Digital Painting 2 - Painting Spontaneously Toward A Defined Goal | Marco Bucci | Skillshare

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Digital Painting 2 - Painting Spontaneously Toward A Defined Goal

teacher avatar Marco Bucci, Professional illustrator & teacher

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      DigitalPaintingII part00of13


    • 2.

      DigitalPaintingII part01of13


    • 3.

      DigitalPaintingII part02of13


    • 4.

      DigitalPaintingII part03of13


    • 5.

      DigitalPaintingII part04of13


    • 6.

      DigitalPaintingII part05of13


    • 7.

      DigitalPaintingII part06of13


    • 8.

      DigitalPaintingII part07of13


    • 9.

      DigitalPaintingII part08of13


    • 10.

      DigitalPaintingII part09of13


    • 11.

      DigitalPaintingII part10of13


    • 12.

      DigitalPaintingII part11of13


    • 13.

      DigitalPaintingII part12of13


    • 14.

      DigitalPaintingII part13of13


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About This Class

Working as a commercial illustrator often requires a piece to pass through several stages of visual development before beginning the final art. This introduces a number of challenges to the artist: how do you keep the final painting as spontaneous and free as your sketches? How do you keep the process fresh and fun as you work? How do you maintain enthusiasm through the hours ahead? How do you maintain a positive, yet self-critical mindset as the idea develops? In Digital Painting II, Marco shows you his approach for creating an illustration from conception through to a final piece. He'll take an initial idea through visual development stages such as a color rough, compositional thumbnails, and character design, before starting the final digital illustration. Along the way, you'll see how each stage motivates the next, and how it all pays off in the final illustration.

What you'll get out of the class:

  • Insight into what makes a picture read well and tell a cogent story
  • How to bring together disparate art disciplines such as character design, layout, and color design
  • How to develop and cultivate ideas for a finished digitally painted illustration
  • Learn how to ignite your imagination with photo references (rather than copying them)
  • How to manage various focal points in an illustration
  • How to plan for a final piece, without over-planning
  • Learn a non-technical, artistic approach to using Adobe Photoshop
  • A selection of Marco's brushes are bundled with the class
  • A bonus lecture which explains and simplifies how light and color work together
  • Enable yourself to navigate the creative process and discover new concepts
  • Methods of telling a visual story within a picture
  • Develop a solid mindset that fosters confidence in your workflow
  • Learn a non-technical, artistic approach to using Adobe Photoshop

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Marco Bucci

Professional illustrator & teacher


Hello, I'm Marco.

I'm a professional artist with 15 years' experience in the film, TV, game, and print industries - primarily as a concept artist and illustrator. I also happen to believe that it's the duty of experienced artists to pass on what they've learned, with no BS and for as low-cost as possible. It's for that reason that I'm a passionate teacher. I currently teach at CGMA, and have previously taught at Academy of Art University, Centennial College, and more. 


