Thank you for taking your time making this tutorial. I really like your inspiring style and it's very motivating to see how much knowledge, careful thoughts and experience you put in this tutorial. Reading it feels a little bit like you talking to the reader, taking him by the hand and showing the process through your eyes to make him understand why you do things this way. Have a nice day and please don't stop sharing your stuff with us!
aah thank you ;A; I don't have photoshop but your wisdom can be applied in practically everything. Your technique used here really gave me insight to how much time I should be spending on my works. Thank you so much for sharing~!
Haha, well, I tried my best to make it as informative as possible... I mean, I was only a beginning digital painter a year or two ago, so the struggle to learn photoshop is still pretty fresh in my mind. I remember searching for tutorials only to find that the vast majority weren't any help at all, at least for what I wanted to learn. (I mean, who really wants to straight up copy someone else's painting process? I've tried it, and It never feels quite "right", at least to me.) I ended up learning most of what I know about photoshop through trial and error... not an experience I'd like to repeat.
Haha, oh heck, I've learned a whole lot of things solely by experimentation, Photoshop including, so I don't really see anything wrong with that approach But well, what else should they show? Some people want to see how that artist does it exactly, others read through it and adopt some of the steps. I doubt you can teach much more than what you yourself use
Well, there isn't anything wrong with learning things on your own, of course. That's how I learned, after all... In my experience, though, trying to figure things out for yourself can't even begin to compare with having a teacher who knows what they're doing. I truly believe that college classes have improved my artistic skillset far beyond what I could have achieved by myself... and I'm not even in art school yet!
Oh, wow, I sounded kind of harsh there, didn't I... I could have worded that differently. Sorry, I didn't mean for it to sound like I was disapproving of them or anything. I do have respect for the people who take the time to make tutorials. I mean, they're just trying to help people, after all - nothing wrong with wanting to share what you know with other people. And hey, what doesn't work for me might end up being very useful to someone else... and of course I don't really expect people to be able to teach something they don't know, that'd just be ridiculous... I just found that a majority of the tutorials out there didn't work for me, personally, is all. Nothing wrong with that, the world doesn't have to cater to my wishes, after all.
Hm, on the other hand? It seems as if we're agreeing here...
Well, learning doesn't come from one place... my learning was a combination of reading, watching videos, looking at other people's art, reading critiques of other people's art, and experimenting on my own.
But anyway, the things I found most helpful from DA tutorials were little random tips on tools and techniques (Such as how to use the ALT key). And, I believe that a big part of learning is figuring out what's not for you, so trying out a bunch of other artists' processes was definitely helpful, in a way.
I found out a couple cool things from DA tutorials for sure, but one thing that stands out in my mind as "essential" are youtube videos. Sped up videos of people painting or real-time tutorials on specific techniques were very helpful. I found that for me, personally, It was one thing to read, and another to be able to see. I had never actually seen another digital painter at work before, so being able to see a digital painting in "real time" was a real eye-opener for me.
Videos such as these were a huge influence on me - [link] [link]
Oh, no, I don't consider using tutorials as learning on your own. That's just following steps someone else wrote
And hm, video tutorials never did it for me, drawing/painting-wise. They were always one of those "omg look i'm painting something", but how remained a mystery. Exactly like the first video you linked Also, what I really hate in tutorials is tips that really say nothing, like "Make it look natural" or "Paint until it looks right" or "Draw as you feel"
If you mean, like, one day you wake up and just "know" something, with no outside influence at all, then yeah, I suppose it's not learning on your own. But to me, just calling yourself a "teacher" doesn't make you a teacher. Just giving information and expecting the student to do everything else is not teaching. Teachers do much more than simply give information.
Tutorials are very much one-way communication. Unless you send the writer of the tutorial a note and ask them to walk you through a painting, giving their advice and critiques every step of the way, you're still very much alone. I know there's been many times where I've read a tutorial, or a tip, and I've tried to put it into practice... and failed many times. You can't exactly ask the tutorial to give additional advice, or point out what you're doing wrong. That's all up to you to figure out. (If you went into a college and the professor did nothing but say "Here's some stuff, just read it and go do your assignment" without giving any lectures or demonstrations, no in-progress advice or critiques, no inspirational conversations, for the whole semester, I'd want my money back. I can do that by myself at home, thanks.) And I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who follows a tutorial's instructions exactly, without changing anything. Everyone puts their own spin on it. In that way, a tutorial is just a basic means to show you how painting works... just enough so you're not floundering in the dark with no direction. It shows, but it doesn't teach.
