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jinn
10-15-2002, 08:38 PM
I'm doing this for a close friend/client as well, so I figured I may as well stick it on here. If she learns from it, then I've done my job. if someone else does too, it's gravy. :)

So, I'm taking this image, thanks to Ivy, http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=4461 and digitally painting it.

My tools: Photoshop, Wacom Intuous 9x12, associated pen, good music to work by.

I'll be cropping all the images down to just the flower head for now, because the leaves and background wont be painted in until later and require way more work. I probably wont put that part on here. :)

My start:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2002/wip-peony1.jpg

jinn
10-15-2002, 08:40 PM
I almost always start with the center of the subject, or the focal point on the subject. In this case, that'd be the yellow center of the peony. Since it looks like there's a brown backing to all the yellow tendrils, I fill that in, and add a few yellow strokes for direction and guide.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2002/wip-peony2.jpg

jinn
10-15-2002, 08:43 PM
Since the center is my anchor and guide, I go ahead and get all the yellows out of my system, including the dotting on the petals.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2002/wip-peony3.jpg

jinn
10-15-2002, 08:44 PM
Now, underneath where I was working with the center, I add a base color layer covering the shape of the flower. Usually I scribble the darkest value on here as well, to make sure I never get too dark with my pallette.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2002/wip-peony4.jpg

jinn
10-15-2002, 08:46 PM
Next, I delineate the individual petals. For this one, I mostly copied directly from the lines in the photo. I add in blocks of color, and use the smudging tool to "shake" the colors together so that they blend well. I don't worry about perfect blending at this stage, as there are several stages to go. :P

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2002/wip-peony5.jpg

jinn
10-15-2002, 11:02 PM
Okay, now that Buffy and Smallville have been watched, i can post the final two images for today. :)

After laying down blocks of color, it looks like this.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2002/wip-peony6.jpg

This would be kind of cool for the illustration look, but I'm not going for that this time. You can see in the next image what the smudge tool does for the effects I'm trying for.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2002/wip-peony7.jpg


This is as far as I've gotten on this for right now. I'll probably have more in a day or two, and I welcome input, suggestions, etc.

CykoVisuals
10-16-2002, 04:46 AM
Wow, that is pretty cool! Great idea too! Good work so far. :clap:

crazy_cat
10-16-2002, 05:52 AM
Thanks so much for sharing this! Wow I will have to give this a go myself. Thanks again for your time on this for us!:clap: :clap: :cat:

plumpfairy
10-17-2002, 08:58 AM
:D Pretty flower Jinn!
Nice photo-manip!
jana:D ;)

jsr88
10-17-2002, 10:03 AM
Jinn...it's looking very nice.
How many layers are you working with...is the center of the flower on a layer above the petals?

I'm not sure that "photo manipulation" would be the right terminology to put on this type of digital painting. Don't get me wrong here...I'm not debating the issue, just thinking "in type." :D And it *is* a subject that I've wondered about for some time.

Bear with me while I try to figure this out in my own head. Basically, wouldn't using a photo as a "pattern" or an underpainting, be similar to what artists do with physical media when they transfer an outline of their prepared layout drawing to a canvas or board? And going even farther into the physical media procedure...some artists do a value rendering (grayscale or sepia) on their canvas before they apply the top layer of colors.

I really have to wonder whether working with rather than from a reference photo truly constitutes "photo manipulation?"

As I write this, I'm leaning towards...No, it's an actual digital painting, based, no matter how loosely or closely, on a photograph.

Hope y'all don't mind me thinking "out loud" but I've faced the dilemma before and wanted to see what I *really* thought on the subject. :D (I'm done now...:) )

Keep working Jinn! Don't let me interrupt you. ;)

jinn
10-17-2002, 02:22 PM
Layers.. Hmm. I think there are about ten at this point.

1) the center of the flower, with the yellow and red
2) the center backing, brown with some yellow for direction
3) the backing of the petals, the purple with the red scribble
4) the petals themselves
5, 6, 7) three copies of the photo, in case I accidentaly scribble or paint on one of them.
8) a white background
9) a black background (for contrasting value and finding stray spots of "paint"
10) a color value chart so that I don't loose track of what colors I'm using

As for method.. I never actually deliberately manipulate the photo itself. I'd consider this a painting, myself. However, mostly in the way of projecting a photo onto the canvas to match the outlines and colors. Much of the painting is done with the photo in the background so I can match where I'm painting with where I want it to be. The parts of the photo I don't want to come through in the painting.. Well, I just don't paint those in.