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Level: Intermediate

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1. DigitalPaintingII part00of13: Hello, everybody. My name is Mark Obuchi and I want to thank you for joining me for digital painting to in this class. My goal is to show you a very comprehensive approach to illustration. You might call it client friendly. We're going to come up with a concept sketch, then refine each part of it with characters and composition before finally completing the finished painting. So let's get started. 2. DigitalPaintingII part01of13: Okay, So to start off this illustration, I've got to photo references that I shot earlier in the week and one of them was out in wine country. That's kind of a tour trolley at the bottom. And the other one is some pumpkins. Obviously, this is the time of year for that. This is October as I record this, and I love that kind of subject matter. So what I did decided to do here was to bring in both of those references and just see what happens when I start painting. Um, you'll see that I essentially going to combine them into an idea to which I will add some characters. And this is not really a ah sketch per se. It's more of, Ah, a comprehensive look at the finish painting. It's a bit more than a sketch. It's somewhere in between a color key and, say, a piece of concept art. So a color key would be a very small color sketch. Um, that just just sort of determines the look and feel and mood of the color. Um, whereas a ah concept art, maybe is a bit more of a completed piece of work. This is something in between where it's, you know, it's gonna be a little more finished, but again, it's gonna be very fast. I'm only going to spend about 40 45 minutes on this. And the idea is I'm gonna try and capture something raw and energetic and emotional. And those things all seemed to happen when the painting or sketch goes fast, at least for me. Um, for me, the process is captured something quickly that's raw. And then try and maintain that emotion throughout the rest of the process. You know, if I start to calculated now, the finished result just ends up looking overly calculated and the life is gone. And it's also usually not fun for me. Teoh drawn paint if I'm too calculated. So this I have done no planning other than other than the two photographs that you see there. No planning. And I'm just gonna go for it. So I'm moving methodically. Um, I know that I want I really liked that awning in the bottom photograph. It's one of the reasons why I took that photo. Just like I like the colors. It has my favorite complementary color pair, which is you know anywhere in the blues and anywhere in the yellows and oranges. I just you know, I've always been drawn to that. I think it's very naturally be drawn to that pairing because it happens in real life with a warm sunlight versus cool shadows, for example, you'll see this type of color harmony happen a whole lot. So I started with the awning because that's one of the things I really liked. And as you can see, what I just did there, I moved the canvas down or move the illustration down and stretch the sky up. Just a You know, this is digital. Let's let's take advantage of the medium and use it for its strengths. And one of those things you can do is morph the thing around As you go, I will often rotate the canvas horse 90 degrees so it turns from vertical to horizontal. In fact, I already did that earlier in the painting. Um, this is going to end up for ah vertical for no other reason. Then that seems to suit the idea. And again, working with no planning is something that I advise you to do because it helps with your confidence. If you try something that's overly planned, you might be prone to disappointment a little more. And you might be tentative with your idea. Here's some more moving of things. I just use the lasso tool to cut it out and just moving. I'm only working on one layer. So behind that layer is just transparency is you can see I'm just feeling in that with some more sky. This is all composition finding something that works eso back to what I was saying before that tangent, Um, the confidence if you you could be a little more prone to failure and in trepidation. Maybe if you're not, if you're not comfortable with just diving into something raw and just seeing what comes out of you, Um, you you know, often times the best strokes are the best. Ideas are things that happens spontaneously and in the moment, um, and then the artistry really comes into a having the skills to do that. But be also then understanding what what works and what doesn't and adjusting on the fly. So that's gonna be a character is gonna be the green monster character. There's some eyes being just drawn in um, I'm using one of my watercolor brushes for this. The round watercolor brush. I will switch that brush. Eventually. I'll use all kinds of brushes, but for this, I'm using the You know, this watercolor brush. I like the marks that makes it keeps a fresh look. Um, just with those unpredictable wet edges and textures and, you know, other kinds of corrugated edges that I really like to to just use and let them do some of the work for me. So I'm just blocking the character. One thing with this type of approach to painting is I'm not concerned, really, with the drawing in the finer sense. Like I don't really care about the pose of that character right now. That's too much to think about. I'm really more concerned with the overall big concept that characters pose. I will have an opportunity to evaluate it later and change it later, and that will be the next step of the process. This is again concerned with mood composition and the really that's it. Mood encompasses color and light composition and mood. That's what this is. Um, I'm laying down the that lower half is going to be If you look at the top photo, see how the pumpkins air kind of on this, like stair step e shelf thing. That's what is going to happen with this one. Um, so I'm just blocking that in not being too careful. I don't really know how it's all going to work out yet, and I'm just just going with the flow. Eventually, we'll put some pumpkins in there because that would be an important compositional element just to see how the I flows. And the pumpkins could be a good device to help lead in the eye. So I think I do that very soon. Also, what needs to be done is the other character. There's gonna be a child character in there, and I think that I think that when you're dealing with a composition, one of your greatest tools, you can use this as a little bit of forethought in terms of what's going to be in the picture. You know, sometimes you just don't know when you go completely raw, but this time, as you can see, I've made room on the right for another character to be standing there, and I should probably get that in soon. Right now, I seem to be more concerned with a bit of a pattern up top. And then again, the reason for that is just to break up monotony. Uh, monotony is a killer of art, and you want contrast. You want things to be constantly interesting, but also orchestrated. So the interest is not everywhere equally. But, um, you know, it guides you. The interest is a form of contrast that can help guide your I. So I'm going to see what I can do to use that to my advantage. I think putting some of those patterns up there, which, as you can see, is not in the photograph. I'm by no means married to that photograph. I'm just using those photos. Inspiration, Um, some things in the photographs will be taken more literally than other things. You know, the fact that there isn't awning and there are pumpkins on a step those air littoral things . But composition is completely my own changed. This is a tree that I'm blocking in. I want to play with this idea of some dappled light being cast through the picture. And that tree is going to give me an excuse to play that up. The tree doesn't need to be in there, but the tree will also help break up the awning shape. As you can see, right now, I'm letting that tree overlap the awning shape. And that's a simple way to get depth, especially in a scene like this, where there's not a whole lot of natural depth. Like I'm not looking miles into a landscape. I'm looking, you know, this is all kind of happening on on a very similar plane. All these characters and the pumpkins. And you know, everything that's happening here is, you know, maybe 20 feet away from the camera, 20 feet away from the viewer. So you you play up depth in other ways, and the tree overlapping is gonna be one of the ways there is going to be going to be another way. Where I will do it was light ingredient, and that's something that's in the back of my mind at this point. But I'm not going to establish that until later in the process when it comes time to do so . So as you can see, the character is blocked in, and just like with the monster character. I'm more concerned with compositional placement of the character rather than her pose. So there's a key difference there. If you think of a character you might jump to, What I think is the is the secondary part which is posing the character, you know? Is she happy? Sad. Is she leaning on a pumpkin or a she presenting a pumpkin or maybe just looking. What is she doing? Well, that actually, to me, secondary. The main thing I'm concerned with is the placement of the elements. You think of it like I don't know, attacking someone in a chess game. You want your pieces strategically placed on the board so you can carry out that attack. And in this case of the attack, metaphor refers to how your eye is gonna move through this thing and how it is going to impact the viewer. Um, you're set pieces. I'm placing my set pieces, You know, like this were a tableau, and everything's gotta be placed just right and often times the level it's at now, where the characters right now, which is completely unfinished. That's enough to help inspire me and help me to see and evaluate where this is headed. I don't need to finish anything. I you know, I specifically don't need to finish anything before anything else but this illustration I in my head I know is going to be unfinished. And that is a huge relief. Mentally, I think people can stumble over the desire to finish something, and often times it will be a detriment to you to go into a painting with the expectation that you're going to come up with a finished painting, try and not do that. Go into a painting and say to yourself, Okay, I'm just gonna explore this might not work. And if it doesn't work, guess what? I've only lost 30 minutes of my life. And really, you didn't lose it because you learned. But, you know, I have many, many times where paintings don't work out. It happens to me all the time. Um, this one, um I'm recording this after I painted it because it helps me relate my thoughts better when im not painting and talking at the same time. This one does work out, but you know just doesn't always happen. Eso go into some work with the expert with no expectations you know, um, save yourself. This might not work. And guess what? If it doesn't, I'm gonna be just as happy and I'll move on and maybe maybe it won't work, But something did work. And then you can use that in the next in the next exploration of that idea, Or maybe, you know, apply it into another idea entirely. In this case, what I'm doing now is I'm concerned with light. Back at the beginning, I mentioned that I want this to be, have mood and established the mood of the peace and mood. At least for me. The way I work is very much incumbent on having good light and good designed light, my say designed light. I mean light, that is, like story, attic or something that's going to indicate emotion more than realism. So I cast shadow over the monster. I'm blocked that in because I think having the monster be cut in half, not literally in half like that, but, you know, have a play between light and shadow is going to help the interest. Now, up here in the awning, I'm playing with some dappled shadows and light that's going to be playing up there. So I've establishing this realistic idea of dappled light, which, you know you happens every time there's sunlight coming through trees. But I'm also using it as an art directed piece to help with interest contrast, composition, mood, all these artistic things that really nature doesn't care about. When I paint from nature, I'm just trying to sort of capture what's actually in front of me. What's happening? I'm not really trying to edit other than I'll compose it on the page, But I'm not really trying to edit the light, whereas in here I'm really editing the light. I'm editing what I know or I'm using on authoritative voice of an artist, Teoh direct what I have learned from nature. And you know, this is a classic warm vs. Cool thing. We're just to talk about, like temperature, color, temperature for a bit, I thought, This is there. Obviously, there's some sunlight in this scene. The sunlight is warm. It's that orangy yellow glow that we all know from the sun. Um, that will hit a yellow awning while that yellow is gonna be multiplied. That yellow of the awning, plus the yellow of the sun, is going to multiplying compound and really get a nice glowy orange and yellow, the orange. I'm not I'm not actually there yet. I'm not hitting it over the head yet. I'm gonna build up to it. It's another thing that I do when I paint as I build up to these colors. But again, the color key. I'm not concerned with perfection. I'm just concerned with getting the mood down, and then I'm done because I'm going to repaint this into a final right. This is just a comprehensive look at it. Um, I'm gonna paint it into a final, so I'm not going to spend as much time massaging it as I will in the future when I actually go to paint this thing. Um, if you look back at the video when I made that new canvas the canvas on painting on there, it's quite small. It's ah, can't remember exactly, but it might be 600 pixels high by maybe 400 wide or something in there. It's not printable. It's barely Internet herbal. It's just ah, thumbnail. That is all you need, though, on the nice part about thumbnails when you're working digitally, especially, is your brushes our lightning fast. Even the slowest computer can handle a small canvas on one layer. I'm not using layers. Ah, and you could just get to work. And, you know, this is what I'm doing now is it is a little bit of massage. I can't separate the craft from the ah, the brush worker. The brushwork being the craft of it from the idea. The two things were candid hand. If I have a picture on idea for a picture Oh, there's a monster and a girl at a pumpkin stand. Okay, that's that's the idea for the picture. The content. Then you have the craftsmanship layer, which is how am I gonna put down these brush strokes so they look nice. So on an abstract level, people can be engaged and compelled by the painting. Still, even if you don't like monsters and don't like girl characters, uh, the painting still can work. Ah, that's craftsmanship. And even in this composition key, uh, preliminary sketch, I'm still concerned with craftsmanship a little bit. Sometimes I get into a little more than I'd like. And then I have to remind myself that you know, Marco, you got to repaint this and let's not set the bar too high, because sometimes what you capture in a small sketch is literally impossible to recapture. Because when when I paint like this, capturing some lightning in a bottle, I have no plan, right? So all these little strokes I put down are are really unrepeatable. So as you see when I want, when I paint the finish, I will be recapturing the effect. But maybe in a different way, maybe I'll change something that's week. Or maybe I won't capture something that's as strong. That's That's one of the things that you also have to understand when you do these cops is that you are creating art here, and it's best to kind of place. The level of your success, if that makes sense at such a level, where you can jump over it later is like a bar. Place the BART somewhere. You can jump over it because sometimes I do this sometimes to myself. I paint myself into a corner where I I can't do better than the calm because the comp looks so nice and so spontaneous and emotional, and then I go to paint the final. It looks labored, so I will try and hold off on some of the craftsmanship elements and just get the essential the bare bones in there. The fundamentals, this value that's going behind them is there to help with just setting off while two things a provide some depth. Those are gonna be like background trees or bushes, something I'd actually don't know right now. They look like bushes. To me, it's it's going to help that of the location. It's also going to help set the characters off. Contrast wise. So now the the monsters values he has two values. The shadow value in the light value. Um, they both are lighter than the background. Before that, the shadow is darker and the lights were lighter, which is fine, but I actually find that you can help orchestrate your values and help focal points come forward when you have even the shadows be lighter than the background, so you can see I'm playing up the darks around the monster so that his shadows are light. Are are lighter than the background. Then, of course, the lights or even lighter and that's just helps kind of tell the eye where these things are situated in space again. It's very art directed, sometimes in nature. You find this, but you have to be kind of lucky. Here's some just literal structural ideas. How does that awning sit? There's some polls, and I'm getting that from the reference on the lower left. There, I see those polls that are just attaching the awning to the cart, putting some of that in, and this is how I like to use reference is just for information notice. I'm not copying a color palette. The in fact, the bottom photo is completely in a different lighting situations that was overcast. You can see the clouds in the sky. The sky was completely overcast when I took that photo, and you can actually see the lighting is different in that photo than in my painting. The awning in the light in the photograph is actually quite cold. It's closer toe white. This grayish yellow was in my painting. It's more bright orange and more saturated orange to capture the sunlight. So again, reference photos can be taken literally in parts and can be taking a suggestion in parts and cannot be considered it at all in parts one thing I don't like about my reference photo in the bottom is that the bushes air so green behind the car. I don't like that notice in my painting, I made the foreground tree green, but the background bushes air this bluish monotone color again. That's to direct attention. Um, interest directs attention, and interest comes in many forms. It comes in textures. It comes in lights and shadows and patterns and values and everything. Everything you do creates interest because it creates contrast. Contrast meeting something that's not the same as something else. And you want to again revisiting this point. You want to orchestrate those contrasts and those interests to your advantage, as as the artist, into the pictures advantage to give the best possible read to the audience. Now here's some pumpkins. This kind of waited a little too long. Maybe to put these pumpkins in, and I think I actually end up with something that's not quite a strong as I'd like it. See those three pumpkins have blocking in. I don't like how they're just bang bang bang 123 like that. It's not quite creating an interesting path for the I and I do have more pumpkins that help , but I think this is something and I don't fix those three pumpkins. I think those kind of stay where they're at. Ah, this is something I want Teoh. Look at later because once again, I'm I'm recording my narration for this painting after the painting has been completed, which helps me reflect on it and give you more information from an artist artist artistic standpoint. When I speak and paint at the same time, I I'm not fully engaged in either one, and and I find I find that both things suffer. So while it's possible to do that, I find that get the most bang for the buck. When I separate the processes, there's some spotted light or dappled light on the monster character. Just some suggestions of how I can carry the tree dappled light on the awning to the monster, which almost doesn't make too much sense, like the tree would be blocked by that awning. But again, it looks nice. And hey, maybe maybe this scenario in real life where that kind of thing can be pulled off, who knows? The audience will not question that. You can sheet the daylights out of, ah two d pictures. Which is why I love to d art I love three D art to. But I chose to be a two d artist, cause, ah, well, many reasons. But one of the things that I love is that you can cheat, and, um, you can do everything the picture needs to get maximum readability. I'm putting some warmer colors behind the characters very similar to the bushes. It's to set off the cooler colors. The characters are mostly in shadow, so they're going to have some cooler colors on them. And the monster and shadow right now is very literally blew with some magenta is and reds being worked into that blue, some cooler reds being in the magenta range. Um, and the girl character, those are to me. Those air cooler warms so her skin. I don't want her skin to be blue, although there are some patches of blue on her skin that I can see reflecting the sky like the top of her forehead has a nice blue brushstroke there. I might keep that, but the rest of her skin still there's still blood running through a human being so you have to use warm colors for skin tones. Ah, but she's in a shadow, so I have a problem. I have warm skin in a cool shadow. Um, so I'm just using grade down reds and great down oranges. Grade down magenta as and that helps a warm color become cooler if you great down. And it also allows you to, um, because it's gray, you're more able to jump from, say, red to blue because a gray it's not as harsh. If you have saturated gray jumping to saturated blue, it's kind of a harsh shift, very difficult to pull that off, not many opportunities to do that. But if you stay in the grays, you can always build into the warms or cools. And that's something I like to do. Even with saturated colors like the awning, I will start greyish and move more, put more color into it as I go. So just putting a generic face on the girl. That is not the final design. Not to say that it's no good. I mean, you might want a generic face like that. Um, in my case, though, I think I want something a little more interesting. A little more. Ah, you know, just something more, something unique and that is not unique. Both characters have the same expression, which is, you know, if I'm drawing characters that are happy, I will always just block them in with the default smile like that. It has some emotion in some character without having to draw much. So that's my default happy. You know, it's all it's just one step further than a child's happy face with a circle in two dots and a you for a mouth. Not too far advanced than that. But I will. Ah, it's a good block in. It's a good block in. You'll see. The next step of this is I will actually go away from painting, go into lines and design things with lines. So by the end of the illustration, it'll have gone through its paces from lines Teoh color cops like this and then Teoh the finish painting. So here's some light on the pumpkins. The pumpkins are not in shadow, at least not in my head and my head. The the awning is behind the pumpkins, and the pumpkins are kind of coming out of the viewer just like they are in the photo reference. I like that stair step e thing in the photo reference this multi tiered shelf thing made of wood planks, some I'm gonna use that for now and see how it works. So at this point, I'm concerned with drawing in the you know, the realism of that the the three d of it. Me see, I'm making these blocky shapes. I I hate I hate lines in terms in terms of having lines show up in paintings. I mean, I love drawing with lines, but when I'm doing a painting, I do my best to avoid leaving lines. So I'll draw with multiple draw a line with multiple lines are all there are line with multiple boxes and, you know, just make the mark making part of the creative process, which really isn't that why you pain to you? You want to have fun. That's one of the most beautiful things about art. I think is we love to do it. When we were kids, we were, you know, young enoughto smear paint on a wall. We love to do that because it was just fun making marks and I think, you know, as adults, we get more pragmatic, and we we forget about what's fun and the value of having fun. And I find there's a lot of fun to be had in creative mark making. This gets back to an earlier point in this painting where I mentioned that I don't want to have too much fun in this one because then I have to. I burden myself then with recreating that fund. And just like in real life, trying to recreate a moment is very difficult. Um, like, trying to imagine trying to recreate the fun you had in your first Caribbean vacation or something. It's gonna be very hard. Do that cause the novelties gone. So in this case, in a painting, I don't want to do too much exploration in mark making and textures because then again, I'll have to re tread and and I will inevitably fall short of this one. This will. This this image here represents kind of a maximum effort I will put into a preliminary comp thing. Part of it is because I wanted to be clear with you guys just to show you, you know how I think like This is at this stage what? What I need to have in my head. You know, there are times where I'll just jump into a finished painting. I won't even do this. But the more and more I you know, more experience I get. The more I find that when I do jump into a finished painting, I lose. I may not get the most out of everything. There's always some maybe some more things to be squeezed out that I don't get if I don't plan. So a little planning goes a long way to throw a cliche at you. Flipping the campus horizontally like that just helps maintain a fresh look at it. We're almost 30 minutes into the painting right now, so there's a bit of, um, the I. My eyes are starting to get a little wasted looking at it. Uh, I'm used to it now, So flipping the campus is one of your tools to help combat that this is just system, you know, refinement work on those shapes. Really, What I should be doing is getting to those pumpkins because those pumpkins are story. That's that's why the characters air there is, too. You know, have their little homemade pumpkin stand. Think of this like a lemonade stand. But with pumpkins, that's the idea. Um, which, you know, on an idea level. I always try and find things in my pictures that are from instantly familiar. Ah, but I do it in a way that, you know has meaning to me. So if this is, ah, a lemonade stand. Well, maybe a lemonade stand is a little bit expected. Not that you. Not that it couldn't be cute. 11 sand could be great. Um, let me hold that thought. Look what I'm doing now. I'm putting in the dappled light on the steps And what I'm concerned with his composition. I just want those marks to help guide the I know something drawing like this diagonal sort of path with the, uh, with the light. That's intentional. That is art, direction and design. Okay. And I might actually spoil some of that by accident, but I'm noticing it now, and it's actually pretty cool to see my see myself paint this which is not not something I usually get to see. Um, I can see where my successes are along the way cause sometimes you'll spoil that. Um, so I'm just This is just some color adjustment. Vibration. This is an image of just vibrance again image. Adjust vibrance and you can dial in some saturation. And photo shop has a nice vibrance slider, which gives some color back. And, ah, this is a flipping vertically, which you know you'll notice. What I'll do now is actually paint with it upside down, and the reason for that is what goes on when I flipped vertically is I. I almost get Get a look at the painting in an abstract way. It's no longer a lemonade stand. It's our pumpkin stand. It's an abstract painting with colors and shapes and stuff that has to look good on its own , as if you imagine, like an alien who's never seen a pumpkin. Stan, I want that I want someone like that Teoh still be able to enjoy the mark making of this painting and the and the overall flow of the color, so flipping your painting vertically helps that. Anyway, back to the whole idea generation just showing something a memory that we all have, or even a cliche that has been well trodden in the past putting a bit of a spin on it is a good place to start, and this one is really just that. It's a lemonade stand, but with pumpkins and with fun characters, too. And, ah, you know, hopefully I'll put a for sale sign or something like that. I'm not sure what the sign will say. I'll try and think of something cute something that a kid would would. Right? Um, here I am adding some more pumpkins and ah, you know, I find my best ideas are the ones that communicate clearly and they strike up, um, chord with the audience where the person looks at and says, Oh, yeah, I used to do that to our I totally understand this already, and then they can apply. And then you're painting can take that understanding as a starting point, then extrapolate on it and say, Well, we'll look at this. Look at it this way or here's how I see it as a painter. That's really where painting is powerful, you know, just like writing is powerful. If you read a powerful article or essay from someone who sees things differently, painting can be that even though this is a silly, you know, Children's book pain. I should say Silly that I don't mean that I mean fun. It's meant to be fun. I'm not trying. Teoh, enlighten anyone with this painting. But I am trying to just the same. I am trying to convey emotion and emotion is very human, and it doesn't matter if the subject is intellectual or not. Emotion is emotion, and you can hit someone right where they live with something as simple as a pumpkin selling kid, monster duo. And ah, maybe one of the biggest compliments I ever get on my art is when is when adults react emotionally to it and they, you know, they let me know that it moved them or made their day or something like that. And that's coming from an adult looking at You know what is a sensibly a childish photo? Our photo painting? I can't believe I just did that. I hate when people call paintings. Photos? Um, I just up up to the contrast and hit hit up the fade tool, the control shift F and just dialed in the amount I wanted this point. We're getting very close. I could stop now, but one thing is, that's not done. The pumpkins are not quite done yet. You'll notice how I'm not using a 1,000,000 pumpkins. I'm not, you know, in the in the photograph on the top, left there. What? 10 pumpkins, their arm or something like that? 12 pumpkins. I'm not using all those because it's very boring how they're all lined up in a row. I want the pumpkins to help lead the eye to the characters because the pumpkins will get larger as they come toward the camera and they will attract attention. So let's use that What I just did there I went to image, adjust variables or are variations. I pick something that was more yellow. And then now I have it on a layer. I've created a layer mask. Now I'm going into that layer mask. I inverted it so the layer mask shows nothing through than painting with white into the layer mask. I can reveal that adjustment. You see that as I paint white, I reveal that new layer eso Now what I will do And there it is that so you paint white into the layer mask, you reveal the effect. Ah, and then you can then paint white Teoh, you know, put it where you want it. I will do much more on this in the final illustration and the color key. I'm just getting it. I'm just using it to add a little more warm light on the on the steps on the shelves. Um, yet. But like I was saying, the pumpkins need to be a compositional tool. Everything in the picture needs to be a compositional tool. If you lose sight of that, then you are letting the chips fall where they may, and that's just never the best way to create a painting. It's great if you're just outside sketching. You know, if you're outside sketching, you can relax a little bit on the composition. I think unless you're drilling that, but you can just, you know, if you're drawing a cool house, you can focus on just capturing that house doesn't matter where you put it on your page. But this is not that. This is me saying, OK, I know what I'm doing. So let's let's take all these cool elements that I've painted from life before and, um, you know, color, light and atmosphere and character and let let's arrange them into a pleasing picture. So I I will Adam. One or two more pumpkins. I should add a for sale sign, which probably should have been there already, because it's a pretty important element. And like I said, those three pumpkins at the top, the ones nearest to the characters. I really feel like I've missed on opportunity. Teoh. Have that be a better lead into the picture? I will fix that when I go to paint it. It's something I don't catch in this version, just adding some colored leaves to the tree. I realized that, Hey, this is the fall. I was you know, I took that pumpkin photo outside of just a few days ago on the trees air nice and red and orange and purple and anything but green. There were some greens in there, but let's make this look like fall and be true to some color that's out there. Fall is so much fun because you can make leaves purple and orange, and it will sell, and it helps the mood. And that kind of thing, at least for me, is like an emotional que it reminds the viewers about fall about autumn and then that tells them to associate your picture with all these emotions that they already have inside them for that time of year. Ah, and that's the beauty of color really is. You can remind people about things, and then they will do the rest of the work. You know, I I don't have to do much more than just put in a few autumn colors and people will inter inject emotion into it for you. It's kind of ah, magical thing. So I'm I have ah, multiply brush right now. Just put in some more shadows. Make made the dark a little richer, a little darker near the tree. I'm doing things now, which really a little overkill for this stage. I don't need to be doing those things, but hey, I'm having fun, so I don't want to stop. That's all. There is to be said, really, That that's one of the ways I judge the end of a painting is when a my not having fun anymore. And that happens when I've kind of answered all the questions and ah, I just stopped there. Oh, here's the sign. I'm trying notices on a layer that I am using a layer for this because the layer will allow me to move it, although I don't think I do end up moving this. But sometimes a put elements on a layer that, you know. Maybe that sign would look better on the bottom or the top or whatever. The layer just gives you just freedom to move it. But once I'm happy with it, I will flatten that down. I actually think I forget to flatten down in a painting right now. I'm painting on that layer. Look, I'm painting shadows on what should be the sign layer, but that's just me forgetting to flatten it. Not not any Photoshopped technique, realizing that the bottom of the picture is a bit light to light because you don't want your picture toe have a flat quality where everything is equally light everywhere. So I'm using this. It's really like a dark 3. DigitalPaintingII part02of13: Okay, so I just wanted to talk about composition for a little bit, Um, kind of explore what it is I'm going for in this piece. Um, so I'm just gonna do a quick few thumbnails now. Funnily enough, you can actually do this process in reverse. In fact, sometimes you should do it in reverse. Do these thumbnail explorations first, and then go into your color key and, you know, drawing and painting. Um, to me, these processes are interchangeable, but it is important for me to kind of slow down in the production of a peace and figure out what it is I'm doing. And so in this case, what I'm doing is I'm drawing thumbnails. Not so much for linear design. While not at all for linear design, I'm trying to figure out my value scheme, my presentation of my values. My painting, of course, had values. Figure it out, but not in Sometimes when you paint first, you tend to over complicate your values, and you use too many values. So what my thumbnails are is a process of simplifying my values and figuring out exactly where I'm using value and also to figure out the final composition values air part of composition. But there's also things like the visual pathway or I will follow, and that has to do with value in shape and and all that kind of thing. So I'm just a sketching in what I remember from my painting, and you'll notice I don't have my painting in front of me when I do this because I'm not trying. Teoh recall exactly what was in the painting. I'm trying to figure out trying to go mentally and figure out how I can maybe improve it. So in this first thumbnail, I'm actually, I don't reach a conclusion here. This is a sort of a first sketch, and I'm running into a problem with this idea where there's too many opportunities for disparate shapes happening all over the canvas. I've got the monster, the kid and these pumpkins. What I am doing here, by the way, is figuring out more of that visual pathway with the pumpkins kind of drawing a zed shape. You can see the pumpkins kind of make This is ed shape that end where the kid and monster are. Um, I'm figuring that out here, but where I'm going wrong a little bit is I'm using too many values. The pumpkins are these dark values, the characters of this middle gray. The tree is dark, Um, and ah, there's too many like islands of value. See what I mean? How the there's nothing really connecting them. What I'm doing now is I'm connecting them a little bit with shadows from the tree, those dappled shadows that will help connect the dark values and again think, think of composition in the abstract. I'm connecting dark values so I don't overload the I hear I'm just sort of showing you the path, this sort of zed or s path, that goes to the composition and the tree and discovering that tree might be a good way to bring the I back down. And so you get this repetitive circular thing. Okay, let's try. Let's try again. Let's see if I can arrive at uneven, better solution and this is This is interesting because I've figured out the color keys done because I have that in mind. I'm actually extrapolating composition from that I'm figuring out OK, what is it that I can really milk out of this composition and you'll see I reach quite a simple conclusion with a few more of these some nails in this one. I want to simplify values a little more and see if I can utilize those few values in a more economical way. So let's just see what happens here. So it is blocking in the, you know, the painting as we remember it. And I'm trying to lay down. I'm working on gray so I can go letter a darker. And now I'm trying to play down this dark value, and I'm trying to see where I can repeat it. So using as few values as possible, because the fewer values who used the more digestible it is to the viewer. You know, you want your pictures to be instantly readable and, um, like a little poem or something. Ah, and you know, using this few values as possible is one of the ways you can the economical with that. So the tree is gonna get this dark value. The characters get it. These are two separate things right now, but how can we bring them together? One of the things we can do is use the shadow that the tree casts onto the awning. But first I'm adding potentially another tree on the left, which, well, that does. It kind of closes off the top of the painting. It still leaves sky there, but it closes off the top so we don't get lost up there. We don't want to lose the eye. And any edge of the painting, and sometimes a blank sky can really be an accelerant for losing the I. But here I am, laying down some shadow on the awning and you'll notice those shadows are bleeding right into that tree. And that could be a way to help connect some of these values. The pumpkins now are probably gonna get that same dark value. I'm just roughing in the success from the first sketch was that Zed path of that s path. I like that. I'm gonna keep that. You know what? I'm trying to separate the spacing of the pumpkins, so it's kind of like one. And then there's to. These two are close together than the 3rd 1 The 4th 1 is a little farther away, almost touching the character that's again a compositional choice to try and best maximise the utility of these pumpkins they are pumpkins, but they're also vehicles for your eye. Everything is a vehicle for your eye. Okay? Notice the dark value of the stairs in between. The steps here helps connect these dark values. And now I have a more clear path in this thumbnail of a more clear connected dark path of value for your eye that is not so much like island shapes. The island shapes is something you really want to avoid and I'll show you in the next time . Now I'll actually purposely do it incorrectly and I'll show you what I mean. But when you have a bunch of island shapes, so in this one, I'm just kind of, you know, I could probably stop here, but I am actually adding the dappled light on the steps, which is another vehicle to help me connect value like you want to melt these values together. And ah, thumbnail is really useful because, you know, there's no detail, just shapes, and you can figure out in a very simplified way what your values are just putting in that background sort of bush shape as sort of a middle middle value. So this picture, in this case might have, like four values in it. I'm realizing the light of the awning will be maybe the one of the only things that's really, really light in this picture that can really pop forward. And because it's the only light thing, the only really light thing that could be an idea. Although I What I didn't do in this composition was have the monsters light that light that rakes onto him. That could be another useful tool for having maybe two things that punch out. So in this in this thumbnail, I want to show you guys something that doesn't work. And I want to just extrapolate a bit on those island shapes and show you what I mean. This this again, this is what not to dio. So I'm just blocking and just bear with me while I block in the picture. It's putting that tree there. Um, the reason that you'll see that island shapes don't work is because they give the I too many things at once. Toe look at when you have shapes that are not connected, it's almost like they're all clamoring for attention and, you know, just like a room full of loud voices you don't know which one to listen to. So here. So this is what I'm talking about. I'm also doing something wrong in the terms of design making a bad design choice not only in islands of value, but also I'm making them very regularly spaced. Those with shadows on the awning. See how regularly spaced they are. They almost no longer readers. Shadows there. Looks like polka dots. Um, this is a very human tendency to space things equally like I talked about in the earlier um V There we are spacing those light patterns on the character. And I'm I'm creating too many shapes that are separate and therefore I'm breaking up the unity of the peace. You might think of unity. There's no real definitions for these things, but you might think of unity as, ah cohesive way for you to look at this picture. The, you know, does your I move around in a pleasing way in an organized way. It's like you are. Your composition is like the curator of your picture, you know, like the curator of a museum shows you where to go and tells you what's important about what you're looking at. That's what composition is and the most powerful compositions are both simple and very clear. And those two things often come hand in hand. Simple just paves the way for clarity. Um, in this case, notice how all those dark shapes look at all those pumpkins. All those shadows are all separate, and as a result, I'm not. I'm really taking away the power off of this composition so you can see that the same visual idea can be ruined by bad composition. This is not looking fun to look at it. It's looking more like a Christmas tree or something with all these lights everywhere or, in this case, darks. So put an X on that one. That's no good. Let's let's try another one. Put a check mark there because that was maybe the 1st 1 where something started to happen. That was good, but I'm not quite satisfied yet, so let's do another one and this one. My goal is again economy of value. How can we simplify the values even more so they melt together even more? You know, if you could do a picture in two values, do it. Um, that's hard to do oftentimes unless you're strictly working with two values. But in this case I'm doing a full painting, so I will use more than two values. But I'm just saying the fewer tools you need, usually the better. So in this one, I'm playing with the idea of that awning just being, you know, really bright, which was inspired from the second thumbnail, where I just scribbled in that white Let's let's start with a bold shape again. Boulder is usually better, more clear, better equals more clear. Now let's block in. So I'm using more shapes, the value set of lines. Now my confidence is increasing a little bit. Let's block in that value. So there's three values in this picture right now. I'm adding 1/4 value now this tree and I don't want to use to anymore values in that. So you know, if four values is still very, very few values the tree very clearly now separating in front of the awning something that you see how much more clear it is in these in this passive big shapes, whereas in the second thumbnail it's clear. But it's still because it's all scratched out. It's not quite as clear. Um, here's the the awning, the shadow being cast onto the awning, being this kind of similar to the to the value of the stare of the stair steps where the pumpkins will be. I'm reusing that value. Okay, so that value is is already part of the family of this picture, which is something I like to do when you can have a shadow value. Be the same is like a light value somewhere else. I enjoy doing that. So the pumpkins, what I want to do is instead of drawing them in darker shapes, let's have the melt into the steps more value wise and just pick out their form with the awning light value. So again, I'm still using four values. Now I'm bringing the dark of the tree into the pumpkins a little bit. Still four values and using them a little more judiciously to blend those pumpkins. And there's the shadow being cast over the character. And now I've got ah, much more cohesive read. It's a very simple read. It still has the visual pathway of the pumpkins, Um, and again I've been playing with the locations of those pumpkins still has all that, but with a better, more simple value scheme going to try one more, just making some room for another one. I'm gonna duplicate that one and start Start there because that one's working. I'm happy that with that let's start. Let's just see what I can do to even make it even better. Or maybe Or, you know, maybe I can't make it better. First thing I'm gonna do is put the white of the character of the light. I'm gonna echo the awning value there, maybe bring it down a little bit. Um, which gives, you know, because I've used to such a light value in the awning and nowhere else. Maybe maybe it can be on the character and still hold some unity there. I'm trying it on the girl character to Ah, you know, a few of those Dapple lights now, Congar Oh, in which I do want to do I think I do want to go in this direction, have the dappled lights on the character as well as the awning. It just it just gives the whole picture kind of this visual theme. Like when you look at this picture, you think dappled light. And here's a dappled light on the stair step shelf thing. Notice. I'm not using the light value of the awning and the monster. I'm using this middle value. I'm almost using, um, something very close to the shadow value up top and the awning. The reason for that is I don't want to create too many island shapes. Island shapes, if you have to make them in dappled light, is is one of the things where you oftentimes have to make those decisions to separate shapes with dappled light. You can do a better job of it by making your values close together, so they're not quite as contrast. E. So I'm playing down the contrast in the bottom, leaving it up top where the characters are. And, you know, I think that's the way we're going to go with this. So let's finish this compositional study and move on from here 4. DigitalPaintingII part03of13: The creative process for me is a bit like excavating. The first step, which was my color sketch, was sort of the canvassing of the area. I knew where the area was. I knew where I was going. And then Now what I'm doing is I'm just digging. I'm digging for whatever I come up with, Really, You never really know what you're gonna come up with. That's the whole point of going through the creative process. What I'm doing now is I'm further exploring the girl character, and I'm doing so with a different medium. I'm using lines line drawing the first time using lines in this whole process, and I am starting with my sketches an inspiration. But I'm, you know, just putting the trouble down and starting to dig. And I'm going to do a few drawings on the same page for me, part of important processes to inspire yourself. So for me, that means draw many drawings on the same page, and this particular drawing I'm working on right now is really just to stick with my shovel analogy. Just the first dig into the earth and a Z. You can maybe tell it's not very creative. It's it's, you know, maybe it isn't drawing, but it's not that far off of my original sketch. Um, and that's usually the case with me with character design. I'm not really a character designer in my blood. I'm more of a painter. And so for me, digging for characters takes a few tries, and that's no exception here. So, um, that's not bad, but it's generic and too close to what I started with, so I'll move on. I do like some of those springs of hair shooting up. I may use some of that or the idea of that, but let's move on. Keep these sketches quick. Obviously, this Israel time not sped up or anything. So maybe a few minutes per drawing two or three minutes for drawing. I'm just exploring here. So there's those sprigs of hair that made its way into this drawing and, ah, you know, decided this time let's let's change it up. Let's tilt the head, which you know automatically. I'm starting with a different sort of feel. Um, I change shape. I'm still going with that elongated football shape, which for me, is often a starting point with kids. I like the elongated footballs. Um, it's kind of a habit that I have to watch out for a little, you know, maybe a few dimples on this one. Just working in some of the features. Figured out the proportions. I see a nice wide smile on that one that goes all the way down to her chin, which I think I end up