MF's SB.
Jaik - thanks, and that sounds like something I'd be interested in. I'll try and find it on here and check it out over breakfast. :) Edit: I took a look in the mentoring section, and it seems that most of her posts have been removed and she was banned from here. Any idea why?

Bjulvar - thanks, man. I use a mixture of both. I have a paper texture set on overlay above the entire image, but for the most part it's brush work. I took a day to come up with mixer brushes that act as dry brushes for softening/adding texture and then used the stock pencil brushes that come with CS6 and tweaked those to be more grainy and feel better. I'd love to try and get a good charcoal brush working.

JakeB - thanks :)



Tried experimenting with trying to emulate oil on board/canvas. I only cared about replicating the brush strokes of the reference image, not the subject matter. Not sure how practical this could be for an actual illustration, but I think I came fairly close. I'm really enjoying the mixer brushes to come up with different things.


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Oh shiiiiiiit. That oil one looks awesome. I know asking for brushes is lame and stuff. But you'd get mad love for a brush set when you've got a few of these to put together. Hint hint ;)

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Sure thing, man. Once I get some together that I like and actually do some solid work with them, I'd be confident enough to put them up for anyone interested.

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Put these brushes to work with an ear study. I have progress shots, so you guys can check out how I'm trying to go about doing this.

Started with the underdrawing as my base layer. I use a custom HB pencil, close to the ones I have shown above in the test examples. Very responsive, and since it's a smart brush it's angle sensitive allowing me to turn my brush to get thicker strokes for shading as well as have it 90 degress to the canvas for sharper lines. Above that I have a canvas texture that I've created set to multiply. I can easily just leave it off and slap it on at the end of the painting, but I like leaving it on just to subconsciously feel as though I'm actually working on canvas. It's weird, I know, but it does something for me.

Next I move on to the underpainting on a layer above the drawing, just as you would with acrylics to block out shadow and light shapes as well as simple planes/forms. I use a custom mixer brush for this with a thick, round shape that, like the pencil brush, is angle-sensitive and allows for tons of stroke variety. I constantly adjust mix/flow settings as I paint, depending on how much of my selected color I want to be putting down to mix with the canvas. I think this is the first time I've used PS for a painting that actually FEELS like painting. Blending is a breeze, since the strokes blend as I'm putting them down with the pre-existing colors, so I no longer need to put down a stroke with low opacity, use alt to pick an "in-between" and then try and blend those, all the while ruining my brush strokes! I much prefer to be in control of my strokes and this allows for that.


After the underpainting comes the oil layer, which I use to model forms. Same process as the underpainting, using the same brush. You can see some of the color mixing on the side as well. Again, this feels very intuitive and exactly as I would mix real paints.

For the final part I create a layer above my canvas texture and start to sharpen up edges, create more contrast and punch up darkest/lightest areas. What's kinda cool is that since the layers underneath aren't as sharp because they're underneath the canvas texture layer, it really creates a nice play on soft/hard edges as well as darker and lighter areas. I didn't expect that to happen when I was painting, but I'm glad I found out how useful that could be.

I've also tried to come up with a good conte pencil for figure drawings.

Let me know what you guys think!


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im sure ive said already but that pencil is awesome its so lifelike!

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Thanks, Yolo.

Study and random thumbs.


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You are absolutely killing it Mr. -!

Wonderful pencils and those oils are amazing as well
Just wow!

Edit: holy wtfballs O: that mixer brush post is excellent! Wonderfully explained, can't believe I skimmed over it! *facedesk*

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the Halloween piece turned out great. the tinkering with photoshop in an effort to echo a look of a traditional oil painting really shows how curiosity can have its rewards. good job :)
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Man, I am mesmerised. One month away, and sooo much cool stuff going on here! Really digging this PS exploration you're doing. Keep at it!

I think I'll have a second look at those mixer brushes too... It's funny I never really gave them a chance, as I thought they'd never get a realistic result. Hereby I pronounce myself wrong. :)

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I like the bottom left thumb alot.It has some interesting atmosphere,I think you can kick alotta ass with it.

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Like everyone else, those brushes look cool. Loving the oils. This is something I'm trying to experiment with a bit more with my own brushes, the more trad feel the better imo. Oh and your sh!t is getting better for real!

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Thanks a lot, guys!

A few concept sketches based off one of the previous thumbs. The more I played around, the more it turned into a sci-fi cowboy fighting off space worms. *shrug*


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This is awesome, just all of it. Those worms look really cool. And the brushes are really working for you. Fantastic stuff.

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Wow. The study of eye looks sweet :)
I have never tried out painting in oil colors :/

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Thanks for the comments in my SB and for showing me Sam Nielsen's blog.
Your SB is amazing btw, love the painterly works.

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Thanks for the insight in your traditional-o-digital process! Reminded me that there's nothing wrong with a digital underpainting, plus you don't need rotten eggs to pull it off.
So I really dig that ear, beautifully harmonious color temperatures there.

Excited for your sci-fi wormboy! You can't go wrong with that concept! :D

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Gotta agree with the other daggers man, the oil stuff looks really awesome. The sketches and thumbs look promising too, I look forward to seeing what you do with them.

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Hey, thanks a lot, everyone.


Here's a WIP and process shots for the illustration I'm working on now. Started with a line drawing, moved onto values then under painting, glazed color and started to paint on top. A lot of work still to do on it, but I promise to go through and finish this one ;).


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Just about finished up with the worms and background, going to work on the cowboy tonight when I get up.


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Dude, awesome job on the worm piece! That's a really powerful composition and lighting scheme, I like it a lot. As a little crit and just personal preference, I think having the edges of the worm hanging out of frame would have helped the grand scale of his size a bit. But brilliant job on it, can't wait to see it finished with the figure. And I seriously thought those were real oil paints 0_0 just fantastic.

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