Adventures in Digital Oil Painting
UPDATE: THERE ARE LARGER SIZED IMAGES DOWN IN THE COMMENTS. The "large thumbnail" actually compresses a smidge horribly.
So I've been throwing many, many PMs at the wonderful Echo over the last two days as I struggled and struggled with starting an oil painting. I rarely try to do anything like this at all because I'm terribly impatient and I enjoy my heavily stylized manner of doing art. I realized, then, that this should probably wind up being an art workshop post so that other people can learn from my blundering around in photoshop. Follow me behind the break for my most recent trials and tribulations!
The very first thing I did was ask Echo about a particular brush of mine that I've been painting my more stylized stuff with, I love it, it's my favorite. It is, however, not so great for blending smoothly.
After realizing that my favorite brush would not accomplish what I wanted it to, I looked at the brush pack that Echo mentioned in the comments of Ythgar's earlier art-workshop post How to Make an Oil Painting Halp and then realized that I had a brush pack that was already incredibly similar. I spent a LOT of time staring at oil paintings on Google Art Project, specifically portraiture from Noble courts, then I used one of my little sketching brushes and slapped together a line-sketch to do an underpainting on. ... Except for the part where I struggle with underpaintings. I had a greyscale one that... wasn't that great. I also have an issue where if I'm looking at something in greyscale I can replicate it in greyscale, but if I try to go from greyscale into color, I can't make the same tone connection. Instead, I just said "WHY NOT JUST PAINT IT LIKE NORMAL".
This was seriously not a good idea. I hate that color scheme. Why did I make her a red head? Probably because blonde is hard. That's since changed. No more red-heads. Echo encouraged me to try to underpaint again, just as a reference, and to also use some of my reference photos to get a good lighting scheme.
So far, I've used the lovely Eleonora di Toledo as a mostly-clothing-reference. Her face was just a little -too- round for the shading I wanted. Ursula here fixed my lighting problem for me! I managed to... spend too much time on the underpainting yesterday. Way too much time. Like four hours.
I pushed some darks. I don't think I pushed the highlights on the silk enough, but that's fixable. Echo suggested a hue/saturation layer with colorized checked so I could find a decent skintone start, but I'm a sucker for punishment and just pulled out a tiny swatch card of three colors to decide on a skintone and ran with it.
So now I'm working on streamlining the skin tones and getting rid of all the dark lines. As much as I love me some dark lines with my super stylized things, it's not going to work too well for this endeavor.
Does the underpainting help? Ohgodyes. Underpainting, why did I forsake you? I have seen the error of my ways. I'll have to try and work on cutting down my time and actually being somewhat sloppy. I'll likely continue to post updates in the comments here as I go along. Many many thanks again to Echo and to Ythgar. I really needed to step out of my comfort box.
This is where I start adding updates to the original post so people don't have to hunt.