erasing. But, um, I do, I do like that is kind of cool in this one, you know, Let's play with some hair. Um, you know, maybe she has long hair just dropping below the base of her head. There's that smile scrunching up a little bit near the nose. Plays well with the freckles. It's cute. Um, interesting a little. A little more interesting than the 1st 1 Little less generic than the 1st 1 And, um, I'm not gonna spend too much longer on this. I'm probably gonna give this one more of a body. Because even though in the illustration, she's cut off with waste, I still would like to know. You know, what is what is her body actually look like? And then I can more faithfully paint it. And this one you know, giving her a little more of opposed sort of arms open. Maybe she's, you know, engaging the client or who knows, just just moving the body around a little bit. A lot of this is informed by life drawing. I go life drawing a lot. I used to teach life drawing, so I I would draw from life all the time. And when I say from life, I mean the live model, either closed or nude, both do a lot of that. And if you haven't done that before, really, that's the best way to start to understand gesture and emotion and wait and all these things balance and anatomy, all these things that go into drawing something with feeling. I get that from life drawing, and this character is looking pretty fun, and I like it way better than the 1st 1 that was the 1st 1 compared to this 1st 1 looks a little clunky, like the shapes aren't quite fitting or flowing. You know it's not a bad drawing. Technically, it's just a design that's not quite that appealing. Ah, and that's what you're looking for. Appeal. Ah, an appeal is like an old animation term made popular by the old Disney animators. Really, what appeal means is you want to look at it. It invites you to look at it. And just like composition, appeal is all derived from simplicity. The more simple you can keep a drawing, typically, the more chance it has to be appealing because simple is just easier to digest. Now here's something I'm trying. I'm switching this shape. I'm switching the shape of the head. No longer an elongated football, it's now kind of a reverse triangle with a round top and keeping the features high on this shape. And already I'm getting a different feel for this character, and that's important. You know, I'm excavating, right? I'm trying to find this character in the dirt here, and I'm I'm putting my shovel in a different spot for this one, and let's see what happens. Playing with that smile, very, very horizontally squished, smile, whereas the other ones are very horizontally elongated. This one's all about changing that, um, you know, maybe play with a different hair style in this one, and I erased that. That doesn't work. It looks too much like a boy. I'm thinking the girl is gonna be tomboyish. Ah, it's just this illustration seems to want to go in that direction. I'm thinking like, you know, tomboy country girl type thing. Ah, this is interesting. I thought it might be an idea to a good idea to have pumpkin shapes in the character. So if you see the little pigtails, they're like Little Pumpkins shapes. And that's an idea that I've discovered with this Drawing that, to me, is like finding my first dinosaur bones in this excavation process that that, to me, is a good idea. And it's something you know I probably wouldn't have thought of if I didn't go through this character design phase. So let's draw her holding a pumpkin. Maybe, maybe in the final illustration, she will be holding a pumpkin. I'm not sure yet, but let's sketch that out and see how it feels. It looks like she's confidently displaying this pumpkin to, you know, a passer by or something. Even if this isn't the final pose of this character, that's not the point. It's the design, you know. What is this character look like? Ah, does her shapes suggest a certain type of pose, you know, to do her shapes suggest this type of attitude or story behind her. That's the type of thing we're exploring here and just really trying to get the maximum amount of information out of every step of the way, something that is really hard to do if you just dive into a final. You know, I like to work in stages. Of course, when you're working for clients, typically you're required to work in stages because a client needs toe help. You need sign off on this stuff with a client. Usually it's very rare that you find a client that just says, Go ahead and, you know, paint. Usually they want to see all this character design stuff. And I actually enjoy working with clients because when I do all these sketches, I don't have the onus of taking of figuring out which one is the best. I could just send it to a client, and they can tell me what they like. Ah, where is in this case? It's just me, So I have to reevaluate. I'm revisiting. The first drawing is changing the shape that I don't know why I thought it might look better with the hook nose Let's draw some arms. Maybe she's, you know, explaining something or exaggerating something I don't like. I found a pumpkin this big or something like that. You know that. That's the beauty of drawing on one pages. You just go back. And it's this iterative organic creative process that is always feels like it's under your control and nothing has ever finished. And I love that feeling of always being able to go back because it's not. Nothing has ever finished, and that's a bit of a dangerous proposition to because the whole nothing has ever finished thing. We need to actually finish this illustration. At some point we need to decide. We need to say, OK, I'm going left. I'm not going right Um, but that's later. Let's delay that decision as long as possible. And, you know, let's discover some gems along the way. Um, probably moving into 1/4 drawing now. And this one. I my thinking, I'm thinking to myself, Let's really play up the pumpkin shaped thing. Let's instead of making the pigtails pumpkins, let's make her whole head a pumpkin shape so you can see I took the pigtail shape, and now it's the whole head, and this is testament to the creative process at work. I I would never have found this if I didn't go through. Put myself through these paces. It's really a beautiful process, this whole discovering what's inside of you thing. Um, and it's a process that if you aren't privy to what goes on behind the scenes of an artist's work, you take this for granted. This whole exploration phase and every artist I know goes through this. And if you've ever collaborated with artists, I think you'll agree that the best ideas come out, you know, after its they've been simmering for a while. You start talking with other people, or in this case, really, what I'm doing is I'm having a conversation with myself visually and also literally, because I'm recording myself in an empty room right now, um, playing with, in this case, playing with this kind of kooky smile, uh, still tomboyish. I still like the tomboy thing. Um, you know, just figuring that hairstyle didn't work with Tom Boy. That was to Princess E. So maybe more of ah, quickly done. You know, bun at the back of the hair ponytail or something. Ah, race that I erased things all the time. Digital is great for that. In this case, let's play with these. I still like the whole pigtail thing, but maybe in this case they're less pumpkin because I'm doing that with the heads. Let's not repeat myself, but let's do it. Let's still have those pigtails because they're kind of cute. It helps the character look female, too, especially with tomboys the challenges that they look like boys. I still want this to look like a girl. Um, in this time, as I'm drawing the shape is suggesting a apron, which I hadn't thought of before. If you look at the other three drawings, she's just in a shirt. Now I'm thinking apron and which makes sense because, you know, maybe maybe she would have to carve a pumpkin in this in this lemonade stand. Or maybe she would have Teoh, you know, get her clothes dirty. You know, pumpkins have dirt on them. Maybe she would have to wear an apron. This this helps like the micro cosmic storytelling, which is not an actual term. I just made that up. Um, you know, let's put a pumpkin on her apron, which is kind of cute, and we're just exploring here. Put a bit of a value down. This is where my marker brushes handy it. You can just lay in big blocks of value, which for me is more useful than a fine tipped pencil. Where it's harder to do that, you kind of have to hatch in your values. Where is this? I could just lay down big values. Changing my pencil into a paint brush with the ST within the same brush without having to actually go to my brush list just keeps the process faster. If our doing this traditionally on paper, I would just be using like a six b pencil or something. So this one's got like that drawing interesting pose, interesting shapes, you know, unique. I could go with that. Put the campus again, just helps you see it from a different perspective, helps you spot mistakes or shapes that aren't quite fitting. Foot the campus a lot. And on this one I really like the pumpkinhead idea. So I'm gonna do it again. But let's just explore it more, you know, if my shovel I'm digging my shovel in that same area now, but I'm just trying to dig deeper, going to see what else is here. So I still like the pumpkin head and I'm playing with smile playing with the putting the nose up high In general, I like toe weight. The shapes toe one size, so it's I'm not putting the features right in the middle of the head. I'll put them on the top or the bottom. Um, you'll notice in my color key sketch how generic those features are. And that's fine for color composition, for for a concept. But it's not fine for finished design. Its is too boring in the in this color sketch, and I hope you'll agree. I hope you'll agree that these sketches air more interesting for the character on this one . Let's play with having her hair shoots straight up and this one. Let's do like the match flame or pumpkin shape in the hair and actually have it echo the head just going to try it. It's a it's okay to try things that might not work. That's that's the point. Um, in the end, you decide. So here's I'm putting her hair down below her shoulders, which really doesn't quite make sense, but again, I'm trying it. I've never really seen a hairstyle like that, which is may be kind of cool. I might be on to something here who knows. You can always erase it or you can always, you know, ah, combine ideas. And that's the other thing is by doing it in stages like this, you can look at all of these things at once. You lay them out on your monitor or print them out and put them all in front of you and just look at it. Stand back and look and see what you've done and see what works. See what doesn't work and choose and then move forward. And you always arrive at a more confident choice. That way, when you've explored and you've done the due diligence that you really owe yourself as an artist to get the best stuff out of you. And I really like that drawing. I'd not really sold on the hair dropping below her head, but I like I love the head shape. Um, again, it's cute, still girly. I'm not sure that has the same tomboys flavor that the bottom right one does, but there's something there that I like and let's see, You know, I don't know which way I'll go yet, but there's definitely something there. We'll do a few more sketches. You know, there's there's still some white space on the page. I just want to show the paper who's boss? Fill it up. It's great toe Philip, a piece of paper and you know, you made a blank void of, ah white space and, you know, put art in it. There's just something so satisfying about that that, you know, I don't get anywhere else. I love just the act of creating something, and ah, even I like the act almost more than the satisfaction you get at the finish. You know, having a finished painting you can show people is great, and I love then gauging reactions to the finished work. But there's just something about this creative process, and, you know, I know that no one will see these sketches. Um, you know, the fact that I'm making the video is different is different, but usually no one will see all the sketches that go into a painting. They'll just see the final. But you know, the final should have more energy because you've been through this. Just gonna just gonna shrink this drawing to give myself a little more room to draw on the left side of the page again. Thank goodness for digital, right? That bottom sketch I just did, by the way, is just notice. I've used a different brush for that one just to change it up. I don't think there's anything really there. It's a fun drawing, but I think I've done better in the previous ones. But let's let's try one more and just see what happens in this one. I want to do more of, Ah, oppose. I have posed this character a little bit, but I want to do something less reliant on her standing like all these posters have been standing poses, and I think I've been too dogmatic to my with my sketch about keeping her standing. I've let the sketch, you know, engage the drawings too much or informed the drawings too much. In this one. Lets change the post. Let's have it more. Um, I don't know story telly. That's on a word, but let's just make it more fun. Maybe she's hugging a pumpkin or putting her weight on a pumpkin like she's leaning on it. Maybe looks like she she's posing for a photo are waiting for for customers to come through or something. I notice I'm still going with the pumpkin shaped head. I really like that. And I've pretty much chosen to commit to that idea. I really like it. Um, and once I've chosen to commit, I tend not to look back. I tended have faith in the strength of my decision making and just go with it. And if in the end, it proves not to be a good decision, well, you know, you've learned something then and you've learned something about your own decision making process, and that's really important. Um, one of the That's one of the reasons why it's great to work for both yourself and for clients is because, you know, you have to drill both pleasing a client, allowing them to make decisions. But also on the other flip side of that coin, allowing yourself to make decisions, too. Um and yeah, just very just like that, I'm onto the next sketch. I really like that pose. Maybe there's something there I can use. I'm not sure this last one, as I'm drawing it and drawing real small, I'm feeling like I've explored this character enough to move on. Um, this last drawing, I'm kind of re treading ground and the second I'm re treading ground. I know, Tom, Just note to self. I'm like, OK, I've been here before. I'm digging this travel in the same spot. Probably not gonna get anything different at this point by doing that. So let's just finish this drawing just for fun, for my own edification. And then we will call it a wrap. But the state is very important. And I hope you can see why that I've just thrown down a whole new palette of ideas for this character. And, um, we will see which one I go with as I start to paint the final 5. DigitalPaintingII part04of13: So with all our planning finished, let's go ahead and begin the final illustration starting a canvas here. Those of the dimensions there. 1400 by 9 1900 That is not something I use all the time, but it's in the ballpark. You know something in around 2000 pixels in the widest dimension is usually where I'll start for something that is intent. Excuse me, intended to print. Um, that's just because that's a good resolution for, ah, smaller print. Say, an eight by 10. You can get out of that, and then what you can do is and as you'll see, what I do is I up prez as I go eso I'll start around that as my lowest resolution. And then as I begin to paint and figure out composition and, you know, block in and lighting and all that stuff, I then up prez ever so slightly, maybe increasing the canvas by, say, 300 pixels every time until I gain, you know, maybe 1000 or more pixels. By the end. It's a good way to work because just the nature of digital painting, especially when you're using custom brushes like this, it will slow down. The bigger your canvas is, the slower your brushes go. And also, your brushes have ah limit on the resolution. You can't just in large a textured brush to whatever size you want. It will get pixelated. Just like a bit Map will get pixellated when you do that. So keeping your campus a little lower rez will often be a useful thing for all those reasons. Um, what I'm doing here is really the same thing I did in my color comp. Early stages is getting rid of the white of the canvas, just putting some texture there, which I'll paint over. As you can see right now, I'm already beginning on, uh, the awning thing that will be up top there. Ah, I feel good at this stage because I'm I know that I have a picture that at least works on a basic level on in my concept sketch. That does not mean that I won't change anything. In fact, I make it a point to change things when I work from sketch to final. Because if you ever just think, Oh, I just have to duplicate the sketch, but larger you you are setting a limit on yourself that I think is a little bit destructive because really, you're saying, Oh, I just have to repeat a past success. That's to me. That never feels good because it feels like I can never improve. I want to improve on that on that concept sketch. And that's something in my personal work that I really leave myself a lot of leeway for constant improvement on the sketch. Just so I feel good about myself. Whereas, you know, when you work for clients, sometimes the client will will be fairly strict and stringent with the sketch is being totally close to the finish. And you know not not much wiggle room there. So what? I'm working on my own. I want to give myself a much freedom and is much leeway to feel good as possible. Eso That's why that you know, I will changes and and by now you've seen the finished piece on the you know, the title card that played right before this. So you know what? I've changed. But ah, let's you know in this 4.5 hour illustration, let's see, you know, the process that I go through because as I paint this, I don't know what I'm going to change. You know, my mindset coming into this is that Hey, the color sketches. Good. Like, let's maybe change the location of the pumpkins as as we discussed in the composition segment. But other than that, I'm pretty sold on that sketch right now, and I don't know what's gonna change. As you see, what I'm doing now is just talk a little bit about process that I'm working on that tree. And I know that that tree is going to change because just a little philosophy, I guess you can't. You shouldn't try and finish any one thing too soon because the problem is Finnish is a relative term. And if I say I'm going to finish that foreground tree like, I seem to be spending a lot of effort on that tree and I'll tell you why in a sec. But I'm not trying to finish it, because if I say to myself, I'm gonna finish that foreground tree. Well, it's impossible because everything else in the picture is unfinished. So how it's a. It's almost a blind measure to call something finished when it's not up against anything else, okay? I mean, that tree looks finished right now compared to the abstraction beside it. But it doesn't mean that tree is going to be finished. When I get everything else in what I'm actually doing with that trees, I'm just trying to get myself a level of representation. Like the realism, I guess, on the canvas realism pertaining to this world that I'm painting in. I'm trying to get a level of realism on the canvas that will just begin to propel other things and get them started. So that tree is pretty hideous. I mean, there's nothing nice about the way that trees painted. I mean, some of the colors might be OK, but you know, it's formless. It's there's really no character to it. It doesn't make me happy at all. But it does give me Ah, compositional start when it comes to how the tree intersects the, uh, the the awning. I lost that word for a second. How the tree intersex yawning. That's a compositional sort of staple that I want to start hitting early, and it gives me starting point. And speaking of starting point, that is a good concern for um, for your process, what is the best area to start in? And I can't tell you the answer. I mean that you've seen where I started with this with this piece and I said, I told you why I started there because it gives me a compositional reason to begin, and I find that composition is always a good place to start. You almost can't go wrong because it's such an important, fundamental. So laying something in in the right place, um, that, you know, is likely not going to change even though I change it later, Um, is a good place to start and again, That's why having a concept sketches. Great. Because you can kind of four tell the future a little bit. Your concept sketches like a nice little roadmap that doesn't really get you to your final destination. But it gets you in the town that you're trying to go to. Um, so you know, this is this is where planning pays dividends. Um, I'm working away at some basic color and you'll notice that I'm not trying to go for the the total saturation that that awning is going to have. Eventually, I'm keeping it pretty gray right now, the painting looks like it has, like, sort of a film of grey over it, and that's on purpose. That is a reserved sort of color effect where I like to build color on on top of gray. And when I say gray, I don't mean just purely de saturated grey. I mean, grade down versions of where I'm actually gonna be going, and what you'll find is if you work that way, some of those graze some of these colors I'm painting right now will actually show through in the final E. I can't predict which ones, but they will show through. It's like this under painting thing I have. And, um, what that does is what looks yellow now like that awning looks pretty yellow right now because it's against thes neutral blues in the back. But those yellows will actually look cold later when I start laying really warm, like legitimately warm colors on top of them, and it will just create a play it will give me like painting for free. It'll give me like color notes that would be too onerous to paint completely by hand, so getting a bit of ah, color sketch. Sorry on under painting, it just gives you some freedom. If you If you've watched the painting Ah sketchbook painting video that is part of my class . You'll see how, in the second and third paintings I do the orange or the in the orange, but the warm, earthy wash underneath it's That's the same thing I'm doing here. It's just I'm doing it a little more with a little more drawing intact or is in the sketchbook. I just laid a wash over. You can do, you know, they both serve the same purpose. They give you some kind of temperature that is going to create a play warm and cool play with what goes over top of it. And it's It's not like I'm predicting anything like I'm not saying, Oh, I'm going to go for these exact color notes later. That's not part of my process. My process, really is to leave as much of that to chance as possible. It's quite the opposite of control because I want I want chance to play the role of, like, serendipitous and charismatic brushwork, Um, something that is so hard to do by hand chance we'll give that to you. That's why I love what media. Because so much has left a chance. Um, So what I'm doing here? I'm just grabbing my character concept art and is sort of myopically putting in directly. Just transplanting one of the sketches into the painting. This is not the smartest thing, because, um because I didn't draw those sketches. I didn't. Those sketches were never meant to be the finished character illustration. Those were just to get an idea of who she is. Um, I'm putting it in there as a starting point again. That's not what I always do. I don't always do any one thing in this case. I had these sketches, so why not use them? I like to the pose of the girl from the top left, but I like the head and sort of apron idea of this girl. So let's combine them, you know, let's just mash them together and see what happens. So, you know, you get the size right, you can flip it around and, you know, do all this photo shop. Aree, you could do this in real life to trace back drawings and stuff. So this is not a digital trick or secret or anything, but put them in the right place, scale it down. And then, um, you know, erase out what you don't need, and and now it looks like the pose with hugging the pumpkin, but with the other face and instantly, you know, I'm I'm judging it as I put it down and seeing what its potential, maybe. And I'm not. What I'm not liking is the girl is not engaged in anything. She's looking off to the left, seemingly at nothing like, Is she looking at a person over there? It's unclear. I'm muddying up the storytelling. Um, but at this stage, I mean, I'm only a few minutes into this painting right now. 10 minutes in. This is not the stage for evaluating story just yet. I mean, the story is set in the color sketch. I have a basic story. There was a story. I mean, things to read into, like, you know, we the viewer, are patronizing this pumpkin shop. Uh, that is hosted by, you know, that is run by two people, the monster and the girl, and they're looking back at us, sort of in response to our presence. That's my story. I'm kind of deviating from that with my sketch because she's now looking off to the left, seemingly at nothing. I'm making it less interesting, but I don't care yet. A za long as I have that mentally sort of logged, I will revisit it later. Right now, I just wanted to put some form their oftentimes I won't do this. Sometimes I will just start like I'm doing the monster I will just block in color. So I thought in this video would be a good idea to show you two different methods of building the character. And as you already know, probably that girl character has a radical change, both in her pose and in her face. But I do hang on to the pumpkin shaped head because I think that was the sort of the mineral that we mined from. The character sketch phase was the pumpkin head. I love the pumpkinhead I keep. I keep that, but you'll see I go through a few different ah looks of that girl character as this painting progresses. And same with the monster, the monsters a little easier to draw. He's he's just a furry ball with two eyes and a mouth. There's not much to him. Um what what? What is incumbent on me for the monster is Ah, get the shapes like the the relation between the eyes and the mouth, right? How they're close together and how they're in the upper third of his face. So you see, right here I'm trying to find that and all in Do you see me undoing every time? Ah, I undo more than I keep and that is just I'm still in sketch mode, and that's another important thing to keep in mind. I try and always be in sketch mode, as if this painting is never finished. I'm always in this block in mentality, and you'll see right up to the very end of this piece. I'm moving things around, putting big brush strokes down. I'm not zooming in. I'm never getting too precious about it. I think preciousness can be an art killer, and it's something that is so engraved in human nature to become precious with what you're creating. I mean, I remember when I was younger like grade school, I would try and draw, and I sucked it drawing. But I would try and do a drawing. And if I ever thought I did a successful drawing, I would be so scared to do another drawing because I'm like, Oh, I just did a good drawing. I don't want to do another drawing and, like, have my latest attempt be a failure like this is the preciousness that that we all I think we have all we all can relate to. We've all had happened to us. Um, part of my growth as an artist is learning to let go of that like a like a drop it like it was a sickness. Um, you have to cure yourself of of the idea that anything you dio is worth hanging onto. I did this thing in my class. I I used to teach physical life drawing class at a local college here and had a lot of fun with it. And one of the things I told my students to do was at the end of the class, we all had 20 drawings, 30 drawings, and I told everyone to take their best drawing of the day and put it up, you know, bring it to the front, laid on the podium and let's evaluate them. And, you know, everyone was like a little show and tell thing everyone was really proud of their best drawing. And they brought it up. And, ah, you know, as a teacher, I looked him over and I told them it was what I thought was good about them and maybe what could be improved? And ah, I told everyone to take their drawing pick, pick up their drawing, hold it out, and now rip it in half and and I I love the gas by got from everyone as I commanded them to rip their drawing in half. Some of them wouldn't do it. Some of the students would not do it and others did. And, um, it was just me trying to instill that sense of, you know, nothing you do is precious as an artist. And if you can do a good drawing today, you can do a good drawing tomorrow and the next day, and, you know, for the rest of your life. And, um, art is not something that you should hold onto. Ah, I mean, the pieces you create, and that just relates back to my process. You know, going back to how everything for me is a block in when I paint. Never Is it so finally detailed that I, you know, I feel terrible about just blasting a big brush stroke over anything. And what that contributes to is a style as well. A style of painting that, you know, for me is is pretty fun to pursue, um, and fun to look at the end. I like I enjoy looking at some my old paintings, not so much for the subject matter, but I enjoy seeing like the brushwork ended up with because again, a lot of it is like, incidental. It's in the moment. I'm improvising like, look at these trucks and putting down right now with this smudge tool. I can't You can't plan for that. That's I can't teach you how I'm doing that. All I can tell you is I'm using the smudge tool over top of a textured brush. That's that is most I can tell you. I can't tell you why, and putting strokes any direction. Like I just have a muscle memory that I've programmed into my you know, into my muscles over the past 10 years or something that makes me move that way and you will have your own movement. And if you're more of a beginner, you may not have that yet, but you are developing it. You know, unbeknownst to even yourself, you're developing a method of movement that will become your signature. You know, one of the best compliments I could ever get on my work is when people say they always know Mark Obuchi painting when they see it, just because of that mark making the type of brushstrokes that are on the canvas And that, to me, is the highest praise I get because it means I that I have found something personal, that is, that is me. And that's the reason we do. Art, too, express what you feel about something. And even though this painting is a work of fiction is, it's a It's a kid in her friend monster selling pumpkins. I can interject my editorial feelings about it not so much in what's in the picture, but how it's portrayed. You know, you can look at portrait artists and you can love certain portrait artists over others because of their brushwork is why so many portrait artists love John Singer Sargent because he was able to express so much with his brush and of course, is drawing and everything was excellent as well. But what people love about him is his sense of brevity like his Ah, economical brushwork is just boldness, things that you know no one can paint like Sergeant. He stands alone. And that is something that foolishly or not, I'm trying to go for. I mean, I I'm not trying to be compared to Sergeant, but I'm trying to do what he did, which is find something that is totally personal and put it into the painting. Put it into every painting you dio and it never gets boring because I'm not thinking about it when I'm when I'm painting this. I'm not thinking, Oh, I have to put brushstrokes down in this way because that's what I did last time. It's just This is what I do like, you know, it's like tying your shoes. Do you probably tell your shoes the same way every day because that's how you do it. That's what you that's you. And that painting has to become like that, like the the type of brushwork you use eventually just gets to the point where it's like tying your shoes or you just do it. And ah, that is a pursuit that you know, every every artist has, Whether you know it or not, you're pursuing that. And, ah, the more conscious you are of it may be the more you can maybe help direct it. But try not to direct it too much because, um, you know, there I kind of believe that there's a certain look that everyone can have in their art that's so personal that you have to just let yourself discover it naturally. Over time, you might not know what it is. You might think that the thing you're you might think you know where you're going or the thing you're going for. But it may not be that, you know. I mean, when I started painting, I had no idea about any of this stuff. I just painted and and I tried to copy of my favorite artists. I did lots of copies and though, and those helped those informed my brush work. But really, at the end of the day, I, um, I remember when I started noticing how I paint. And it was one of the first times where I where I realized that I'm doing something that I never learned in school or I never learned from someone else. It's just the way that I like to move the brush. And I remember when I started noticing that I I thought it was cool. I felt like I had made some progress. And it's kind of funny how that really has nothing to do with education or or anything like that. It's just it's just pure experience and experience in painting but also experience in seeing people react to your paintings. And that's also something that you need to pay close attention to is how do people react emotionally? Um, not so much like the compliments that give you are or critiques to give you. I'm not talking about that. I mean, you can see it. If you show someone you're painting, you will see it, or you will feel their reaction. And if it's if they react emotionally, you will be palpable. You'll feel that, or if there's a lack of emotion, you'll feel that, too, and you will adjust so back to the actual painting here um, I'm putting in. Here's maybe my first change from the sketch. I'm trying to put in some clouds, and the reason I'm doing that is I want to see if I can use the clouds as a way to get a little dark over light. Read for that awning, the cloud being light, the awning being dark. And it's working right now, I'm enjoying that silhouette that the awning is creating a bus in front of that cloud. Of course, that cloud is very strategically placed for that exact reason. Um, toe have the awning silhouette in front of it, and, um, I end up getting rid of that. But it is a classic sort of thing. Teoh to go dark over light where your your four round the things close to the camera or close to the viewer. I always say camera. For some reason, the things close to the viewer are darker and the things behind it or lighter it is a classic thing. I mean, it's how nature works. If you look in the distance, you see, you know things get lighter. Um, but as cool as that idea is, and while it is working right Now you will see that I at some point get rid of it and we'll talk. Let's talk about why later, as I'm actually doing it, even though I know how this painting turns out, I'm obviously recording this narration after I finished the painting. Um, I want to stay in the moment and sort of relive my own thoughts as I paint this. What I'm doing now is I'm putting down a sense of that warmer horizon that's in the color sketch, and you'll notice. Also, I'm not really sampling from the color sketch that much like I will do that sometimes. But, um, I'm still painting like free hand, and I'm using the color sketch simply as a visual reference. Um, sample. The sample tool is tough, because if I sampled the color the color sketch keep, you have to keep in mind. I'm using a pressure sensitive tablet. So my strokes, so like, let's say I sampled like the blue of the sky, right? The most pure Aiken do. If I pushed 100% pressure on that tablet, I'm getting that color I sampled, but chances are I'm not going to be pushing 100% on the tablet. So I'm if I sampled the sky and push 50% on the tablet. I'm only getting 50% of that color I sampled. So I'm actually not getting the color I think I'm getting. Does that make sense? So what I'm trying to do is if I sample from the color sketch, I have to keep in mind that I'm actually probably not going to get that full effect of the color I'm sampling. So I choose most of the time not to sample from the sketch, and instead, I use it purely as a visual reference. So I just sampled there if you caught that. But in this case, and I don't really care about the actual color and putting down, I sampled it more for value. Um, I'll use it as a visual reference on Lee. And that also increases the, you know, the feeling that I'm not copying my sketch. I'm I'm not trying to recreate it like dogmatically. I'm trying to just use it as inspiration and you'll see later in the painting. Once I have a sort of a firm grasp on it, I will. I will get rid of that color sketch. I will no longer have it on the screen because just like when I painted from life again, if you go back to my sketchbook painting video, the subject matter that I was painting from life becomes a distraction rather than an asset at some point, because your sketch takes on its own life and you have to begin to listen to your sketch and And what you're painting ones rather than what the subject is telling you about your subject rather than what the subject is telling you about the reality of it. OK, so you're art. The finger painting needs to stand on its own, and you need to have the faith to allow it to tell you what it needs. Even if I'm even if you're copying a sketch you did. The drawing you're doing now is different from the thing you're copying and you're not a robot. You will not be able to recreate it perfectly. Um, so you need to begin Teoh, discover the times when you need to let the painting tell you what it needs, not let the reference tell you what it needs right now. I'm still, you know, adhering to the reference, and I'm enjoying that monster face. I like the proportions of him right now. He looks nice. I looked cute. He looks childlike and innocent. You'll see. I go through a few iterations. I end up changing this to oppose. That doesn't quite work as well. And then I end up changing it back again. Constant block in. I like that process. I never For some reason, I never believed myself. When I do something right the first time, like is you can see I'm already changing it. I'm having him or engage the girl going away from my sketch, going away from an idea that I think is good and I end up coming back. Teoh. But in doing so, I'm in changing the post like this. I'm what I'm really doing is I'm testing my ideas. I'm saying Okay, well, I thought I had a good idea before, but let's test it. Let's let's see, let's see if there's not something better, Um, and oftentimes there is something better in this particular case. I end up thinking this is weaker. I think I've weakened the painting. We're doing this, so I will go back. But um, I think testing yourself like testing the mettle of your ideas is something that keeps you honest. So here I am. I'm opening the monster's mouth a little bit as if he's, you know, making exclamation of some kind. But, ah, I'll play with it. You know, I'll dedicate myself to that idea. But, um is the warp tool this is Ah, I made a selection. I right clicked and said, Warp, give me this basic sort of wire frame mash, Aiken warp around fun little digital trick. That is totally a trick. And you can't do that. Traditionally, um, it just gave the monster a little bit more of a tilt to his head, which I found kind of cute. So that's a cool discovery. You can see. I maybe wouldn't have made that discovery if I had just gone with my first block in. So that discovery will filter into later iterations of that monster. But, you know, here I am just, ah, adhering to my idea to see how it goes. At this point, I don't know if it's gonna work better or not. I'm simply doing like the road work that needs to be done to paint it and then I'll sit back and evaluate it. I usually I usually do separate those two processes. The painting of something versus the evaluation of it for me kind of happened at two different times. I need to paint it and and when I'm painting, I'm thinking about you know, the fundamentals of painting like lights and form and composition. And then when it comes to its artistic effect, like the emotional impact of it, that's a separate sort of process that needs to go on when I can sort of put the brush down for a bit. Or just let it do something unimportant while I evaluate, Um, oftentimes I will. Um, I'll spend a few days on a piece like this particular painting, even though even though you can watch it in one, sitting in a four hour sitting it took. I did this painting over three days, and, um, you know, waking up in the morning and looking at the painting, it gives you almost the effect of being a fresh viewer of your own artwork. And you, you know, when you go to sleep and wake up, you can't remember exactly how it looks, um, and it gives you do well just that that fresh look and I try and recreate that sensation as much as possible by flipping the canvas by, you know, taking breaks. Or if I have the chance to call it a night and wake up the next morning, I will definitely take that. If I'm working for clients, it's very rare that I will, unless I have a deadline is very rare that I will submit something the same day that I paint it always. If I can allow myself a night to sleep on it and then get back to it and almost without fail, there is something that I see that I want to go back and change something. That's unclear when I thought it was clear now because we've all experienced this, we we get used to the things we create. We kind of I don't know what it is that we are. Brains just can't see things objectively as we're creating them. It's it's this unfortunate human nature thing, which I wish wasn't there. Which is why we have all these tricks of, you know, flipping the campus horizontally, just tricking our brain into thinking it's seeing it like right there, thinking it, seeing it for the first time and notice when I flipped that. What I'm seeing is that monster is really skewed to the left and I'm changing that now. I'm changing its shape. I did not see that when I was painting him, and you know, why didn't I see it? I don't know. I wish I could see more things as they're being created. But that's just not the way it works for me. Maybe it's maybe it's just me, like maybe some people are better at this. Maybe some people can actually see more objectively as they're creating. I have always been. I have always struggled with that. I have always needed rest or a fresh look in order to see things more objectively, and I think that's a common thing, but I don't know. I mean, certainly no one has a perfectly objective first take on things, but maybe some people are better at it than others. 6. DigitalPaintingII part05of13: We need to slow down for a second and talk about color and light and and how the two are intermingled and how they work together. So I want to do something really simple. I want Teoh use all the drawing skills of a kindergartner and explain this concept because it's really it's really quite a simple thing. So let's start with just lines and I'm going to draw a tree. Here is my tree. OK, it's on grass. Here is my grass. Okay, now the tree is lit by the sun. So here is the sun. It's Mr Son and that's our scene. Okay, beautiful. Now let's talk about color Before we talk about light. Let's talk about color. Okay, What color is a tree? Well, the leaves air green. So let's pick green and let's paint our tree green. Okay, What color is the sky? It's blue. So let's pick blue in color in the sky. Maybe a little lighter. That's color in the sky blue. Okay, good. Now what color is the sun? It's yellow. So we color our son yellow and keep the sun rays because I like them and Oh, yeah, the tree. What color are tree trunks brown, so we color it brown. And then, lastly, what color is the grass green? So let's take the same green is the tree because in our Crayola crown box, there's only one green and we color the grass green. Okay, amazing. We have just done what a kindergarten kid can dio. Okay, Perfect. That's that's step one. Believe it or not, you have known how to paint since you were four years old, probably even younger than that. Um, great. This looks like your child's drawing. So from here, let's let's apply a bit of color theory, which really is also light theory, according to me, because they're so linked. Let's apply a little bit of that and see what we can do to make this image a little more realistic. Not in terms of its drawing, but in terms of its treatment of color and light. Um, it really boils down to two families. Light versus shadow. We have our son, which is the light source. Okay. And right now, what this picture is devoid of is light. There's no light in this scene. What I've got here is called local color, local color, meaning the inherent color of the object. So, you know, leaves are green, we choose green. We haven't considered what green. You know, I If I sample that green, I didn't really consider what green that is. I It didn't matter to me that it was closer to the blue than it is to the orange that that wasn't a factor in my mind. A case like a kindergarten kid would never think about that kind of thing. But now we have to do this thing where we have to start thinking of something called color , temperature and color temperature. What that means is bringing back my color picker color temperature refers to it kind of is a map of how cool or warm is something in comparison. So we have this green this green, which is I've sampled. The tree there is closer to the blue family in the color wheel than it is to the orange and Reds family. So I would call this green. In this context, it's a cooler green. It's cooler. Then it is warmer, right? Would you agree with me on that? Um, the tree trunk is we said brown, but they're really there's no use for color names. You very quickly realized color names are too broad because brown you can have any of these colors and it would look brown this green. You look how many greens there are, and we would still call them green. Okay, that's why we can't use green, brown red. We can't use color names. We have to leave those behind and we have to. Then instead, we have to replace those with warm and cool. And that's, Ah, sort of an abstract idea. It's a warm green or cool green, and it all revolves around context. OK, now let's actually put this into practice, and I'll stop being all theoretical. Okay, let's start applying color temperatures so we think of the light. In this case, it's very cutting drive. The sun is illuminating, are seen. The sun is this yellowy orangey light. So when it hits anything, when the sunlight hits anything, it's going to push those colors. It's gonna push the local color in the direction of the light in terms of color. Okay, it's going to push this brown into the direction of orange, so I'm gonna bring it up here. It's also gonna make it lighter because it's light. Okay, that's should be self explanatory. And the light version of this color might look something like this. Okay, I've just applied some color theory to this basic starting point. Okay, Now let's stay in the light. Okay? Let's look at this tree. Same thing. The sun is hitting the tree. The sun is over here on the color picker. The trees over here. The sun is going to draw those colors closer to it. It's not going to make it completely yellow. It's not going to match its color because the local color has some pull. Has some influence over the some might color, but but the sunlight color wins. The light source is stronger than the local color. So we pick our color and we paint it. Okay. Now, of course, I'm not trying to make good shapes right now. I'm going for brevity here in terms of my technique. Eso I paint this tree in the light. Okay, all of a sudden, I'm starting to get a very rudimentary sense of light. Okay? But I'm not done yet. Let's look paint the grass in light. Because, of course, the grass I picked the same color as the tree. So I'm going to stay with this yellowy green color this warm green. Okay, look, I can I can go warmer and put that into it. It's appropriate because I'm in the I'm in the world of warm color. Okay, Just drawing some shapes of light here. One of some degree of presentation. Okay, um great. That deals with that deals with our lights. Now let's look at shadows. Shadows is really where most of the color theory exists, because in light, it's a very simple calculation. What's the color of your light? Ah, then direct all your local colors into that sphere of influence. Okay, Um, as we've just done now with shadows is a bit different. Shadows. You have to deal with something called ambient light. You might also hear this called bounced light. They really mean the same thing. Um, ambient light or bounce light is essentially light coming from all directions other than the light source. So let me just ah, let me draw some a little diagram for you guys. It's gonna pick this bright color, the sunlight, the main light source, not the sun is coming in like this and hitting everything it can, right? It's hitting all these things that that's directly in front of it. The sun can't hit here. The light doesn't bend right. The sun can't do that. So this this area is shadow. This is all shadow. This is shadow. Okay, let me just undo that for so I can not mess up the whole thing. Light and shadow. Now what happens in shadow? Get rid of my marks there. What happens in shadow is shadows are lit. They have light. There's no you know We don't see perfectly black shadows like we do in space where there is no bounce light in. You know, here on this planet we have bounce light so light What happens is it comes off in off the sun, hits the ground and bounces up Bounces up from the grass It comes from the sky The sky is a huge sphere of light The light comes in from the sky hitting all of these things Okay, the about the delight The ambient light hits everything It hits all this too. But the problem is ambient light is weaker than direct light. The sun will overpower ambient light which is why in the in the light in here, we don't really consider ambient light because the sunlight overpowers it in the shadow is where you have to consider ambient light. And this is where most of the calculations of color take place. At least for me. This is where you play with colors in the shadows. So look at Look at what we've got. We've got a blue sky, we've got green grass. In reality, you might have some yellow flowers, some red flowers and the grass. You have dirt, which is like a more maybe more greyish green or purple e something Whenever there's so many colors in real life and they're all bouncing around like crazy in the shadows. So what