Digital Painting


We do not own skills when we are born, it comes by time & the catalyst of getting any skills is dependent on our surroundings and situations. So my point is, nobody is great or skillful by birth, it’s a learning process which takes time to achieve, that means if you are passionate and hard working then you can definitely achieve any skill that you desire.

I stated above points because I’ve faced the frustration and jealousy of not able to learn Digital Painting but slowly I tried to console myself that, I should keep patience. It takes time to learn something new, everything has their own pace.

Moving on, our topic of interest being Digital Painting, I am going to explain some very basics on Digital Painting hoping that will help you to get rid of digital painting phobia.

“During my digital painting journey, the funny part was I used to tell my friend, that ctrl + alt + z has become my best friend while using Photoshop” (we’ll talk about above statement at the end of this blog until then enjoy the simplicity of digital painting).

Firstly, what is the ideal document size for painting anything in the Photoshop?. Well, I keep width x height: 3000 x 2000 (or vice versa) and Resolution should be 300 Pixels/Inch. and Color Mode should be RGB/CMYK depending on your purpose of painting. These are very ideal document settings for painting HD stuffs.

Understanding the Photoshop UI

I hope you all may already know but still keeping it simple on left hand side those little icons are tools that are used for various purposes and for painting purpose I will recommend: Brush Tool (B), Eraser Tool (E), Smudge Tool, Paint Bucket and Gradient tool (G), Magic Wand tool (W) & Lasso Tool (L).

Woah! so many of them already. Now on the right hand side the very bottom space are for the layers. Very top of that is Navigator (if it is not there then you should go to the window bar and select it from there), In between both should be Color cube, see on the right hand side, tools can be customized according to the users. Above I only mentioned about important stuffs that should be present in the right hand side. And If you press f5 you will get Brush bar where you can see different settings of that selected brush.



Understanding the layer mode while painting shadows and highlights:

You can see layer Mode from the top 2nd row of the layer bar. “Once a great artist said you should use yellow color for highlights and blue color for the shadow.” But it depends on the artist that how he/she manages to play with the light and the shadow. If you want to keep it simple then use the way I mentioned above. (but don’t forget to change layer mode)

Keeping it straight, changing layer mode to multiply for shadow. The mechanics behind is that it doubles the base selected color making it more darker tone. And the overlay mode is for giving highlights. The mechanics behind is that it brightens the base color making it more lighter tone. Now the very important part, you should make separate layers for each Mode that you are going to use that’s how it works.

There is another advance technique which allows you to work on the single layer (I will talk about this in my next blog).



Understanding Flow and Opacity:

Now I will explain this in a very simple manner suppose you have toothpaste in your hand which has unlimited amount of paste in it and you are squeezing it more and more and your are getting the paste more and more basically the Flow works in the same principle, in common traditional words, the amount of color pigment you want. And Opacity is like limiter to that flow power. Both are like powers to the Brush tool while using it on Photoshop.

Understanding the Brush tool:

Now most of you think after seeing an awesome painting that artist must have used so many different brushes but (i want to laugh so hard, sorry for that), don’t take pressure about using different brushes to paint something great, I will give you an example there is an artist name Yue Wang or you may know her as sakimichan she uses only hard round brush to paint her awesome art-pieces (well there is a paradox too).In the brush tool bar which is brush preset (f5) there are so many different features that we can give to any brush. I will point some of the important settings you can give to any brush in the Brush preset, 1st option is Shape Dynamics: right now only focus on Size Jitter ignoring the word Jitter just below it you can see control that should be on Pen Pressure basically it determines the thickness of the brush strokes which is helpful for creating line-art for your drawings, Next is Transfer what I said about Flow and opacity so here it is, from here you can change opacity based on pen pressure and last is Smoothing that should be ‘on’ always (it’s about anti-aliasing). These three options are base settings for a simple brush. Making your own Brush is also a simple business, just make any pattern you want on the canvas, then go to the edit option on the top there you can see define brush preset option click on that. Here you go play with your presets on your newly made brush.




Now ending this here above I mentioned ctrl + alt + z, well when you do mistakes in traditional painting it’s tough business to deal with it, but in case of digital painting if you do mistakes you know what to do simply redo that action

And few thing I want to say to all beginner artists:

Do not try to make your masterpiece in your initial stage, just focus on learning.

In your journey do not get frustrated by seeing others works my point was do not
compare yourself you have your own pace of learning things, so be patient.

Learn from others, get inspired from others, do not get jealous from others.

And keep practicing.

There are lots of things to say, to explore. until next time !.


Subhakar Vats Game Designer

Hello I am Subhakar Vats - a game designer at Yudiz Solutions Pvt. Ltd. which is a leading Game Development company. I just want recognition for my work, and I like watching night sky

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