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Making Of 'Hayley'

By Dan Crossland
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Date Added: 1st June 2012
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Once I am happy with the value composition I try to hit what will be the darkest dark and the lightest light. By nailing these now I can move through the painting, refining the early shapes with more accurate shadows and also start to paint a flat half-tone value, sort of like map contours. I'm not interested in turning form yet; I just want to get the image as close and strong as I can. This will secure its success when it comes to form painting. I try to match what I am seeing; this means I need six tones to make the different values I can see (Fig.03 - 04).


I continue to refine the image, correcting and shaping the image to be more accurate and adding smaller details, decreasing my brush size as I go. Painting details but keeping the bigger picture in mind keeps the painting fresh and avoids that laboured, unrealistic look. The main mistakes I see in both real and digital paintings, including my own, is getting eaten up too early with trying to render form and then panicking and making brush marks that don't help, consequently making the painting muddy and laboured. You have to be a little bit fearless and trust that the shapes you are making at an abstract level will come true in the end and look convincing. It's a risk, but you have to take risks to improve your art (Fig.05).


Turning Form

In my paintings and at this stage I sample areas of the painting and use a lower pressure stroke to turn the form and give it depth. I also like to keep the strokes of the half-tones somewhat crisp on the edges. I don't want to lose all the vitality of the groundwork I worked so hard to get in place, so this stage is done carefully and only where I think relevant. Of course you could go on and on rendering the form but in this case the study was completed. I felt it had life and a breadth of vision without making a flawless turn of form and blending all the strokes. If I went down that path the whole painting would have had to be done that way, and for me this was about learning to see a shape at an abstract level (Fig.06).


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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
(ID: 249138, pid: 0) Arnold on Tue, 04 February 2014 10:33am
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(ID: 191069, pid: 0) Corliss Eden on Sun, 07 April 2013 2:50pm
Thank you so much for this very inspiring tutorial. Although I will never lose my love for the feel of brush on canvas, it is great to know that traditional painting can be created digitally. Excellent demonstration.
(ID: 151584, pid: 0) Carla on Sat, 22 September 2012 9:20pm
thanks for sharing, i will try it!! just one question: how is the technique with traditional painting? you can paint values and the you can add the color just like you explain in this digital tuto??
(ID: 131044, pid: 0) Juan Francisco on Sat, 07 July 2012 6:21am
Nice work. Your method like oil painting process has helped me to understand a lot... Congratulations and thanks !!!
(ID: 122425, pid: 0) Rene on Mon, 04 June 2012 8:55am
Thanks a million for your tutorial, especially the part where you tell how you go about values has been very helpful to me.
(ID: 122023, pid: 0) Thanasis on Sat, 02 June 2012 10:05am
How right you are Dan! Thank you for vision and explanation of your method. It's very easy to get overwhelmed by the technical side of digital drawing. Real hand-drawn art with real materials should be at every artist's arsenal and experience.
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