we have, then I'll get the smudge tool for this. That's why, like this much tool so much, let's look at this blue sky. This blue sky is going to do just the same thing as the sunlight did sample the tree again . Remember, the sunlight pulled us here. Well, guess what? The blue skies gonna pull us here and it's not gonna be as strong. So it's a lesser poll, but it is going to allow us pick us slightly stronger color than that. It is going to allow us to have some blue creep into the tree inch in shadow. Guess what? It's also gonna appear in the trunk, but it's not gonna be the same blue, because look how warm already that tree trunk is in shadow. It's going to pull it towards here, but it can't get there entirely, because again, ambient light is not that strong. So what you might do is you might go here and you might go a little gray. Er gray is a good way of getting cooler in color he had. If I apply that, it almost looks like there's an influence of the blue sky. But it's done a little more tastefully with gray, a little less abruptly or less of an affront to the look of it. I could maybe go a little bit bluer, pull in a few more blues. It doesn't work. He doesn't work up here. This color doesn't work up in the tree because this is for the tree trunk. You might have to. This is to purposely for the tree, so because it's too much to the red zone. If I pulled toward the green, I can. I can play with all sorts of different types of cool color. And when I say cool color, I mean as temperature not not slang cools of color temperatures. I could go to town with this, and I do go to town in my own paintings with color temperature, and you'll see me do it when I paint the final. How much time in care I'll take with orchestrating all these little patches of color and making sure that they're tasteful and, you know, not overdone, not underdone. It's all personal taste, Really. At this point, I take the theory that I'm showing you now, and I apply it with personal taste. Okay, Um, the tree has to cast a bit of a shadow. So, you know, for a shadow again. Cool shadow. Maybe a little obvious, little darker. So let's put in this cooler tree shadow. You might have some light some of this warm lights. At this point, I can start sampling, cause I have all these colors online painting already. You might have some some warm light, you know, making some of those dappled stuff, which which is what I'm doing. In the actual illustration. Go back to my cold shadow notice. I'm painting with a slightly more turquoise, the color which is appropriate in the realm of cool. The only thing that would make this not appropriate would be personal taste. I might say that covers a little, too, you know, Children's book, coloring book or something. You know, some other personal reaction I might have. And this is where art is personal in terms of your color use. Um, it's one of the many areas artist personal and, you know, color uses a big one. Now I've also mentioned bounce light from the grass. Well, guess what if I have bounce light from the grass coming up into the tree trunk, What color is that bounce like gonna be? Well, it's going. It's going to adopt the green of the grass so I might take a color that's there, Maybe bring it more into the greens. They're still gonna be cool green because I'm in shadow. I don't want ever wanna go warm. That's the territory of the warm sunlight. I wanna go cool green, and I want to maybe hit a few green notes of color here. And if this were a real painting, I would be very mindful of creating nice shapes. I don't care about shapes right now. I just care about getting this example out. But, um, shapes are always part of the painting process, making good good shapes. Good drawing color can exist without good drawing. Okay, you can do an abstract painting that is totally realistic in its depiction of how light works. And in fact, much of my painting is abstract. I only care about drawing where I need it, and I'll be abstract everywhere else. Let's take a look at this painting. I think this painting is a good example of taking this idea and converting it into what nobody would consider a kindergarten drawing. Because all I've done here is I've taken exactly this thinking but applied drawing and composition to it. But let's look at it solely for its color use. Okay, let's go into the color picker, and this scene is lit exactly like our previous scene, which is just basic sunlight. Okay, Um, and we have sudden light creating light and shadow families. So let's look at the light. Let's look at the monster character because he's, you know, he's the subject of our painting today, and and this is a good example of how he's let in this scene. In fact, I'm reusing the idea of this slash of light so the monster has green for okay, So you might, if you looked at green just like our tree. It's you know this area, but notice how green in sunlight, how much more yellow? I've really exaggerated this yellow right in sunlight. There really is. No, there are no greens in my light area, and it still looks like a green monster because of the shadow. But talking about light and look how much I've pushed it into those oranges and yellows. There's some. There's some reds here. Bring this closer. As I sample around the light, there's some reds and oranges and yellows. These air all acceptable because they're all in the warm family of the sun. Okay, if the sun is, say this this color temperature here, I can play in this area and be completely safe because it's all in the sphere of warm color . Look at the shadows now, Um, obviously, from a value standpoint, we have a big drop in value for to create a shadow, a dark shadow. But in terms of color, look at where these colors are there. They play on a much wider range. Look at that. Look at that color picker jumping around, essentially going this whole range of color. Where is in light? This is the light. Look how little it's jumping. This is just like our theory with this picture, where in the light it has to conform to the sun. The temperature of the sun was in shadow. It's got all these influences. The sky, the grass. You know, if there was someone standing here with a red shirt, you'd have a red influence. Just like in this picture, the ground is quite warm. The ground is this sandy desert. I've got this really orange sand so that orange is going to hit the sand. You just get grabbed my red marker again. It's going to come from the sun, which is actually coming from here. It's going to hit the sand like this, and it's going to bounce up into the monster's shadows and let me just undo all that so we can see and look at the color underneath the monster. He's still in shadow here, but look how warm I'm pushing those shadows because of the bounce light from the sand. And because it's so close, the monster's belly is so close to the sand that I'm really allowing those reds from the sand to come through. It's not quite the same orange as the sand is. It's a little bit more in the purple Lee reds. And that's because, in my mind, properly reds are a little cooler in temperature than this oranges. Just how it how my mind thinks of color temperature. Um, whereas look at the other colors in the monster shadow. Look at these blues here as I sample the the top of his belly. Look at these blues. Why are they blew? Well, because what do we have up here? We have the sky. The sky is hitting this area. The sky's the sky's not hitting. This area can't get down there. The light can't bend. The light can't bend under it. The light light travels straight, right? It's the biggest blessing we have is painters is that light travels straight? It's predictable. Uh, Blue Blue. All this stuff is can be influenced by blue. Look at the cave wall, which is to completely in shadow blue blues, blues, purples. You know I'm using purples, too, because in my thinking, purples is still within the legal realm of cools, right? I can still use these purples if I just sample some of them. There's some of the monster's belly here. This is kind of a bluish purple, right? I can really play with that now, in areas where it's more neutral like, say, this area here I'm getting, you know, more green, more like color Crayola green, And that's just to help the That's the local color coming through a little more so in this area here, it's more influenced by the sky in this area. Here is more influenced by the sand in other areas. I'm letting a little more the local color happen so you can really see how this what I always referred to as a tapestry of colors is arrived at. It's not random. Um, what makes it look maybe random and expressive is the brushwork, like the way I use the brush, Um, but the thinking behind it is very predictable, and really there's really nothing artistic about that part of it. The artistic part comes in composition and drawing. You know this idea I had about a monster hiding in a cave? That's where the art is. Um, the color theory is really not the art part. That's just something that's almost almost mathematical, really. And I hope that this simplified demonstration, maybe a lays some of your fears about color theory because, really, it's not that scary. Um, you have a lot of room to play, so long as you know whether you're in warm, cool, warm or cool families. You can really have a considerable degree of freedom in terms of how much you can play with color. So with that done, let's go back to the painting and and let's use some colors freely, okay? 7. DigitalPaintingII part06of13: So at this point, I'm still concerned with getting those characters kind of in place. And really, I think the thought behind that is sort of like what I did with the tree in the foreground is what is it that you need to help you best progress. And the tree was the first thing because, like I already explained compositionally, I needed something to hinge off of. And now it's really the meat of the picture, which is the characters. I mean, the characters are are what you're going toe. Look at me at least what I want you to look at when I want to show you the illustration. So the characters quickly become the focus of my effort. And, ah, you know, that was just I did a quick fix on the monster. I started still awaiting them a little bit and pretty much at this point I met. I'm that kind of ah important point in this painting where I can now, because I have things kind of laid in. I can now start jumping around and bringing the whole thing up because that's another way that I work. And I mentioned this earlier. I never like to finish any one thing before anything else. That's a totally valid way toe work, by the way to finish one thing and then branch off in Branch off. And I have done paintings that way. Um, that works specifically well, when you're working from reference, I find when you have something you're trying to follow, like a portrait, let's say you have a photo of the subject, then, yes, I can maybe feel confident in finishing the eyes and then moving on because I have reference to adhere to. But because I have nothing to guide me here. Even my I'm have my color sketch. But that's not final. I'm not trying to recreate that, Um, I tend to jump from place to place and bring the whole thing up at once. So, you know, I was just working on the sky. Now I'm on a sudden working on the girl's face. Then I will switch Teoh. You know who knows what I'll do next like I don't even know. Ah, it will just be this constant awareness that the whole painting needs to come up at once, and it's kind of like to draw a cheesy metaphor like those carnival guys who spend the plates. They have five plates spinning, and it's their job to just keep all those plates spinning all at once. And you know, you let anyone plate stop spinning, it's gonna topple over and break. Um, that's what I feel like I'm doing here. I'm trying. Teoh keep everything moving and therefore nothing stagnant. And what that does is it gives the whole painting a cohesiveness. In the end, that is built up together and you know, it's It's a very specific requirement I have of my technique, really in my paintings, like the look, it relates back to the abstraction thing that I have, like where the brushes, the brush work itself is fun to look at and inspired and, you know, has energy and interesting design and all those things. It's It's very abstract terms. Um, but here we go. I'm thinking composition. Now I'm putting in this lower pumpkin. And as you might have noticed when you saw the final illustration in the title card, how much that lower part changes? I kind of discover something later in the painting that I won't talk about yet. I'll wait till I discover it. Actually, when I paint here in real time, um, something that radically alters the like the location of the painting. I guess it doesn't really radically alter the composition as again you'll see later. I still want to adhere to my sort of s curvy pumpkin path composition thing. With my lights being relegated up to where the characters are, that's all gonna pretty much stay intact. But, um, this lower section of the painting really goes through some radical change which at this point of the painting, I have not discovered Here's one major change that I'm just starting to dio I have ah, kind of grown tired of this foreground tree being the only sort of vegetation in the painting. I thought that it might be more fun if we define the location around the characters a little more and give the illustration. There goes that cloud. Give the illustrations some more autumn feel by adding more trees. I was actually outside, probably between starting this painting and where I'm at now. And I just was noticing some of these birds trees and they had these beautiful thin trunks with some texture on it. Um, and these just nice yellow leaves that were popping out of them. And here we go. I'm already starting to modify the foreground tree into more of a birch tree, and eventually, eventually, I'll actually get rid of that whole for Rowntree altogether and more and put it more in the background. So I'm just trying this. I don't know if it's gonna work, but I had a feeling that this illustration is looking a little like It doesn't really have a location to it. It was too centred on the pumpkin thing, and the background was just kind of blank, like I was just throwing random colors back there. I wanted to give a little more, I guess, location, atmosphere or something, Something of a sense of place to the painting. So I'm adding these birds trees, which will give me fun opportunities for foliage all around the top. I still wanna wait the foliage to the right because I want the dappled shadows on the awning to be waited to the right. I don't want I don't want to fall into that compositional pitfall where it's even right. I don't want to do that. So that tree on the right is still going to be the dominant tree. But to balance out the composition a little bit, I want to put in these small trees. There's this type of composition called the Steelyard composition, and you can look that up on Google. It's not anything I'd here, too, but it has a principle that's kind of interesting. Basically, what it says is, if you have a really dominant element on one side of the painting, like that tree on the right foreground tree and it's big, you can balance it out with two smaller ones on the opposite third of the painting. So you kind of see my two little birds. Trees are, in a way, balancing out the Big Four Roundtree without being without being symmetrical. So I have a layer on here one of the first times I've used layers in this illustration, and what I'm doing is I'm testing my birch trees on the layer. So all this new painting I'm doing with the birch trees because it deviates so much from the sketch. I'm just putting it on a layer. There's no tricks in the layer tricks at all. It's just just trying it on a layer so I can toggle its visibility and and see. Is it better before or is it better after? And if it's better after, I will flatten it down and go with that decision. I do not want to plague myself with indecision, and, ah, layers are a good way to, ah to court that if you have too many layers all of a sudden you start evaluating too much , you know, and that just bogged you down again. Layers have their place. When you're dealing with clients, you usually will be wise to use layers because you'll get revisions. Um, but ah, in this case, you know, if I want to move something later and it's flattened, I don't really care. I'll just select it and move it and you'll see that happen. Even in the late stages of the painting. You will see me do that. There's something that keeps the painting fresh. If you have to constantly improvise on one layer, there's just something about it. Maybe it's maybe I'm tied to my traditional upbringings, but, um, you know, in traditional media, there's there's no layers, right? If something has to move, you gotta move it by hand, like by repainting it. And I just like that. So you know, this stage of the painting is just ah, just trying to figure out I'm putting like a ground in the back. I'm trying to see if maybe that's the ground that you can see receding into forest. It might not look like a ground right now, but that's what I'm trying to do. But then, just as quickly, I'm going back to the shelving things where the pumpkins are just for no other reason than to keep the whole thing moving. It's kind of like this instinct I've developed where I again I don't think about it. Um, the instinct is that when I've worked on one part, I, all of a sudden like, get allergic to it and move away from it, and I think that's a healthy habit that I've developed over time. I can't quite say that I consciously do it every now and then. I will consciously, you know, jump from one thing to the next, especially if it's like a compositional element that needs to play off another compositional element. I might ping pong between those two things. That's not really happening this time, but in this one, it's It's very random, like I'm looking at the sky now, and one thing I'm doing with that sky, I'm decreasing the value. I'm making the value darker in the sky, so I'm giving it a really. If you look at that blue, there's nothing light about that blue. It's a very middle value, and what that's going to allow me to do is flip the script on something that actually commonly happens in life. And what that is is tree's foliage being darker than the sky? That's like a common thing for tree foliage to be the darkest thing in your painting. Even tree foliage and light is darker than the sky, usually, but in the autumn that gets reversed when the leaves are turning color and getting yellow and orange, and then they're hit by the sun. The leaves actually get brighter than the sky, and it's this interesting autumn thing. It only happens in in the fall. And because this is a fall themed painting, I really wanted to go for that. So instead of making my yellows of the trees lighter than I need them, go the opposite way and make the sky darker. So you bring up one thing by reversing it on the other thing that works with warms and cools as well. If you want your warms to come up in a painting, increase your cools. Don't increase your warms. Oftentimes kind of a hallmark of maybe an amateur color palette is is when the person wants to get really warm. They just literally get too warm with their warm colors, like the reds, or to read. Everything's too warm, whereas you can control that a bit temperate a little bit by getting the getting your cools working and the cools can orchestrate the warms. Eso here. What am I doing here? I'm grabbing another head from my character design, and I'm just noticing that the way the girl is going, I've realized that the that pose I took before didn't work. So this one seems to be more appropriate, and I really liked the head shape on this one, and all of a sudden that's starting to work a little better. So I'm gonna go with that so it's on a layer. He can't see the layers box yet, but it's on a layer, obviously, and I'm just sliding it around. It's on multiply mode, so it the white becomes transparent. Just the blacks show through and, ah, once I once I'm happy with that layer flatten their ago. So it so now everything's flat again. So I have that girl flattened down, and I will I will, you know, paint from here. I'm just trying to figure out where her other arm is. You know, I'm still on the hugging pose thing, which, as you probably know, I changed that. But in my head right now, I still want her to be sort of hugging the pumpkin. And even though I do change it later, I still think that's a cute idea. I mean, she's looking pretty cute right now. I like her tiny little body her. I mean, I can see her hands in the sketch, but they're by no means painted in yet just working on some of those background trees. The background trees need to get redder. I haven't gotten there yet. When when you when light recedes in distance, it gets redder, it gets darker and more read. The reason for that is yellow is the first color to drop off in distance. You'll never see yellows in the distance. Nature, Our atmosphere just filters yellow out. Our eyes don't see yellow in the distance. Eso What that leaves is if you if you have a warm color in the background that that would be yellow if it were up close, that color actually gets tinged red like tinted red. Um, so right now, my colors in the distant background are a little too yellow to be there, There, there, out of place. It's a subtle thing that I'm picking up on. I will change it later at this point where I'm what I'm thinking now is that I'm on to something with these birch trees. I like where I'm going, but I need to. I need to figure out compositionally how to treat it. I'm not. You know, I have the inklings of an idea, but what I don't have is like a solid plan, and it's a bit scary because I'm going off script here. I'm off my sketches now, no longer valid in that one area, and you gotta be careful with composition because the second you change something compositionally that has potential to rock the foundations of everything. In this case, it's OK. It's a it's a manageable change is kind of a local change. I can change the trees and not really affect the entire illustration. But because I'm starting to hone in on that upper area here, I'm selecting out. I selected out the thing. This is color hue, saturation. I'm increasing the saturation a little bit and the lightness trying to get value. This is levels now. Sorry, I think I canceled the hue saturation brought up levels. I'm trying to get a value on that awning to make it pop out from the sky because notice how , how rich and kind of dark that Skye is now that that gives me so much head room for the awning to pop out. And that's in the sketch. You know, that was I did that in my color sketch. I'm trying to be true to that, and I was still, you know, there's still lots of painting to do in that awning. It's not finished. Um, it's starting to be true to where it needs to sit. Value wise, though, so that's one of my criteria of painting is, of course, let's get the values, right? You know, let's get the lights and darks, right. Um, you know, I spoke about that in my composition. Talk a little bit about how that's gonna be, like, one of the lightest values in the painting. Is the awning the second lightest being the monster's body. Um, actually, maybe equals depending on where I end up. But so that's step one is kind of getting the value. And then the whole time, I'm evaluating the abstraction quality of it and how my brushwork looks. So trying to separate those thoughts, Um, in my head, at least I might be painting them together. But I will separate value discussion from a textural discussion, for example, which is why in my composition video, the little quick thing we did on composition. I was just working in black and white flag colors. That was just value, you know, only value. Ah, value in shape, I guess. And then, you know, now is I'm painting it. I know where the value has to be. So I make sure I'm there, but ah, just, you know, endemic to the painting process is also a discussion about texture and ah, brushwork. Some playing with the monsters pose, maybe getting them to, like do like a hooray type arms raised. He's got little stumpy arms, Um, which I'm representing with sort of a dark blocking right there. And you know, it's cute. It's cute. Um, I end up changing it, though, because right now you know what the dynamic I have with the characters now is. The girl is engaging us, but the monster's engaging the girl, which is interesting. I do like that. I could go with that. I end up not going with it. But, you know, the my original idea wins out in the end, how I want them both to be engaging us, the viewer. So here I'm trying to block in some light. I'm just going to see if Light works on the girl's face. Remember, in my color sketch, I was mentioning how the girl's face is a bit dark. It's a bit to recess it, trying to amend that by putting some light on her face, and I did that with the linear Dodge feature. I got an airbrush for you. Go back a bit. My airbrush is on linear dodge mode and what that allows you to do is kind of paint with light to kind of lightens the pixels that are already there. It's a great painting mode. Total digital trick. You can't do this traditionally, Linda, this linear dodge mode the closest analog to that would be using an airbrush, a traditional airbrush with a very bright color painting over something. And even that is not quite the same. But you can see here. You know, I'm carving into her head just because I have that drawing. They remember it was flattened down, So when I paint, I paint over it. It's a good way to work. I think again, the one layer thing. You know how many of us would put that drawing on a separate layer and only paint under it ? Well, you can do that. But the problem with doing that is it's no longer really a painting. It's kind of like a coloring. If you're painting underneath your lines, I find it's more like a coloring technique. Then, rather than a painting technique, the difference being that if you're coloring inside lines, your lines are dominating the drawing. You've done a line drawing and you're just adding color underneath, whereas I'm not doing that. I don't want there to be lines in this piece. I want this to be a pure painting. So if I have lines like the sketch of the girl flattening them down, it just means that I will paint over them. Because in this particular style, all right, I'm chopping up the monster, re sizing him a bit in this particular style, lines really don't look nice. They look out of place, summary sizing him, which is going to give me some problems. In a second with the awning, I have to repaint, repainting the awning a little bit, and I'm gonna try and have the awning overlap the monster a little bit in my color sketch I'm noticing. That's very close to being a tangent. There were the top of the monster's head. If you look at the color sketch on the right, the top of the monster's head is almost touching the bottom of the awning that's called a tangent and tangents creep into your work, no matter how professional you are. Tangents just happened right? Right now, even in my final painting, actually have a nastier tangent where the monster's head is in two d is literally touching that. The awning, it's, Ah, a big tangent there, and I don't think I've noticed it. And believe it or not, it's so obvious to me now, having you know, being sort of 1/3 person observer here as I record this narration. But at the time, I'm so mired in the process of painting that tangents like that, you know, even though they're right under my nose, they can slip away. But you know, you notice them. That's where a night's rest comes in. Or, ah, flipping of the canvas or anything like that. And here we go, flipping of the campus and I'll start noticing things still working on the silhouette of the characters you can see. I've noticed that tangent at least a little bit and trying to maybe overlap the awning over his head. You just move in the brush around, not doing much painting at the moment. Here we go. Sometimes I just sort of have to sit and think about it. 8. DigitalPaintingII part07of13: just on a personal side. Note it. It's kind of funny, uh, watching myself paint this stuff. Obviously, this is not something I usually get to watch after the fact and often times I I kind of wish that I saved more stages of the painting, not to look back at them, but because sometimes you kind of have better ideas at the beginning, or you arrive at more simple statements at the beginning. And then, as you kind of paint on and on, kind of like obstinately start painting because you are insistent on getting better as it goes. Sometimes you actually lose simplistic ideas that works so well in the beginning, but you can't tell they work in the beginning because the rest of painting isn't finished. So when I look back at this stuff, I actually see things that that get washed away later, in fact, something that's already been washed away. I liked the initial expression of the monster. Um, speaking of the monster, here comes some eyeballs, and instantly when I have the eyes in that air looking directly at us. Now, all of a sudden it gives him character. There's something about it, like he has a consciousness. Now there's something about the eyes that if you can get those right, get those eyes right. Everything else kind of falls into place a little bit. The eyes, it's often said, or the windows into the soul. That is true with cartooning as well. You've got to get the eyes right and something as simple is having that character look directly at you. The viewer that needs to be something that you have to spend time over. And I used Teoh. I used to get that wrong all the time. Getting a character to appear to look at you is actually not not as simple as putting the eyeball or the irises right in the middle of the eyes. In fact, if you look at the monster those I sorry irises are not just directly plopped in the middle of the eyeball. The one on the right is slightly to the to the left. You see that and the one on the left is more or less kind of in the lower middle they occupy due to different spaces because the eyes air physically separated. You gotta ah, it's a good area of ah study or an area to observe in real life is when someone is looking at you or anything noticed. There I line and what makes their eyes look like they're looking at that? And then you can make your illustrations that much more powerful. I mean, that goes for anything. Painting and observing from life is really the way to go. That is the way to learn because because what you do then is you absorb the raw information and you process it watching. You know, even this video watching me paint is fine, But what I can't teach and I can't really show, even though I'm physically showing you a demo right now, what I can tell you is what my like, what my emotions are doing and what my muscle memory, how that's translating to muscle memory and why I'm using that spatter brush for the trees . I don't have answers to that. It's all intuition, and ah, the raw material that drives intuition is found from life, not from painting from photos or not from sitting at a computer painting digitally all day . Although that how those things do help, I encourage you to get outside, which is why I've also published a class on sketchbook painting, and I do hope you check that out because it shows the raw process of getting outside and painting. And ah, it's that type of painting to me is exhilarating. And, you know, speaking of painting outdoors when I'm painting these trees here and this outside environment, I'm completely drawing upon my experience, painting similar subject matter outside. There's there's really nothing in this illustration that's alien to me because I've tackled it all outdoors, and I've seen it all from life firsthand. You know, I didn't have to read about painting trees in a book. I painted it from life. I've been there and done that. And I continue to go there and do that. Ah, to keeps my skills sharp to keep progressing and, ah, you know, progression. And art is also a kind of something that comes in stages, I think were is in the beginning. If you're a beginner artist, your progression might look a lot like, say, like a math equation, like okay, I go to class, I learn how to draw perspective, and then I then I can draw perspective. And now next class, I'm learning how to draw a nose. Oh yea, now I can draw a nose and next class Let's learn how to drawn. I Okay, now I can draw nigh. That's what progress looks like when you're a beginner and we all go through those stages. But when What happens when you know how to draw nigh and you know how to draw perspective and you know all these fundamental things. What happens then? Does your learning stop? No, you then learning then becomes more abstract and more based on experience. That's when experience really has weight. Um, and you have Teoh continue that experience to get better as an artist, If you get complacent, you will stop growing. And it's not that, you know, are it's kind of funny. It's not that you need classes all the time. You just need to find ways of getting that experience in getting, you know, like working out or something. Just keep going. Just you know, working out is a good analogy just cause you lifted weights for a year in your life. Does that mean you can stop? We'll know. If you do stop, you will lose that muscle that you've built and ah, art is the same thing, you know? Funnily enough, lifting weights and painting kind of ah are very similar. You know, lifting a first need someone to show you the proper form with holding the weight and making sure you don't injure yourself. And then once you have that, you go. And then from there you explore different exercises, different weights, different types of reps. And that's just like painting. Where once you know what the tools are and you are developing them, then it becomes a matter of you having to get out there and exercising those those tools and those skill sets and building them. Okay, so enough philosophy. Let's let's look at what I'm actually doing here. I'm painting these trees and noticed I'm interested now and slightly more precise Mark making. Um, I'm not using huge scattering brushes that kind of let the strokes fall where they may. I'm kind of dialing in with a combination of smudge tool textured brushes, round brushes. Ah, you know everything under the sun really to get interesting marks. And overall, though I'm concerned with shape. So what do you mean by shape? I often tell students to picture, um, having a pair of scissors and cutting out shapes. So the awning is a great example. That awning is a very easy shape to cut out with scissors. If I gave that to a two year old and said, Cut this shape out this yellow awning shape with scissors, they could probably do it. It's not that hard of a shape to see because it's big and it's clear it's got a nice silhouette. Everything's there, right? Um, that strength of shape needs to be everywhere. In this small shapes and the big shapes in the whole picture, you need those clear shapes. So when I'm doing a tree, I'm cognizant of the shape that I'm creating with all of these little marks. What are those shapes doing? And what What's the negative shape that I'm leaving behind in between them are they talked a bit about this in the composition video? Are they too stagnant? Are they to similar? Do they move the I? How how many edges do they have like, is it? Is it a shape that looks like a road map, In which case that's no good, because it's too, too much is too on to just not simple enough eyes. The shape was is the shape simple doesn't have a clear identity. And it's not like when I say shape. I'm up meaning like a square or a triangle. I mean some shapes, air squares and triangles, But I'm just talking about an abstract shape, like the girl's head the girls had read. The reason why she has no features right now is because I'm I'm or interested in her shape and especially her shape in relation to the pumpkin that she's holding there. I'm trying to play shapes against each other, and right now, if I had a criticism of my own painting, it's that the girl's head and the pumpkin are actually two similar, Um, and they're so close together, it almost looks like an orange snowman, and I don't want that when I flip it back. I mean, it's still like never that I have said the Snowman thing. I can I can totally see an orange snowman there, and that's something that I don't want in this painting in the final. So these are all shaped problems, Okay, so that's one area of painting that should occupy a large portion of your thought is you know what the shapes of that I'm making because in painting, we put down thousands upon thousands of brushstrokes. Um, and just be cognizant that with each one of those strokes, you are either making or contributing to the shape design of your picture. Anyway, I'm looking at the monster's eyes right now, and I'm doing this thing that I always do with eyes where I build eyes up over time. Just like everything else on I is not as easy as a white color with brown or black irises. I am putting a whole range of colors in there. You could see your I'm I'm playing around with the not the pupil but the iris part like where the lenses. I'm making a green and I'll make some areas more green. Here I'm putting an outline around the iris, which sometimes helps with more cartoony statements. It gives it a bit of character, and, you know, once I zoom in on that, you'll see it even more clearly. And then the the eyeball itself, the I whites think of those as white marbles and if you know anything, if you look at a white marble. It reflects color from its surroundings. It's not just white. I mean, there's really no such thing as as white. It white is a contextual thing. Something will look white in different contexts, and white is a great reflector of other colors, so it will pick up like an eye. White like that will pick up colors from the indirect light. If I think back to my light in color. Example, that sidebar video we did where I'm talking about light from the sky but also bounced light coming off of the awning. That awning is or is yellowy orange, right? So it's going to be reflecting a lot of yellowy orange light, and that's going to create an interesting challenge in my shadows. Um, with the girl in the monster. That monster character, for example, is going to be, um, is going to get light from the sky, creating sort of a bluish tinge in his hair and also a yellow we warm yellow reddish thing from the awning, giving him more of a warm tone. And I'm gonna have to be real creative and how I disperse those. I have no reference right. Obviously, there's no reference for this. So I have to invent that and the eye whites arm or even more pure because the white gets its color from its surroundings. So right now I have a pretty nice lay, and I think the bottom of the eye whites are getting more of the orange tone, maybe reflecting up from the table that's underneath. And then the top is getting more blue, potentially from the sky. It's kind of how how I've boiled it down. And those eyes, I think are the one of the first things I have done that will really stay in those most characters. I think those eyes are starting to look. They're starting to have life, you know? I see life there, and, um, here we are putting some of the dappled shadows in, and this is really one of my weaknesses. And I think I'm not alone here. Creating the mimicking the variety of nature is really hard. In fact, look at look at what I've just done. Have I just undid it. But I put down four identical dots all in a row. If you rewind a little bit, you'll see it, and I was smart enough to notice it. I'm not smart. I was perceptive enough to notice it. Because I know my tendencies. I know that. I just cannot seem to get my hand to put down random strokes like it's It's just something that's just not in my purview. I guess I need to put something down a race out of it, to create randomness. Maybe, Like, you know, maybe sometimes I literally close my eyes and paint with my eyes closed to try and get a random shape that sometimes works with dappled shadows. Try closing your eyes and putting a few dots down. It's kind of a brain trick now. I'm just emphasizing some of the color in the awning. It was getting a little too chalky, a little too washed out. So let's bring in some of those reds, which helps. You know, this helps punch that area forward a little bit. It's still the yellow. The strength of that light yellow still maintains that awning shape. It kind of holds it together than the red is kind of a nice little punch of value. I still have not yet found the main thing that I'm. Maybe I'm actually finding it now we'll see. Maybe not. Though I've not yet found the thing that makes this painting possible. In my opinion, the problem I'm facing, you can see I'm stalling right now. I don't know what I'm doing. I am. Um I was playing with some color adjustments. Auto color are auto contrast, But to back up for a sec, Um, this something was bothering me about this composition is it seems to open on the bottom. I'm not convinced that pumpkins alone are going to do it. It just doesn't seem interesting enough. I mean, some of you might disagree with me, and certainly this painting in different hands might be possible with just pumpkins. But there's something to me about the pumpkin idea that needs more. There's something in it needs and, you know, we'll see when I come up with it. Well, here's the first thing is, instead of just the pumpkins sitting on the on the wood, why not put them in a basket? That's a familiar object, which a Well, the familiarity is good, because people will expect to see that kind of thing. It adds to the whole tomboy ish nature of the girl. It puts these characters in a context a little bit. It it implies a story like they were able to source this basket somewhere. Maybe that maybe they live on a farm. You know, maybe they're in, you know, farm country somewhere. It's a good visual storytelling device, this little basket. So I'm glad I stumbled on that, and no doubt. I mean, I don't have many baskets like that. So no doubt I googled the basket and just, you know, saw how the weavings work and and then just kind of try to memorize it and paint it, so that's good. But that's still not the thing that I discover, but it's part of it. Here I am uprising. I like best for enlargement. If you see that I picked best for enlargement of the bottom, and I uprise it anywhere between 3 to 500 pixels is a good step for uprising in paintings like this, Photo shop does a really good job of interpreting. You don't really lose much like if you were to upper as a photo by 500 pixels. You'll definitely start seeing some pics elation, because Photoshopped has to do a lot of work in guessing the pixels that's adding right, but in a painting, because the shapes air so flattened, colorful Photoshopped actually doesn't really good job of keeping crispness. And, um, as you'll see what I do when when things start getting a little bit soft, I will apply a sharpen filter, and just a simple is that it will fix it right up. So working on the girl's face, um, giving her the mouth that the monster had before the slightly open thing. Um, I think I'm doing that just so they don't have the same expression and we'll see if that works. We'll find out it's in that mode where you notice I've already moved on from the girl's face. It's the same sort of idea where I put a few shapes in. That's enough on the girl's face right now. It's enough to gauge my reaction later. It's enough to prompt a reaction from me later, so I'm just, you know, moving around the painting. And in a few minutes I'll look back at the girl's face and see what I think about it and you know, undoubtably, I'll change something. I'm always changing things, sometimes for the worse hopefully, usually for the better, but there's a lot of there's a lot of work. For example, right now I'm going, I'm going putting some color notes into the lips and the eyes are trying to get some warmth in. Their part of this is like the anatomy of the eye. I'm trying to think of like the tear ducts of the monster being redder and pinker like, you know, like we'd expect in real life. But I'm also, you know, trying to get some warms into that field of cool shadow. The shadows, obviously blocked in, is cool. If you think of my light and shadow video, my color video light in color video. Um, how the shadows air cooler because we're in a warm sunlight position. So the shadows from you know, caused by ambient light from the sky, and such will be cooler. But because of the awning giving the shadows some influence of warm bounce light, I need to find those. And that was, ah, attempt at getting some warm lights in there. And everything is a balance, you know, because this is a very painterly style. Um, there is no there's no riel finish line that there's no rule that says OK, once I'm here, it's finished. Whereas if if this were like a literal rendering, um, you pretty much have a kind of an easy road to follow, which says, like once it looks really you're done, like once you've rendered it, it's done. But in this case, I'm rendering in the sense that I'm showing form and showing light. But I'm not adhering to any ah realism standards. I want this to be like hyper real. I want this to to look like it could exist, but it clearly is a painting. I want this to be a painting. I'm here. I'm trying to bring back that cloud. I haven't I haven't let go of that idea yet. I will get rid of that is too much. It brings me back to a lesson I learned from one of my mentors, Scott Christenson, who's a fabulous landscape painter. Ah, you should look him up. Scott Christenson, he was see, I took a workshop with him, and one of the things that stuck with me from that workshop is he talked about this thing. This concept of analyzing what the painting could bear eso putting in this cloud, for example, I'm overloading the painting. In my opinion, it's too much to bear. It's making that upper right side really heavy and way too heavy for this painting to bear . And, um, it's a good way of analyzing what you're doing thinking about it like that like it has less to do with. Does that cloud look good? Like in and of itself? That that cloud might look OK, looks kind of fun has got some cool blocks of color. But in the whole painting, Do we want to look in that top right? No, we want to look at the characters. So why would I want to overload my top right area? It's Ah, it's a creative blunder. I feel so I will get rid of it. I haven't came. I haven't come to that conclusion yet cause I need time, right? Need time. But once I come to that conclusion is gone. I will get rid of that thing. I'll drop it like a like a sack of pumpkins and it's ah, it's it's gonna be gone. And I think, Yeah, I put that on a layer. There's my layer window. I think I put that cloud on the layer because I knew it would be risky. I had the foresight to know that it would be risky, so that's good. I don't always have that foresight, but and then what? I what I often do and what I'm doing now catching myself here is I make a layer for the cloud. And then, of course, I forget. I've made that layer, and I'm painting everything else on that same layer, so I'm the layer becomes almost pointless. But, ah, at least the layered holds the cloud, and there's this blue sky behind it, so I'll be able to switch back when the time comes. You know, I find that Ah, good art really is. Has is Maura about the power of your decision making than than than technique. Almost there. So many techniques you can. Every painter paints differently or draws differently your designs differently. It's more about the decision making like can you make good decisions? And how many good decisions can you put back to back? Because in a painting like this, you know there's countless decisions, like, right now I'm making a decision to put that yellow shape on the right toe, not put a shadow here to put a shadow there. I'm working without reference, right? This is all coming out of my head. So I'm every little thing I'm controlling. And that is both scary and exhilarating because there are that many more potentials, you know, potential realities for disaster. So painting like this is definitely not for the faint of heart, but again, coming back to painting from life. The more you have from life, there goes that layer evaluating it, the more you have painting from life, the mawr instinctive, and the more you are, you can trust your instincts when it comes to good decision making. There goes that cloud. I've made the decision, thankfully, had it on a layer. So all my work on the tree is not undone. You know, it's all there, and that's going, and I flattened down my layers as well, Which is why whenever, whenever you don't see the layers window, it means I'm just painting on one layer. So this is nice. I made some darker values in the awning for the plane that's facing away from the light and thats helping the form. It's giving that awning more of a dimensional look rather than flat. Here's Ah overlay brush with the bright yellow or bright orange color selected, and it's just giving a bit of a glow. Um, mimicking lots of bounce light. You'll see me undo as I just brushed this stuff in big airbrush. It's a big airbrush, real soft edges. If you overuse this, it looks to digital. But, you know, put a few strokes down and it looks just right. And I'm just trying to see what kind of head start I can give myself with getting some color in there, not color. Getting some ambient sort of bounce light going in, getting some warmth. I really want this son to look nice and warm in an inviting warm colors to me. Just look inviting. And I like to think that's the universal thing. I'm not sure, but I think it is because the sun, you know, I think we all see the sun is the same thing. The colors that the sun produces. We all like that. You know, we're all we all desire. Warmth. We're not cold blooded or anything, Um, so when we we associate the colors of the sun, I think with emotions with positive emotions. And ah, you know, the more I can remind you of those of those colors and those feelings. Or I should say, the more I can remind you of those feelings with color. Ah, by using color, I then can you know I ultimately will have more success in my painting. It's an emotional thing I'm going for. I'm going for I'm trying to go right for your emotions, right for your heart with this and color is one of the main weapons you have. And, um, I'm liking the dispersion of trees. There's it's a nice pattern again. That's also something that is very easy to mess up. It's very easy to make trees look like goalposts or hurdles, you know, they're all step. They're all evenly spaced. I have have some decent groupings of trees. It looks random. Try and get some more colors in some violet colors. I like I said, It's fall right now as I'm recording this. So I'm seeing all these beautiful purple leaves and really this incredible palette of colors outside. So let's try and get those in the this panting like I just said I'm trying to remind you of these of these colors and hopefully to stimulate positive emotion, emotional response from you, and the only the only guidance I have for that is what creates emotional positivity in me. And it's these