Tag Archives: digital watercolors

Digital Painting – Wenceslas Square

I’ve become very intrigued with the idea of creating paintings in Photoshop. The artwork is already digitized and best of all, no mess to clean up! If you’re following Yay on Facebook, you’ve seen some of those experiments. I’m getting a few of them printed up as they are just to see how the resolution and color holds up in reproduction. I really have no idea how to sell something like this since it’s not really a print. That’s a topic for another day.*grin* For now, I’m going to try to document my painting process. If nothing else, it should prove somewhat entertaining…

As far as materials go, I’m using Photoshop CC14 on a Windows 8 laptop. It’s not some super-pimped up box, just a reasonably priced lappy. For a graphics tablet, I found a VisTablet Penpad for $17 on Amazon. It’s not super-pimpy either, but it seems to work well for me. I think drawing tablet hand-eye coordination is going to be difficult no matter what brand it is. That’s a lot harder than it seems! Lastly, I’m using Alex Dukal’s Photoshop brushes. I’m using the AD Aquarellist Brushes and the Cartoonist Brushes. I also own the AD Pencils Garden, but I don’t think I’ll be using any of those.

When I went to Prague, I snapped this photo in Wenseclas Square. I’m the biggest horse’s ass I know, so the shot is perfect. *laughing hysterically* Actually, I love this photo. I love the lighting, I love the composition, I love it! So I fired up Photoshop, and created a new doc that is 15 in x 10.713 in with a 300px resolution. I figured that should allow a pretty large reproduction (like maybe a poster!)

Wenceslas Square, Prague, Czech Republic
Wenceslas Square, Prague, Czech Republic

I don’t know if it’s “cheating” to trace a photo or not. Yes, I can draw, but I really wanted to get started on this project, so I used the tablet to trace the photo. That was plenty of effort in itself, trust me! (That whole hand-eye thing.) I used the 04. AD Wet Strong Line – 40px Aquarellist brush in black to make my sketch. Part of learning how to use the tablet is realizing that pressure controls things like darkness.

Outline sketch
Outline sketch

I love the weekly newsletter from Artist’s Network.tv. Those videos make me think I can paint. In watercolor, even. I’ve never really had much luck in real watercolor, so I’m hoping digital watercolor works out for me. I threw in some sky using 45. AD Liquid Ink – Col Dyn 200px Aquarellist brush in RGB colors: 0, 174, 239.

Adding the sky
Adding the sky

Well, that looked pretty good. Let’s throw in some yellow for the buildings! Same brush, RGB: 255, 255, 0.

Adding the buildings
Adding the buildings

Man, I am feeling like an artiste now! Same brush, RGB: 46, 49, 146.

The road
The road

Still feeling super confident! Add orange! Same brush, RGB: 237, 28, 36.

More color
More color

Let’s just say that’s when things started to go to hell. I started adding more color and doing other fancy artist things, and I found out I was painting on the wrong layer. It wouldn’t have been a big deal except that I wanted to remove the outline layer at some point. I could tuck it below the layers I was painting on, but then I lost that color. Long story short, I tried some salvaging, didn’t like that, went back a few revisions, redid the color, and had no clue what to do next. I couldn’t get the color I wanted, the brushes were either too transparent or too dark.

Feeling like a real horse’s ass for trying this idea, I practiced blending colors using other brushes. I did some cartooning. I wasn’t very happy and my body was hurting from trying to use this stupid tablet stylus and I was cursing why I ever wanted to be an artist. So I went to bed.

I got my weekly Artist’s Network.tv newsletter and I watched this video about Tracey Creighton. I know very little about Tracey, but I love her work! This! This is what I needed! So with a renewed faith in my painting skills, I went back at it. This is where I started today, sans outline. My apologies for not documenting this part very well…there’s lots of colors applied using different brushes trying to achieve what I had in my mind. I am trying to stay with the standard swatches that come with Photoshop, though I have been taking samples of layered colors to get better blends.

More color, no outlines
More color, minus the outlines

I did some crazy painting on Wenseclas and his horse. That’s my focal point. I don’t care about realism. I want color and pop and wow! I used the 41. AD Wet Line 40px Aquarellist brush in various colors and in 100% to 50% opacity.

Detailing Wenceslas
Detailing Wenceslas

I think what intrigued me with Tracey’s technique is when she poured black ink and piped on white paint. It cured a few problems I was having. It got me out of my head and got me to play! In lieu of black ink, I’m using the 09. AD Broken Blotch 15px Cartoonist brush. Ah! I love how this came out!

More details on Wenceslas
More details on Wenceslas

I’m not sure where I’m going next with it, but I wanted to post this before I forgot. I took a piccy of the screen. Trippy! It looks databent (oooo…another idea!)

(This was originally posted on the old Yay for J in an article called, “The Artist Pretending it’s Art”. Since the website deconstruction, that post is no longer available. Also, this painting has not been completed yet. *sad face*)