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Digital rendering and brushes for beginners - Tank Rat - 08-14-2020

I'm really confused about how to approach digital painting. I see some artists do things layer by layer, while others do a significant amount of rendering in just one layer. I know that Ill find my method over time, but I don't know how to start or what brushes to start with. 

Some of the things I've watched was Sinix's video on the best brush for beginner and paint like a sculptor. I've also watched Moderndayjames' digital painting 1-3. I wanted to start with rendering primitive shapes and slowly move up to more complex forms. I wouldn't have much of an issue doing this traditionally, but doing it digitally is extremely difficult for me. I tried to start with simple brushes (I'm using Clip Studio Paint). I'm using it's equivalent to the hard and soft round brush (dense and soft watercolor). I know that they're not bad brushes, I just think I'm using them wrong. So I started trying things at random and it feels like I'm just smearing things on the canvas. The only thing that feels ok is the airbrush and I've heard that it's not the best thing to start with. I'll include some of the things I've tried so far. I'll appreciate any advise you all can give.

RE: Digital rendering and brushes for beginners - darktiste - 08-14-2020

I recommend starting with a round and a soft brush and add other brush if you feel like they will help you get the effect your after.Also try to light your ball from all angle one time at a time to practice seeing form and light from all direction

RE: Digital rendering and brushes for beginners - Pubic Enemy - 08-15-2020

If you would like to make a brush in Clip Studio that's roughly equivalent to the one Sinix uses in his Best Brush for Digital Painting video, one way is to take one of those watercolor brushes and disable "Mix ground color" in the Ink section of the brush properties, and make sure "Continuous spraying" is unchecked in the Stroke section. If starting with a basic hard round brush, make sure you uncheck "Mix brush tips with darken" in the Stroke section. You'll end up with a brush that is hard-edged but relatively easy to blend with, even without any automatic blending.

Regarding layers. Since you're used to rendering traditionally, you'll probably find that it feels more natural to use one layer, at least to start with. Do what feels easiest.

Regarding the airbrush. The reason that people say it's not the best thing to start with is that it's very easy to make gradients with it, so you don't have to be precise about any of the forms you're rendering, and due to the fact that the airbrush doesn't leave any distinct brushstrokes, the final result can look kind of blurry and lifeless. That said, there are pros who use almost nothing but the airbrush and it doesn't look bad. Some people suggest that beginners use nothing but the default hard round in Photoshop, which I think is absurd, because you will not be able to make a smooth-looking gradient with it unless you want to paint for 100 years. In conclusion, do what you want.

It looks like you're mainly practicing with opacity-locked layers and large brush sizes. That's fine, but since you're used to drawing traditionally, it might be hamstringing you a bit. Try treating the digital brush as if it's a real brush. Professionals use all sorts of different strategies successfully, so don't discount any approach because you think it might be the "wrong" way to do it.

Lastly, feeling like you're groping around aimlessly when trying to render digitally is normal. It's like learning anything new. You will get a better grasp on it the more you do it.

RE: Digital rendering and brushes for beginners - darktiste - 08-16-2020

Without lock transprency your going to be way earlier aware of edge quality but it will require you to clean your edge at some point due to brush stroke going outside the intended form.It easy to fill a form using a lasso but the result tend to look flat in my opinion due to the edge quality.Something i have experienced because i am total newb when it come to edge quality even if i am aware of such concept.Object tend to be imperfect in there shape unless there manifactured so it important to remember this when thinking about edge quality.

Someone sent me this a long time ago and i figure it could get your get -a edge- over people who aren't aware of the concept.

I also don't recommend starting digitial painting by drawing sphere but rather cube to learn about perspective and plane and light.If your not aware of the concept of wrapping line it would be better to go back in my opinion.

RE: Digital rendering and brushes for beginners - Tank Rat - 08-19-2020

Thanks for the advise! I tried editing the brush settings, but the result still didn't feel great. I did find a few brushes I liked. I did a lot of blending exercises to get a feel for what felt good to use. I also did a few primitive studies (I'm doing 1 a day this week). 
Quote:It easy to fill a form using a lasso but the result tend to look flat in my opinion due to the edge quality
Your definitely right about that. You'll really be able to see that in these primitives I'm posting below. It's very apparent in the sphere, but a bit less so in the two cubes (really tried to soften those extremely sharp edges). Again, thanks for taking the time to offer me some advice.

RE: Digital rendering and brushes for beginners - darktiste - 08-19-2020

Your shadow side should have softer edge you can use the blur tool to do that i think if am not wrong.Also your form underside should be much dark where it hit the flat surface.The cast shadow also play a role in how much bounce light you get and the surrounding area color as play a role in how much light is reflected around but that also depend on the light source intensity.Those are thing you should practice.How does one practice observation?By taking note but of course you need the theory to understand what affecting your object.Observation is exactly that describing to yourself what your seeing and why this thing look the way it does.

For a final note always indicate where your light source come by indicating the direction and the distance of the light source(if you know where it when doing drawing from life)or estimate the intensity of the light source to help us give you a better inform critic.

RE: Digital rendering and brushes for beginners - Artloader - 08-19-2020

Hey Tank Rat man - not sure if this will help but my approach to digital rendering is to as closely emulate a traditional workflow as possible.

I try to work on one layer.
I block in the main shapes (in CSP, I use an ink brush because it gives full opacity with a single stroke).
Then I refine the edges - for soft edges I use the smudge tool - for hard edges I just use an ink brush.
Finally I refine shapes and add finishing touches such as highlights.

Having said all that I encourage you to experiment to find your preferred approach.

Good luck dude!

RE: Digital rendering and brushes for beginners - Tank Rat - 08-20-2020

Ok I gave it another try. Is this any better? The bottom one is the first version, thought the reflected light was too strong in the first. Also, I'm going to start posting these in my sketchbook from now on.

RE: Digital rendering and brushes for beginners - darktiste - 08-21-2020

You shadow side you need to hit your darker harder it common among begginer to be timid when dealing with there dark they go to soft on them.Also remember that your trying to give the illusion of roundness so there  is gradient that going to hapen on your form. Meaning that since the light is coming from the top right a bit from the side you get more light on the sphere where it facing use and the more it goes toward the side of the ball it get dark as it away from the light source.