colors. And that's really why I you know, I love art so much. That's why a lot of art defies teaching So much is because I'm relying, not on academic information. I'm relying on emotional information and combining it with the academic stuff. And honestly, the academic stuff is easy, like learning how to draw is pretty easy. You can learn you can teach yourself if you are a rank beginner right now as you watch this and you might be watching this saying, I'll never be able to do this. I was there, too. I thought that as well. And I found that you know, you can get yourself to a competent, a competent level of drawing if you worked really hard in a year in one year, you can learn to draw Ah, and you can impress people with your drawing. But then that's where the real work begins, because once you have the drawing, then it becomes a question of Hey, what do you want to draw? And then once you answer that, you have to say, Well, how am I gonna draw it? Like how? What tools? The more tools you have at your disposal, the more options you have in terms of how to express. And my painting here is you know, it can also be seen as, ah, whole lifetime that lifetime, but significant amount of years of paths I've taken and decisions I've made and you know my personality is in there. That's just why I love aren't so much. It's such a biographical thing like you can tell so much about an artist by by his or her work. And it's the same with all art forms with with music, with writing with, you know, architecture. So what I'm doing now is I'm just trying to see this is a better option of color than that red. So I'm just selecting them. No special technique. I just traced out those shapes, and that's ah hue saturation. And I'm just trying to see if there's a better choice of color. So just sliding it around until I find something I might not find something. I think I arrive at this like ah magenta version of red. It's a cooler red, in my opinion. Magenta to me is a cold read because it's closer to blue. And what that cold read does, is it it gives? I don't know. It gives some kind of interest that wasn't there before. Remember earlier I was talking about having too many warms in your painting. That's something to watch out for you again. Just to not to belabor that point, but to make your warms that you do have really read. Make sure they're complemented by cools. And I don't just mean like blast of a whole bunch of blues in your painting. But you know, have a whole range of cools like that. That magenta red is a cooler red, which it just helps with the orchestration of my cooler colors in this painting. So here I'm still I'm still working on that shadow pattern of the awning. I will be working on that pattern until this painting is finished. In fact, I think I'm tweak that way at the end of the game, as I still I'm still tweaking that it's just a point of Ah, frustration I have with my own art, which is those those shapes Those randomize shapes, like spattered, scattered shadows from leaves is just tough. Tough for me to paint. I think the Studio Ghibli Films or Ghibli films are that that painter is, or those that group of painters or just masters at that. Those they love to like their stuff with these dappled shadows always pore over those paintings and just marvel at the random shapes are able to do. There's one more thing that I haven't really talked about. As Faras composition goes. At least I haven't talked about it enough on, and that is the focal point. The focal point is really the reason you're painting. Richard Schmid said. It best, he said. If the painting is a conversation, the focal point is the thing you're talking about. And if the first step is to identify what the focal point is in the painting in this one, it's just dead simple. It's the characters, um, you actually, you may also consider the awning as part of that because they're so tied together in lighting and also in space that air, that whole area could be the focal point of this painting. But certainly the characters are and compositionally. The whole point of leading your eye around is you want to lead it to the focal point. Um, however you do that is really up for grabs. You know, there's no rules of composition as long as something is going on compositionally your eyes being moved somehow. Um, that's the goal. So in this case, um, I just wanted to expand on that a little bit. How eventually I will be constructing a pathway almost. I'm still going to stick with that s shape, um, to get us to the characters and the awning. Well, you know, provides kind of ah, away back kind of Ramses two, the tree on the right, which maybe could bring us down there. There are pathways for the eye to follow is what I'm trying to say and they're not there yet. Of course, right now, right now, Compositionally If we were to call this finished right now, it's It's not done compositionally the characters. I mean, they're not done either, but if you look at the monster, at least he's getting to a point where it's possible. Ah, the girl just needs some detail in the face area and, ah, in arms. But on day look OK, but the problem is we there's there's no there's no constructs in place for us to get there like infrastructure is no infrastructure in the painting for us to find the characters. Um, that's one way of composing is is making sort of a path. The other way of composing is kind of just using value. Contrast. Lighten dark to sort of hit the viewer over the head with your idea, by putting something in light and everything else in dark, and that is quite effective. I mean, a lot of horror movies do that. In fact, a lot of horror movies do that for the reverse Aries, and they do it to hide things. I mean, how many times have you seen a horror movie where you know some scary creature is hidden, you know, in the shadow area where you don't look? Um, so that's another compositional tool is using contrast. I'm not using that as a primary tool. Here. I am using contrast, of course, but not as a way to really lead the eye. I'm going. I'm going to be using sort of objects and subtle values, a za way to build a path through this painting. And I think building a pathway is a bit trickier than just using contrast, because if you just use contrast, you can literally have, like, something really light over something really dark and obviously be worthy. I goes. But the problem with that kind of composition is there's not always, ah, leeway for the eye to move around. It kind of traps the eye where the contrast is, which is fine, but the pathway method. It is sometimes a little more fun when it works out anyway, so that's an important thing to consider on this one. And I'll do my best as I go to really think about where I'm putting those objects. Of course, this being digital, I have full, you know, full headroom in terms of techniques. I can, you know, cut things out, paced the man, move them around as I have already done it numerous times in this process. So I'm still working on that bucket. The basket. I'm just cutting out a few shapes. Every now and then. This brushy technique that I use gets a little soft on me. It Ah, the edges all become a little too soft. So using the selection tool like I just did and then just going into a hue saturation and, you know, making those dark shapes on the basket. It gives me those razor sharp edges which, um, of course, our digital looking. But in in, um, used well, I guess, or you sparingly. They actually add a bit more of, ah, edge variety to your painting, which is something that is good. So also, what I'm doing right now is I've got a overlay brush. Actually, that's just a regular airbrush. And I'm just airbrushing Cem darker blue probably switched that brush to a better blending mode real soon because I'm leaving behind halos of lighter blue in this method Probably switched to an overlay brush. Yeah, There we go. Ah, so the overlay brushing. See, I can just kind of go over it and and put in some really rich ultra marine blue there. Um, and the reason for that is I want the tree leaves and the awning to just have maximum punch . You would actually be amazed at how dark the sky is? A test how dark it can get on a bright on a bright summer day. You might think that's counterintuitive, how the skies dark, but it's actually the sunlight that makes the thing bright. I'm taking values here to see how well that awning is punching out from the sky and the characters and everything like that. Just seeing if the shadows and lights are, you know, reading as shadows and lights and when you switch to gray scale is the best way to do that . Anyway, back to what I was saying, the sky is lightest in the horizon. Um, it gets this greenish lightest. Bluth Gray. I don't know. Whatever it is you can see, my sky is going a little more turquoise, a little more green. Ah, and lighter and grayer in the far horizon. And then what happens when you look up straight up? You're actually looking through more? Um, well, I guess you're I don't know scientifically what's going on, but I think what you're doing is you're looking through more layers, um, of atmosphere or maybe the thinner layers. I really talking out of school here. I don't know, but what happens is this the effect is the sky gets darker, the higher you look, all we gotta do is go outside and see this for yourself on a on a blue sky day looking to the horizon and then look straight up and you will see that great Asian of color. What I'm doing here is I'm emphasizing it. It doesn't happen this drastically in real life, but nor is it ever that colorful. But I'm taking what I know from life, and I'm caricaturing it. I mean, really, this whole painting is a caricature of real life, not only because it has a monster in it, but just the shapes of things are slightly skewed. You know, those wood boards are just slightly off kilter. Um, the awning is, you know, heavy on the left side. It kind of comes to this weird point. I just I like those abstract design choices. I'm a big fan of nineties LucasArts computer games like Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle and you know, Salmon Max and full throttle on all those I love. All those games actually got to work on the Monkey Island remake, and I was a ton of fun, But those that art style really, really influenced me. I was obsessed with those games and those backgrounds are beautiful. They still are beautiful, the original ones. I remember when I was working on that remake, it was Ah, it was a dire task. It was impossible to recreate the charm of those background because obviously, we were working in hi rez like this. And, um, you know, we did our best, but you can't compare to the charm of those old pixel backgrounds they were so well designed to, you know, like the shapes air just skewed in just such a tasteful way, everything felt believable. Yet yet nothing was literally drawn correctly. So I bring a bit of that into my own art. I'm also influenced by, you know, classic Disney. Um, just just a solid draftsmanship of Disney, Just the legacy of drawing that they continue to put out. Even in their CG films, everything is just so well done so meticulously thought out. And the form of everything is just nice. The design, the shapes. So I'm influenced by that as well. So my my art is at its basic level kind of a halfway house between that LucasArts, wonky nous and Disney refined Miss. I guess it's kind of what I'm going for. And then, you know, I mix in my own my own ideas, which are few and far between. But it's really I think creativity is 9. DigitalPaintingII part08of13: edges while I'm on the topic are kind of an advanced idea on advanced, sort of topic of painting. I I didn't even really clue in about edges until years into my painting adventures. Um, just side note. I'm adding some warms in the shadow. See that to get some reflected light bouncing around from the awning, trying to get that warm in there, mixing with the cools so edges an edge refers to well, it's a simple refers to the edge the edge of anything. The edge of the trees, the edge of the awning, the edge of the light and shadow the edge of each brushstroke Edges are edges. Permeate your painting. Every time you put down a brushstroke, you're leaving behind four edges for the four sides of your brush stroke. Um, edges are everywhere. They're ubiquitous in your painting, and you have to control them just like you have to control values and color and everything else. It's very difficult to control edges, because there so many there. You're fighting an army that's much bigger than you. When it comes to edges. Um, they will they go down. Like I said, every brush stroke leaves behind four edges. Um, you need to find ways to corral them into groups and simplify just like everything else. Simplify hard edges, soft edges, lost edges and, you know, maybe like your razor sharp edges hard and soft. Er, also variable. You know their comparative. So I go like razor sharp, hard, soft lost, and it just in case you've never heard the term lost EJ. What a lost EJ refers to is an edge that you don't. You can't define where it starts or ends. It just blends into something. So that shadow I just painted right now I consider that a soft edged shadow. I used an airbrush. It's gonna create a soft edge. Um, hard edge would be like member and I last. You tooled those shadows and the boards there, the first and second board nearest to the characters. Those are hard edges. Um, I don't have any razor sharp edges in the painting. The closest I'm coming is that the shadows on those boards on the top edge of them. That's close to being razor sharp, because I did use the digital cutout tool, but I didn't really go 100% capacity, so I'm not creating any digital hard edges yet, and I don't think I ever do. Because in this painterly technique, razor sharp edge really, really stands out as being out of place. Um, but edges are abstract, and what I mean by that is you want your edges to contribute to the character of your mark making. That's why I have so many different types of brushes. And I'm very adamant about the fact that it doesn't matter which brushes I'm using. It doesn't matter that you don't have the same brushes as ideo. You're welcome to download some of these. Um, it's not that it's it's the variety. I think you need a variety of brushes just to give you options in the edges department. Um, you you don't need a ton of texture brushes like Look, I'm modifying the edge on the shadow shape right now, breaking it up from, you know, using some soft, using some hard. Um, you don't necessarily need all the brushes I have, you know? So a lot of painters like look at Craig Mullins work. Ah, lot of that. He loves like the round brush, and he's just so good at creating different effects with it that he could get away with it . We're not. We're not all on that level, but, ah, good way to paint his toe, have different types of brushes at your disposal. And I'll do the same thing when I paint, traditionally both in my sketchbook and also when I'm in the studio, more so when I'm in the studio because I have more time and you know therefore more things at my disposal. I'll have an airbrush like I own a physical airbrush. I have ah, all kinds of different bristle brushes and sable hair brushes. I have these weird rubber brushes. I have palette knives. I have my fingertips. You know, so many things. I have Q tips in the studio. I have pencil crowns. I have wax crowns. I have so many things in the studio. My traditional studio that helped me, you know, mimic what I'm doing digitally. It's really the same pursuit that I'm after. That's why I love this smudge tool, by the way, because the smudge tool, if you put down a stroke and then hold your pen tablet down, you create so many varieties of edges just with one brush stroke cause it starts hard ish. And then as the paint tapers off the brush you get, you know, you get this soft edge stuff going on. So you go too hard, too soft in one brushstroke. And if, um if your temperament is like mine and you can learn to control that, that that's much tool is really worth its weight in gold when it comes to ah, mark making and I'm using it right now, you'll see that I probably use this much tool for at least 50% of my painting. You know, if we were toe average out the time I was and make a pie chart or something, I would say that's much too Will probably accounts for 50% of this painting. And of course, I'm turning the finger painting option on at the top. You can see it clicked on there. That means that the color I have selected on my palette Ah, my color picker will be put down by the smudge tool. If you don't have finger painting turned on, it just smudges the pixels that are there, which is also useful. But I don't really use it that much. Try both. So you know, getting into some small mark making. And not that that means I'm close to finished. I'm you know, this painting takes about five or six hours. I'm nowhere near close, but I will slow down toe hone in on some shapes. That's just a 00 contrast. I cheat sometimes, and I go up to, ah, image adjust hit, auto contrast or auto color. And what what it does, It's Photoshopped just takes its best guess at what you're trying to do. Like I don't even know what photo showed. I think photo shop is just trying to use more of the full spectrum of values. And when you pick auto contrast and oftentimes it does give me a bit of a punch that sometimes I miss and ah yeah, you saw used the fade tool is usually usually photo shop will crush the blood, the darks to black, and I never want that. I always want some headroom down there and also going toe white as well, so I always back off a little bit. This is the ah, round brush on multiply mode and as you remember from the the brush video multiply mode simply takes a color and darkens what's there, but it darkens it with that color. So it kind of tinges it toward the color on your palate and darkens it. And that's really useful because it gives you yet another type of mark making. It has this watercolor effect. I mean, that's what watercolor painting is. Watercolor painting is like, Ah, Photoshopped multiply mode. It only can make your painting darker because you're painting watercolors on a piece of paper and you're putting transparent pigment on paper. So you're just making it darker, really. And, ah, you know, water color is in another medium I paint in exclusively I like to use. Ah, I mean, you saw watercolor in my sketchbook demo, but sometimes when I go out, I just use watercolor and I use a slightly larger page and a bigger easel and watercolor is is just ton of fun. So what I'm doing here, I've got my linear dodge brush out, and I am Yes, I'm making it lighter, but notice how I'm also letting that edge bleed. I'm letting that yellow nous influence the outside the edges. See what I'm doing there. I'm making it glow in the shadow. I'm also making it glow in the light. I'm creating this bloom sort of effect. Um, that's a digital terms this light Think of ah, think of, ah, high exposure photograph. That light is gonna be glowing, you know? And what the glow does it takes a light surface in it. It kind of just disperses the light just a little bit around. It's you get this glowy nous and the airbrush on linear Dodge. Mood is a perfect way of capturing that. And what that does is it emphasises the strength of the light, especially in the shadow. If you look at the awning in shadow on the left there, notice how it's richer, redder and lighter, Um, closer to the yellow edge, that is a That's a classic thing that happens in shadow when there's a lot of light bouncing around. You get these really glowy shadows and, ah, while I was talking, I just painted in a little more shadow shapes into the awning just to further refine it. I'm going to stick with that red or I'm sorry, Magenta like red for the ah stripes. So I just decided to go with it on the the little frazzle e shape sudden with her coat on the awning. Just it pops it out of the sky a little bit more than that, Then what was there before? You know you'll notice when I use brushes. I'm not coloring. I'm not like coloring in the lines. I'm not being super clean. The awning shapes I just painted are a good example where you can still see the under painting that was there around the edges. And it just gives you that unpredictable quality, that charismatic thing that I think painterly that is, eso endemic to the painterly look. That's why I love it so much. It's it's mysterious, you know, you never comptel the type of mark making you're going to use. And when you look at another painterly painting that someone else did, you could just revel in, You know, the joy of just the splotches of color and edges and all this stuff that, you know, they didn't really create on purpose. But they have a process that kind of facilitates it, and I love that look, I'm obsessed with it. It's what I pursue in my personal art and now in my professional art. Once I started doing freelance that one of the things I said to myself was, I'm gonna try and aim for projects that allow me to paint the way I like to paint, you know, because I worked for studios for years. And when you work for studio, you have to paint in the style of the project, right? And I'll tell you one thing. It's very few and far between to find a project that allows you to paint like this. Maybe in the concept department you can get painterly, but the second you even sniff production, it's going to be especially in TV. It's going to be a lot of lasso digital, cut out shapes. You know, those sharp paper like graphics that that I just did to death. I was doing that for years, and it gave me a nice respect for graphics. I mean, I learned a lot about graphic shapes doing that, but it came to a point in my professional career. Were I just felt like I was stagnating, and, um, I was also almost losing a bit of passion and maybe even getting worse at art because all I did was I'd show up at work for eight hours and paint in this way that I didn't want to paint. And then when I got home, I just felt like the steam was gone. You know, I would try and paint at home, but it was harder, like I've always had pretty good energy level When it comes to painting. I was always someone who could come home and paint, even though I just painted from 9 to 5 at work. But my paintings at home like I couldn't snap out of the graphic shape mode, the digital thing And, um, I, you know, strayed farther and farther from this painterly method. And I'm glad I'm back now that now that I've been freelancing for about three years now and it's been going great and more and more, I'm finally honing in on projects that allow me to paint in the way that I like to paint. So, you know, we're were in Jing along here. This is I hope this is exciting for you. Sometimes watching painters is ah better than sleeping pills because the fun in the creation process process belongs to me. You know, I'm the one having fun painting, Um, and then the viewer. Once the painting is done, the viewer gets to have fun looking, I think watching the creation process. Ah, man, that could be tough. So I admire your patients over there. I hope I'm doing I mean, I'm certainly doing my best to do, you know, fill this thing with information and I'm trying toe hold nothing back here. I'm just working on those trees. The shapes of the tree member shapes. Ah, the lay in is rarely good. In all cases, in all areas. Some of the laying of those trees was great. But, you know, on the trees on the left had to be largely reworked. Ah, and it's for shape. Shape is drawing by the way shape is interchangeable. Withdrawing. When I say shape, I mean drawing. And when I say drawing, I don't mean with lines. I mean with shapes. I mean, I'm putting down brushstrokes that adhere to certain shapes, and that is identical to what you do when you draw with a pencil. When you draw a line with a pencil, you are delineating a shape by outlining its borders. When you paint, the borders are invisible. You're putting down the value you're like filling in the shape with color, so it's one in the same. It's just coming at it from two different ways. Another interesting topic Teoh bring up is kind of what motivates you to paint a picture, Um, and that is separate from study. What motivates study is just the desire to improve the desire to get better at your craft and increase the you know, the amount of tools in your toolbox. That's what study is and you can spend. You can get stuck there. You know. You can spend a long time thinking that you just need mawr education or more more studies to round out your skills, more tools, all these things. And you know, it all contributes to this feeling of, you know, he's just not ready yet. But the other, the opposite of that is once you dive into illustration, that is, you know, something like this, what is it that motivates you to make a picture? You know, what is it that drew me to this subject? And that is again, this sort of abstract idea of where where art lies and where your personality comes into play, you know no one. There's no textbook that that says, You know, once you have the skills, you should make a picture about this. This is all something that it needs to come from inside of you. So the best I could do is speak personally. What motivates me is something to do with remembering a time when, you know, before I was an adult and I have great memories from my childhood. And what I remember so much is not, you know, exact things I did. I mean, I have some memories of that, but it's more than just the feeling that I that I had when I would go outside to play There was something like boundless about the energy that I had And, you know, in indeed the energy that you see in Children and it just it just this beautiful thing that we lose when we grow up. And you can, I'd like to think you can control the amount to what you lose it. Or at least I think it's inevitable that you do lose something. I mean, you can't grow up believing that Santa Claus is really your whole life. That just makes you a lunatic. But you can remember what it was like when you thought Santa was riel and or monsters were riel. And you can remember what those emotions led you to act like. And one thing that, um, that drives me is that I remember those feelings Riel. Well, like I remember, ah, lot of the imagination. Like, make believe stuff that we did like. I remember thinking a pilot light in my furnace was an evil thing and we were playing Ghostbusters. We got to go trapping, like I remember thinking like knowing even when I was that young that the pilot light in the fire in the furnace wasn't une evil demon. But I remember that didn't matter if I could convince myself in the moment that it was Riel and that's something that again is an adult. You kind of lose that and some just toe get to the point here. My illustration. Usually when I'm at my best, I think, is when I'm channeling that kind of memory of in myself, and I'm putting it on the campus and it can come in any form and like if you look at any painting I've ever done with that green monster character. He is kind of, ah, metaphor for that time of our lives when anything was believable. Um, just the settings. I can put that character and he seems to be able to take me as an artist. He seems to be able to take me down these memory paths that, ah, that are harder to trot otherwise, so that's kind of just a little bit that drives me. And that's another fascinating thing about art is that every artist is different. Everybody's got a personality that's different and are is a is like a container. For that. It's it's away. It's more actually more of a vessel for it. It's It's a way to let it out and tell people Orly show people how you think of things or how you see things. So that's why I'm so obsessed with it, because not only can I show you a nice rendering of light and color and stuff which I've already talked about, but I can show people, you know, I can remind them maybe, of something that that I'm thinking about and that I that is important to me, and it is important to me I I find it kind of sad when when a new imaginative child grows up and loses that I don't think growing up is sad that such Justin in his life it's inevitable. Um, we have to grow up, but I think that if you lose, you know all those things used to do in your kids. If you lose memory of that like it's so easy to dio, at least in like, Western cultures, I think that's a tragedy. And, um, you know, my painting. At least some of it is a desire to remember that stuff. So that's kind of what's, you know, channeling a lot of these pictures. And it's something that I don't talk about too often. Um, I I let the pictures speak for me. Of course, that's the whole point of art is the art speaks for you. Um, but because I'm in a part of this illustration where not much is happening, I'm just kind of tooling away at certain things. I thought I had expound on that a little bit. Um, So speaking of the illustration, now what I'm doing when I just said I'm tooling away on little things. I have enough there to chew on. And, um, I need to I need to bring up things to the level that the painting is at. So remember how I said earlier that I always want to be in the block in phase? Well, that is still true, but the block in phase evolves and grows as the painting grows. So it's kind of this thing that you track through the whole painting and you never lose sight of the block in phase. But, you know, the strokes that mattered in the beginning are now too simple for the strokes that I need Now, you know, Now I need to look at smaller shapes like those dappled lights on the pumpkins. I need to start thinking about those small shapes. Not because they're detail. They're not detailed. Look, I'm still zoomed out. I'm not. I never said I will never zoom in that close, maybe once or twice, But, um, I'm still assumed out, so I don't consider this detail work. It's It's just the shapes are getting a little smaller, little more concentrated, a little more thoughtful, and you can see I undo a lot. I guess that's another tool that I use and, you know, thank goodness for digital for the undo button. I mean, I work traditionally all the time, and there is no one do. But when I'm in digital, Aiken really dial in and be specific with my demands over the brushstrokes that go down. So, you know, all undo. I have undue mapped to the wakame tablet pen. The for those of you who own away calm, you know that the pen has to like a rocker switch. You can push it forward or push it backward for two different buttons. I have undue set to the forward rocker switch. So when I hold the pen, my index finger is just automatically on that forward button. So the undo it just happens real natural for me. I can just, you know, push my finger forward. So was I. I put you know, I wasn't quite happy with that foreground pumpkin. And I keep alluding to this thing that I still need to discover in this illustration, and I honestly can't remember when I discover it. It might be around now. It looks like my brain is thinking of something and let's see. Let's see if it's now you probably know what it is. I mean, you've seen the final by now. You probably know that. I think this is it. I'm starting to think about this foreground, and I'm starting to think like, hey, maybe there is some wasted space Or maybe maybe not waste of space. Maybe there's a missed opportunity in this foreground. They noticed. I'm pausing a lot. You can see my brush literally stopping as I'm thinking I'm stopping to think and, you know, here I go classic me. I go back to other areas of the painting when I'm thinking and I'll just, ah, I'll let the energy flow through the brush and, you know, contribute all contributes and brush strokes to the painting. But what I'm really doing behind the scenes, I'm thinking, thinking what can go in that foreground? What is it that needs Teoh? You know that I can do that to maximize the space in this illustration, because otherwise I'll just crop it if I'm wasting space, I'll just cropped that out. And this illustration doesn't go through many crop ings. In the very beginning of the color sketch, it went from a horizontal to a vertical and usually some. Not usually, but sometimes that happens Often. You know I'll go from horizontal to vertical. Cropping is three or four times in the same painting. Um, that's not unusual. So here we go. I've decided what to do with that foreground. Instead of having the shelves where the pumpkins are come all the way down, I've decided to make the perspective a little wider. And let's render the ground. It sounds like a simple idea, and it is, but it really opens up this illustration. It gives me so many more things to do rather than just paint pumpkins. It also gives the sense of space more if you look at what I'm doing now in the in this picture, compared to the color sketch on the right, notice how the color sketches almost a little too flat, like it's everything's too in your face, whereas this one now I've got some depth. If we have some honest to goodness perspective in here, Um, just by adding that ground plane, I can it invites, Meteo, almost feel like I can walk into this picture. I really feel now, like I'm standing in front of these two characters and I'm looking at them. So here's Here's my first idea. I say, Well, if there's a ground plane, what's gonna be on the ground? And I immediately think of a kid's hopscotch. I live my neighbors are too young, young girls, and they always draw with chalk these hopscotch things in the backyard. And it's just so awesome to see that I love when the chalk just stays on there for days. So, you know, I I I never did. This is a kid because while I never played hopscotch and I need a reference so I googled it . And you know, I probably saved one or two of those pictures just based on the ones I liked, and I will put those in. I will put that in. I will paint that because I think having a hopscotch thing on the ground there is the one I like the most. I think having a hopscotch thing on the ground, it tells a story about who these characters are. So not only is this picture about what they're doing right now, you know, for example, selling pumpkins, but it the hopscotch thing on the ground gives you an idea of what else they like to dio, and that gives you ideas about who they are. Outside of this picture, it opens up a whole potential world that is becomes believable. And it's a story. It's visual storytelling. Um, for those of you who have ever looked into film criticism or film research or, you know, study of film, visual storytelling is a term that's commonly used in film. And what that really means is, uh, well, you already know. It's telling a story just with visuals alone without words. So you see something and you immediately be in your brain begins to understand it just because of one quick visual cue, and that's a really strong thing. So in a painting, there's no context like a film is a beautiful medium because you can create context films like two hours long so you can create. You can like, have like a red wagon and create meaning in that red wagon. And by the end of the film, all you need to do is show the audience a picture of a red wagon, and they'll feel all these things well. In a painting. You don't have that luxury. We don't have two hours of footage. We're just showing you I'm just showing you one picture. So for me, visual storytelling can happen in items that are identifiable, like the hopscotch thing on the ground. You We've all seen it, you know, we might not all be. We might not all have daughters. I mean, I don't have a daughter, but I've seen little girls play and boys. Andi, I know that this is what kids like to dio, and I know I draw just emotional conclusions. When I see a hopscotch thing on the ground, I immediately no, it's a child that did that. I love the child writing. If you look at the reference picture there, I love how it's clearly a kid who made those boxes and wrote those numbers. Um and, um, that is just fun. It's something that I want to bring to my characters here. I can just picture them playing hopscotch and then maybe getting bored after a few hours of playing and deciding they want to open a pumpkin stand and then running inside and asking their mom for permission and setting, you know, maybe getting their dad to help set up. Ah, this awning and you know they have a pumpkins. They bought some companies from the convenience store down the street. This is the story that's now starting to play out in my head. And once this starts playing out of my head, I know that I have something that's worth keeping, whereas before I knew that I liked the picture before. But I mean, I said as much of the end of the color key, but there is something about it. As I began to paint the final as and as I began to invest hours into the process, there was something that was missing. And again, I'm you know, I'm glad I'm doing this narration after the fact, because as I was painting, it's not. It's not as though as I could. It's not as though I could vocalize those thoughts. It's not like I was painting, thinking, Yeah, there's something missing, but it was a feeling. It was just this weird, empty feeling that I was missing an opportunity for something, and that goes back to intuition, which I talked about before. And intuition is something you cannot teach. You cannot. You can't go to school for intuition intuition has everything to do with experience and acting in the situations that you will put yourself in. So, you know, I've been through thousands of paintings. I know what it feels like every step of the way and when something isn't right. You know, back in my early days, I may not have been able to figure that out. But now when something's not right, I just know because it's a feeling I can identify. So experience get yourself experience if you're a beginner. Ah, if you're new to painting, my suggestion for you is to just start painting. Don't worry about reading things in books. Um, go outside and paint and you will start building up this repertoire of feelings and you will be able to know what they mean. So I'm putting in this putting in some more detail here on the girl character, um, kind of deciding to have her arms wrapped around the pumpkin there and just playing with some light. The light is hitting her arm, just like the light's hitting the monster character. So her head is casting a shadow onto her shoulders, and then the rest of her forearm is in light so I'm delineating those shadows and light shapes. I'm deciding what I'm doing here. This is Ah Oh, sharpen. This is the sharpen tools, the smart sharpened tool. Actually, if you play with smart sharpened, it gives you that dialogue box, and you can just dial in a basic degree of sharpening. Just play with those two. Ah, sliders. Just developing some of the monster a little more getting into a bit of refinement. I hesitate to use the word detail cause to me detail. When I say paint detail, it seems to invoke pictures of images of like zooming in and painting like little hairs one at a time. Well, I try not ever to do that. Instead, I have a brush that I call the hairbrush, appropriately enough, and it's, you know, it's got three or four little nubs of brush brush hairs on them, and when I paint with it, it gives me the effect of hairs, and it works really well, especially when you combine it with Ah, you know, your tablet direction. You can set the direction to change with your brush. So there we go. I've just cropped the campus. I've added more space then what I'll do is I'll select the bottom pixels and just transform them and drag them down. I just need more ground space for that hopscotch idea. I also like having more ground. It just it helps draw you in. Helps draw your eye into the painting more. Um, but of course, because I've stretched those pixels, I need Teoh amend that. So I'm just got a small brush out small size brush and just filling in some gaps. Just some here, some texture going down. Lots of undoing, right? Just, um, developing the palate by picking cools and warms. Notice that ground is nice because it is already got some color harmonies going on with some subtle graze. Settle bluish grays next to some orangey warmer graze. Here I'm painting with a greenish grey are actually kind of ultra main, ultra marine, bluish gray. I find potential uses for lots of different types of gray, and then when the nice thing is again, I've said this before, But when you work from gray, you'll find you have a lot of head room to add all types of more saturated color. I can add more blues. I can have more purples like had more oranges or reds. And because they're based on a foundation of graze, they all start to look appropriate, like you can weave them together a little easier because the common denominator is the grays that they all are sinking into and melting into. Whereas if I started this painting with harsh orange, it'd be very difficult to put a blue in there because the blue would look so contrast in and out of place next to the oranges, or is when you start from gray, you can go anywhere because gray is close to everything, So it's a nice technique. Uh, the danger of starting gray is that you never expand far enough, so I'll make sure I use all types of tricks. I mean, part of it is just again looking at trying to get fresh eyes on the painting. But you can also, um, do photoshopped tricks, and you'll see me do something where I go into image, adjust variations and you'll see me pick out Photoshopped varieties of different colors and you'll see me. You'll see how I dial them in. I'll talk about it more when you actually see me do it. So if that's a sidewalk, let's maybe drawing some perspective lines for the sidewalk. Sidewalks are great because they have those slabs of concrete. And between each slabs. A little line helps establish perspective. I'm just playing with the idea of, ah, horizontal line and you know, you'll see this four barren area go through a lot of changes as well, just like everything else. Right now, I'm just developing what I think the drawing is just putting down some textures of, you know, different different types of colors on the sidewalk because nothing in real life is ever flat. If you look at the reference, picture that sidewalk in the reference there, look at all the different hues. I mean, I'm seeing in that reference I'm seeing gray down greens. I'm seeing great down oranges, and that's very similar to what I'm painting. In my version, I'm painting in some of the, uh actually what? Those are not lights. They look like lights right now, but those are actually going to be leaves. Um, as I'm walking around outside Well, I paint this. I mean, you know, between I didn't paint this in one shot. Like I said, between paintings. You know, I'm going outside for a jog from going to a convenience store to buy bread or something, and I see lots of leaves on the ground, and I noticed how they pile up near the edges of the sidewalk because I guess is people walk. They brushed them away. So I want to get that realism into this painting. It's something I probably would have thought of if I didn't go outside and observe it from life. You'd be amazed at the amount of things you don't notice, such as leave being brushed to one side of the sidewalk. I never really noticed that until I paint until I painted this. I mean, obviously, we know that leaves fall off the trees, but where do they go after they fall? Maybe there's a story there where where the leaves go after they fall, someone can write that Children's book. Um, so I will put some of those leaves in, and right now I've only done, you know, I see three on the sidewalk there, just zooming out here, um, something that actually don't do quite enough in this painting is zooming out. And that allows you to see the picture as a whole, checking values here with gray scale. That too. I'm just trying to get an objective look at this painting. So flipping the canvas, zooming out all those things, help putting it in grayscale. All those things help give you an idea of your values. I just made a selection there, and this is levels, image adjust levels. And I'm just trying to bring up the value of the sidewalk. I don't want the value of the sidewalk to be too close to the value of the shelving area. And this This is a bit of a deviation from my compositional sketch, which now I'm I'm trying actually adding a lighter value at the bottom. So it kind of goes from light two middle value toe light. As it gets up to the monster, those values offset. So the sidewalk is light, the shelving area and pumpkins or middle. And then the monster is light again, and the girl is actually middle values as well. So they things kind of jump back and forth, but in big shape. So here this is. What I'm doing right now is I'm selecting out some leaves and I'm gonna get back to composition just a second. But so I'm making a new layer, said it to multiply and then just pick a cool value and just fill that in. That's obviously too harsh. So what I'll do is I'll gosh and blurred a little bit or motion blur. Actually, it doesn't really matter which type of blur you used. I'll be painting over lots of this box, blurs air fun sometimes and then the opacity. Just adjust that down. I still wanted to look like a shadow, but I want I just wanted to be kind of roughed in. And then I can paint over it, taken down some of that saturated color and then just sliding this around to see if there's anything better for a starting point member. This is just a starting point, and then once that's done, hopefully I'll flatten it. Yep, flatten it down and then I will paint over it. So getting back to composition what I was talking about before I got sidetracked. The composition now goes from light on the sidewalk to middle in the shelving pumpkin area , and also it bleeds into the girl and then the monster is another punch of light, and the awning is another punch of light. So it's like light mid light light. It's this kind of, but it's done in big shapes, though it's not light mid light light in very small shapes, these big shapes, so you can actually do that. It's a nice way of organizing pictures when you have these alternating values. So here's maybe the first time ever that I've actually zoomed in a little bit. And I'm just Ah, I'm just looking at the detail that's gone, the texture work that's going down because the things in the foreground, like this basket and the sidewalk, they're really going to call some attention to itself because they're so in your face. I want a requisite amount of detail to exist there. It'll just help justify them in this picture. You mean brushing. Th 10. DigitalPaintingII part09of13: one thing that I think is important to just reiterate. And I know I've said it before in different words is that you want to keep a quality of the unknown in your work because it keeps your ideas fresh. I think I talked about this mostly when I first started. How I was saying how even though I did the color sketch, you want to always leave room for improvement? Just I mean, just won't expand on that idea a little bit. Um, improvement comes from the unknown. If you If you know exactly what you're supposed to dio, then the best you can possibly dio is is meet your expectations. But if you come in more, more blind, it is not even really open is just more blind. Really. You come in with, like, an openness to embrace things that you don't know are goingto happen. So that led me in this case just for to cite a specific example, it led me to discover the basket that I'm working on right now, or the ground, Or that you know which adjusted composition adjusted storytelling. You know, the the ground led me to discover the, um, hopscotch idea this is These are all things that were not in the sketch. And if I had dogmatically copied the sketch, they wouldn't be in the final. But, I mean, I would argue, and I hope you would agree that the final is looking far more compelling than the sketch. Um, I think the final so far has everything that was good about the sketch. It caught the essence of the schedule. Whatever was working in the mood of the sketch, this has. But it also has taken advantage of the process of exploring the unknown. And I think, like when you say, like exploring the unknown, it kind of it can sound a little too Ah, vag an esoteric. But, um uh, hopefully I've given you a real example of what that means. In this case, I have gone in left certain things unknown, even though I did plan. But I didn't over plan, and that's something that I think you really need. Your personal work to keep. Your personal work is kind of a haven for that reason, because when you're working for a client, you you probably cannot do this. Um, because a client a client, you know, they're paying you their money, that it's they need to know from my experience. And I worked for studios large and small. Um, they need to know that what they're paying for is going to work because they have. They have investors, they have whatever they have projections and due dates. And who knows what else, Right? Market predictions. I'm out of business person. So, um, they have all these things and they hired you to be a hired gun, and you have to fire that gun and you have to be on target. So, you know, embracing the unknown. No one's got time for that in the business world. So, um, uh, this again, you need your personal work as ah, I called it a haven. Some people call it a playground. You know, insert your own favorite metaphor here, but you this is why it's so important. And I'll tell you from personal experience, the the best work I've ever done is not my commercial work. It's my personal work. I want to say best. I mean, I always try and paint up to the same level of quality. It's not like my quality increases or decreases when I switch from clients to not clients, but it's It's the spirit of exploration that I find that is so fresh in my personal work that sometimes is lacking in my commercial work. Just for those reasons where the environment and commercial work is not created equal as, ah, it is not created the same, I should say as ah in your personal work, because in here in this sketch I can fail, and that's totally fine. In fact, it's probably a good thing if I do fail because it means that it just reinforces the fact that I haven't mastered anything yet, and you never master anything. If you know, if you ever think you've got something mastered, that's pretty conclusive evidence that you don't, Um, because there's always different ways to do things, always different ideas to explore. You'll never run out. So, you know, I'm hoping the reason I'm spending so much time on this type of talk rather than telling you what colors I'm choosing is because this is really what galvanizes the artwork. It's not the fact that I'm painting with the orange color. That's just incidental, that there's all personal stuff. I'll talk. I mean, there are certainly many sections of this class that talk color, and you know, the sidebars we do. And if you look at my other videos, they talk color as well. But I think it's more important to understand, like, the impetus behind. But why are you doing this? You know why? Why did I sit down and paint this? And more importantly, or maybe equally as important as that is what's keeping me going? I mean, this painting is six hours long, which, in the grand scheme of things, is not that long. I mean, six hours over. I did. I did this illustration over, I think, three days. So, you know, two hours a