Tutorial on DIGITAL PAINTING
by Waheed Nasir

Hello there, as some of the members wanted me to write a tutorial on digital painting some days back, i finally managed to prepare this tutorial for all CGX visiters.
In this tutorial, you will be exploring the possibilities of digital tools for making a digital painting, in softwares like, Artrage, Painter, Photoshop etc. Here im working in artrage, to have a more painterly look. Artrage don’t give you any filter or blending modes, one has to do everything manually, just like in a real painting. That’s why I love working in Artrage, though its not an easy job to handle things here but one can achieve that unique look in this amazing software.

I am sharing here a walkthrough of my painting procedure. An important note here, is, that though I am writing down all the steps, there is a whole process of thinking behind each stroke and there is no rule, nor any formula for that, you have to follow your instincts with spontaneous actions to bring out what is there in your mind. I am sure my method of painting would help you in some way or the other. What you see here, is my very personal style, so rather than copying each n every step, I am very sure you will be developing your very own distinctive style too, an ultimate goal of a real artist.

(Edit: please post any questions or comments in our forums by going to cgexpanse.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2398

About this painting: I will paint in an impressionistic manner, with no definite shape. I will suggest things & make impressions of shapes and light. For me, a painting must look like a painting, not like a photograph.

Note: I do not take any reference, no tracing. No pencil sketch, I start directly with a brush and color.

I’ve decided to paint some flowers (Tulips) for u, a subject that would teach a lot in many ways. (Each picture below is followed below by a description)


Step 1:
I start by blocking in the main shapes first, go for bigger shapes, but here, I make marks for the placement of my subject, to make things easier for others.
Divisions and composition is all that matters in the start. I don’t like to place objects in the middle of the picture plane, I like things a bit off centered.



Step 2:
Define shapes with loose strokes of light and dark.
Note: One must know how to draw well before going into this style of painting, though I don’t sketch/draw
first when I paint (even in real painting), the drawing knowledge/rules help me throughout. When we sketch on a canvas with pencil first,
we often end up with a colored drawing rather than a painting.



Step 3:
More strokes are added for the background as well.



Step 4:
More Strokes plus more color added



Step5:
I do some blending now



Step6:
Flowers given shape again, just like in the beginning




Step 7:
More strokes added


Step 8:
I do some mixing



Step 9:
Add more color and shapes, for a better composition, I usually add or subtract things during the process, like an On The Spot Decision. Like, here I added a rough shape on the upper left corner, and a dark shape under it. I think that was needed there. Again, there is no such rule for such actions, just follow your heart and put strokes to balance things according to your own instincts.



Step 10:
I add more shapes now, refine some previous ones.
In the end, I like to have an unfinished, rough look sometimes, for me, that is more painterly. Again, it’s a personal thing, one must paint in whichever style one likes, to have a desired result. For me, this painting is done, yes it is finished, I like it like this, so before overdoing and spoiling it, I decide to give it some finishing touches here and there.



Step 11:
As a finishing touch, I put some thick strokes here and there, without disturbing the overall composition. U have to decide which areas need to have such strokes, I worked on flowers and greenery.



This is how the final painting looks like in the end. I am quite satisfied with it. Though, I did not devote much time to this one (as my main objective here was to show u the steps, rather than making a beautiful painting), but still it looks nice to me. This style of work is better viewed from a distance of about 4 to 5 ft.

U must have noticed that I don’t finish a particular area at one time, I keep on working on the entire canvas all the time. This is the way I paint and this is not the only way that’s right, u can finish an area and go for other parts and still have a desired result. The bottom line is: Whichever your style is, be it realistic, all blended, impressionistic, with suggested thick strokes, etc, there is no rule for things like that, we just have our own style. It’s always good to have a distinctive, very own style of painting, that separates your work from others. A viewer must recognize your piece by just seeing your brush strokes.

That was the walkthrough of my painting procedure, I am sure, with patience and dedication you can produce work that will amaze you and everyone else. Enjoy.

(Edit: please post any questions or comments in our forums by going to cgexpanse.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2398

All the best,

Waheed Nasir.
wnasir2@hotmail.com
(Date:) January 9, 2005