©2011 Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio
This past week and weekend, I decide it was time to open up Painter and learn the software. I've had it for a few years but never really dove head first into it until now. After reading through a couple of books, I realized I still needed some help in finding things and how all of the components work together. I've heard good thing about lynda.com so I signed up for a month long membership. In 3 days, I knew more about how to use the software than a year of reading through books and articles. If you are looking to jumpstart any software knowledge, I highly recommend starting with them. I may use the rest of my time to try to learn some Blender (3D) basics which I could never get an idea on how it works.
I am showing you what I did in case anyone has a better idea or way of using Painter. I am open to all suggestions.
After a few days of learning some basics, I did this quick sketch as a starting point. No rhyme nor reason for it, just something simple to do.
After adjusting the layers so that the white background of the sketch disappears, I began blocking in colors. Since I liked painting with gouache back in the day, I used the brush setting for it plus the gradients tool. That took some getting use to but I figured out how it works.
I blocked in some basic colors on the gator and then added textures to the background. For that effect, I used the sponge brush on separate layer and then ten adjusted the transparency so the blue showed through. Each part of the illustration was built in a separate layer.
Again, more details are added while using the sketch as a guide. I really like how authentic Painter feels while painting. Much better than Photoshop in my opinion but I do not use Photoshop enough to be an authority on it. The funny thing is, I did teach a class on it many years ago. I think I learned more from the students than they did from me.
Highlights and floor details are now added. I then exported the Painter file (riff) to a Phoshop file (psd) and imported the illustration into Photoshop. I tweaked the overall colors just a tad and added the spotlight effect.
Overall, I am really happy with it. It has a traditional/hand drawn look to it which I have been trying to get in Illustrator. Some have told me the final as a cool retro look and others have said it is more kid friendly. I am not abandoning Illustrator at all, I just want to add another look to my portfolio that may capture the attention of art directors. For the past 18 plus years, I have studied and learned little tricks in Illustrator, which I still love. Maybe I will join the two somehow down the road. I guess you can teach an old dog a new trick.
"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." ~ Georgia O'Keeffe