Intro to Digital Painting: A Beginner's Guide | Gabriela Benke | Skillshare

Intro to Digital Painting: A Beginner's Guide

Gabriela Benke, Watercolor With Gaby

Intro to Digital Painting: A Beginner's Guide

Gabriela Benke, Watercolor With Gaby

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12 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. Choosing a Tablet

    • 4. Choosing a Software

    • 5. Sketch & Scan

    • 6. Photoshop Setup

    • 7. Painting Digitally

    • 8. Adding Textures

    • 9. My process

    • 10. Exporting

    • 11. Bonus: Pen Tablet Exercises

    • 12. Thank you for watching!

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About This Class


This class is an introduction to digital painting. We’re gonna take an existing sketch and color it in Photoshop. We’ll go over the tools you’ll need, then move on to the full process, from inputting the sketch, to contouring, coloring and exporting it. I’m gonna show you how to color and contour a painting in different ways so you can experiment and find your own style. Each artist has their own painting style and in this class I’m gonna share my personal painting processes and tips in a beginner-friendly way. 

What this class will cover:

Tablets: I’m gonna show you the different types of tablets available to help you choose the best option for you.

Software: I’m gonna talk about desktop and mobile apps and show you free alternatives to Photoshop.

Scan: I’m gonna show you options to digitize your sketches if you don’t have a scanner and how to adjust the sketches in photoshop.

Setup: I’m gonna show how to setup photoshop, the basic tools you’ll need and how to organize your workspace. 

Painting: I’m gonna show you my digital painting process and three different digital painting methods.

Textures: I'm gonna show you how to add textures to your work.

Exporting: you're gonna learn how to export your painting and when to use each format. 

Bonus: I’m gonna show you some exercises and tips to help you get used to the pen tablet (e.g. Wacom Intuos).

Meet Your Teacher

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Gabriela Benke

Watercolor With Gaby


Hello! My name is Gabriela and I'm an illustrator. I live in Brazil with my husband and our two cats.

I have been drawing since I was a little kid and I'm always studying and improving my art. My goal is to share my knowledge and passion for illustration with you.

