Keep up-to-date with Free tutorials!!


Sign up to our twice-monthly newsletter today for the latest tutorials, interviews and product information.

Sign me up to receive third-party emails from 3dtotal's partners, too!

- Latest news
- Exclusive Shop Offers
- Preview early content
- Plus much more


Not Ready to take that step? OK, Why not just Subscribe to the RSS Feed

submit tutorial
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Making Of 'Hayley'

By Dan Crossland
| Your Rating:
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star half
(13 Votes)
| Comments 6
Date Added: 1st June 2012
Software used:
To start I'd like to share with you how this painting was created. I come from a traditional painting background and have found that in digital painting it is not about how many brushes you can throw at an image. You would be surprised what you can get from only one brush. In this tutorial I use only two brushes. My subject is my partner Hayley. I have painted her many times and will probably paint her many more times in the future. She has interesting features and strong eyes which I am always drawn to. Plus living and working with someone day to day gives you a strong sense of their persona which helps you to find interesting compositions.

The light setup was very simple. It's a dark studio room with one strong light source casting a large shadow. I wanted a painting with a little mystery so this lighting gave it mood. I took the painting to 70% completion from life then finished it later at my leisure. I assessed the painting on day two to see if it was successful before I finished it. Looking at it on day two with fresh eyes clears my vision and helps me take it over the edge. In the last stage I added a final color pass, running paint marks, texture and a signature.

Value Composition

Tools used: Brush 30 round

This is my good all-rounder brush. The diagram shows how, by setting the pen pressure to use the graphics tablet pressure sensors, you can create subtle brush strokes (Fig.01a). A good variety of marks can be produced just by changing the angle and the brush shape into an ellipse. This way you can make the equivalent of a flat, round, or filbert. This one brush and a variation of pressures is all I use for the main painting (Fig.01b).


In general, experimenting with value composition early on in the painting will help to make the image strong and interesting to look at. By limiting the values to just a few I can create a powerful composition to build the painting on. I do this in black and white because I don't want the added complexity of color just yet. Just as the masters made a monochrome, what they called "dead under layer", we do the same and overlay color later. Try squinting at your model. You are trying to produce a sort of blurry photo effect on what you are seeing from the life model. Try to just block in the basic value along with the basic shapes of that value and keep brush sizes large. This will force you to only make the necessary marks for the block in. Do a few different angles and just try doing some still life block-ins for study. It will help make you a better painter and get you ahead in a painting a lot faster. This is why, when I paint, I never make a line drawing of the contours; I prefer to feel for the abstract shapes. It not only eliminates the white of the canvas, but also gives me a really strong sense of how the finished painting will look. As Ingres said "The beginning in essence contains its end" (Fig.02)


next page >
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Related Tutorials


Gallery Image.

Keywords: Maya, ZBrush, Modeling, Character

Go to tutorial
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full (10)
Comments 1 Views 8928


Gallery Image.

Keywords: character, creature, zbrush, armored,

Go to galleries 1
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full
Comments 0 Views 4783


Gallery Image.

Keywords: Making of, Cyborg, Character, Female, Soldier, ZBrush, Photoshop

Go to galleries 1
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star none
Comments 0 Views 15817


Gallery Image.

Keywords: character, creature, wasp, woman, scene,

Go to galleries 1
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star half
Comments 0 Views 51027
Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
(ID: 249138, pid: 0) Arnold on Tue, 04 February 2014 10:33am
id: tolong bagaimana cara download..,? en: please how to download?
(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.
Add Your Comment