you have to enjoy the process and learn from it. Or from reference pic. Process is the key once you nail it down the result will follow.
Q: And how do you make such straight lines?
A: use your should or elbow as a pivot point when you draw, not your wrist. Practice using big arch of your body to draw line, straight, curve. Also be decisive and stable when execute. Practice make perfect!
Q: So would it be possible to include an art gallery of static images of your work?
A: Yes, I could do some. Though most of the quick sketch I do for 5 mins tutorial are not as pleasing for me to look at. :P I will post them as long as they live up to my standard but I will post them more.
Q: Oh and one other thing, would you mind posting some of your artwork in a JPG format of some bigger size?
A: Sure I did it on the Cloverfield Monster and I will do more of that. Thanks :)
Q: I was wondering, in your Photoshop tutorials you have this palette thing; what is that? I could really use it. Is it a download or what?
Q: I was also wondering how you made your little palette that I see you use in all the tutorials?
Q: I also noticed you often have a color palette at the edge of the screen and wondered if you could talk a little bit about how you go about setting that up.
A: This video tutorial will show you guys how to make Palette. It is just a layer in Photoshop that I made up for my own reference.
Here is the Video Color Palette Tutorial:
Here is a Color Palette for download and you can tweak them as you like and make them however you like. (Use them as a layer in PS while you paint)
(Click to enlarge and right click to save)
Xia'a Palette 2010
This one is cool too.
Drawing a woman's head
How to draw woman head or female portrait, woman face instruction: Drawing Girl face: Learn step by step tutorial start from line draw to graphite (pencile) render. Here is another attempt to create a how to draw sexy girl feature or portrait tutorial instruction.
Here is a quick video tutorial:
Another Step by step drawing tutorial
A head or face tutorial this time I use graphite or pencil (3b to 5b are the range of blackness I personally like) . I am going to go very basic on this one from start to finish including a bit of pencil rendering.
Below is a step by step how to:
On this one I shorten some basic beginning up a bit:
If you want more detail how to start face frame structure go to
: Beginner -How to draw Female face tutorial.
1) I usually start with an egg shape drawing, very old school and traditional and it quick for me. On this one I am going to angle it a bit so the face will be 3/4 instead of the frontal shot. Always attach the neck and a bit of shoulder with the head when doing face, it gives you more of an illusion of this is part of a person. When you see an illusion of this is a part of a person, you will do a better job filling the rest in, instead of just an outline of egg shape or oval.
2) Imagine a flat plane on front surface of an egg, think in three dimension, then draw two vertical lines along the edge of your imaginary plane. After that, draw a vertical line to split the flat plane in half from top to bottom. Then draw a horizontal line to divide the top and bottom distance in half. This horizontal line would be where humans eyes should be, they are usually right in the middle of the face horizontally. But most of the time we don't really see that because our hair deceives us.
3) Now, I draw the eyes, it should no be taller than the distance of the top and bottom horizontal lines that I added on to the first horizontal. I draw the corner of both eyes in relation to the first eye's indication line. Also the distance between the two eyes should equal one eye. So when you draw, imagine there is an invisible eye in between them. Then I begin to draw the nose, notice that I did not draw the whole nose. Why? Because in reality when you see the whole nose you tempt to draw the whole nose as you see. But if you paint a lot or draw a lot from life (especially in painting). You will notice, from squinting to find value in painting or rendering, that the value of the physical nose compare to the rest of the face is not at its darkest value to be able to put them in line drawing. If you were to draw a simple face which using black or darkest value to define the line drawing. The only part of the nose that should appear in line drawing should only be the bottom of the nose. Because that's where it casts the shadow as strong as a person eyes' line, eyelashes, and lips. (Make sense?) Then I finish this one off with the upper lips.
I also make the mark on the right side of the head where the top part of her ear should be (same level as eyes). Then another for ear lobe, it should be a bit above the nose mark.
4) Now I add in eyebrows and hair indication, the head of the eyebrow be about the same distance as the eye's corner horizontally, but the tail can be longer. Then I add a line to suggest her lower lip.
5) After all the frame work is done, now I can start to go in and tighten up some of the facial feature, I usually like to begin with her eyes.
6) Then I work my way down to her nose, lip and such, but nothing too dark, just light rendering to get all the indication of feature detail down first.
7) Now, I am just indicating where would I place my shadow areas if the light coming from in front of the face. At this stage, I render very lightly just so that I know where to place darkest dark on the final rendering.
8) Since I think the overall face looks ok, now I am going to finalize the drawing. The usual areas where shadow hits the darkest dark are eye sockets, under the nose, under the upper lip, and above the chin (underneath the lower lip).