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1. Intro: hot and welcome to this course. My name's 11 illustrator. This course is in the production To be still. Think we're gonna take a sketch color photo shop? We'll go over the coals. Old need for digital, that full process from me putting the sketch to call to read colorings and exporting. I'm gonna show you how to color Cover 8 19 different ways so you can experience find your old style. Each actus has their own thinking style. And in this size, I'm gonna share my personal banking process and tips and they begin their friendly Wait, I great this class to be a beginner guys musical. What is your more bells? You can still benefit from this course by watching my thinking process as an artist. I love seeing how all there are Spain, and I'm always incorporating new techniques to my work. To complete this course, you'll need to have a public. And he saw you still don't have one vote for it. In the first lessons, we're gonna talk about the different pipes off tablets and software is available. So this will help you choose what is best for you. Okay, So what are you waiting for? Let's get started. 2. Class Project: So what are we getting great in this class? We're gonna take a sketch in color it Photoshopped because this is a teach doping class. I created the sketch that you can download in paint along with me So we can talk his own digital baking techniques and not worry about the look of your drone. I get my sketch simple. So the thinking processes digestible for all wells. You should have a sketch that you won't work on. You can still follow the course with it to download it. You can goto resources in the project and resources fat. All inside nation in this class will be in the GDF file that you can also download in resources. Now that you know what your class project is, let's talk about my fuels. Start with the tablets. 3. Choosing a Tablet: So before we start painting, I want to go through the tools you'll need. If, however common, begin, their question is, can they paint with the mouse? And the answer is, yes, you can. But it's gonna be so hard that you're gonna hate the troll. Painting. A mouse is not made for drawing or painting. It doesn't have pressure sensitivity, so your lines and brush strokes will turn out very bad. Also, a mouse limits our hands range of motion so we won't have a good control of airlines. That said, there's no reason to start growing with a mouse when there are affordable, and for level tablets in the market, you can get one for as low as $30. So if you're just starting out with digital painting, I would suggest you to buy the cheapest public you can find in your country. I know that you're probably there. Attempted to buy the latest iPad pro that your favorite artists is using. I have been there, but let me ask you, if you were learning to think with watercolors, would you buy the cheapest paper you could find? Or would you buy offenses and the most expensive paper in the market. It's the same thing. Every artist starts with cheap materials and by better once as they start making money with their art. So there are basically two types of tablet you can get their graphic tablets, like walk all in their tablet computers like the iPod. I'm going to go through the pros and cons of each one. The perfect tablets need a computer to work with. There are two types of graphic public. First there the pen tablets like they were common tools. With this type of tablet, you're gonna draw on the tablet surface, but you're growing will appear on Lee on your PC screen. These are usually cheaper and won't start. Just start with one of these. The downside is that they are more challenging because you'll be growing on the surface and seeing your growing on another. It's very different than rolling on paper, but with breakfast you'll get used to this. There's also the pen, this place like the war crime scene teak with this type of tablet you can brought directly on the screen, so it's much more like throwing on paper. Unfortunately, stop off tablets is really expensive. There are more affordable. Alternatives to plant depend this place, and that is the tablet computer. The tablet computer, like the iPad Pro, is a good alternative to the antique. It's much more affordable, and it's portable. You don't need a PC to use it, and you can even buy a keyboard and use it like a computer. The probe is the most popular one, but it's the most expensive, too. There are other options, like the iPad sixth generation, the Samsung Galaxy s four, which is the one I have this also Galax, Stop A and others. Okay, so now that we've gone through the different tax of tablets, let's talk about software's. 4. Choosing a Software: decide which tablet you're gonna buy. You'll need to choose a software and that scores. I'm gonna use Photoshopped because it's still the market leader, and probably most of you want to learn the basics off this software to, but the things I'm gonna teach you worked with any software. If you want to follow along with me with photos show, you can write for free for seven days. If you don't like it or you can't afford it after the free trial, there many awesome free alternatives you can, right? Let's take a look at some free photo shop alternatives. Creative is my favorite free digital painting software. It's a very powerful program. I have seen many actors using it professionally and doing amazing things with it. Other break option is out protest sketchbook, which used to be paid, and now it's free. I really like this offer, especially the interface that's very simple and intuitive, but it has more limitations comparing to Photo Shop and Rita. There's also anything which is their popular between common practice, and we'll end Kim, which is better for photo editing. But I have some small market Spain with this too. There are other baby digital banking Softwares that are cheaper than Photoshopped like Clicks to your pain and our bridge but haven't tried any off them, so I can recommend them personally. Moving on to More by Elapse operates the most popular app nowadays, but unfortunately it's only fail before I had. So if you're renowned right person like me or just don't want to buy for a freight, for some reason you can find other good alternatives. I currently use Infinite Painter, which is paid What is your looking for? A free, appropriate alternative? I suggest out for this sketchbook medic being ordered. Sketch my suggestion to try different programs and find one that suits you best play with the brushes, explore the interface and features and the wedding or bowling. But keep in mind that doesn't really matter what software use. They all have similar tools. Fucking is on learning digital painting techniques and find your own paintings title more than mastering all the tools of a single software. However, if you plan on getting in illustration or ref design job in house, you'll probably need to know how Teoh tour with Photoshopped as it's a required skill, almost jobs. Now let's move on to sketching and uploading yours. Cash through your computer 5. Sketch & Scan: So despite were using an existing sketch for this course, I think it's important to talk about catching on digitizing this catches. I suggest you doing a very planned and find