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JTGMTZ
01-05-2006, 02:35 AM
By hubby and the kids know how much I love to paint and how much I love computers, so they gave me Paintshop Pro 8 for my birthday last week. I have used photo editting software before for improving photos and experimenting with composition, but I have never used anything like this to actually make a painting with. Today I gave it a try. Here is my first digital portrait WIP so far. I used the 30 minute challenge reference that is in another thread in this channel, but desaturated it to black and white to give myself an easier project while I am getting to know the software and tools.

Here is the start. My paper-based style is to build a portrait up by layering glazes, so I added a white layer for the face and a dark gray layer for the hair as a base and began using pure white and pure black layers using the opacity control to glaze them in.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2006/14337-WIP_1.jpg

A little further in on the portrait:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2006/14337-WIP_5.jpg

Further yet. It was about this point that I discovered the softening brush. That was a big help:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2006/14337-WIP_10.jpg

Current status of the portrait:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2006/14337-WIP_15.jpg

I am just beginning to focus on the hair right now. The strands that I am putting in seem very digitized to me. How can I lay in thin strandes that look smooth? I am using a mouse by the way. Maybe I will get a tablet next year for my b'day. LOL.

Smokin
01-05-2006, 04:25 AM
WOW!!!! Amazing first digi portrait!!! You must have a VERY strong tradition backgroud to be producing this. Just incredible, I think you're going to fall in love with digi painting :D.

Smokin
01-05-2006, 04:33 AM
hmmmm, yeah, get a tablet sooner VS later :D. I would use vectors to creat strands of hair if I was forced to use a mouse. I would use a soft edge brush, stroke the vector (in PS you would right click on the vector path) and set it to fade, that where it follos that path you lay out and starts thick then tapers off to thin.

Vector paths are created by that pen looking tool in most digi painting programs.

LadyAlba
01-05-2006, 05:48 AM
WOW...Outstanding for a first! :clap: :clap: I agree with Smokin about getting the tablet sooner rather than later ;o) (if at all possible) especially if you are going to be painting alot on the computer (to save the strain on your wrist)

Welcome to the Digital Art Forum! :wave:

barryt
01-05-2006, 05:53 AM
Tammy that's excellent, and I love the close crop composition.
Welcome.

justjean
01-05-2006, 07:59 AM
Beautiful drawing:clap: and really enjoyed browsing your site:D

JTGMTZ
01-05-2006, 10:00 AM
Thanks everyone for the warm welcome.

In just one day of playiing around, I have already fallen in love with painting using the digital medium. In pencil and watercolor, my two paper-based mediums, you pretty much are forced to work linearly from light to dark. It has been wonderful to have the freedom to go either way. The earring in pencil and watercolor would have required very careful and tediuos work to go light to dark. With digital it was a snap to just speckle in opacity controlled white and black 'dots' to get the effect.

One thing that I have learned this morning is to be sure to hit save specifically for the workspace when you are done at the end of the day. I was saving WIPs periodically in jpeg format and assumed when I closed the program last night that it was prompting me to save not only the WIP to jpeg but also the workspace to a Paintshop Pro format. Alas no, when I opened up the workspace this morning the images where from very early on in the portrait when I set up the workspace. I just pulled in my most recent wip, but due to the jpeg format it didn't have the clarity of the psp format. There were some digital artifacts to get rid of. Ahhh, don't you just love a learning curve. LOL.

Barry - I sure cannot take a bow for the close cropped composition. I just close cropped to make for less total portrait to have to concentrate on while I am learning. Though, I am always kicking myself halfway through paper portraits for not giving enough 'air' to the sitter. I tried one of those huge rolls of watercolor paper once so that I could paint larger than the 22 X 30. It wasn't too bad for watercolor because of wetting and stretching the paper before use; though, that curly stuff sure acts like it is fighting for survival as you try to dunk it in the tub to tame the curl. For pencil though, shesh! I tried taping it to the table only to have it unexpectedly pop loose and give my arms a hug mid portrait. It is very emotional stuff, that rolled watercolor paper. I have a large watercolor board that I am saving for something special, but I just discovered this week that they mount nice 100% archival rag watercolor paper to non archival paperboard backing. Duh, what part of that makes sense. :confused:

I am going to give vectors a try this morning for the hair. I had forgotten about vectors. I have used that tool when cropping away a background. I have never tried the fade option with it - didn't know it existed. That sounds like just the ticket. Thanks Smokin.

I have to admit to feeling an intense desire to try a tablet. I think that the kids had this as an alterior motive in getting me the Paintshop Pro 8. They have been asking for a tablet for some time now. They use PP8 regularly for game moding, textures for their 3-D models, and website buttons and banners. I bet if I ask their opinion on what type of tablet we need, they will be ready with the research and have priced vendors. :p

justjean - Thanks for taking the interest to see if I had a website listed. I bet you expected an art specific webpage instead of a blog. As you could tell, art is just a small part of my life. Homeschooling my 4 kiddos and being wife to my dear hubby takes that number one slot in my life. I love blogs! It gives you a place on the net to be a whole person. You know? At Wet Canvas I talk about art, on my homeschool forum communities I talk about homeschool, on celiac sites I post about life with two celiac family members, in e-mails I can update family and friends on life in the Moore household, etc. But on a blog, I can have one place to do it all and be multi-facetted and whole. You really get to know people well when they blog.

justjean
01-05-2006, 10:42 AM
LOL, no I have learned not to expect :wave: and this time I was pleasantly suprised :)

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome.

justjean - Thanks for taking the interest to see if I had a website listed. I bet you expected an art specific webpage instead of a blog. As you could tell, art is just a small part of my life. Homeschooling my 4 kiddos and being wife to my dear hubby takes that number one slot in my life. I love blogs! It gives you a place on the net to be a whole person. You know? At Wet Canvas I talk about art, on my homeschool forum communities I talk about homeschool, on celiac sites I post about life with two celiac family members, in e-mails I can update family and friends on life in the Moore household, etc. But on a blog, I can have one place to do it all and be multi-facetted and whole. You really get to know people well when they blog.

jhercilia
01-05-2006, 02:37 PM
You are going in the right track. And you would surely benefit form a tablet.

Skinny
01-05-2006, 08:54 PM
WELCOME Tammy! :wave: Digital is such fun...in part because there's NO clean up, lol. Get that tablet as soon as possible. I think you'll also teach us lots. Many of us don't come from a traditional background and benefit from seeing how "real" painters work.

omniartz
01-06-2006, 04:42 PM
I admire anyone who can make this nice of work using just a mouse! I have used tablets for so long I just am not mouse enabled anymore!! LOL! Very nice work and great how you shared the process. :clap:

JTGMTZ
01-06-2006, 05:13 PM
Besides playing around with Paintshop Pro 8, I also wanted to try my hand at the animation program that comes with it. I saved 16 WIPs of the portrait as it progressed and turned them into an animated gif. I posted it in the portraiture channel. If you are curious to see more of the steps I took or want to see what the animation program can do, here is a link to it:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=317347

addphan
01-07-2006, 09:30 PM
this is great...and thanks for the progress pictures, too!