In the last weeks I took part in a digital painting online course with Bobby Chiu at the schoolism network. I’m really happy about the effect the whole course had on my painting style. Almost with every single video sequence I wrote interesting stuff down. Hopefully I will remember all the great hints in my future works too. 😆
I really liked Bobbys Art before but after this course one looks at the pictures from a different point of view as he told so much about his own thoughts and feelings while painting. There were 9 lessons and every lesson was split into several shorter video clips to watch and paint by yourself afterwards. So those pictures aren’t exactly mine, because most of the times the line drawing or even a whole grey-scale picture was given to start from and work on the different topics.
Never the less one can also watch feedback videos Bobby made for previous course students (and people who are willing to pay a little extra for the course). This was very interesting too, sometimes even more interesting then the lesson itself because, although the base image was the same for the students, there were always big differences in the resulting pictures and to watch how Bobby gave hints on the individual problems was very enlightening.
Lesson 1 – Visualizing Through Darkness
The first assignment reminded me on opening the picture in a second window, so that one can see the whole picture and concentrate more on the over all impact. I also forgot that one can change between the two main colors in Photoshop so easily by pressing the [x] key.
The main focus for this assignment was to think about the figure one wants to create while starting on a dark basis. This really helps on focusing on the main shape and slowly building up all the details.
Working with the Grey-scale picture before starting with all the colors is really a great idea for me, because I often get lost in all those great color combinations, forgetting about the picture itself and what I want to present.
Lesson 2 – Colorizing from Black and White
In the second assignment there was a grayscale picture with 4 cowboys to start from. The possibility to record actions was introduced. It can be used to look at the picture after some final treatments and then go back to your current working stage.
I also never used layer masks before. It’s an easy way to determine the parts of the picture that should be influenced, but leaving the possibility open to change it later.
An other possibility I hadn’t used before are the presets for your brushes, so that you can store your favourite brush with size, opacity and flow. I always thought that I’m so often changing the brush that I wouldn’t use it a lot but well, also for just one single picture it still makes sense to store 2 or 3 brushes to make piking them easier.
Lesson 3 – Textures Part 1
This Lesson really was shocking me. 😀
I always thought that those pencil drawn pictures were REALLY pencil drawn, but well, we used at least scanned in pencil marks.
A really interesting effect one can achieve with layering dark and light tones over and over again.
Those wrinkles on the body are one of Bobbys favourites he told. He always liked wrinkles a lot. I found it really hard to achieve those many wrinkles, but well he’s right at this really makes the creature much more interesting.
Lesson 4 – Textures Part 2
This time we started from an unfinished picture of the Kangamolebunny. The use of textures was introduced. I found it really hard to achieve a some what cave like pattern for the wall in the background.
We used a texture as basis and then painted in those light and dark parts of the stones. There were also textures used for the bottom and the Bunny itself. The bottom one needed to be transformed in order to fit the perspective.
This time I even redid a whole part as I watched the feedback videos. Bobby pointed at the slobber dropping outside the mouth and how it should look really slime and fluid. As my actual slobber was more like a nontransparent fluid I redid it and yeah … I think it turned out much better. 🙂
Lesson 5 – The Smudge Technique
This was one of my most favourite lessons as I really liked the base drawing of Bobby. It was a black line drawing and we started to learn how to use the smudge tool. I always left out this tool as I thought it would some what like ruin my pictures, because you are just smearing pixels around on the screen.
But well, it can be pretty helpful to even out lines or to some kind of model the figure without the need of taking up the brush and different colors.
This time I also redid a lot after watching the feedback videos. One of the main points was the amount of contrast which was way too high on the whole figure. So I redid the whole beard to make it look fluffy and also evened out some of the darker parts which shouldn’t be as much in the focus as the face itself.
If you want to take the course yourself, or some of the other great courses they offer (I’m still thinking about taking part in “Creature Design” or “ZBrush”), you can click on this link to get yourself a little discount and me some extra money for my next course too. 😮
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