sketch, because this really makes it easier for you to paint it later. Especially feel like toe at quarter to your illustrations. Many artists for forest catching on paper before moving into they still I used to do that, but nowadays a sketch directly on my palette she prefers catching on paper. You'll need to take a picture or is canvas catch to upload it to your computer later. If it's just for scanning our sketches, there's no need to buy his candor because the resolution won't matter that much. You could use your phone or your camera if you have one, to take a picture of your sketch and then uploaded to your computer. My smartphone camera is not very good, but this doesn't matter because this sketch is just a guide and it won't be on my final illustration. But if she wants to work with mixed media than the resolution, holler, physicality and quality off the pictures matters in your work. In this case, I suggest you buy a cannon, you don't need a fancy one to start. A simple and cheap one will do the job. I usually scan my work with at least 300 BP. I I will talk more about resolution later than all you need to do is to open the sketch in photo shop and correct the color and light. Now I'm gonna show you how to adjusters catch. We're gonna open your sketch of photo shop. And the first thing you were gonna do is to click on the locker here. This will a lot to her layers so you can make your adjustments. You can see that my sketch is upside down to fix it. I'm gonna press control t. And then when I rotate my image the way you wanted and press enter to crop my image, I'm gonna breast see. Or you can click on this tool here and I'm gonna drag this square until my image is the way you want it. I'm gonna press come from you and this dialog box will open. I'm gonna grow up this handler here and dragons to the were left. This will remove the situation from a midge and turn it black and white. Then I'm gonna press calm throughout and this dialog box will open. I'm gonna use this. I proper the one on the right to click anywhere on my image back road. This will make my back Rome whiter. You can see that there are still some gray areas on my back room if you want, you can play with these handlers here until you get a good result. You can see that the whiter my background is the lighter in my line of work is you'll need to find the balance between your lines and your back world. We usually want the texture and color of the paper to go away so we could get a very wife That road when you were satisfied with your image you can click. OK, go to file and click on safe paths or press control Shift s to save her image. I'm gonna name it sculptures, catch and save it as a day pack file. I'm gonna talk more about files four months later. Now that your sketches ready, let's open them set up folders, shop 6. Photoshop Setup: Okay, so I opened a photo shop, and I'm gonna show my set up and work space for painting. I'm gonna show you only the very basic tools that you re in eight for digital painting. Because I really want this course to be inner friendliest possible. This is the digital banking course and not a photo shop course. So I want everybody to be able to follow him with me despite using Photoshopped or not. If you want to learn more about Photoshopped after this class, I said that she watching one of the awesome photo shop classes. They're available here in still share. So we're going to click on Great New, and this window will open here. You can create your customized document or use one of the many document presets available. Let's choose the A four preset and take a look at these area here. First, we're gonna change the name of our document. This is awful, but this really helps us to stay organized. Here. You can see that the nation's off your document. You can see the donations in pixels, inches, centimeters, etcetera. I'm gonna let them the way they are since I chose them with the preset Keep in like that, the larger your document is the heavier folder shop piss. You could display your document in portrait or landscape. I'm gonna keep it in port rate. Now let's move on to resolution. Usual worked with 300 peopie I or pixels per inch. This is the standard resolutions for breaking. If you're creating and pinking for the Web, you can use 72 PP I. But if you're not sure, is 300 peaky. I You can always great version of your image with a lower resolution later, but you can't increase the resolution. Often image later without losing quality here, which is our color mode. You're working on the print. You should to seem like a sure art is gonna be displayed on Lee in the Web that stick to RGB mode. Now we're going to click rate and our campus will open. So this is our campus and all these schools and lots is. Make your workspace the workspaces, like her desk, where you keep all of your pains, pools, notebooks and just like your desk. You can organize your workspace the way it's best for you. Your workspace will probably be different than line. But I'm gonna show you what you need to have at hand for this course. You can see a lot of tools on the left, but don't worry, we're not going to use all of them and you learn how to use them. As you go, shareholder your mouth over each one of these tools, you'll see a leader of the nation that shows you what they do. But they're tools on the right is where we're gonna fucking now. I'm gonna close all the tools so we can open them again together. And this way we will can have the same workspace for this course to close them, go to window and then check everything. Now we're going to check Russia's caller and layers. There are other important tools that we can use here, but right now these are the most important. And the ones we're getting is the most. They're very messy, but we didn't break them and organize them the way we want. Now that your workspace is ready, let's start painting 7. Painting Digitally: so each heart is has their own painting style. Some like pictures of theirs dull. Some prefer lying inspirations. Others prefer flat illustrations, actually, my personal process and some other techniques that you can use in your work so you can explore and find your whole painting style. I have my color palette here, and you can download it in resources. Get you want to borrow selected color. You can press I and play called the color and the press be to come back to the brush agent for finding the colors for your work is just feel color palettes from photos and illustrations you like. Experiment a lot with different palace jeweler. Find the colors you lie. You'll need finding first, but you I and this is very personal. The Versace will determine what kind of picture of your work will have. I'm for brushes with pencil textures and charcoal textures. It doesn't like the traditional large field. Explore the brushes until you find your favorite types, where your work. Okay, so let's start with this cute scan. Are here, I think, a passel texture brush that came with photo shop and then opening you layer and make sure It's below my sketch layer. You always want spent in different players, so it's much easier to make adjustments later. The first method is banking below the line because my color layer is below my schedule. Here, you can see that the caller is below the line, This thesis and the