day, maybe, Um, not that much. I Sometimes I'll do it in two days. Sometimes I'll do a six hour illustration in one day. Just I'll take a lunch break in between. On sometimes illustrations air longer a shorter. But you know, what is it that keeps you going through it? Because at this point, I'm at a point in this illustration where a lot of people may just get bored and give up. Um, maybe not. Maybe they get bored with the idea or there they get bored with the rendering process or they get bored with who knows what. Maybe maybe at this point failures in the illustration start to pile up. Whereas I'm trying to cultivate successes, I can also accidentally be cultivating, you know, failures, meaning, meaning, like because I have all these shapes down on the canvas right now. So many decisions are there. You know the decision of what the monster looks like, what the kid is shaped like. You know, the composition, these things I could search digital. I can change it anytime. But you know, that stuns the process. When you have to go back to ground zero and change it, that's tough. I'm trying not to do that. That it's that impedes my personal work ethic. But all these decisions that have been made can start to yield. Ah, you know, disappointment. Maybe if if there's if you're making a lot of decisions that really aren't jiving, you know? And um, I think a part of your your intuition and your evaluation of your work, you need to be able to start noticing the impact of all these decisions you're making about shapes and colors and lights and composition. You know, all the things we're talking about. I'm talking about all these air, all decisions you make. Right. Um, you have to be able to look at those and evaluate them. And, um, if you're if their disappointing you, then you're you know you're in a spot. I wouldn't call it trouble, but you're in a spot where you have to say, Okay. Okay. Can I fix it? Can I, you know, right this train and get this back on track? Or is it too far gone? Can I should I just throw in the towel and, you know, call it a failure. And don't be afraid to use the word failure. It's okay. You're an artist. You're supposed to fail. There's no such thing as a good artist who never fails. Ah, that's called mediocrity. If you don't fail or if you're afraid to fail. You know, I think one of one of the tenants of being a good artist is that failure is you have to re associate the term failure with not being negative. Failure is not a negative thing. It's actually a positive thing because it is so long as you learn from it. I mean, this is classic what self help stuff. But, you know, failure is something they're Teoh help you analyze yourself and it's a mirror that shows yourself and you move from there. You know, if you succeed all the time, it's that's just an impossible enterprise to begin with. No one you just can't do that. Um, so that ends my Harang on that. Back to the painting. I am loosely. I'm watching, but I'm having Haven't really been watching myself. As I went on that speech, I was looking away from the screen. Um, so I think what I'm doing here is I'm you know, I'm into I'm into small shapes. I'm masking out something. I'm not quite sure what I'm doing. Probably some shadows. I'm I have noticed that in when I went on that speech there for the last what, 10 minutes. I did a lot of work on the brushwork and, like the spotty shadow work some of those brush strokes, though I know what I'm doing. I'm trying to figure out a pattern for the would like the wood green, you know? So I'm just dialing in some darkness. There just to hint at it. But then I don't like all the hard edges I've created, so I'll go back with, um It may be this much tool or maybe a brush. It looks like I've got ah ah, hair type brush out. And I'm just trying to break up those edges. Are there? Is this much till, Of course, my favorite. Go to I love this much tool If you haven't figured that out already, and I will really offset Just offset those edges. The smudge tool is great for EJ control because again it can create hard edges and then it tapers to soft edges. You know, if you just work the same area like put your pen down and just scrub the same area, it will create a soft edge there. So you can like soften edges really effectively. And I find that just on the edges Sorry that you see what I'm doing here. So this is image adjustments, variations. It was off screen there. I apologize. Image adjust variations and it gives you this window and it just gives you different color options like more read more green, more magenta, whatever. I picked more yellow than I'm gonna hit. Okay? And then what I do is I've got So I've got the layer, right. That's a layer mask. If you invert that control, I I'm trying to find it in the menu, which is futile because I don't know the menus. Um, yeah, I'm looking for invert. I found it s oh, inverted it. Meaning I turned the layer mask black, which means nothing shows through. Now I'll get an airbrush and paint into the layer mask. I'm painting white. You notice that where I paint white, it reveals the yellow yellow there. It's my cat mewing. You might be able to hear him. Um, So what I'm doing is I will airbrush in where I want that yellow variation, and I'm choosing, you know, I'm going on intuition here. I'm choosing it around the monster. Basically, I've noticed that I'm doing it around the compositional area like where the ask shape is, Um, that's where I'm choosing to put those yellow tones. And it's just in the interest of steering this thing away from monochrome. Just one of my tendencies. When I'm working digitally, I tend to keep the color space too close together. Casillas. I turn off and on that layer as I toggle that layer, you can see it just adds a bit of a richness to the palate like a just a little bit of punch, like the illustration was already going there. You can see what my layer mask is doing. The illustration was already going in. This direction is just that adjustment helped me in traditional illustration. I will how often just load my airbrush with a really saturated color, like an orange or something, and just start spraying it in areas where I want to do that just to reinforce some strong color and traditional. So I think you know most of the techniques I used digitally are analogous to analog stuff. So, you know, just tweaking shapes and notice. The campus has been flipped, which is something that I continue to do the whole time. It is possible to get used to the flipped state, so don't do it too often. You know, every I mean there's no rule, obviously, but you know, every 5 10 minutes, flip the canvas, maybe more for less. Just dialing in painting in some, you know, subtle textures into the trees I lost a few of those. Those dark marks that burst trees have just reinstating those. They got lost somewhere along the line. Um, and that's another thing you got to be comfortable with. And the painterly method is, Ah, things will get lost. Things you do in the beginning, you will, um they will get washed away as more brushwork goes down. And, you know, I lament some of that as I washed this painting evolve, there are a few. There were a few areas, like, actually the area in painting right now. Those little tassels, they were really strong at the beginning. They had some like this cool, yellow under painting that was showing through that is lost now. And ah, that's something I didn't notice as I was working. And I wish that I had preserved that a little more. Um, there was some really nice, like, incidental, accidental mark making their that that I painted over. You know that that happens, and you just got to be aware of it. You know, you can't track everything, but you start to ah, no. Based on your own tendencies, you start to know what it is that you're likely to ruin over time. And Ah, so what I'm doing here is I'm showing you what? I don't want to dio there. You don't want to do that. I don't want to create lines. I want to be more clever with how I show the pumpkin textures. I want to create the effect of those lines that we're all we're all expecting to see in a pumpkin, those radiating sort of valleys that pumpkins have. Um and, um, I'm just doing a little of a ham fisted way of doing that right now. It's no good yet, but sometimes, you know, you remember you can work into This is a painting you could work into this. Sometimes it helps to lay it down too strong and then work into it and soften it up. And that's what I'm doing here. It's a little too strong right now. The thing I had against lines and the thing I have against what's there now on that middle pumpkin there is? It's too similar to boring. Those lines are all the same. The same edge is happening in all four lines, and they're all the four lines are evenly placed, and it's really creating a boring area and because it's repetitious. It's calling attention to itself because the repetition of that pumpkin is creating a contrast with the UN repetitive nous of the other things. So your eyes drawn a contrast. So if it sees a repetitive shape amongst ah, field of non repetitive shapes, it's going to go to the repetitive shape. It's going to go to the contrast so that pumpkin is failing right now. But, uh, I'm aware of it. I'm certainly aware of it. I'm just jumping around the painting like I always dio you'll notice. I think one of my strengths is I never get fixated. And this is something that I just do Naturally I never get fixated. I've learned to do it naturally. I never get fixated on one part of the painting. Some of you might get frustrated at this were like, Can you just start focusing on one area? But no, I'm sorry. I never focus on one area. Here I am expanding the campus again, giving some more foot room, um, crop. It a bit just felt like I needed it for the upcoming, um, hopscotch thing. I'm looking at this one now, and I like the different colors in it, so I think I'll try it. I'm putting it on a new layer because this is risky. I really like the painting of the sidewalk. Like I like the built up texture. I haven't stuff. So what I'm doing is I'm just modified my chalk brush to have more granular texture and picking a strong color. And I'm just going to try and go for it. It's on a layer, so there's no risk. You know, the only risk is time. And that's fine. Because, you know, this is my personal work. I have all the time I want, um, just gonna try and paint this thing. I think this is my first time ever painting. Ah, hopscotch board. So I'm trying to figure out how a kid would draw it. I'm trying to preserve that, you know, skewed off kilter kid drawing. Right? You know, the boxes aren't quite boxes. They're more polygons trying to preserve that idea. And of course I have. Ah, uh, I'm switched to or something else this classic. How I think is, you know, now I'm back to the now I'm back to the office Koch thing. It's it's amazing. See seeing myself work like this Looks like a schizophrenic is working on this painting. Putting in some color notes. I'm thinking of coloring in the boxes with white. I think it will help the things stand out. If I do that, that's what I'm thinking right now again. Thank you for layers. Ah, I'm Mawr. I'm less risk averse when I have it on the layer. You know something like this. Like, if this doesn't work out and hint spoiler alert, this doesn't work out. Um, it would be very painful if I had this if I didn't have this on a layer because, you know, look how much I'm painting over my sidewalk that I like so much, And then that might be a failure of approach. But honestly, it's digital. We have layers, you know. Let's use them. Sometimes I'm not adverse to using digital for its strengths. I just feel so guilty sometimes that I'm using techniques that are unavailable to me. Ah, on a analog space that sometimes I feel like I get soft if I'd used too many layers. But in this case, this is I think, the only time where I actually I guess when I painted that cloud, I used a layer. But, um, this is one of the only times I use a layer for cautionary reasons. And that's my favorite way to use layers in my personal work is for stuff like this that might not work out. And actually, this one boggles me for a while. As you'll see here's smudge tool just breaking up some of those digital edges. Those digital brush marks, I should say, digital brushes a repetitive, Remember, they're just stamps. So if you use the same brush, it will start to put down repetitive nous. That's something you have to constantly fight in digital. Anyway, this ah hopscotch idea boggles me for it alludes me for a while. Because while I think I have something pretty cool right now, I'm not gonna spoil this. I want you to think why it doesn't work. If you go back to the you know the final illustration. If you look at the final, you'll notice that it doesn't. It's not this one. And, um, this actually stays in the painting maybe for like, another hour after this, but I want you to try and think, What is it about it that doesn't work? We'll leave that question with you and we'll circle back to it later. But anyway, keeping in the moment here I do like the numbers. I like the note. I'm trying to be a little fastidious with the drawing of those I'm trying to mimic a child's hand. You know what I should have done? I should have just drawn it with my left hand. I do that all the time, actually, because I illustrate a lot of Children's books. One thing that comes up a lot and Children's books is kid's drawing on paper and you as the illustrator, you have to draw kids drawing. So what I do, I just switched to my left hand. When I do that, I didn't do it here. I'm not sure why I should have. But, um, switching to your other hand that you don't draw with, naturally, is the perfect way of mimicking the lack of control that a child has, and you can actually uncover how a child gets how Children get their sort of intrinsic mark making. It's because of a lack of control. It's kind of funny although it's it's still very difficult to mimic the mental freedom, just the elasticity of a child's mind. I mean, it's a beautiful thing. The mind of a child. Remember Ed Catmull was telling a story in his book Creativity Inc. About which I recommend everyone, by the way, um, about he went to an art show and it was his daughter's his daughter's art show. And it was, I think, kindergartens through fifth graders or something like that, a span of ages, some somewhere in that range. And he said that, ironically, the younger kids drawings like around first grade, second grade, their drawings were actually mawr expressive and more interesting than the older kids, because by the time the kids got older, they got old enough to tell that what they were drawing wasn't realistic enough, as if that were some kind of stated goal. So they would shy away from being creative, and they would try and do things that, like they could do, you know, where is the younger kids? They were just unfettered. They just let it loose, and we're extremely creative, and I thought that was interesting sort of case study of the mind and you know what it means to be creative. So here's a zoom out zoomed outlook of, ah, of the hopscotch board. Now this name that I'll name the layer just so I know not to paint over knows I've locked it too. So I don't want to make the mistake of painting too much into that. Lera. I want that layer to stay kind of sacred, and I will move it around like this. Maybe put it right in the middle. Maybe skew it layer later. I don't know right now, that's what it is, and there's something wrong with it. And again, the question imposing you is what is wrong. What is it? That's wrong. And the answer is not the visit. Only four squares. I stopped there on purpose because I knew something is off. I'm gonna keep it for a while, Noticed. You know it's on the layer, but I know what this point. It actually don't know. But I feel that it's just not sitting right. It's not doing what I thought it would dio, and I don't think it's a failure of the idea of a hopscotch board. Um, it's a failure of how I've done it. How have executed on it? So I'm switching to the leaves. I've got my leaf brush, which helps me get some free shapes. Notice how repetitive they are, though, but that's OK, because with the power of smudge tool and other brushwork, I will, you know, deregulate those shapes and change it up matting here I'm as adding some color notes to it . Some stems that you know have been working well, and I will, you know, make sure those leaves have their own randomness. Those leaves run the risk of the pumpkin problem, which is the repetitive shapes. I think if there's one just intrinsic shortcoming of the human brain when it comes to creating art, is that our tendency in our just inherent desire to create order? I mean, it's I don't get philosophical. I've already gotten philosophical. Who am I kidding? But, um I mean, it's I can see how it's a survival instinct to create order out of chaos. But when it comes to creating a painting that really works against you, so you know, part of your skill set as an observer as a painter is that of an observer of a keen editor . You are constantly editing your your work, and, um, it's that's getting back to the idea of failure. You can't proclaim something as a failure to early, because until you've given it a fair shot to be a success, to become a success, you shouldn't judge it. I mean, by definition, my paintings air all failures right out of the gate because they're not, You know, I havent solved all the problems yet, and it's really easy. I think you've all be probably all heard, the term the ugly stage. You heard that, like when people say, Oh, you know your paintings will go through an ugly stage. I think that's a really thing, and it's kind of like the failure stages. It's the part of the painting where you might be most likely to give up because you might equate the ugly stage with artistic failure and you'll give up and again. There's nothing wrong with giving up in throwing in the towel and starting on a different painting. I've done hundreds of those or maybe thousands of much sure, um, but the one thing you should do is have the fortitude to see it through to see the idea. Give it a fair shake. Give that idea a chance to go from ugly, from an ugly duckling to a swan. And, um, you know this painting You can mitigate that a bit with the planning, like I did in this process where you know, I did the cover key and stuff. Um, that helps it a little bit. It gives me the, um you know, the knowledge that you know, I'm I have a good idea, but again, a good idea in the wrong hands or even in the right. And sometimes a good idea can become boring if you don't execute well and again, the execution of this final picture is not tied to the execution of the thumbnail. These are two different beasts. This is a high rez painting, Finn it it's gonna be finished in the sense that everything is gonna be kind of worked out . And the ah cover sketch was simply unfinished. No one would look at that sketch and say, Yeah, that's a finished painting. And no one's even meant to see that sketch. That's just for the artist. That's just for us. You know, if I weren't recording this you would never see that. And I dont do, though I don't do those sketches all the time. I did it for you guys here because of my in digital painting. One my other digital painting video. I don't do a sketch. I just go straight in with, uh, exploring on a higher as canvassed exploring the final painting. And I I work up to the painting similarly to this, but without the safety net of knowing what I'm doing. And that's also a scary thing too. But it's all part and parcel of the artistic process there just to generations of the same process. Really? So looks like we are slowing down a bit, which probably means I'm thinking about something. Probably looking at that hopscotch thing, to be honest. Yeah, Yeah. There we go. Hiding it, moving it, scaling It may be a pro. I think I try and skew it here. I'm not sure, but something is not sitting with me because you know that I've shown you in the past here that if I once I have a layer and I do something to it and I like it. I will flatten that layer and commit right, I'll commit to it. So here I've made a ah, a layer over top, and I've given a given it a clipping mask. If you right click and say create clipping mask. It clips that layer to the one below it. Which just means that everything I do only effects the layer below it. So I'm painting these shadows. It's only painting shadows over the hopscotch board and not the sidewalk again. That's called a clipping mask. You, Ah, cradle air, right click and say create clipping mask and it draws that little arrow. And you know, I'm trying to get this. I'm trying to wrestle this hopscotch thing toe work. So I'm putting. I'm like, maybe it just needs dappled shadows for it to work, and that doesn't do it for me. It helps. I mean, it helps integrate it. Part of the reason. I think maybe it's not working, and I'm not gonna give away the answer yet, but I think on a strategic note, I may be integrated it too late in the process. I had something that worked without it, and then I tried toe wrestle it in there and, um, I might might be trying to fit a circular peg into a square hole or whatever that expression is. Um, with this hopscotch thing. Although I do, in the end find a way that I think works. It's not this year. I'm What I'm doing now is I'm just creating a bit of a vignette effect. I'm gonna multiply, multiply, airbrush, and I'm just creating darker edges around the corners. As you can see, I kind of actually overdid that, but it's kind of a classic. Uh, almost. I think photographers in the dark room kind of came up with this where they had vignette vignette the edges of their photos And what it does it just It kind of just dissuades the I from going there. It brings you into the painting into the picture plane. Okay, It ah creates contrast. Really. It makes the middle of the painting lighter and the outsides darker. Um, I've got my favorite one of my favorite texture brushes called old wood, and it's ah, give me these really nice, like random, really The closest thing I've got to a random brush. It's really hard to predict the marks that brush is gonna put down. Although if you paint largely with it. Paint large swaths with it is very repeated. But if you paint little marks like this, it's really quite random. So I'm just using it to, Ah, create some just, you know, bring back some texture because again, like I said earlier, you will lose some texture as you work. That's normal. You'll lose that. You'll lose texture. You lose value. No, you'll just paint over things and lose what might have been good before. But I find that when you do that when you paint over something that was good before and then you bring it back, sometimes it can be stronger because you've done it in layers. You've approached it in layers. So still evaluating, evaluating that you condone. Hopefully you can read my thoughts here. As you look at the video, you can see me thinking about that stupid ah hopscotch thing, and I don't have a solution for it. And I think what I'm trying to do is I'm trying to convince myself that it's fine. It's putting some highlights on the steal material there. Um, if any of you have carried those baskets before, you know they're they have those horrible steel handles which just eat into your fingers. Ah, and steel has a ah, really shiny property in the highlight. And to create that glow effect. That's just, ah, the airbrush on linear dodge. If you go back, you'll see the linear dodge airbrush used there really nice for creating glows like that. So here, chopping out the awning, I think what I'm gonna do notice I'm cutting around the shadows. I left out that shadow area there created a layer on screen mode, which is a lightning motors You can just see. I filled it with a paint bucket. Um, changing the color mode. That's a soft light. Just kind of this soft now, yeah, just changing the color it's filled in with. I'm just trying to create more of, like an effusive like glow or suffuse of glow on. That and then same trick. Make a layer mask, turn it black so nothing shows through. Then grab a brush any brush you want and paint whites into the layer mask, and it reveals that adjustment reveals the layer. Really fun. Way to work again. Totally a digital trick. Visual techniques, not a trick. I mean, you're still using a painter's eye and craftsmanship. It's not like I would say, a trick is when Photoshopped makes it look better for you. This is this is totally the artist. Uh, the artists tool. The only time the only time I ever used photo shop like as a trick is sometimes I'll go to , um, Carey. I'm just checking values. You might be able to see the problem here with the hopscotch board. Um, the only problem with, um sorry. The only thing I do with Photoshopped with trickery is sometimes I go to auto color or auto contrast, and I'll just use that is like a freebie for Photoshopped. Teoh, give me more color or something. Ah, mostly in the early stages. Anyway, playing with that stupid hopscotch thing, maybe darkening it. When I switched to Gray Scale, I noticed that its value was was like consummate with the monster and the awning. It created too many island shapes, so I'm trying to adjust it. That is part of the major problem with It's not the whole story, but it's part of it. So you notice I'm trying to just it bringing down. I made a layer mask and I'm painting black into the layer mask to hide parts of it now. So the opposite of what I was doing with the other layer tricks trying to hide it. I'm thinking maybe the white the filled in white blocks is to is contributing to too much lightning of value. Some you notice I'm painting out the inside of the blocks, but now it just kind of looking ugly, like it wasn't meant toe work like this. Those numbers only really look good when they're on top of the white chalk. So it's still it's still it's still really bothering me. I guess that's why this video, I think the thing I'm most proud of, this these videos is that you see the mistakes that go out the mistakes. Do you see the, um, misguided parts that go in? It's like I know I know that what the destination that I want, but I'm not quite steering myself there in the right way and something that is invisible. If I just showed you the final or even if this were sped up to, like 500% speed, you might see it would just go blip, and it would be done. Um, and you wouldn't see all the real time struggle that goes in and decision making. So when I referred, I think earlier I said the phrase the power of decision making, that this is case in point, the decision making, You know, I'm I've decided that this hopscotch board is not working, and I'm trying so many things to make it work. And sometimes you conduce that sometimes you can make it work. Um, but in this case, not sure Look at that. I flattened it. I forgot I did that. So I think what at this point, I think I have decided that it works. Of course. I think what happens invisibly behind the scenes as soon after this I go to bed and ah, wake up the next morning and I'm horrified with what I see. I wish I had the sound effect of me screaming When I look at this painting in the morning and I realized I flattened that down. I forgot I flattened that. But you know, it just goes to show that I mean, it's not terrible, But when I change it, I'll tell you expand more on why I hate it. once I change it, but it just goes to show that when you are involved in the process, you know, when I'm involved in the in this painting process you don't see you can't judge it cause you're too close to it. You need time, you need some space. I should have been a little smarter than to ah conclude that that merging that layer was a good idea. Although then again, it's in the spirit of keeping the painting alive and keeping my own spirits high. So in that sense, I do think I made the right decision and flattening it because, you know, again changing it is not the end of the world. This is digital after all. Repainting that one section of sidewalk is fine. It'll take me five minutes. I like some of the changes I've made to the awning, although I have created three dots. If you look at the top right of that awning, see those three dots of light that are kind of similar spaced they've corrupted crept in there. I hope I get to that later. I probably don't notice it right now, but those three dots are equally spaced, equally sized equal edges. Everything about it is equal. It just the way our muscles work, at least mine. It's annoying. It's the hardest thing for me is to create randomness. And ah, dappled shadows are just by their very nature, one of the most random things you'll ever see. The dappled shadow effect. And for me, it's so hard to create that. And, you know, there's, ah byproduct of why, 11. DigitalPaintingII part10of13: usually when I paint, um, put on music or ah, podcast or an audio book or something. And when I sat down to record this painting, the first thing I did actually was I tried to narrate it live. I had never really tried that before, other than simple demos, like I used to teach at a local college here, and I did a lot of painting demos live in front of the class, you know, was a physical class. And but the demos I was doing there were, you know, very simple things, like I would render or I would pain to composition of geometric objects or something to demonstrate fundamental principles and stuff. I never attempted a you know, actual illustration like this. Um, I never extended that live because, as you can see it, this is a six hour painting. It's a bit unwieldy for a class, right. Um, but I thought that I could just, you know, take the experience I had in school, a teacher demonstrating simple paintings and paint live, you know, hit record and do all this live paint and speak at the same time. And ah, it was a disaster. I couldn't I couldn't do either one properly. The painting was meandering it. It was a totally different idea than this one. Um, the painting was meandering like nothing was fitting together. Um, things were but compositionally unsound. You know, just the drawing wasn't good. The shapes weren't good. Everything was like a step lower than my usual standard of quality. And on top of that, the speaking I was doing was there a lot of pauses? There were lots of, like, indecisive, you know, words and phrases that have to revisit things. I said a lot just to correct them. And I also noticed that I would pause the painting a lot because I want us focus on what I'm saying. Because of what I'm saying is very important to me. I want to speak clearly. And, you know, I would do a lot of pausing, and then that was no good, because then the painting would drag on and on. I got to the point where I was about three hours in, and I just have to pull the plug on it. And it was an interesting sort of self revelation that, you know, I didn't know that I couldn't do that. I thought I could. I really thought I could do it because I did it, Ah, pared down version of it in my physical classes. So I mean, I really have no point to sharing the story other than, you know, just, ah, teaching. Preparing this material has taught me something about myself, and that's that. You know, I have to compartmentalize my mind when I do this stuff, although relating to listening to podcasts and stuff. I think a lot of you guys, when you've drawn paint, you probably like audio or video going on on the side, just something to just feed into the blank side of your brain. That's that's just laying dormant while you paint. Is it the right side that's engaged while you paint? Um, and then you need I think you need something. You know. The left side is totally open so you can feed it with other information, and I think that's really cool. I have a lot of friends who are, you know, writer's or musician's or ah, you know, they have creative jobs like I do, but where I have a benefit is I can actually do that. I can put on additional material and take in information or stories or whatever it is while I work. Whereas if you're a writer, well, you can't really do that. You can't put on a movie and right try that. It's probably impossible. So I think if you're a painter, you have a pretty sweet deal where you can kind of kill two birds with one stone. Um, so yeah, Like I said, I always find it interesting what people do while they paint. For me, it's It's Let's see, I say Podcast For the first thing I'd say if I had to make a pie chart, 70% would be podcasts and they range from all kinds Teoh from, you know, like stuff like this American life or something like that. Teoh Philosophical podcast, too mixed martial arts podcasts. I'm a big fan of that sport, too. Movie podcasts of any any and all things. Um, you know, I was obsessed with cereal when it was in its heyday last year, and I would just listen. Just put that on and paint. And I love that I go through podcasts, you know, I just gobbled them up. Movies are a second thing with movies is I can't really watch a movie because, you know, my eyes are on the painting. My eyes are physically glued elsewhere. So but what I do is that if you put on a movie that you already know, you can, you can find that you can re watch it and gain a different type of appreciation for that movie just because you are experience experiencing. It's just from an audio standpoint, and you, your brain kind of knows the visuals already. If you know the movie well, it's kind of interesting to get a different perspective on some of your favorite movies. And, uh, I think what I like about all this is that is that you can feed your brain information from all angles. You know, painting is one angle, and that's taken up whole half your brain. But then you can still feed it with other things. And I think that stories and songs and ah, podcast information All these things kind of play into what comes out of your brush. Really. I mean, I'm not in a direct way, but it's just, you know, if a painting signifies the person you are and I really believe that it does. I think that you can learn a lot about someone's temperament and personality and likes and dislikes just by their paintings. You know, what you fill your brain with is really is really an important thing. And, um, I'm a big proponent of reading. I do a lot of reading when im not painting. Um, I love toe. I'm usually reading audiobooks as well, but I read a lot more than I actually listened. Audiobooks. I only listen to audio books in the car or if I'm painting, but other than that, I'll read physical books off all the time. There's something about that a medium of expression that just that I love. I love the craft of words and how words together I think of them like paintings. Um, and I'm I work on writing myself. I'm I haven't I Don't you know wouldn't share any of my writing, but I am working on Children's book ideas with, actually, with this monster character. I goto our conventions, and a lot of people are a lot of people really like this guy, and they asked me. I get asked all the time. Several Times daily when I met our conventions is, you know, do I have a Children's book with this character? And up till now I've always had to say no. But then it kind of hit me a pretty obvious idea. Let's combine my desire to write with, you know, with this character I can already paint. So let's combine the two and make a Children's book and I work in the industry. So it's amazing that it actually took me that long to think of that idea. But it's amazing how you sometimes don't see what's right in front of you. So, yeah, that's what I'm working on right now is I'm writing a book, a Children's book picture book with that character I've actually been Do I've actually been coming up with ideas and potential stories for over a year now, to be honest, and the thing that the thing that's interesting with writing not to go on too big of a tangent here, but it is all related with painting. I think I said this before. I'm trying to communicate emotions here, right? Trying to tell you what's going on in this picture. I'm trying to tell you about this girl character, this monster character, trying to make you feel the atmosphere of that day remind you of what may be what you like about autumn. I'm trying to communicate with you emotionally, and through that you can learn who I am. Writing is the same you know you want when when you read or when you write, you want to take that in. You know, you can learn a lot about on author by the type of books they write and the type of words they use and how they assemble everything. So when I'm writing a Children's book or writing anything, um, that's the really the uphill battle is figuring out who I am on the page. It's taken me years to figure out who I am on the canvas and how to let that out right to get rid of any tentativeness I have and in painting and, you know, just make it a whole cohesive thing that appears to be all glued together and cogent, Um, whereas on the page, that's it. You need to do that as well. But just because you can paint it doesn't mean you can write. And, um, I know a few writers, and I kind of laughed when because I used to think this. I used to think that writing was was something that you can just do easily. When I was a little younger and I was learning to paint and stuff, I thought I thought, Yeah, you know when people would say like, ever thought about writing a Children's book? I'm like, Yeah, one day, it'll be no problem. You know, I literally thought one day that I could go to the public library and spend two hours there and write a Children's book that I I actually thought that and I went to that library and came out with garbage, just garbage. And it was, Ah, it was a humbling moment for me, and I'm glad no one was there to witness it. You know, I don't mind sharing it, cause I think this is important that writing, um, engages a whole different part of your brain. But when you read a lot, you'll find similarities with painting. And I think all the arts you know, there's a theme to my tangent here is that all the arts are connected and if you read a lot that will come into your paintings. Something about it? I don't know. It's obviously an indirect thing. But something about reading a book will influence the way you think. And you know what you think is ultimately what comes out when you paint. So I would say my advice to you if, if you asked for it is filling. Fill your brain with as much disparate information as possible. You know you can stick to your interest, but try and get it from different sources. You know, I I think it's a shame when people don't read because that's the whole world that you're then closed off to. You know, if you like horror movies, which I dio, you know, watch horror movies. But why don't you pick up, pick up some Clive Barker, pick up some Shirley Jackson and read and, uh, and see what see whats offered in a different medium documentaries? I forgot to mention those huge you know, Netflix is a few clicks away, and I have a subscription to that. Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox now let's go back to the illustration. I haven't been you know, the reason I chose now for my tangent there because I'm not really doing much other than honing in on shapes and I didn't want usually if this were, ah, something I was gonna try and condense down to, like a reasonably length video, I would cut this. This would all be cut because I don't think I'm doing anything particularly interesting. But what I'm doing, though, it's it's kind of ironic because the stuff you do here when you slow down and start really looking at your shapes on sort of a zoomed in skit scale Not that I'm zooming and physically, but I'm looking close more closely at them. What you what you do here? The little changes you make will make a night and day difference in the type of read that you get. So if you look back at, um, when I first started this painting three hours ago, look at the tree. I started with the tree right, which is completely not there anymore or Lauritz changed. I should say a treat is still there. But, um, notice how crap Aly that tree was painted and notice how where it's at now, it's starting to become interesting. There's like rhyming things rhyme visually, the shape they're kind of echoing, um, without being repetitive, or at least without being too repetitive. I'm arriving at interesting statements, whereas when I first painted that tree in the 1st 5 minutes of this video, notice how, how much of that was lacking, there wasn't any of that rhyme or reason to it. It was just kind of like just kind of vomited hunter the canvas with a few brushes and my explanation of why I started that way, I still was sound. That's still a good thing to start with. But notice how Now I'm interested in how all those little shapes are coming together to say tree, this is a tree. Not only is it a tree, but this is how I'm designing this tree and design. It's something that is a word I probably haven't mentioned enough. Design is everything. It's all encompassing. Um, design refers to not just the character design. That's one aspect, but the design of what's the visual language, like where the types of shapes that exist in this world like notice how the awning I've kept that sort of wonky nous to it, how it just kind of juts out on the left. Um, that's a design choice. I've could have just done a perfectly realistic awning and kept it similar to my photo reference that I had on my did the color sketch. But to me, that was boring. That's this to expected. So I made, um, notice. I'm getting rid of the thing now. I'm making tons of design choices. The type of brushwork, how the leaves look when they're on the trees versus how the leaves look when they're on the ground, you notice two different types of leaves there. Um, design is really everything. And that's something that, when I make these small brush strokes now are the critically important. I'm thinking about design, and I'm slowing down, designing something you have to slow down and really contemplate when you're sketching thumbnails, you're not so worried about design. And when I stood that color sketch, I wasn't so worried about design. But now I'm It's paramount because I need to make sure that when someone looks at this picture the whole picture, just as its own graphic statement looks like a cohesive piece. Okay, so that's why I've chosen not to edit out this section because I want you to see kind of a minutia that goes into design. I hate the word granular, but it's kind of granular. So I have cut up that hopscotch thing, and I still I've sort of fallen, too in love with it. I haven't admitted to myself that it's the design of that hopscotch board that's not working. I'm trying to wrangle it into ah into order, which is soon as I sensed that, which is probably gonna be very soon. As soon as I sense that I'm wrestling with it too much. That's the time when you should just concede that you know it's not working. You gotta you've got to find a different solution, and that different solution might be Hey, maybe maybe that maybe this painting can't bear the hopscotch idea. I talked to boat the whole concept of what can the painting bear earlier in this video? Maybe you can't bear that. I am reluctant to believe that, though I think what the painting can't bear and I hinted at this earlier is the light values that my my current hopscotch board is creating, and it's even worse now because I've put it to the left at least before, was in the middle, where it was kind of not weighing the painting to one side. Now the painting is totally wade to the left viscera scale. This painting would be heavy on the left, and that hopscotch board is completely causing that, and again, it's right under my nose. But I can't see it cause I'm too involved in the process. The creative process is a funny, funny thing, unpredictable, capricious and you know you gotta run with things, but so I'm running with my current hopscotch board, but I will. I will change it. And again, the problem is that the painting just can't bear that light value at the bottom because what that light value does when you converted to grayscale, which is just the values you'll see, I've created that sort of even spaced effect where I have a light value at the bottom than the monsters light value. And then the awning is light value, and it looks like I just have three light values in perfect order in a bad way. And that's not something that's conducive to a good picture. So I'm finally hopefully I think I'm doing it. Now I'm finally getting rid of this board and I'm conceding defeat for now. It may have won the battle, but it's not going to win the war. Just gonna save this. The two. This is a version two I'm saving just because I'm still I'm still not convinced that what I'm going to do next is going to be better than this. Of course, I end up staying with it, but so save aversion to always helpful to save your stuff inversions. And that way, what you can do is if you say it's your stuff inversions, you can actually go back to earlier stages and watch what you did before, similar to what I'm doing with this video. Although, as you've seen, I don't really save a ton of stages like I think I have a V three by the end of this painting. But when I worked for clients, sometimes all you know have five or six versions. Now if I'm submitting work as I go with a client, every submission gets a version number. That way if they because the clients are notorious for this of going back to old versions, Um and you can't blame them. You know, when I say clients, I hope I'm not coming across with a negative connotation. Their clients are they. They are human, just like you and I. And sometimes you work for clients who who are not artists and who aren't familiar with the creative process, and they and those clients, especially you have to kind of martial them through it. You have to guide them, and you have to be willing. You have to know that if someone doesn't know the creative process and they've hired you to do art for them, it's not their fault. If they don't know what they want, because the creative process is not like business, it's not. You cannot make a plan for a building and execute on those plans exactly as they are on the page. You can't do that. That's a path to mediocrity. Um, you can't do that. So when you know with the client, you have to really be aware of your own process and saving versions important. Because if a client asks to go back to version two in your own version eight, it sucks. If you don't have version two anymore, I mean I. And so even when you you want a client does know the creative process, this will happen because again, you know, I'm familiar with the creative process. But I painted that hopscotch board and then erased it or then moved it, then erased it. So let's say I were a client of myself. I would have asked myself to Hey, paint hopscotch board. Then I would have painted it then. Hey, can you move that hopscotch board to the left and then I would have done it then. Hey, can you ah, try and dark in the hopscotch board and then I would have darkened it. And then I want said, Hey, can you just delete that hopscotch board and go back to what it was before? So you can see like, if I were my own client, I would hate myself, but he just got a refrain that you can't Ah, don't get down on on the process when clients ask for revisions because just know that when you're doing your own work, you're no better. Ah, and you should be making revisions on your work. I get Really, um, I go into a mode of disbelief when when I try and get things right the first time. So what I'm doing here? I brought up the old illustration. I pasted it in. I'm just a being it back and forth, going to make the final decision on this, this hopscotch idea. And sure enough, I say, Yes, it's better without it. Or at least it's Let's try a different approach to it. So I've committed my version. Two is now the one I'm going with, and I never go back to Version one. Um, here's variations again and, um, see which when I select, I can't remember what you want to do, sort of pausing to look, I did a That's a lighter one, maybe with a little more yellow looks, just like a little bit lighter. And same technique where I create a layer mask, Um, inverted, which is the short cut is control I. That's them doing impressing control I And then just with my airbrush painting white into the layer mask, make sure you're painting into the layer mask and not the actual layer all you for that. You just select the layer. Just click on the layer mask and you'll be painting it you'll see photo shop puts a little border around the layer mask when you click on it and just just lightening things up. Another pitfall of digital, at least for me, is it? For some reason, it's easy to paint paintings that are too dark. That's probably just a maybe a byproduct of my personal process. But I've always had that issue. Paintings get too dark on me, so I'm just subtly lighting it. And then, of course, emerged the layers, as I always do. And I think I will attempt another version of the ah hopscotch thing. I've got my chalk brush out. I still like the idea of the chalk drawn board play area, but I'm gonna try and do it in a way that's less insistent. I want I want to orchestrate my focal points. Remember, I talked about focal points. I don't want this hopscotch board to be the focal point. I don't want the viewer. I want that I want the viewer to look at this painting and say, Oh, those characters were running a pumpkin patch, pumpkin sale, lemonade stand with pumpkins. That's what I want the viewer, Teoh instantly get, and the tendency when you're doing a painting, because every little part requires your full attention. The tendency is to, um, to spend expends too much effort on each section. I deleted my first attempt, by the way, and I'm starting again. Um, just trying to make the shapes less predictable. And I'm looking at my reference at this point, which you can't see. But I did show it earlier. It's off screen, and I just loved how just poorly drawn the shapes were. So I'm trying to mimic that, like one of the boxes looks more like a diamond or an octagon or something. And ah, you know, the boxes air Nowhere in your square and they're all wonky and their wonky just like the awning is wonky, just like the boards or wonky, just like the pumpkins or kind of wonky. Maybe the basket should be a little more wonky, although, and I don't really catch that, but that's okay. That basket looks all right. It's not perfect. I mean, it's not perfectly drawn or anything, but with the focal point, I reminded myself that the focal point is not this. This is hopscotch board. This painting is not about that the conversation of this painting is not the sidewalk area at all. It's the characters, and 2nd 2nd to that is the awning. I want the awning to catch your attention with the characters that that's where I want your eye to go first. And that pumpkin, those pumpkin things were leading your idea that started our leading your eye. The pumpkin path idea is leading your eye up to the focal point so that that ah hopscotch thing needs to be pared down to be downplayed. So it exists as like a tertiary focal point, like it's off in the distance in terms of focal point and on idea that I come up with a little later to help subdue the hopscotch is I'll put leaves over it before I was right. Now I'm putting shadows and before I was putting shadows and that's fine. But