Haha, well, I guess that's a perfect example of how different information effects different people.
Well, the thing is that I could rewatch them as often as I wanted. Sure, at first my reaction was something like: "WOAH ZOMG WTH ARE THEY DOING" but after a while, I found it pretty easy to decipher what they were doing. I just had to learn the proper way to watch the video. You can't just watch, you have to watch with the intent to learn... you have to be able to pick things out and understand them for yourself. They aren't going to say "I'm blocking in the lights and shadows now", you have to watch and say to yourself - "oh, they're blocking in the lights and shadows now.", and possibly pause the video and look at the brush they're using, if they're painting on a new layer, what color they're using, etc.... because they aren't going to tell you. While they're painting, watch their brush carefully and ask yourself why they do things. "Why are they putting that color down there? Why are they using that filter now? Why Are they using that brush? And you have to keep those questions in mind, because they might not even be answered until much later in the painting. Sometimes it takes a while for the reason behind some things to become clear. And then there are more direct results of watching a video like that. For example, before watching that video, I never knew that people flipped their image horizontally... nobody ever mentioned that in any tutorial I'd read, yet it's such an essential tool. I never knew that you could use the liquify tool that way to fix the anatomy of a face. It didn't occur to me that using the dodge tool doesn't have to be all-or-nothing, that you can use such things tastefully. And the biggest thing, I think, for me, was just seeing how ugly her drawing was at the beginning... and seeing that it stayed ugly for quite some time. That was some motivational stuff right there, knowing that it wasn't only my drawings that looked horrible in the beginning.
Hahaha. Oh, things like that don't say nothing, in fact, they say quite a bit! It's just a different kind of information. It's not the kind where they can say "use xxx tool and xxx will happen", it's the sort of thing you have to think about and apply for yourself.
And well, sometimes that's the just best thing you can say, because that's genuinely your reason for doing it. (And I suppose you're talking about that texture video, by the way) I mean, to me, those are both very helpful and legitimate tips. What does "make it look natural" mean? It means, whatever surface you're trying to imitate, you want to make it look like you painted it yourself... like it "belongs" in the image, that it's deliberately placed there by your paintbrush and not photoshops'. That means taking a brush over the important parts and painting in your own details... if they're not telling you how, or what exactly looks "natural", that's because, well, they simply can't tell you. It differs depending on the subject you're painting, the goal of the image, and what style you're using, so it's up to you to find out what looks natural for your subject... that means trial and error, research and reference images.
"If it looks/feels right, it is right" is a big animation principle, actually. We had a guest animator at my school the other day, and that was one of his big tips for us, haha. It's more of a concept for advanced artists, not those just starting to learn. People just starting to draw are usually concerned with imitating life to learn foundational skills, not distorting it to create style or soul in their images. The point of it, is... once you've got the basics of reality down, and understand it, don't feel the need to confine yourself to that. Don't be so attached to making things "realistic" that you sacrifice the aesthetic quality of your work. If something is technically "wrong", but it improves the image as a whole, it becomes the right thing to do, artistically. That's the whole premise of stylization, that it's all technically wrong and doesn't work in reality, but it gives the image life... it makes it interesting to look at.
Oh, I completely understand where you're coming from, haha. Painting in photoshop is a maddening experience until you figure out the little shortcuts and tricks. I almost can't believe my first painting took me something like, 35-40 hours to do.
Haha, sometimes I do get discouraged with a painting because it just doesn't look right. In times like that, I need to remind myself that digital paintings almost always get worse before they get better. I've heard another artist liken the process to pushing a boulder up a hill; it's hard, excruciating labor for the first half, until you get "over the hill" and the boulder rolls downward on it's own. I find that to be true for me, It seems like after a certain point, everything just "clicks" and comes together on it's own.
Well, that's good! Yeah, a lot of the time people tend to rush... especially the most important beginning parts. Sometimes people ask me for advice, and the first thing I ask is usually "how much time did you spend on it?" But yeah, the trick is to just be patient. If you sit down to draw and catch yourself getting antsy and rushing, just put down the pen for a while, go take a walk or play a game or something, and come back to it later. Haha well, if you want advice you can always feel free to send me a note!
Ah thanks, it's nice to know this is actually helping some people. Yeah, the alt key is, to me, one of the most essential tools in photoshop. The second I learned that, it was like a light suddenly switched on in my head or something... a real "Oooohhh, so that's how they do it" moment.