Do you want to be a better artist? Here's how to hone your digital art skills using the best resources available.
There are different tips that digital painters experts give to their juniors. They advise them to always sketch to sharpen their skills, improve on their portrait skills, evolve character drawing, and work on their figure sketches.
This article entails giving you the best tips from digital art experts. Read on to know how and when you can apply them, and the mistakes you should never make as a 2D artist.
Digital painters are not less than magicians. They create art on a computer that seems like magic with the undo command working better than an eraser, the layers that allow them to paint something already painted, and all these options that let them adjust any part of the artwork at any point.
Digital painters spend all their time studying this craft to perfect each technique to the best of their ability. In this journey comes a lot of confusion and pitfalls.
Here are some tips about digital painting to help you on the game creation journey:
1. Use Reference Windows
Digital painting makes using a reference for your work much easier, simply import a photo and let it sit right on the screen next to your canvas. Use of a reference while painting may feel like you are cheating.
It would be unfair and possibly a copyright issue to use a photo you found on the internet and post it as yours, but you shouldn't be afraid of using a reference window.
When you are going for a specific color palette, style uses the “reference” feature on your software as a reference. Do not take a photo and use it as it is; that would count as plagiarism. However, there is nothing wrong with using a reference photo to ensure you get the shapes, looks, and colors you want.
2. Learn More Than One Brush
The drawing and painting program comes with numerous brushes, a catch-all term for the different thicknesses, textures, and options you have for drawing lines. Brushes are made to reflect the real world you are emulating in your painting.
You can create brushes from scratch or download them from third-party developers to get the exact look you want in your art.
Apart from the undo feature, enormous brush libraries might be the most significant advantage of digital painting. Take advantage of all the choices and get familiar with various brushes. Then, you have a feel about the one you like most, and start playing around with customizing them.
Different types of brushes include:
Making the best use of the brush library will help you create more impressive and effective paint.
3. Begin With The End In Mind And Sketch A Plan
It's good to have a picture of what you want to paint before you start and keep it in mind as you work. Sketching an idea at the start will save you time and avoid disappointments. The easiest way to do it is to take a pencil and paper and draw out your composition and subject matter.
This rule will save you from many frustrating times trying to fix mistakes that you would have avoided in the first place.
4. Choose The Right Canvas Size
Working on a canvas that will accommodate your final product is essential. If you want to print your painting on an A3 sheet of fine art paper, you have to make sure that your canvas size is at least the same size or larger.
If you want to publish your painting on social media, use a canvas size of at least 1024x 768.
5. Learn How To Use Layers
Using several layers is a powerful feature that digital painters need to know how to use. They can place different visual elements on their layer and then rearrange the composition to change it or change the large-scale edits on one layer that don't affect the others.
People use layers in their paintings, but few take the time to learn how to get the most out of the feature truly. It's easy to learn and apply. You can watch youtube videos on layering to learn the ropes and keep your layers in mind when working.
They will help you isolate your errors, make them easier to fix and give you greater control over the entire piece.
Digital painting is very tricky, you get proper software, and you are good to start painting. All tools, even the most powerful ones, are in your hand. All colors needed are ready for use without mixing.
If you are converting from traditional painting to Photoshop, it's not hard for you, but if you are a beginner in both arts. Here are several mistakes that you should avoid.
1. Starting With A White Background
You may wonder what's wrong with a white background since it's neutral and looks just like a sheet of paper. The problem is there's no neutral color. It's close to transparent, but it's impossible to paint it.
When two colors occur, a unique relation emerges on its own. For white + color A, this relation is” color A is dark.” regardless of your intention, you start with a dark color only because you used the brightest background possible.
In traditional art, you can use a white background because technically, it's easier to put dark on bright than the other way. But there is no reason for it in digital painting. Also, starting with black is a bad idea as pure white.
This is because the background color changes the way you perceive other colors. On a white background, dark shades will appear overly dark so you will be avoiding them. On a black background, it will work the same with bright hues.
Experts can start their picture with any color and still make the best of it, but unless you feel confident about color theory, always start with something neutral, neither bright nor dark.
2. Using Too Many Colors
Traditional painters don't have too many colors ready to use. They must learn how to create and mix them to get the effect they want. Unlike you, as a digital painter, you have all colors possible within your reach.
We don't understand colors intuitively in our lives, but you have to change your perspective entirely as an artist. You have to stop thinking about colors as you know them and grab the concept of hue, brightness, value, and saturation.
Colors don't exist on their own, they're based on relation. Even saturation changes because of relations, essentials, and color's hue can also change depending on its environment. This knowledge is important for painting.
A newbie who doesn't know this fills their sketch with a whole set of random colors.
3. Changing Tools Too Often
Although you must learn how to use multiple brushes, you should not make the mistake of using all of them at once. Using an airbrush, oil paint, and charcoal for drawing brushes in the same piece makes a sloppy-looking final product.
When you set a new digital paint, think about the texture you would like to have before starting and choose your brushes accordingly. This will give you a cohesive, uniform final product.
Using multiple brushes at once will give you the opposite; unless that is what you want, use the brushes that work well together.
As a digital artist, you have millions of colors, thousands of digital brushes, and endless inspiration to work with. All this brings a lot of confusion and pitfalls. Getting started may seem easy but graduating from a newbie to a master craft is complex and full of mistakes.
The tips discussed here will help you on your journey of mastering game art. We have also discussed some of the numerous mistakes that you should avoid.