why not put some leaves over it? I have this perfect device of ah leaves on the on the sidewalk. Why not cover the board with with some leaves, which then can create kind of like a surprise? That illustration? You can have, like, a bit of us surprise to it where maybe someone won't even see it right away. And then they're like, Hey, there's a hopscotch board on the ground That's cool. I'm just doing I don't even know what I'm doing. I am trying Teoh, get a bit of more graphic punch. I went Teoh style. I filter stylized find edges that's in work, toe some going to sharpen, just trying to sharpen the textural quality of those chalky brushstrokes that I used to paint Thea Hopscotch board. I'm so sick of saying the word hopscotch right now, just trying to sharpen it, just to just to enhance the texture that just to enhance the sort of the idea that this was drawn in chalk and is not a month season. I'm not trying. Teoh painted with a paint brush. I'm trying to make it look like that kid drew it with chalk. So however, I can get the most shocking thing. Now this is cool. I duplicated the whole painting, and I went to filter stylized find edges. You can see when I put it on and off. Find edges it while it draws lines around what Photoshopped thinks. The edges are the edges of shapes. Now I'm just color tuning them to be warm. I want them all to be warm, so I turned on color rise, as you can see as I sweep sweep through the color wheel there, it just makes it. You know, different colors. I'll hit. Okay, I have this orange. It's probably an orange line, the layers set to multiply, so the white is transparent. And then what we'll do is like I always do. With these new layers, I will create a layer mask. Well, first, I'll lighten up the lines a little bit. There was a bit too dark to see when I turn it on and off. It's way too overbearing in total, but I will create that layer mask, inverted again, get my airbrush paint white and just subtly reveal the areas. Excuse me suddenly revealed the areas where I think the painting can benefit from this kind of effect. If this were traditional, obviously you couldn't apply a layer like this. But it is very traditional, and I do this sometimes. Just grab a thin brush and start outlining some certain things. Just put a few outlines in your painting. Sometimes it really helps to set things off um Now, earlier, I said I didn't want to use lines in this painting. Now what I'm doing now, I don't really consider what I'm doing now. Adding lines, because I'm brushing them in so subtly. I'm just adding, I'm adding values, really omitting dark values that conform to the shapes. You know, no one would now look at this and say, Oh, there's some lines in there now You wouldn't say that. I'm just adding a bit of punch, which contributes to the design, the magic word design. So now, as I, um, hiding, hide that layer, you can see what it's adding. It's a very subtle thing. If I if I didn't talk with a layer like that, you might not even think anything was there. But you can see, though, that the effect is quite additive, and, um, it really changes the look. So again that's duplicated the painting onto new layer. I went to filter style eyes find edges. Then I set that layer to multiply. Then I went into levels and lightened it a bit that I went into hue saturation and click to the colorized button and found a color for it. And, um And then I just made a layer mask, inverted it and airbrushed it back in. Here's something that I I didn't discover before. The edge on the monster's belly, the light shape on the launches, Bali. The edge was too consistent. It was too much the same. So I'm just starting the dirty it up. I'm starting to vary it. Get hard edges, soft edges, you know. Well, that's really it. Differences between hard and soft edges on that same shape, the shape is still identifiable as a light shape. I notice how I'm also I'm altering the shape by lowering it. The light before was kind of cutting the monster and 1/2 which is usually not the best design idea. See, there it is before and after half is boring. Halves are boring. There to expected. Half is what the human mind wants to dio again. Art is so often counter e art, so much has to subvert that. So I am you know, I lowered the shape so it's now more of 1/3 Now. The third of the monster is in light, which is just more interesting, and I've also varied this shape, so it's not the same. Sorry. I vary the edge on the shape, so it's not the same edge. So I think those two things are fundamental things. I haven't done anything crazy, but I've made such a more pleasing read to the picture. I think by doing that and something I love about painting is it's not really about how good you are. Really. It's about how, um, how do you say this? It's about how well you can manage the fundamentals as they compound over time and they compounded in complexity. Ah, as you paint your adding more and more shapes, you know, amore, amore edges more and more design, and therefore the fundamentals become harder and harder to to maintain with all those things. You know, you have so many plates spinning, it's gonna be hard to keep them all spinning. Um, that that is where a professional, you know, that that is what separates a professional artist from an amateur artist is the ability, you know, t paint a complex scene and still keep everything under control. You know, you can have an amateur artist in a professional artist. Both render a sphere beautifully. That's fine, but but try and keep all that stuff in mind when you're rendering, you know seem like this when everything is there clamoring for attention and you have to be the one, the sole voice of reason that says you You're here. You you're here. Um, you know, like a bunch of unruly kids or something That is the art of the painter. And that is why that's what I look for, You know, when I'm looking at paintings, you know, I I don't I can accept any subject matter. I don't care if a painter paints vases with flowers or or monsters or space scenes. SciFi movie posters. I don't care what the artist paints. I look for design, and I look for how well the artist is able to control all of these things. That's really it. You know, rendering alone doesn't impress me, Whereas I think rendering is something that's super impressive to a beginner. You look at something like, Oh, that looks so really that looks just like a photograph. I have come to loathe that that complement. It's not a compliment. It's not a comment you should seek when someone tells you that looks just like a photograph That means you haven't expressed yourself as an artist because you might as well just taking a photo. You know, no one would ever look at this painting and say that looks just like a photo. No, they're gonna They're going, Teoh. I'm giving them no choice but to respond emotionally because it's so divorced from anything you'd expect in real life or photography or anything like that. It's It's so in the realm of imagination that I'm forcing you, the viewer, to respond in the matter, using your imagination to respond. Um, and that's what's beautiful about painting to me on, Art in general, is if you can direct someone like that, you know, you this painting has the power to turn and adults into a kid just for a second. Just when they look at this, they experienced the joy that I've hopefully put into it. That's why I paint and ah, you know, that might be your reason for painting too, and, you know, to get to a level where you're proficient with it, that just takes time. You know, watching videos like this certainly help, um, going outdoors to paint like I have in my sketchbook painting video that is a super important method of painting and what I'm doing here. If you guys have seen that video, what I'm doing here is no different than what I did outside. It's just on taking more time with it, and I'm designing my own picture. But the way I look at outdoor subject matter and the way I translated onto the paper is just the exact same I'm doing here. I'm using as big brushes as I can, and I'm putting down marks as boldly and, you know, large as I can. I'm trying to be very decisive with everything. I'm trying to create good compositions. It's just the additional pressure and additional challenge of you know, it's also you who comes up with the actual picture you're not looking at, you know, a bridge in High Park or a street scene or something, but painting outdoors for my money and I am an art teacher. I taught at call art colleges. I've taught numerous online courses. I've I've dealt with hundreds if not thousands, of students in the past seven or eight years. Um, the best teacher is not a human. The best teacher is nature you going outside and painting from life or go to the life drawing studio and paint from the live model or paint still lives You can paint still lives digitally if you want. I'm a big proponent of painting with traditional media, but if you're if you're really obsessed with digital and you don't care to go out to yard store and buy, you know traditional media, um, set up a still life near your wakame tablet near your computer or get an iPad, get iPad and get the Get a nap. Get get alias schedule pro get brushes get you know, whatever. Ah, and paint with that iPads a great you can take him anywhere and by a little stylists. There's so many good painting stylist's these days you can buy him for $5. I bought a little nub pen with a rubber tip for like I think was like 3 95 It was ridiculous, and I don't actually, I don't. I used to love painting digitally, like playing their painting digitally, I should say, and now I don't like it now it's just doesn't do it for me. I love painting like this digitally. It was illustrating. But whenever I paint from life, I like to work traditionally. But that's does just me. That's not a not any kind of reason behind that, other than personal preference. And I spent years painting that. I think the first thing the first digital platform I painted from life on was the actually the Nintendo DS. I used to work at ah animation studio with a bunch of, ah, gaming nerds. And of course, any any animation studio I think will be replete with gaming nerds. But they had a Nintendo DS, and I saw, um, Spark, actually, great artists. Ah, Nicholas Booby, I think, is his real name. He was painting within it. The Nintendo DS and my friends at work were playing with a Nintendo DS, and I'm like, Oh, this is incredible. I could buy a Nintendo DS play Mario Kart at work on lunch and paint with it. So I bought a Nintendo DS, probably the very next day, went to the mall, picked up a Nintendo DS. I got Ah, I can't member. The app that was that was for the D S. But it was some home made app and it was beautiful I painted so many pictures on that D s, um, uh, many of which are in my book Imaginary places, the state's back to 9 4008 ish Air area era. And that was that was great. And then from there I that was before I think those before iPhones or at least I didn't have an iPhone yet. But after that, I got the an iPod. I think I don't have an iPhone yet, but I got the iPod and I got all the painting APS for that. And then I left the DS behind for a while in favor of the iPod and then the iPhone and the iPad. And you know, then then, after all that, I kind of gave up digital playing air painting because I just found so much more joy in in actual physical traditional media, the thing I love about traditional media over digital and there are pros and cons to both. I just made a selection just darkening just for a little bit more punch in those trees. I think tree shadows could be should be very dark. Trees are often the darkest thing in your painting. Um, if you look on at the foliage of trees, even when they're lit by the sun. There quite dark because light can't really get around in there. But with traditional media back to that, the thing I love about it is just the tactile experience of mixing pigments and putting down actual brushstrokes. Because the digital brushstroke is very different from a physical breast stroke, it's a different mechanism that you use. The feedback you get is so different physically than it is from a tablet, you know, on a computer screen. You know I have a sin teak, So 12. DigitalPaintingII part11of13: and at this point, I will really want to start thinking about what's unfinished. You know, we're almost four hours into this painting and one of my sort of work methods. I guess philosophies is of working methods is never let something be. Let never let something dragged behind too far. I bring everything up kind of all at once, which is why I am so 80 d with with the way I jump around the campus, it's It's actually not really eight a d. D. It's just I want everything to kind of evolve at the same time. And that way everything reaches the finish line together now not to say that everything is equally rendered. It's just the opposite. Everything is is orchestrated. You know, that background that I'm working on now is less finished than the foreground. That's totally on purpose. I'm just filling in some of that blue color in the back. But I noticed was just kind of remember I tried the ground idea. I got rid of that, Um, it just didn't read, and it's so unimportant there at the edge there of the left and right edges of this picture that let's just make it blew it kind of silhouettes. It helps to bring the warmth forward of the foreground stuff. Working on the girl again, Just just trying to get that shape right. You know, when you have fewer marks, too. Dictate a shape. Like what? That girl's face. I only have a few marks. I got the mouth and couple shapes to the eyes. When you have fewer shapes like that, you really got to get them in the right place and I'll go back and forth numerous times. Teoh find that, and the undo button is my best friend in that process. Something about the getting back to the blue in the background. Um, one way to increase your warms. I believe I mentioned this earlier, is actually not to increase your warms, but bring up your cools. So, um, if you look at this, look at the background that Blue is which I just sampled, you kind of see where it's at and painting it. Right now. It's pretty saturated. It's it's definitely on the upper scale of saturation values used in this painting, and what that's going to do is it's it's it's not really going to make that blue look so blue is going to give the effect of making the warms look warmer because the warms are further away from that blue right? I've created a environment where, where there's a relationship between my warms and cools and I'm cultivating that throughout this entire process, I'm always interested in maintaining that and building it. I mean, for me, that's the allure of painting. Light is monitoring New York warms and cools and making sure they all kind of fit in the in their place. And, um, you can really give yourself a lot of head room by increasing your cools. I learned this ah, technique from Scott Christenson, where he would ah, he paints from life. That's pretty much solely what he does. He paints nature for, you know, directly from life. And he taught me this trick where when you look at a scene, it's actually just like what I do digitally look at the scene upside down, so literally turn your head upside down when you're outside and look at a scene upside down . Don't worry about looking ridiculous. It doesn't matter. Um, what you'll find when you're looking into the distance when you're looking at a scene. Let's just imagine we're looking at this scene in real life where, where the There's trees way behind them, like a mile behind them are those distant, distant trees. If you look at that scene upside down, you will notice how blue those blues get, because when you're upside down, it becomes abstract. Your brain is all of a sudden tricked. It feels like it doesn't really recognise what it's seeing, and therefore you will actually see colors more the way they actually are, rather than what you think they should be. And one of the things that you'll notice is that the blues are much more blue than you might think. And what that you know, Like I said, What that does it just gives you, gives you a lot of head room for using not so warm warms. For some reason, saturated warms really start looking fake. They start looking, you know, just they just start looking wrong and coloring book E or something like that. I don't know what the right word is kind of like disingenuous, like they're lying to you. You think that putting more warms will make your painting feel warmer, but actually there's a tipping point and you'll notice that the warms I have in this painting and this is, you know, we're getting to some final statements here in this painting. Um, the really not that warm. I have some very warm stuff in the pumpkins. That's those are some pretty hot oranges I've got there, but the board's they're sitting on there, you know, fairly. Grade down, and there's a lot of different types of gray. They're all warm, graze their greener. There are more orange than more red. Maybe there's some cooler graze in there to give them balance, but it still looks warm in the contest. The context of the picture because my blues in the background are really helping to give it context. Also, my shadows look at how much blue and violet and whatever colors I'm using in my cool colors . I just say I'm using in my shadows that is contributing to the difference between warm and cool as well. So just think about that as you paint. So I'm putting in the monster character. I'm working into his cooler shadows, um, with warmer tones, and again it's that awning that's reflecting light back onto the monster is reflecting warm , orangey light. But it's in the shadow, right? So I can't just put something. A strong is the pumpkin. I'm going to be cooler than that, but warmer in comparison to his existing shadow colors, which are, you know, mostly predominantly in the cooler greens and the bluer greens, especially the top of his head. There's a lot of bluer greens and maybe even some actual blues in there, too, you know, so that you're I'm just playing up the the weaving of color that goes into that shadow. Go back and check out the light and color just short demonstration again. I just want to reinforce its the shadows. The light. The color play exists in the shadows in the light. Color is very predictable. If it's a warm sun, that's letting your scene. You don't have much choice in the light. You're gonna just be stuck with warm, you know, generic oranges and reds in the light that you can't. You know there's certainly amount, some play room, but you're going to be. The sun is like a little bully. It's gonna bully you into picking certain colors or also just won't look like sunlight, right? But in the shadows, that's again. That's where all the lights that aren't the sun can play. Ah, and can be seen. So you know all of the low local color like that that red in the cheek. I just put in in my thinking That's local color like that's the blood in his cheeks, like we see on humans I'm doing on the girl right now. The blood in her cheeks is causing that red, but it's in shadow. So it's a cooler red right. If that were in sunlight, I would not be in the purples. I'd be more in the oranges, Um, and then on then the blue on the monsters shadow. That blue is the skylight that's hitting him. The greens vary wildly. There's orange greens, there's blue greens. There's grayish greens. All of those things are just colors bouncing around in this scene. Um, this scene has so many different colors bouncing around it. So look at this. I'm zooming in for maybe the what? The second or third time, and I'm just I need to work on this girl. I need I can't leave her behind painting wise because this the rest of this painting is evolving. And she is not eso. I've had to bite the bullet. I think I zoomed in just so I wouldn't just a corral my attention so I wouldn't give it elsewhere. You know how I just, you know, all of a sudden get up and leave and paint something else? Um, I think I zoomed in so I wouldn't do that Kind of like a self trick. And I'm just trying. I'm trying to figure out what exactly I'm trying to do here. What are the forms on her head? I like. I like how it's forming right now how it's begun. So I'm gonna work into this. I feel like I found a starting point for her. That is, that feels right. You know, sometimes I go back and forth with shapes. I usually head shapes or hand shapes. I'll go back and forth with just rough brush strokes over and over until I feel like I've got, you know, a starting point that's promising. For me, there's no point trying to wrestle something into existence. If I feel like I'm wrestling with it, I'll usually pull the plug. So you know, I'm starting to look into that nose. Breaking it down is the first time I think I've given her an actual geometric knows there. It's starting to give her some character. I'm working on the blue highlights of the top of her head. Her eyes sort of get that same blue treatment because it again the i whites summer to the monster's eyes. They're gonna get a lot of their color from everything else to notice how orange of the bottom in her eyes. That's the pumpkin bounce light from the pumpkin. Now let's put in some pupils or putting some irises. And again, I'm really trying hard to get her to look directly at us and knows I undid that two or three times to get that. And again notice how her pupils sorry irises are not both in the middle of her eyes. That one is on the left eye. Her right eye the iris is toward the right because it needs. It needs to travel further to look directly at us, or as her left eye is more central. So is working on the hair, getting those sprigs of hair that I liked in the character design reinstating the ah, the bun shape at the top using this smudge tool for this again, again, finger painting has turned on. So it's great for hair because hair is, you know, usually made of mostly soft edges. The second you put a hard edge in a hair in hair, you really gotta be careful. You must saying you can never do it. But, um, just got Be careful. All of a sudden it might start looking like a porcelain or, you know, something like that and not hair, which is sometimes a very desirable thing. You can sometimes get really like sculpted looking hair with with hard edges. But in this painting, she simply doesn't have enough hair visible for hard edges. Ah, hard edge kind of has to earn its keep. And ah, if it if the shape is too small, chances are I'm not gonna put a hard edge there giving her some freckles again. My concept, art. I had some freckles in there and I liked it. So let's bring it back. Even though this particular design that I'm working on now doesn't actually look like any one design I did in the character sketches. It's It does follow the spirit of those. You know, I probably wouldn't have arrived at this girl if I didn't do those quick design sketches. And that, to me, means that my design phase was not wasted. Even though I'm not using any one design, that's a good thing. Again, I'm trying to leave room for improvement, but also, I'm more concerned with this picture. You know, I'm not just because I did those character designs and one or two of those drawings were OK , I'm It doesn't mean that they all of a sudden get free rein in this illustration. You know, they looked okay out of context on a white piece of paper. This painting is in context. She needs to read, Really, She's a pretty small shape In the grand scheme of things. She is my focal point, which is why I'm allowing myself to zoom in for this long notice. This is by far the longest I've ever zoomed in, right. Um but she deserves it because she's our focal point. She needs to be utterly interesting. She needs to be more interesting than everything else save for maybe the monster himself. Those two need to be the most interesting things. And the monster was easier to paint in my opinion, because he's he's just a bigger round shape like he's. There's not much to him, but she has more complex shapes. You know, she's based on a human skull. Is the caricature, of course, but it's based on the planes that you would actually find in a person, so I need to zoom in and and give that treatment the respect it needs. So I'm trying to play with the bid of cooler light of the bottom. Now I'm playing with warmer light. It's bounced light from the pumpkin. If any of you have seen John Singer Sargent's Lady Agnew portrait painting, I'm totally aping something he did for this bottom reflected light. Lady Agnew has this beautiful orange reflected light underneath her chin or underneath her jaw. Lower jaw, actually. And ah, it's just in that portrait. It's like bouncing up from her skin. In this painting, it's light bouncing up from the pumpkin. But I was totally thinking late sergeants, Lady Agnew is I painted that reflected light. So, uh, you know, so I wonder what sergeant would think if he who were all of a sudden transplanted into today's digital painting environment. I think he would like it. I don't know. I'd like to think that Sergeant would become a pretty awesome digital painter. I could see him outside with his iPad. Okay, putting in some highlights. You know, I want to make those pop the eye out. As as spherical forms, notice how in her left eye are right. I've given her two highlights. And really, what I'm trying to do is I'm trying to separate one I from the other. Ah, think, Richard Schmid said in one of his videos. One. I should always be dominant in a painting, even if it's not dominant in real life. In a painting, you should always favour one eye and give one I a little more creative than the other. And, ah, it just helps the character or the portrait be become more alive. So I kind of I kind of used that philosophy in my paintings to even in the monster character. You can see slight differences in the treatments of the eyes. His eyes are a little more similar, but I do see slight treatment, different differences in his eyes as well. It's totally a subtle thing is just These are the things that contribute to the feeling that you get when you look at a painting. Not so much the actual physical, you know, reaction. You'll have. You know, I don't want anyone to notice. That is what I'm trying to say. Some evaluating this is a good time to go. Go get some lunch or grab a coffee or something and come back because now that the girl is there and she's not totally done notice, I'm still working on her. I'm working on her now from a zoomed out level because when you're zoomed in, you get a little tunnel vision, right? So I'm zooming out. I got the overlay brush. I'm just trying. I noticed that she was looking a little dead a little flat. My oranges weren't as strong as I thought from bringing them up a little bit. And notice that now, my Lady Agnew, reflected light is really starting to glow while still staying in shadow. I'm putting a little green on her on on the left where she's closest to the monster. I'm putting some green there because that would be green reflected light coming from the monsters for makes sense, says her face. Now, in that short amount of time, what was maybe 10 minutes or less that I was working on her? She's become a pretty sophisticated little bit of painting. Um, of course, I've been setting her up for the past four hours, so it's not like I could do this right away, and this is the first time at this point we are just shy of four hours in to this painting . I'm thinking that this can pass is finished. It's not finished yet. There's more. There's more I would like to dio, but if someone were to pry me away from my work station right now, I could show this to someone as a finished painting. You remember in my color sketch video, I talked about how it was not finished. Well, this one I consider it's at a level where it can pass is finished. And then from here, like, you know, why am I still working on it? Well, look at this. Here is a big change. Um, you can always change it again. Never leave your block in mentality. Always being the block in mentality. I've just completely opened up a gaping hole in this painting, and I need to fill it with, uh, it's pretty easy. There's not. I just filled in the background there, and now just, you know, begin painting in the gaps. Better, better painting over a dark color than painting over transparent Photoshopped grid. And it's going to give. Um, I just felt compositionally. I felt that the basket was to close to matching the height of that next pumpkin. It was too similar to similarly placed on a two D plane in terms of its height, kind of creating a weird sort of version of a tangent. Notice that now the reflected light. I didn't get much reflected light yet into these pumpkins and grabbing some Kulish red This violating red, which is going to be motivated by the blue of the sky, mixing with the orange pumpkin and giving it this cooler, warm tone again. It's not like that color is the right color. There's no such thing is the right color. There's only the appropriate color, you know, if your painting in warm light well, anything in the warm family will be appropriate for that area. Where is in the cools, you need to appropriately be in the cools and once again, with cool shadows. You have a lot more play because there's a lot more cooler colors. Then there are warm colors in the context of this lighting situation that is not a hard fast rule, in fact, would be just the opposite. If if I were painting a cool light, for example, like an overcast day or something, or like a fluorescent light like Walmart uses or something, there would be more opportunities for warm colors in the shadows in that situation. But this is a cooler light. Sorry, this is a warmer light. All of this stuff gets simpler when you paint from outdoors. Honestly, if you don't pay from outdoors, I can understand how a lot of color talk can feel like cripplingly abstract. Um, but when you're outside and you're actually seeing it, seeing it work, it becomes digestible and understandable and predictable, and color all of a sudden is not the source of a mystery. You demystify it yourself when you're outside painting it. And for me, when I first started being interested in painting color was the mystery I didn't. I was afraid of color. I did. Uh, you know, most of my drawing days were just black and white. Obviously, we were drawing with charcoal or pencils or pens or markers or whatever, but I wasn't tackling color until a few years into my training as a draftsman. And ah, I I literally remember actually being scared of using color. I didn't want to dip into the colors. I didn't think I could do it. It was overwhelming, like what colors do I choose and one of the things that really helped me with that is just the principle, I said. Where it's not, there is no such thing as the right color. It's the appropriate color. Okay, I don't repeat myself too much, but that is a concept that can change the way you think about color and can make you less afraid of using it. So I'm working on those leaves. I really like the leaves as a bit of detail, having one lean up against the basket. All of these little things that you can put in at this stage of the painting really can only happen at this stage, but they contribute so much to the life than the natural quality of it. I can remember who said this, but someone said that, um the marks you put at the end of a painting are the first ones that people will notice because they're the ones that stick at the end. Right? All those all everything I did the beginning of the painting has pretty much been painted over. So no one's gonna No, no one will ever know that I started with that tree that's now gone. But the marks on putting down now four hours in after I've had four hours of decision making now are the now is what Sorry. Now I'm in putting down the marks that people will see. And just the nature of the art consumption is people will assume that I had these answers all along. That's kind of the the mystery of ah, of painting or sort of the magic of it. Maybe is better. Is that when when someone sees a painting, the illusion is that the artists had the answers all along. That's that's what good production is like. That's what you want. You want your painting toe look like you just nonchalantly got up one day and painted this no big deal. And you know, you don't have to tell anyone that you know you have this. This is a big deal. All these decisions had to go into it. Yeah, that's why you know, most of us love watching behind the scenes of, ah movie, especially animated movies for me because just even though I know that industry inside and out, I've worked in that industry for seven years or more. It still amazes me when I see the behind the scenes of a film that I didn't work on, just how much goat went into it. And really, the things that went wrong is what I always love is what went wrong and how did you fix it ? I love when I hear behind the scenes of a Pixar movie cause you know, Pixar. They're known for just masterful storytelling in their movies and great Greg, great art to, of course. And when you hear you know all the story stuff that goes wrong and the left turns they made on how they corrected that, that stuff to me is still fascinating, even though even though none of it really surprises me anymore. It's just you never quite see what can go wrong until you're actually in it. And that's that is something I think endemic to the creative process is you really don't know what your problems are gonna be at all until you go in it, you go in with the highest hopes. You know, I did my color sketch. I thought I had a cool picture. Even though I've done this before. Many times I thought I had a really cool picture that that I was It was a sure fire win. But when I started painting this, I realized, Oh, wait, the foreground is wrong. The characters need tweaks. All these things that that I didn't anticipate could be a problem. And the creative process is about embracing that, embracing that reality, knowing that you are going to be faced with dilemmas. And, um, it part of the job as an artist is coming up with solutions and coming up with good solutions. And guess what You know. This is a paint. This is your personal painting. You can take your time. If you don't have a solution one day, then then don't worry about it. just save the file and put it away till tomorrow. Go work on something else and then come back to it. If you have that luxury with with client work, sometimes you don't have that luxury. But with with work like this, you absolutely have that luxury. Like I said, I painted this over a period of three days. It might have been four days. To be honest, I can't quite remember. But let's just say three days. That's, you know, that's a long time for me to reflect on the decisions that I've made on this and then, you know, execute based on what I'm feeling. And then now is I'm recording this narration about a week after I finished the painting. Um, it's it's fun for me to see kind of the fruits of the process, and you need to put faith in that process and and understand that you won't have all the answers right away. And if you do, chances are your ideas not very unique or not unique at all. Um, because it's just I've never met anyone who just has all the answers right away. You need to find them, and when you're when you are exposed to that process, the discovery process. Then you can conclude that you were creating something cool, creative, because these solutions are coming from you and not from you know, the latest movie you saw or how another artist solved the problem. That's a classic one and something I still fall into. Sometimes I'll look at how other artists paint pumpkins or how another artist paints whatever. And I had Teoh tell myself to stop doing that. I still look at other artists, of course, but I try not to look at any other artists to solve a problem that I have. I want the problem solved to come from me and that insurers that the work is inherently mine, like it looks like me. And if you just keep doing being diligent in that arena, your work will start to have a personal moniker on it. That is you. And of course, that's what you want. That's the goal, right? That's why that's why I assume you start art in the first place is because you want to express yourself. That's why getting back to the kid's drawings. That's why I love looking at kids art because they don't know. They haven't realized yet that there are professional artists out there who can technically paint better than them. They don't care about that stuff. A kid just picks up a crown and comes up with solutions. Instantly, I heard a Ted talk. I can't remember the guy's name now, but he was talking about how ah ah ah young girl was trying to draw a picture that the teacher asked her, You know what you drawing? And she said, I'm drawing a picture of God and the teacher said, Well, you can't do that cause no one looks No one knows what God looks like And then she said, they will in a minute. And that's that is that is what we need to strive for. What came to that little girl so naturally and what undoubtably shoot has the risk of losing as she grows up like we all do. You need to hang on to that. That idea that your solutions are have value and not only have value, but your solutions are the only ones. You were the only one who can arrive at your at this particular solution, so try not to look at other artists too much. Certainly they're great. Other artists are excellent for just getting inspiration. And, you know, I'm friends with a lot of artists whose work I respect and and, you know, you look at their artwork and say, Wow, I love how you did this in this in this. But when it comes to my own painting, you know, I try and I try and be myself. Now, that doesn't mean that I don't come up. That means that if I come up with a solution that someone else has already come up with. But if it still comes from me, then go, then go with it. That's fine. I mean, so long as you're not plagiarizing anyone, but, um still, even even still, chances are that if you're coming up with your own solutions, you will just be slightly different than everyone else or were very different in some cases . So I'm just refining little little marks here, You know, as you tighten up one area like those leaves, I spent a great deal of time tightening up those leaves there. As you tighten up those, I'll realize that you know the sidewalk needs a bit of tightening to match it, to bring everything to the finish line together. I need to have this area now reflect the updates I made to that area and then that affect this. And this affects that and is this Ah, this tortures path. So, you know, I put a few color notes here and there and then evaluate and then put a few color notes here and there and evaluate jumping up to the monster again. And just to, you know, I'm aware that I'm getting close to the end here, although I still I think I've still over an hour left. But certain shapes are approaching the end. I'm feeling like, um, there are I'm just feeling like there's not much more I can do to certain shapes and, like the monster and shadow might be at that point where it's you gotta be ready to let that be the thing that you're doing that let that be the statement. It's kind of a hard thing and see No, heard it equated Teoh watching your kids grow up or something like that. I mean, it's nowhere near that important, but, um, you know, letting it out the door it is sometimes a tough call to make where you know I sometimes you I still see it as all these weird brushstrokes that aren't attached. But you kind of have to get a fresh look at it and say, Yeah, okay, that that's the monster in this painting, especially nerve wracking, working in this style commercially when you know when you know your work is going to be seen by, you know who knows how many people in a book or something where you have to then be really , really sure of yourself that the statement you're leaving on the campus is the one you want , you know it is. I think it's a lot harder to paint this way in that respect, because there's no there's no right or wrong. There's no yes or no. It's just like, Well, I think that's pretty good. I think that's good. Not just good enough, but I think that's you know it shows the characters form. It's interesting, it has character in and of itself. You know, all these little check boxes has to be checked, whereas if you're just like a rendering machine, then all you gotta do we just say, Well, did I render the whole thing? Yes, okay, it's done. But in this case, in this case, rendering is just one of many fluctuating items that are part of the solution. So you not not not a whole lot to say. There's nothing you know the rest of this illustration. Actually, you know what? There is one major thing that still changes. If you go back and look at the actual J peg of the final or the title card or something, you'll see what it is. And it's It's the one area that I have not yet really delved into. I'm looking over this piece now, and I think I've pretty much hit every area with sort of a critical eye except for one area . And it's painfully obvious to me now that I think about it, I'm looking at it painfully obvious where it is because it's just There's something in this painting that doesn't look, doesn't look resolved yet, and all of these little marks from a process standpoint, they can actually just be methods of just buying you some time until you do notice these things. You know, I'm just, you know, just painting here and there, just looking these surfaces here and there until bam. One thing really jumps out. And again that's facilitated by taking breaks, flipping the canvas. Although the Flips campus at this point, I've kind of burned out on that because I'm so used to the flip view that the flip campus really doesn't do a whole lot for me at this point. But that's OK, because it's done. It's job. It's it's helped me get here. And where here is is a pretty worked out peace. You know, you could Ah, you could put this as a poster Or, you know, if I could imagine, like, the title of a book A to bottom. I can imagine this being like a book cover or something. Of course, if you're illustrating for books, then you want to be aware of the text like, where is the text gonna go? I haven't really left any room for clean text in this picture, but that's you know that's OK. That wasn't part of the project. Brief for this. This is a standalone painting. Children's Children's books air really fun, and I love that I'm now working in that industry, but the thing that I struggle with most with Children's books is is getting that text in there without, I mean, you have to have it feel like it belongs, but at the same time you have to have the illustration feel like it stands alone without the text. And I hate I can't stand when people do the trick where they just they just put ah lightened patch of airbrush behind the text. That, to me, is the laziest solution in the book, literally. And um, that is to be avoided, you know, I want I want to find more, you know, ingenuity of ways of, of embedding text. But again, we're not putting text on this one, so I'm free to go hog wild on every area. Of course, I still have to orchestrate every area. You still want simplicity playing against more complex things, and this this painting actually is fairly complex in terms of the business. There's a lot of busy areas in this painting which is making which has it caused problems for me, I It's made it harder for me to arrive at the solution because everything potentially has the ability to clamor for attention all those leaves, all those pumpkins and all those leaves up top and then at the bottom. So my solution. Hopefully it's simple. I've just given the largest shapes to the focal point. Instead of the smallest shapes, I've given the largest shape. So the awning, that's one big shape. The monster is basically two big shapes or one big shape in total. His character is one big shape but broken into light and shadow right to big shapes, and the girl is a bit smaller shapes. But I've given more attention to detail on the girl's face and on the monster as well. So you're you're drawn in on multiple counts. Here's something important I'm doing. I'm carving out some negative space, which is something that eluded me for a while, but that totally is necessary. It helps give character to the wooden boards that helps give a new illusion of detail. It helps give depth. So many things were created by those few negative shapes there, So I'm still playing. I think that Mark I just made its a leaf yet turning that into a leaf. I think I'm just sort of just sort of logically making sure that the leaves aren't just on one side, although what it does make sense how their heavy on the right. I totally am aware that their heavy on the right, but that makes sense because look at the Lee look at how I've arranged the trees up top like the trees air heavier on the right so those leaves would fall and be heavy on one side . That was a conscious decision that I don't think I talked about yet. But at the same time, you know you wind might be blowing those leaves over to the left, and you definitely want to make it believable. And that plays into the illusion of detail. Like all these little thoughts that you have when a painting is this far along. At this point, the painting is telling me what it wants. It's no longer me controlling it. It's it's the painting. I'm just along for the ride at this point because everything is so much there that when things are not there yet, the painting, it's it's just it's obvious. It's just it's obvious when something is not there because, you know, like when I'm painting now, painting some readiness in the background. And that is, ah, light phenomenon. Where in the distance lights get redder in fact, fall? Is that one of the best times a year to see this? Here's a little tidbit about light. Um, okay, so in the fall we have very yellow leaves, right? We'll find someplace where you can see far into the distance, and you'll notice how all of a sudden you no longer see any yellow leaves in the distance. It's not because there aren't any yellow leaves in the distance is because it's because the color yellow has been filtered out by the atmosphere, turning it more orange and then red and then purple. It just kind of goes through the spectrum in order. So in the distance, in a fall day, let me just talk about this. This is exposure image, adjust exposure, just dialing in some lightness. Look at that. It just It just kind of helps it pop a little bit. You don't overdo this because you can blow out your lights, but, um, a little bit of this really goes a long way. Anyway, back to the hole atmosphere, filtering out yellow thing. Look it, looking into the distance on a fall day and you'll see a myriad of purple leaves, reddish purples and that is that is the atmosphere at play, and that is happening all the time. It's just it's obvious in the fall because, you know, factually, there must be yellow leaves back there. You just can't see them. They've turned color. Um, you know, on a summer day it happens to on a winter day happens. It's happening all the time. It's gonna be aware of these things because it will. It will help you paint, um, realistic effects. 