9) Now I start to finalize the drawing from area to area, begin with her left eye. Then from here I use the existing value of this particular area to compare to the rest of the final rendering.
Then I go for the other eye, and compare value (always compare value for the rest of the drawing).
10) After I get both eyes, then I begin to work on the rest of the face start with the darkest value like around the nose, lips, and chin.
11) Now I have the whole face render, and I have to do the same for hair. (Darker hair has stronger contrast and hight light, and lighter hair usually have less contrast.)
12) Now the whole face is done, all I have left to do is to finish up the background to make it a little more appealing. So I scribble in the background to make the white on her face pop out even more.
Lesson on how to shade and render face or portrait:
Also Optivu (UK); cheaper
Iconico, Screen caliper, protractor. compass and measurements tools
1) Draw everyday and everything you can see or think of, at least 2 hours a day. *Remember, when you are a professional, you have to draw at least about +8 hours a day.*
2) Go to life drawing session at least ONCE a week, better yet twice.
3) Practice drawing from cast and simple object around the house to study value and squinting to find basic value of the subject.
4) Study from any old school master sketches (Mucha, Sargent, Zorn, or whoever is you favorite artists) and try to mimic the piece. You will intuitively learn and try to figure out how they did what they did. The more you do the better you will get.
5) Practice drawing using different medium and switching them around and know how you can work with them, get out of you comfort zone. Try different pencil, graphite, charcoal, pen, markers, brush pen, brush, etc. Anything you can find...use you imagination and let the tool be your best friend.
EXERCISES - MONOCHROME FIRST - AFTER ONLY....COLOR!
Great Exercises for you and anyone. -Practice gray scale illustration (from black to white or acromatic) get it nail down as much as you could. -Practice drawing using ONLY Black and White -Do a gray scale painting and add one color (with its value) (monocromatic) -Do a gray scale and apply three colors palette. These should help you understand how to apply color
As for a real time video, there are good reason people and I won't do it.1) No one would really have the patience to watch it for full half hours or 40 mins.2) They won't let me upload that big of a file.Keep practicing, for us artist that's the best way to learn...there is no short cut.Also keep watching everyday as I progress...or hoping to get better also :)
Q: Xia, when you are drawing the values on Portman's face, what colors were you using from the color palette and how were you selecting your colors?
A: I actually focus on the value primary, then edge...color is not really my focus they come from my palette. The outcome is pretty much the result of the value and edge in my painting (sound confused, but it really is not). Look for Ander Zorn, he can paint using only 5 colors limited palette. Try to get cool and warm in balance.
Q: Are there more tutorials for photoshop out there that show step by step drawing and the settings and selections they are making on the palette for photoshop?
A: Don't worry so much about color or palette UNLESS you are aiming for school of Monet style and early impressionism. VALUE (lighting) is more important to me, and simplify value if you are going for manga or anime illustration. I hope I make some sense. Personally, color choice is a mere decision or arrangement of cool and warm (temperature) of over all pic and how vibrant you want it to be. Keep it simple. :) If you really want to know more, Schmidth (-Alla Prima by Richard Schmidth) is the best book on painting, everything value and color.
What kind of opacity setting I use in Digital Painting in Photoshop and Gimp? That is one of the most asked questions on this blog
Xia: First, I use low opacity (30-50%) to find values and move shapes/shadow around. It's kind of similar process when you sketch with pencil, you have to get a rough draft or construction lines and rough values (shading, lighting)
After I get what seems to be underpainting (close to corrected values) then I use only (70-100%) and be precise of where you put your paint and strokes using 100% help keep your color clean and not muddy. Then just use logic and intuition where to fix and use opacity according to the local values and decide whether you want soft of hard edge on that area.
But what confused me is, after your sketch you started on the shadows. From what i was taught i should create a new layer and set the sketch as an outline.
From what i can can tell, you used the same layer and changed opacity of the brush to make the shadows.. same for the actual painting. i need heavy tips :D
Xia: What I usually personally do is create another layer on top or under the outlines layer to paint values (shading or lighting) in the beginning. Then as it progress in to form that I want then I will forget lines, think shapes, values, and edge. If you want to add line art, add it after the painting process is done. (Unless you have scanned in inking lines as separate layer, you should put it on top of everything at all time and painting under. In that case, it shouldn't take you long to paint, just get the basic values and colors or you can push it more toward painting if you like because you want to show off the line work. if that make sense.)
then again i'm an amateur when it comes to digital painting =/
Color Wheel - from Newton, Goethe to us with love...from Italy