most beginner friendly methods. It's like taking a coloring book. All I need to do is 12 color. It's very fun and relaxing. That's it. I think I think it's pretty good this way. Now I'm gonna hide the color layer, and I'm gonna move on to another method. I'm gonna use the same illustration so we can compare the results. Another method is using selection and masks. This massive makes a lot easier to make adjustments on caller. I'm gonna take my magic wand here, and I'm gonna look like inside my skin or this elects this part of my picture. If it wants select more areas, I can hold, shift and click on another area. Then I'm gonna click on this this circle here and select solid color and choose the color you want. I'm gonna repeat with the other parts of my object. You can six little mistakes by clicking on your mask, selecting your brush and painting with white. Why to let caller and black will delete If I want to change the collar, All I need to do is to that will put on my layer and select a new caller despite being so practical. I don't like this method very much because it isn't so fun for intuitive this painting manually, and they won't have the texture off the British, this math of Spain ting on top of the line. Now I'm gonna open a new layer. Make sure it's on top of my sketch layer and start painting. I think this method is very intuitive. It's more like traditional art where you have this catchall pencil and you added the paints on top of it. Eventually the lines will disappear. This method is good. If you don't like contour in your illustrations or, if you want to add on lee some lines to it, - you can see that I'm adding some lines and details. A great sip for creating small flying from Photoshopped special. If you're using a pan tablet is to go to is moving and increase it. - This is good the way it ISS, but I want to add some texture to it. So in the next video, I'm gonna show you how to add stature to your illustrations. But first, I'm gonna paint all the illustrations here so you can see them after they're painted. The thing I like best about ritual paintings that I make a mistake. It's really easy to to fix it. All I need to do is to click cultural Z or use my razor. Yeah, the mistakes gone, so I think it did open. He's great for beginners because you don't need to be afraid of making mistakes. 8. Adding Textures: ethic pictures is a nice way to make your illustrations more beautiful and interesting, and it's really easy to do. But first I'm gonna grope my layers because they're becoming a little messy to grope my layers. I'm going to select the layers I want right click and click on Make a Group from layers. I'm gonna open my texture and put it on top of my group color above you can right click on my texture layer and click on great clipping mask. This makes my texture to adjust to what's below. Then I'm gonna lower the a pastilles and experiment with different blending modes to see which one I like best. It didn't cover blending modes in this class because I think visiting more intermediate topic and they wanted to keep it simple. And they personally don't use them a lot in my illustrations. But you can always play with them and get interesting effects. I prefer leaner burn. In the next video, I'm gonna show you minded stop thinking process in a more complex painting I did for Instagram 9. My process: I want to show you my process of a more complex painting. This say, brought these in your style and not some challenge on Instagram where you draw other actress painting in your own style. This is my version off Jenny Lee Long's illustration. I did this illustration on my tablet on the at Infinite Painter, and they used a six b brush. I started by doing this catch and then I painted on top of it. You can see some less reliance on the right of my background. This is my hands touching the tablet. Sure. Using an iPad for a great tablet and you want to rest her hand. I suggest you buying a drawing public glove to avoid heavy actuaries. Everything later. - You just said that I ended some lines at the end, but the illustration is most without culture. Okay, so this is how we usually do May illustrations. So now I'm gonna show you how to export here Illustration 10. Exporting: to export your illustration. Go to file export exports as this window will open. Sorry, that's this is in Portuguese. I live in Brazil on That couldn't change this. If you want to have a transparent background, you want to delete her background later and exported as a PNG file. These gray and white squares indicates a transparent black growth. Make sure that transparency it's check. It's a transparent layer. You have more flexibility. With their illustrations. You can apply them to photos, different backgrounds, you name it. You can also export your image in J. Paige. But a tassel is quality than PNG, and it doesn't support transparency. This four months is good for the Web because you have a lighter image. You can create animations in photo shop, in which case you can save them as gifts. The SPG four months is used for factors, which is not the case of this class, but now you know it's there who needed. If you want to save her image as a Photoshopped file to preserve the layers, just click on safe pass and just PST. Okay, that's it. The next video is a bonus we knew were going on the show you some exercise to get used to the bench tablets 11. Bonus: Pen Tablet Exercises: sure it's a big still anything, and you're starting with Ben Public like war cools justice are you're probably having a hard time getting learn to use the with what? My biggest challenge and then wasa stirring out My life's were so shaky and ugly. I wanted to give up so many times, but I got the expressing a lot at school for some exercises that made growing on the public much easier for you. If you don't have a pen tablet, you can still benefit from these exercises will improve the quality of early general. The first exercise is to drive straight lines connecting the dots. This is a very common exercise that people usually your paper when they're starting to learn, help draw. This can be applied to beach the walks to you can follow the exercise. She with this and other exercises north, but reserves. You don't need to be able to drive straight blinds in all directions just faster, growing a good spring like one direction and rotate your image. When were you need the second exercise? Constance praising the wrong you could think of wrong that you made traditionally 40 growing from a practice that would fire. It doesn't matter. The important thing is to choose a wrong with defined won't work because they will make exercise easier. Open the growing Lawrence A pastie opened a new layer instruct start crazy. The third exercise to practise Brian right in public is really hard and mess. A lot of coordination breaking ball train your eyes and has to work together, and we'll make it easier to brawl pallets to you can do this exercise, that's where hops for your regular growing practice. Remember rights make for with sign brawl. The problem will be just like throwing on paper. 12. Thank you for watching!: Thank you for watching this course. You will have any questions you can ask me in the community tab, please. Well, even reveal so I can keep improving my next classes by