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Still Life Digital Painting (study)

IamSam

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#1
As promised, I have some more art to contribute. I was getting ready for a dog painting but I recently became interested in posting a still life painting for the purpose of establishing myself as a credible digital artist who knows a little about what he's talking about. I'm not trying to prove any point and there is no other underlying reason for this posting.

Another reason was to experiment with a different technique that I have not tried before. I have about 4 hours in this painting and, as usual, it's really far from being done. Please remember, I'm not trying for photo realism, I want it to look like it was painted.

I will post the finished painting (study) first and if anyone wants a break down of the process I will gladly post one. Comments and questions are always invited.

RealApplePainting_Finished.jpg
 
#2
Amazing work i had to look at a real similar apple image to compare and search the differences, the only thing i see it's maybe add more texture like on the part with the light bright. But as you said it's not finished so you maybe already were going to do it.

Cheers!
 

IamSam

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#3
......the only thing i see it's maybe add more texture like on the part with the light bright.
Thanks!

I originally had a bit more texture in the highlight, but I let it get a little muddy trying to brighten it. I'll see what I can do.
 
#4
My bad english strike again XD, i mean i like the porous texture on the brightning part and i thing the rest of the apple need some texture aswell i see it a little bit soft.
 

IamSam

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#5
..........the rest of the apple need some texture aswell i see it a little bit soft.
I understand. I agree, the texturing is a bit fainter than I would like. I can turn up it's opacity to see if that would help. Compared to the reference, it was actually one of the things that I skimped on because it would have taken too long to actually do correctly. Being a study, I didn't want to go that far into the details.

I will update the original post.
 

Eggy

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#6
Very nice work Sam! :thumbsup:

Although you're not after photo realism I had to look very closely.

What I particulary like is that since the light is coming from the left side the 'rim' of the apple has the right kind of illumination making it so realistic.
 

Helios

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#8
Great work!

The only thing I would say is that where the apple meets the surface it's sitting on, it suddenly looks less real, like it's got no weight, or isn't interacting with the surface. Perhaps a tiny amount more shadow on the apple itself here would help it look like it's actually sitting on the surface.


And yes, I'd love to see your process. :)
 
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IamSam

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#10
Thanks everyone!

The only thing I would say is that where the apple meets the surface it's sitting on, it suddenly looks less real, like it's got no weight, or isn't interacting with the surface. Perhaps a tiny amount more shadow on the apple itself here would help it look like it's actually sitting on the surface.
I think your right. I needed a day away from the painting to see some subtle changes that needed to be made. I had been looking at it for too long yesterday. This is why I usually take more time on my paintings. Made some changes in the original post.
 
#13
Would be amazing if you can - somehow- record your screen and show us a time laps of your work. i would love to be exposed to your techniques...
 

Helios

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#15
Would be amazing if you can - somehow- record your screen and show us a time laps of your work. i would love to be exposed to your techniques...
Windows 10 has a built in screen recorder for gaming, the game bar, called up with Win-G, which I have tested with my painting software (you just have to tell the screen recorder that your painting program is a 'game'). It records in real time, but if you have separate video editing software you could time stretch/squash that into a time lapse. It's something I've been thinking of doing, once I think of a good subject to paint. ;)
 

IamSam

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#16
Would be amazing if you can - somehow- record your screen and show us a time laps of your work. i would love to be exposed to your techniques...
I do have the ability to record my painting sessions, I just choose not to. You can't learn anything from time lapsed speedart. If you have any specific questions about my techniques, I'm more than willing to share.
 

IamSam

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#18
Ok le me get started on the rundown.

First I made an outline of the original reference apple with the Pen Tool.
Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 1.08.27 PM.png

When I made the selection, I wanted a slight feather so I didn't generate hard edges.
I set the feather radius at about 0.8.

(This process is a bit different when working with hair or fur because they will eventually exceed the boundaries and be pulled into the BG.)

I then filled the selection with 50% grey.
Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 1.09.06 PM.png

This was one of the newer techniques that I was experimenting with.

In traditional paintings, I always worked on a bright white surface. But I've been watching many digital artists who work form a 50% grey surface so I've been giving that a try.
I also like the idea of working within the boundaries of the grey area by locking the layers transparent pixels.

So.....I made a duplicate of that layer to be used as a selection mask for future anticipated layers and turned off it's visibility.

I had the original reference in my painting document that I use to get certain features correctly placed, but you need your reference in a separate document. The next thing I did was to open the original reference in a new document, make it smaller and make it a floating widow that I could move around. You need to be able to see your reference at all times. (note: I have a 27" display so I had the room)

Next post I will explain how I orient specific points from the reference to get them placed in the painting correctly.
 

Unscripted

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#19
wow... if this is not trying to achieve photo realism i would love to see your photo realism. i would love to be at your level one day. also thanks for sharing the process, this is really interesting :cheesygrin:

p.s. by "is this a p__s take" i think he meant that you were joking about not going for photo realism because it looked pretty real, at least that's how i interpreted it as i had the same first thought :lol:
 

IamSam

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#20
OK, on to the next part of the run down.

Although I did not intend on photorealism, I do want the painting to be fairly accurate.

Now, I'm fairly good at matching colors but when you have a Hi Res reference photo, it never hurts to sample colors. So, on a new layer, I set up a set of base colors sampled from the reference from which I can create variations throughout the painting.
Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 10.25.39 PM.png

Now some artists like to do line drawings to start painting and I'm all for it. But, I like to keep things simple at at a bare minimum when possible.
So, on new layers, I use the Brush Tool to make some "outlines" of key and important landmarks located on the reference.
I also use guidelines to make sure the outlines are in the correct position.
Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 10.31.35 PM.png

I also use a technique that I call templates. A template for me is a selection made with the Pen Tool and then filled with a color. This selection is then turned off and I can use it to recreate the exact same selection throughout the painting process.
Another way to do this is by just saving the selection.

What are these selections? They will be used to paint on the inside or, if inverted, on the outside of the selection.

On a new layer I use the Pen Tool to make a selection.
Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 10.34.39 PM.png

I then right click and choose make selection and set the feather to around 4.
Fill the selection with any color you wish.
Turn the layer off.
Now you can at anytime Cmd/Cntrl + click the layers thumbnail to bring up the selection at any time.
(As I said above, you can also save the selection, the go top SELECT > LOAD SELECTION and choose the selection...........I find it much faster to use the template method)

Here's the template selection filled with black.
Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 10.35.28 PM.png

We're just about ready to get started painting!
Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 10.36.11 PM.png
 

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