13. DigitalPaintingII part12of13: So at this point, we're getting close to the end. But I'm still not happy with really one of the most major parts of the painting. And that's the the character, one of the characters. Um, So what I have to do is kind of bite down on the mouthpiece and go in there and do some surgery. The first step when you're not happy with something, At least at this stage, when you're not happy with something at this stage and you've let it get this far, this is a bit of a workflow problem, or maybe just a ah, a bit of, ah, mishap that I made. I was a little remiss in this process where I should have identified this sooner and worked it into the process accordingly. But I didn't. So I have to do some surgery and I have to identify what it is I don't like about the girl . And for me it was the pose. What I do like, I like the head and I like the pumpkin. I don't like the pose. It didn't read it. Didn't she blended in the background too much? Um, it just didn't look like I was maximizing that party. The illustration, Um and that's really an important thing that really you have to do with your focal points is you have to get a much out of them as possible. So I'm adjusting the pose. I figured Let's try her sitting on the pumpkin. What? That The reason I think that will work is because it will showcase more of her body. I think it's a cute design, and I think that putting her body mawr in the picture is going to just reinforce that cute nous. And I think having her sit in the pumpkin is also acute or just idea like it's something I imagine a kid would dio um, so I'm just futzing around with some layers here, have her arms on a layer just so I can move them around. This is this is kind of desperation mode here, Really. I'm trying every trick. I can t get her toe work without having to repaint everything, because at this point, if I were to repaint everything, I mean, I could do that. But, um, it's it's worth trying to hold on to the things that do work and then work around that It's a kind of a classic thing you could do with. The creative process is find what works and then discard what doesn't work. So in a way, that's what I'm doing here. So I'm figuring that she would be wearing this apron, which is, which is an idea I had back in the concept stage. If you remember, the apron was a cool idea. So I'm like, Let's have the apron and she'll be sitting on top of a pumpkin, Of course, what's happening now? And it's very clear to me now that I'm looking back at this is her body looks kind of Frankenstein gone to her head or her head looks Frank signed under her body. The things they're not working cohesively, there's no synergy there. So I will. I will discover that in this in a few minutes, and I will fix that. But right now I'm just taking the first stab into what I think is is gonna be there. So there's the warp tool warping her around. That helps a little bit, Really. The problem is, her head looks too far to the left. I just like I think I just undid what I had done with the warp tool. Positioning her is where the layers help. But I think her head is too far to the left, and that's something I will address is well. And I think once I noticed that things start to click into place, so I'm not really frustrated here. My mindset is not frustration. It's just, um it's just, I guess, a bit of kicking myself for letting it get this far without having fix it there. I'm fixing the head by virtue of fixing the torso in the chest area. Her arms are looking a bit a bit Donkey Kong. Isha's well, but that's just because I've chopped it up into layers and I'm, you know, literally piecing it together 11 piece of the time. So here goes the head, just trying to get it in the right spot. This is where ah, you know, illustration is not some kind of, you know, magical thing. You have to kind of bang your head against the wall sometimes in order to get things toe work. And Photoshopped really facilitates that process where you can chop a head up and move it around. This would be very difficult to do in traditional. It would require a redraw most of the time. But getting back to utilizing your focal points, the monster character and the awning. I think both have done a good job in utilizing, you know, getting the most use out of them. The monster's got a very inviting facial expression. I really like how he's looking directly at the viewer that's really working. And the girl's face, Teoh. I haven't changed the girl's face it all. She's looking directly at the viewer, so there's a lot of things in the focal point that are engaging, and I guess that's a good word to use. Uh, the focal point needs to engage the viewer. So it's kind of an emotional decision, really, that you're making when it comes to is the painting finish. You know, is that focal point really good? Because before there's nothing really technically wrong with the girl. Before I changed her, it was just a nim Ocean decision like she's not really. I'm not using her to her maximum potential in this painting. And then the fix for that was my was again, an emotional reaction. I figured I would need to have her Maurin frame, you know, let's showcase her body more. Let's put her on the pumpkin. A cuter pose, that's all you know. There's no right and wrong. That's just my solution to the problem. The important part is knowing what the problem is, and then, you know, just is discovering your own ways to fix it. Because you one thing you should learn to rely on is are your emotions. You should. You should be aware that your emotional context plays a huge role into how you are going about your painting, and you have to trust that you will make good decisions if you just trust your emotions. Really, of course, that that's secondary to your skill. The skill needs to be there in order to carry out the commands, right? Like if I don't know how to paint, well, then I shouldn't even I want to be able to do this. Of course you have to study. I'm talking about I'm kind of assuming that you're coming into an illustration like this with, you know, having done some homework in some study in the past, and you're looking to see what you can pull out of your imagination. At that point, your emotions play a critical role. When you're studying in the classroom, you should try and leave your emotions out of it. You should try and not create quote unquote art in the classroom. In my opinion, in the classroom is not the place to create are you should just be there to study as if you were a bodybuilder in the gym, working on building your arms Or, you know, making your shoulders be as big as your arms or something like that. You should, uh, on try and understand where your weaknesses are when you're in the classroom and work on them. Ah, I mentioned in my other video just digital painting one. That's recently I had been doing a whole bunch of hand drawing and the reason I've been drawing a lot of hands eyes, because I think that I'm weak. I'm weaker with hands than I am with, say, heads or bodies or something. Hands are always hands are notoriously difficult, and for me they have always been a point of resistance. For some reason or contention, I don't know, but I don't know why, but for some reason, hand have always been difficult, like I could draw hands, But I really have toe. I find that it's always a struggle. So I've been drawing a lot of hands lately, and when I'm drawing my hands, I'm not showing them to anyone. I'm not even saving them, Really. I'm just drawing them and, you know, deleting them. I want the information to go into my brain. I don't care about what I'm putting on the paper. Um, you know, I want the results to be good, but of course, but I don't care about, you know, showing it is part of my artistic repertoire, anything. I just want that information to be in my head. So when I do an illustration like this one, I can draw a hand that doesn't look cliche or a hand that looks like it belongs to the character that I'm drawing it on. So ah, the whole point being that when you're in the classroom, try and study, work on what it is you're weak on, and then when you're illustrating like this, you able you will be able to pull out those tools that you've been working on and make them express to their highest potential, and that is where you bring your emotion into it and you're creating art. Okay? Art is like I don't know what the definition for art is, but skills with emotions attached I have to work on that. But, you know, that's how I think about these things. The last thing I want to do when I paint an illustration when I'm illustrating is the last thing I want to do is question whether or not I have the chops to do it. I want to assume that I can, you know, I want to assume that. But I want to also know that, you know, after this illustration is done, there is no shame and go back to study mode and say, Okay, what what worked and what didn't work And let's ah, you know, let's study those accordingly. Let's take what didn't work and, you know, break it down a little bit and study a little bit. And let's take what did work and kind of remember that they worked and, you know, hopefully make it work again. The next time I'm trying a different post for her arm here. I'm thinking about a wave I had her arm out extended as if you're waving. I erase that. I didn't even bother trying to carry it through to completion, but I don't think it worked. It just muddled up that part of the paying too much. One thing that I like that's working. Here it is is the made negative space between the girl and the monster. There's also a tree trunk in that negative space, which is also working. I think it's breaking up the negative space in a way that's not overbearing again. Remember, what can the painting bear? And that that question can filter down to even the smallest spaces, like the negative space between the girl and the monster. These are all things that an illustrator needs to take inventory of these little negative spaces and positive shapes and little posing decisions. All these things that the viewer will take for granted, even another artist viewing this will take that for granted. Most of the time, it's only an analytical mind that will dive into a painting and really notice every little thing and appreciating it. Appreciate it on the level of like knowing that the artist had to make a decision on that it's very rare for someone to dive into a painting to that level of depth, even another artist. Of course, a non artist won't even know that that layer exists, so they'll just take it for granted. And that's fine. Totally fine. You want people to just take it for granted That, of course, this is the image you came up with, and if you wanted to make it look like it just happened, you know, like it just happened. Um, you know, the reality of it is why the videos like this one and other artists are useful because it shows you and, you know, when I watch other artists videos, it shows me how much goes into it and what the pitfalls are, what that artist have to focus on. And, you know, the things that were edited out and the things that were brought back in. That's all useful stuff for an artist to know behind the scenes. And that's where I think videos like this are really, really beneficial is you see, the process kind of laid bare before you, and that's really what I'm trying to best show you guys here. Of course, recording the whole painting like this really, really helps. And in my commentary, I'm trying to explain it. So here's something that I think is cute little tiny feet. I think that's what was missing before. Once I discover that all of a sudden it's looking cuter and therefore better in this painting. Um, it looks like if that girl stood up, her head would want to weigh down her body. But I think in a cute way, not in a unrealistic way. It's like a caricature sort of statement that I'm finally getting after 4.5 hours that is finally starting to look like something I'd be good with going to final with something I'd be OK with showing someone else and saying This is my idea and that is that makes me happy . When I finally hit that stage and look at what I've done, I've moved on to the pumpkins. I moved on to another area because I know I've kind of got I've got that in the bag. I've got that girl in a place where I think it's going to work. Not that I'm totally finished with her. You'll see. Soon I will. I have to add her other hand, of course, trying to get her fingers to kind of subtly touch her other hand when hands touch hands. That's always a very, uh, portentous sort of pose. It's storytelling. It kind of leads someone to feel emotion. It's a hard thing to draw, hand touching another hand. But even the subtle ist touch like when a characters is touching like that. I like doing that as much as I can. Um, and again, a hand touching the other hand is a good one for that, because we do it all the time in everyday life. You know, try and try and, ah, step outside yourself a little bit and look it Or just look at other people looking other people on how often their hands are touching and you'll see it really is an insight into their character and their emotional state. It can indicate shyness, it can indicate sort of inwardness or thinking. It's an incredible tool that you can use. So with that girl, I think I think I kind of did it instinctively. But what I think that it leads me to think of is it looks like that girl was posing for a photo like her mother is out there or father or something, taking a photo of her and her friend, the monster at their pumpkin stand. And this is, you know how how she's posing. She's a bit nervous about it, but but happy and still, you know, still bit brave, brave enough to sit on that pumpkin. But the hand is kind of showing you a little bit of what's going on in her head, and I like that. So try and hold on to those things you know, work on, Ah, drawing hands touching other hands and you'll notice that in my painting it's not very complicated, but in my head I've added it out. All the things that are complicated, because I want those hands to be simple there very small so they don't yield a lot of detail. So I had to edit that down. It's not that painting simple things is easier. It's actually harder because you have to know what's actually there than to take it out. Or else if you if sometimes you can get away with a few lucky brushstrokes. But if you don't know what's there, it will show over the course of your whole painting. Certainly it will. You can Maybe, you know, get away with her. Fingers are like little blobs right now. You can see what I'm up this close. I haven't quite figured out her hand yet. Her her right hand, that is, but and as And I could get away with a few random strokes. But if I didn't know what I was doing in all places, it would really add up and start to look watery or just indeterminate. So what I'm doing here is I'm adding back some of those freckles. I think in one of my concept drawings, I had some freckles and I'm recalling that idea. I think it's it's a cute, but you know it. I don't know. It makes me think tomboy, for some reason. So putting those back in and this is where I'm just, you know, still experimenting. Still trying to be in that block in mentality. Notice that my brushes air still, you know, relatively large, like I'm not using single hairbrushes at this point, and I never do. I'm still This is just a round brush and I'm painting with it, you know, kind of brazenly. I'm still trying enjoy myself. I find that the second I ratchet down and start pulling out my single hairbrushes. I'm really starting to not enjoy the process at that point. And there's always a temptation to do that to kind of want a paint super detail, and you kind of think that you have to paint with a small brush to do that. But you can paint small things with a big brush, just a matter of how you know how small you want to allow yourself to get, because it's it's not that small shapes equal, better paintings at all. It's it's really that is not true. It's just how if you're painting with large shapes like I am, how accurate can you be with those large shapes? And I've always found that an accurate painting with large shapes is so much more inviting an interesting toe look at because it almost leads the viewer to want to figure out the process, or it leads the viewer to have insight into your process. So, you know, even if you didn't see this video for those who just see this painting, I want them to kind of have an idea of how I painted it. I want that to be visible. I want the process to be visible. I want this to look like it was painted with the brush and not ah, photo. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this at some point earlier or maybe in one of my other classes, But when someone says, uh oh, you're paying looks just like a photo are I thought that was a photo. That is actually kind of an insult to me because it means that you didn't successfully really express anything. Um, and it means that your or means you're your goals were just a kind of dogmatically mimic something that already exists. And for me, the goal is just the opposite. I want someone to look at this and never had never have seen it before. I want something. Look at this picture and say, Oh, cool, that's a new picture that I've never seen. And thanks for you know, thanks for sharing that. I'm glad I got toe have an insight into that artist brain. That's what I want people to subconsciously think. Of course, no one is actually going to say that Well, I do, but, um, I want people to feel that as they look at it, so not much going on here. Other than finishing touches, this is This is really where you've made all your decisions. You know, this the girls pose and her body was the last was the last really major decision I had to make on this one. Um, so now is just a matter of bringing it to the finish. And it's that last 5% that really can push your work to be something special. You know, hopefully already is special at this stage. And it's something you know, unique and something worth sharing and whatever. But it's the last 5% where you take, you know, you take what's good and you push it just a little bit more. You just try and ring out as much as you can out of it, and it changes. Like what? What? You're looking for it. This stage is just little inconsistencies, like just, you know, just take a look at what I'm doing here with the brush. I'm I'm looking at riel, small areas. I am zoomed in at this point, you know, dark in that shadow a little bit. Get a little more punch out of it. Look at what's there and start making little adjustments. You know, you can see I just undid a few strokes. They're trying things, seeing where I can put a few dark accents. Well, they're called dark accents. What I'm just trying to do there what that is, it's kind of like Think of it like a reverse highlight. It's just a little bit of, ah, spot of really dark value that is next, and usually it's with a harder edge. Ah, hard ish edge, and what that does is it helps to pop out the lights. If you look at her left hand, there's a little dark accent under her fingers that just helps pop the hand. So you know dark accents is a good thing to look for near the end, because typically, if you put a dark accent in early, it will get washed away with, You know, future brushstrokes. You'll lose your dark accents. That's fine. That's it. It's OK if you do that, but at the end is where I look for them again. That's that's kind of a big part of the process is the knowledge that you will lose things along the way. Things that we're strong in your block in will get lost. It's just the nature of painting, you know, as you put more brush strokes down, your context of evaluation changes. Think of it like you know, Let's say you had. Ah, yes, he had a poem that was 20 words. Okay, you can evaluate that based on 20 words, but if you added 10 more words to that poem, it's a completely different thing. You have to evaluate it as a completely different piece of context. You know your context changes, so that's like painting. Think of words as being equal to brush strokes or maybe shapes instead of brush oaks. Words are like equal to shapes may be the more the fewer shapes you have, the easier it is to evaluate. But as you add more and more shapes, you change so much of the context of what you're looking at. So a big part of your painting processes to keep in mind what you're adding and then at the end where I am now is I'm looking at all these little shapes that I've added and I'm trying to understand and trying to make sense of them and make sure that I've categorized them, you know, from big to small shape, making sure that big shapes are still there. And if they're not, I'll bring them back. Making sure you know, the small shapes are warranted. Small shapes you can really get over done with. You can really start over modeling things with small shapes and too many little value changes. Really, Any time you change a value, you're creating a new shape, right? That's how we draw shapes is with shapes of value, like the shadow shape on her arm versus the light shape on her arm. So if I were toe, you know, in her arm is a good example. It's kind of two shapes the light versus the shadow. If I were to break that down and add more shapes, if I was to put more shapes in there, I have to really understand that I am creating something that the painting might not be able to bear. And so at this stage, it's not only am I trying not to create more things, I'm trying to reduce the amount of things that are there, so I'm, you know, making it simple. Although here I'm doing just the opposite, I'm actually adding a bit of, ah, shadow shape to the pumpkin. I just felt it needed that continuous shadow shape. So you know, there's no hard and fast rules. Sometimes you'll add sometimes subtract. But I will say that subtraction is usually the thing you should look for because it's easy . It's so easy to add things to a painting and just add and add ad nauseum, just adding things. And then at the end, you're you're left with this giant mess. And that is certainly a problem that a beginner will encounter more often than not, is it? Your painting just has too many things and really what? That it means you haven't focused your idea enough. So I mean, I've done enough painting where I can keep focus as I work. But even with all that, even with a lot of experience, I still know that I'm liable to lose sight of a few things are you know, things will need a little more rendering like this. Pumpkin, I'm really rendering this pumpkin right now. I'm looking at light and shadow, then I'm looking at reflected light on the right and highlights on the left, trying to get a few values in there. For those of you who are wondering more about breaking down values, I actually have a free video on YouTube. If you If you go to youtube dot com slash mark Obuchi, you can see a few videos that I have posted for free, and one of them is called Painting Fundamentals, and it talks. It's just a 10 minute video. It talks about exactly what I'm doing here with this pumpkin using five value system to, ah to render things. And the five values are average light, average shadow, highlight, half tone and reflected light. And all those things were discussed in that video. It's kind of Ah, one painting 101 video. Really? I didn't include that lesson here. Well, first of all, it's free on YouTube. You can find it there. It's only 10 minutes. So I didn't want to, you know, have it redundant here, but also that this video is a little more advanced in terms of in the sense that I am diving into the process, um, in a very direct way as you've noticed this painting. Ah, it happens in stages at the beginning with the planning, but in terms of the actual color application, Um, I'm not doing a grayscale first. For example, I'm I'm going in with, you know, the painting started with big shapes of color, and that's the way I like to work. But for those of you who get lost doing that, perhaps one of the reasons you're getting lost is because you have to review your essential approach to how to use value. Because if you strip out all the color in this painting, if you had a black and white Ah, the painting still reads, right? And why is that? Because when you strip out the color, you're left with the value, the values and, of course, the drawing drawing is just values that belonged to certain shapes, right, The shadow of the pumpkin versus the light of the pumpkin. Those are two different shapes created by two different values. Eso painting, by its simplest definition, is just drawing with value. Okay, and then and then you can assign colors than to those values if you want, but you're painting reads in gray scale, which means that the most important thing eyes, your drawing and your values eso really. It's important to brush up on that kind of thing, and you know you can find, you know you could find basic lessons on the site. This is this video is not intended for the the most basic of breakdowns. Again, you confined my free YouTube video called Painting Fundamentals, to really help dissect value use. And it's amazing because it never painting, is never really that complicated in terms of it never gets harder than the fundamentals. The fundamentals air, very simple ideas. So you look at the monster character. There's a big shape of shadow. If you just negate the features for a second, just look at his body is a big shape of shadow and a big shape of light just two shapes for that monster. And then, if you break that shadow, shape down a little bit further. If you squint your eyes, you'll notice is just one big shape. But if you open your eyes a little bit, you can see that there's reflected light. The bluish top of him is kind of, ah, this fuzzy shape of reflected light, and there's, you know, there's some reflected light values in there, but in general I'm trying to keep it very simple, sort of a to shape thing. One light, one shadow. The girl's head is all in shadow, so I really only have reflected light and dark accents to to help her form pop. So reflected light under the chin member. I talked about the whole sergeant Lady Agnew thing under the changes reflected light, of course, it's glowing orange reflected likes. It's coming up from the table and the pumpkins of the top of her head. There is this bluish reflected light coming from the sky, and then the dark accents you confined dark accents. The corners of her mouth are dark accents. Ah, bit under her nose. Like directly under her nose is a bit of a dark accent, her inner sort of years or dark accents. You could even think of the iris as a dark accent, and you'd be amazed at how few shapes you need to make your creatures and characters come to life. Really, what what you have to work on is with, with those few shapes, really focus on the edges between those shapes. So while I met this close up here, look at the monsters. Light and shadow. Notice how that edge is so interesting in the sense that it's not repetitive. It's unpredictable that there are hard within that overall light versus shadow of the monster. Look how there are some hard parts of the edge from might like to shadow. There are some soft parts. There are some, you know, parts that are built with like mosaic type tiles. There are some parts that are blended. It's all over the place, and that's done on purpose. That's something I've built up to for the maximum potential read of that. And that's a mindset I have everywhere, you know, if you look at the pumpkins, the edges on the pumpkins, they are like that to the edges on the girl's head are very soft because reflected light usually has soft edges. So I have done, you know, mostly soft edges on the girl's head. Looking at it upside down just helps again evaluate it on a color level. What I'm doing here, I just want to show you some composition. Um, I just want to show you the path that I've made sure is still clear throughout this painting. That s curve that I planned from the beginning. Well, a version of it, anyway, is there. And hopefully it's not, you know, so obvious. That is cliche or anything. You can even continue the path like that through the awning. So that's composition. That's that's something that you know we discovered for almost five hours ago. Now this is ah, back at the beginning of the status beginning stages of the painting. Before even started this, I discovered that kind of composition and you notice I've stuck to it even though I've made big changes to this, you know, the foreground being the additional piece that was not in my planning. I'm still using my framework of composition to help guide me through this. And that's something that is really has nothing to do with painting technique. You know, if I hadn't talked about that you again, you might take it for granted that the picture just looks nice, like it looks easy to look at. And when a picture is easy to look at, it's not the technique of the painter, its composition. You can compose beautiful pictures with the most simplistic of shapes. You know, you don't have to paint a complicated scene like this. Composition is devoid of detail or anything like that. Confidence. It's just the opposite. Composition works on big shapes, big decisions. And hopefully that little deconstruction a minute ago helps you really see how this composition is. What is gluing this picture together and it's happening sort of behind the curtain. No one's really being drawn to it. It's just it's it's there like a, you know, like a tone through a piece of music or something. So I'm still in that phase where I am just looking for little things, just tweaking the way that pumpkin looks rendering. Really, I'm in this render phase where it's not exactly creative work. It's kind of like housekeeping work where I'm just asking myself, you know, Are these forms clear? Just the things I already talked about are the forms clear? Am I getting the most out of the shape? Of course, I am. Also thinking doesn't serve compositionally worth at this point of the painting, though it I pretty much you kind of have to be final on that you don't really want to backpedal too much in terms of compositional choices. That's where you can get into trouble. If I were at this stage of the painting where I have a near finished product and I just start discovering my composition doesn't work, that is grounds for a hair ripping out read, reap, retake, repaint Sorry. Rip out your hair and repaint because that is the worst thing that could happen to you is if your composition doesn't work. So I've made sure you know this whole way. And you know why. Planned from the beginning that this composition would work if you actually for those of you who haven't seen my digital painting one video, it's also on the website. Um, I don't do any planning in that one. I just dive straight in, and I, you know, dive in and try and swim basically on that one, and you'll see that painting majorly, majorly change this one. I call it a major change. The foreground thing. My painting. Digital painting. One video goes through like seismic changes, like earthquake level changes. It goes from horizontal to vertical. It changes from one subject matter toe another. It's crazy ago. It's a huge exploration of the creative process. Where is this one? This one is a swell, but this one is a more meticulous approach, like a client friendly approach. You might think of this one. Where's my other one? Digital painting. One is off the cuff pure, you know, concept art, where I'm trying to conceive of something that I don't even know what it is going in. I literally on digital painting. One did not know what I was going to paint as I went into the painting, so it was a kind of a scary process, especially because I was recording it. But it is really pretty cool to see what that process looks like. A swell and you might have fun trying. Let yourself just diving into a canvas and just letting your shapes flow free form and then steering them along as you go. Anyway, that's digital painting one. So you know I'm zoomed out here at what, 25% ish. The zoom out is all important, right? Because when you shrink this painting down Teoh you know, Internet friendly resolution, maybe like 900 pixels tall or 1000 pixels tall or something like that, 800 pixels tall. You're going to see what you're seeing now is you're gonna see a shrunken down version. Of course, it'll be sharper because every pixel when you photoshopped shrinks it down, it will actually re compile the pixels. You're seeing it 1 to 1. Right now. Photo shop is actually eliminated. Pixels to facilitate us seeing it at this zoomed out resolution. Um, so when we save the final J pegida look, it'll look just like this, but it'll look a little sharper. So it is important, though, to zoom out even at the end and make sure that all your bigs shapes are in order. So if you're just, you know, keeping track of what I'm doing here, I'm still using a fairly big brush. And I'm just tweaking the mark, making on the canvas, you know, saving it here. Oh, actually, no, not saving it. I'm actually comparing it. I copied it and pasted it. This is the comparison with the girl, and I don't know about you, but I like the the new version so much more. It just you can just sense it. How much more maximized it is for impact. Emotional impact um, so, you know, I do that sometimes I had say of diversion to of this because I knew I was making a big change. So save a different version, not a big deal, and then compare them, even though, you know, I put an hour of work into that girl. But if if if it didn't work out, I would have no problems and going back to the old version, have a overlay brush out. Or maybe it's linear Dodger actually don't know. Just increasing the glow, the bloom effects on the awning. I figured that sunlight would be so strong hitting that that already warm colored awning that the sun would just bounce. Especially in here. Like whenever you have a strong sunlight hitting on object, that's kind of already warm. It just has this bloom like saturated effect, where it kind of bounces often sparkles a little bit, glows really. And I'm of course I'm exaggerating it here. You wouldn't see it glow this much in real life. But hey, this is this is an exaggerated painting. This is a This is really a caricature of real life, not not just a caricature in the people's faces. but it's a caricature of light. You won't get light that looks quite like this in real life, but it's heightened. 14. DigitalPaintingII part13of13: going to take a quick look at thes once again these spattered shadows, these dappled shadows on the awning. Just something that I want to pursue a little more. I don't. This is a bit of second guessing, and I'm not quite sure if I've arrived at something that looks good and random enough. I think I'm still seeing a few inconsistencies or not. This is a few things that just don't look random. I'm seeing a few equal spacings, really? And if if that pops out to you, you should fix it. I think I may actually may not fix all of them that I see now. Of course, I'm recording this after the painting. Um, I'm sort. I'm sort of seeing that bottom row have kind of three or four equal, almost equal spacings. And I'm not sure if I actually fixed that. If I don't fix it, that's a bit of an oversight. Well, of course, you know, if if I go to print this, I can always load up the file and fix it. I'm actually not sure if I actually get to it in this video, which is interesting, you know, if I miss it that is something I overlooked. It's hard, though. It's hard to keep track of everything. I try my best, and we all do right. But some things just there's so many little shapes. So many things to look at now, something like that. If I do miss it, the bottom row of dappled shadows where I am now that row having those kind of four marks be near equal, it's It's not terrible like no. One. I don't think anyone would really notice that maybe another painter might. But it's not so bad that it's killing the read of anything. It's not obvious it's not obviously, uh, the same. It's just it's airing on the same. The Marks airing on two similar and to pattern mystic, If that's a word and ah, you know something about fix later, maybe after the video's done will have to fix it going down to the leaves. I don't think I had really touched those up yet. They're looking pretty good, though they were done well enough in the earlier stages of the painting, so I don't think there's too much more to Dio. The leaves are good examples, also of some dark accents the dark accents the you know, some of them. Some of the leaves have softer shadows. Some of them have harder dark accent shadows. It just keeps them interesting, and the ones that have a dark accent like there's one and sort of the middle right can't really pointed to you. But it's to the middle, right? Not the one over the five. The one to the right of that has a nice dark accent. Shadow two of them, actually, too little dark accents underneath it and notice how it helps pop that leaf. Now, if I did that everywhere, it would look boring. It would look expected, so you don't do it everywhere. It's this trick. This it's, Ah, this sleight of hand sort of trick. That painting is where your using things, where they'll pay off and nowhere else. You know you'll use them for effect somewhere, and that will have more impact. It's kind of ironic, but the fewer things you do that are the same them or impact those things actually have. It's really a less is more mentality. Looks like I'm adding another leaf here, probably just in the name of randomness. I just felt like I think I'm noticed. I've noticed a few leaves that were the same spacing again. Same his same problem as the dappled shadows. A few leaves that are supposed to be random, kind of having similar spacing. So I will break that up with another leaf. Make sure the stem of the leaf is not pointing in the same direction as another leaf. That's beside it, because that will look hand done in a bad way. It'll call attention to itself. It looked like a you know, a human did it. You want these leaves to look like they're part of nature. It's Ah, it's a process that is always befuddling and and not fun of painting. Randomness is maybe fun of the beginning. When you're young, you get to put down big brush strokes and stuff. But when it comes down to the minutia of it like this, maintaining the spirit of randomness is really been a theme through this whole painting, I think, and it's it's a tough challenge. Tough challenge, especially for me. Photo shops, brushes, help. I've talked about this before on this video. The brushes help like the triangle brush I have or scattered brushes. But you only want to use those to a certain point because the scattering nous of them starts to look predictable even though they're scattered, the nature in which they're scattered starts to become predictable, and it's amazing what our brains will clue into, You know, subconsciously will look at something, and we will start figuring things out really quickly. It's is incredibly perceptive, powerful thing we have, um, that we can do. We can just really figure things out fast. I think with my tweaking I have. I've done a little bit to fix the bottom row of dappled shadows that I didn't like. I wonder if I'll get back to that further. By the way, the reason I have the sketch loaded up at this point is not is not for reference anymore. Of course I've I've taken my current finish painting beyond the reference right. I've gone way further than my initial sketch. I think it's there just to see if there's anything in the sketch that has done better than the painting, which is a very possible scenario. I think I've heightened almost everything. There's one thing that's different, though, and some of you might like it better, but it is different. The way the girl's face looks in the sketch is just a different nature than it looks in the photo. I'll get back to that just just adding a final thing. I did a major color tweak with variations. I'll do my trick or I make a layer mask, inverted, get an airbrush and paint into it. In this case, I chose a very much greener version of the painting, and what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna use that in just a softly airbrush in this greener version and try. My goal is to try and get that green color kind of permeating in and around where I think it should be. I think it will just add a bit of harmony and similar similarity. Ah, guest, Familiar familiarity. Sorry to that area. I think we're the green monster is there would be a lot of green light bouncing around there, and and if I can tie those colors together just a little more, they're already fine. But if I can just heighten that, you know, just kind of master them a little bit more. Add that subtle hint of green to things without, you know, without making it look green. So there's on and off. You kind of see the comparison. There's what I revealed. Very subtle, right? Very subtle. But it can. It can further help Just bind your painting together your colors together. If there is that little bit of you know, sameness to some of the colors, they're analogous to each other. And of course, once you're happy with that, flatten it down and live with it. Don't don't second guess yourself. I flipped it upside down because this is such an abstract exercise that I'm doing here. This, adding of monotonous color, really can get dangerous. So I flipped it upside down to make sure that you know what? I'm looking at it abstractly. I'm still maintaining the sense of overall different colors. I still want this painting to look colorful and look like there's lots of different colors . Yet I want to just imbue it a little more with that greenness. So I think you know, on and off, you can really see you want you turn it on and off. It's quite a big change, but it's something that if you didn't see me do that you almost maybe wouldn't even notice it. You would certainly have. You, at the end of this painting will never notice that there's green kind of hints everywhere. But that's something that you know, is our little secret. Now it's a good trick. Again, that's image adjust variations. And again, this is really something you could only do at the end. I kind of consider this like a ah mastering pass again, relating painting to music production, where you have a finished mix and you get it mastered just for the last final past. Or if you're for some of you who have been in the group essay writing scenario where the group writes an essay and you have one person who pulls it all together at the end, taking all the raw material and just gets it already for final submission. That's what we're doing here, adding a few color notes to her eyes again. The white, the color white being a very good reflector of what's around it, and you notice that her eyes and the monster's eyes they're anything but monitor monochromatic. They reflect everything else around them. Yet when you see it in grayscale like this. You notice they do it here toe one basic value, so the value kind of stays. There's a few shifts, but it's basically one shape. And then the color actually is what dances around. So you can do that. If you have a shape that's the same value, that's one value for one shape. You can vary the color within that shape, and I do that. That's kind of what I do to create interest is, I have a shape and I'll try and just put. I I wouldn't say I put as many colors as I can into it. You can overdo this like anything, but you know, the the sensibility you develop with color. The sense availability that I've developed makes me want to try and put different colors into different shapes and just be brave with it and try and be try and make an emotional statement with the color and people really, really respond to it. I'm always amazed at how much emotion that packs when you have colors dancing around within shapes. So you know, if you zoom ins, anyone part of my painting like this right here, you'll notice how many little colors air dancing around, and it's just something that is woven together. Over time, you're weaving together this painting. It can't happen fast because you won't have enough time to maximize this. It relies on edge work, really sort of high level organization of your shapes. I mean high level meaning, looking at it from afar, you know, like getting perspective on the shapes you're doing so high level overview of your shapes at all times. So, you know, if I were to try and do this fast like, say, a digital speed painting, which is something I used to do I don't really do that speed painting much anymore because I find that I'm just never satisfied with what I've been able to dio always find that when I try and do a speed painting, you know, I just talk about this for a second. I just added a bit of glow into the shadows, a bit of bounce light into the shadows of those trees, which helped really help the illumination bounced light light bouncing into your shadows will really sell the illusion of actual illumination. So it's again something I'm doing there. I probably used the overlay brush for that. And of course, I can't remember what I was talking about before I made that point. Oh, yeah, Speed painting. I always find that when I do a speed painting, I end up starting something cool. But by the time I'm, you know, half hour in or whenever a speed painting is supposed to be over I'm not. I'm I'm like onto something cool with the final, but I'm not actually at a final. So I used to speak pain a lot, but I think as my criteria for finishing a painting got a little higher, I have abandoned that sort of art form of speed painting in favor of something a little more, you know, refined or a little more thought out. And again, I'm not to disparage speed painting or speed painters. I I love what you can do with fast digital painting. Um, you know, my paintings often start is like kind of speed paintings that I then finish again. Digital painting. One is actually good example of that where I'm just starting by laying in basic abstract shapes and finding what they are. As I go, I have the brush set to a very high key color, and I'm using the wakame opacity, the pressure sensitivity of my tablet just a spotted in here and there. We're really getting to the end here. When I start doing things like this, these little tweaks the tweets gets smaller and smaller, hopefully, as you've been noticing as we wind down to a finish. And that's how I kind of know that a finish is coming when I'm finding myself just doing smaller and smaller things, things that affect the painting less. Unless until the time comes where I have to say to myself, OK, you know this little tweak I'm doing now it doesn't matter anymore. Like this painting, it's done. You know, you just get to the point where the painting tells you like Okay, you know, I'm getting tired here, buddy. Let's save this and and go. The painting tells you that at some point it's kind of like this little bell that kind of rings in my head that says, Okay, what you're doing now is is wasting time, really? Not quite there yet, but there's a few more minutes, few more minutes left until I will get to that point. I'm certainly starting to feel the wind down process now, though, if I weren't feeling it half an hour ago, I'm definitely feeling it now. This is also you know, where you can run the risk of ruining a painting. You can still ruin a painting at this late stage by adding too much, and I talked about this a few minutes ago, but slightly different slant on it here. Adding shapes is usually something you want to really be judicious about. You want to kind of avoid it, I think, unless you have to add shapes, because the temptation as an artist, just as a human being is to add things rather than subtract them. Um, so if you and that's from doing now, I'm adding, you know, it's added a few shadows shapes. If you add too much, all of a sudden you'll find your painting has lost life, not gained it. You might think that adding a shadow under a leaf is a good thing, and it might be. But if you start adding things and not evaluating the overall painting again, what the painting can bear. If you ever lose sight of that, you run the very real risk of overbearing your painting or overloading your painting by virtue of adding too many little things. At this point, the painting should be telling you what it needs, not vice versa. So the painting you know, I'm looking. That's why I'm constantly zooming in, zooming out, moving, moving around the painting still, just like I was when I was in my block in mentality and I still hopefully I'm in my block in mentality. But the painting I'm letting the painting tell me what it needs, and this is also Ah, it's an instinctive reaction. I can't tell you what I'm looking for, really. It's just a, you know, a sensibility that I've developed a sensibility I've developed over years of painting that makes me, you know, fine tune some things that makes me aware of things that I can find tune. And it's all about my you know, personality. Really? Which is why, even if I could tell you what I'm doing it, it would be useless for you because we're two different people. And the things that matter to you are gonna be different at this stage than the things that matter to me. So, you know I can't tell you why I'm drawing these shapes or whatever. I'm just like, you know, these little spots. I can't tell you why I am doing that. It's just I'm just flowing with, you know, just going with the flow again. Once I do this, I've pretty much tacitly sort of decided that the drawing is good. Even if I haven't consciously reached that decision, it's it's what I've implied here is that the drawing is good, because I would never bother myself with tweaks of this nature. If there were large drawing problems to fix at this, especially at this stage in the beginning of the painting, I might do that. And you've seen me kind of waiver around in the beginning as I've tried to make decisions. But at this stage, I'm no longer thinking of decisions that need to still be made. The decisions are all there. This painting is nearing its end. There's also a kind of a funny sort of sad feeling I have when I finish a painting. You know, I had fun making this. I had fun like birthing this thing. This is my little baby that I have to be finished within part with and it's gonna be fun. You know, when you post a painting to your website or your portfolio or whatever it is that that painting is four, Maybe maybe you don't show anyone, you know. I don't know. Whatever it is that the painting eventually you know, goes out and does. It's cool to see the painting do that and all of a sudden be able to speak for itself. But the process of raising this painting that that I've gone through here, and you you've watched me go through this is this process where the painting becomes kind of dear to you and you don't really want to let it go. I don't want to be done painting this because, you know, after I finally hit, save and Export, this is the final sort of JPEG file. Well, I have to go on with my day. And what Di dio, What's the next thing I want to do today? I don't really wanna paint again because, you know, it took a lot of a lot of energy out of me. A lot of creative energy, so I don't really want to paint again with my hungry don't want to eat lunch or read a book or go for a run or something. It's, Ah, Wide world out there, and I have kind of zoned myself into this cool part of this cool vibe of painting. And it's been meditative. For me. It's been helpful. It's kind of like soul enriching, which is why painters love to paint because it's, I think it goes beyond just making a picture. It's not this sort of glib process of just making a cool picture and putting it out there, and you know, it's it's really kind of digs down into who you are as a person, and it helps you reflect on things. I'll find myself, you know, thinking about other things I paint or maybe listening to, ah, podcast or audiobook and learning new things I paint. And it's kind of this sort of self fulfilling, you know, process that you just don't. It's a shame to let go of when you're finished a painting. Of course, there are many more paintings where this one came from. The best part of being an artist is you know you're never finished. You never finished with creating more work. One thing I do get into the habit of, though is when I call a piece finished. I try not to go back to it. I'm trying not to re tread over old material for me. I find it gets stale. If I were to call this painting finished and then a week later loaded up again, it would actually feel kind of dirty going back to this like Like I shouldn't be there kind of like, you know, an abandoned home that used to be a home but is now abandoned. It just has a different feel to it. The painting no longer belongs to me when I am finished with it. It belongs to you know, public opinion at that point because I've, you know, poured all I can into it at this point. And I don't wanna have to go back to it. Typically, I will also work as straight through is possible, not necessarily meaning the same day. I think this painting took the took place over the course of three days, and but I worked straight through it, meaning over those three days this was the painting that was at the forefront of my mind. I wasn't working on anything else. I probably was, because, especially of clients, you might have a few clients. But when it comes to personal work, this was the painting that was concerning me for three days or two days, or however long it is. Sometimes it's one day, but what my point is, if it's at the forefront of your mind, all your creative energy will be going to solve the problems of this particular painting and nothing else. And that's Ah, that's that's great. When you can get in that mindset, At least it is for me. Some people like to be distracted with other projects. For me. I don't I like to be zoned in on one thing. Sometimes, of course, that's not possible. If you're working for clients, for example, or more than one client, Sometimes you have to juggle between two or three creative projects in a day, and all those projects might have different styles, different sensibilities, different brushes, different stages of production, so many things. So it's it's really nice when you're able to just put aside some time for your own personal work and kind of give it your pure laser focus and Thankfully, that's what I got to do here. So just making one final tweak to the darkness of her irises. And with that, we're going to call this one complete. Just gonna do a little bit of a tour through the high resolution pictures, Zoom in a little bit, um, and just kind of look at look, our handiwork. Look at what we've done. I do this at the end of paintings, sometimes maybe half the time, just to make sure that there's nothing glaringly wrong. Sometimes I'll do this after a break, and I don't mind little bits of wonky nous, but it is anything obvious. That's terribly off. You know, just tweak it. But, you know, I guess I'll take this time to say thank you for joining me. I really hope that you've got some usable information out of this. I certainly tried to pack it full with the psyche behind painting. Also information that I'm doing. Um, thanks for joining me. What I'm doing here is I'm just gonna shrink this down to the Internet friendly resolution , which is how I save off my J pegs. I use the reduction best for reduction filter. It helps it be a little sharper when we have such painterly strokes? And there it is. The final illustration. Thanks so much for joining me and happy painting.