Now, if I were doing this with only part of the photo to do my own thing, i would probably not use the photo in th ebackground, choosing instead to shrink it and set it in a layer on top of what I'm working on so I can always see it for reference. Sometimes I just print it, or stick it in an image viewer that's set "always on top" like winamp.

I think all this is a matter of personal style and taste. But. In conclusion...

There is no actual manipulation of the photo here. The only thing I use it for is outlines and to match colors up to. The rest is imagination and matching.

I didn't get any work done on it yesterday, but hopefully some more today or tomorrow. I'll post as soon as I get somewhere.

Thanks for spending the time to comment. :) I love conversation. :cat:

crazy_cat
10-17-2002, 02:45 PM
I think this is great! You are doing a wonderful job with this. I know I appreciate your posting of the steps involved. Thanks again!:clap: :cat:

plumpfairy
10-18-2002, 11:36 AM
:eek: Whoopsies! I sure stepped in it, didn't I?:( ;)
I may have mis-spoke.....I reckon I haven't quite got the "photo-manip" definition down (or any terminology when it comes to Digital images relating to art terminology). Hmmmm.
Sorry Jinn, I certainly didn't mean it in a degrading way.;)

Thanks Julie for pointing that out.
jana:D ;)

jinn
10-18-2002, 11:48 AM
Erm, plumpfairy, I dind't think you were being degrading. You honestly didn't know all the details to how I'm working, so the most obvious form would be the first assumed. :)

plumpfairy
10-18-2002, 12:02 PM
Thanks Jinn.....K:cool: :cool: l!
jana:angel:

jsr88
10-18-2002, 04:19 PM
Oh no...Jana...I certainly didn't mean to make it sound like I was scolding you, not in the least. It's been something that I'm faced with no matter whether I'm here or over in the Photo forum. There's a really "gray area" when it comes to using photos as the basis for art work...*especially* when doing digital painting. But on the other hand...if you mess with a photo "too much" then the project becomes "digital art" rather than photography.

Actually what I was doing in my post was "typing" out loud. All you did, Jana, was to give me the opportunity to get a grip on how *I* see the process and whether or not *I* could put *my* thoughts into a coherent discussion that my own mind could understand.

NOW...if you can understand what I just said, could you please interpret it for me. :D

Jinn...thanks for the info on the layers. That's exactly what I wanted to know.

plumpfairy
10-19-2002, 01:27 PM
:D Thanks Julie!
Communication is indeed an art. I try to be thoughtful when I comment (mixed with a little humor;) ) , but sometimes I make mistakes. Those little "smileys" sure are helpful sometimes.

I know what you mean about the "gray area" when it comes to digital art. I'm still not clear on it.
jana:D ;)

jsr88
10-19-2002, 02:08 PM
Jana...
:D ~ You ROCK!! ~ :D

CykoVisuals
10-19-2002, 03:15 PM
As for method.. I never actually deliberately manipulate the photo itself. I'd consider this a painting, myself. However, mostly in the way of projecting a photo onto the canvas to match the outlines and colors. Much of the painting is done with the photo in the background so I can match where I'm painting with where I want it to be. The parts of the photo I don't want to come through in the painting.. Well, I just don't paint those in.

Yes, it as if in real life you had the photo with a transparency over it and were painting on that. :)

crazy_cat
10-21-2002, 03:31 PM
Hey Jinn how is this one coming? I think this is really great. :cat:

jinn
10-21-2002, 06:05 PM
Actually, it's about as done as it's goign to get for a while.

Since I've pretty much detailed all my method here so far, the only thing that leaves me to tell you guys is that as it goes on, I "firm up" the lines of the fuzzy areas with some sharper brushes.

Here are the pictures of the rest of the work:

Full Image (way shrunken)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Oct-2002/peony-500.jpg

Top Bud Upclose
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Oct-2002/peony-bud-upclose.jpg

Bottom Bud Upclose
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Oct-2002/peony-bud2-upclose.jpg

Right Half of Flower, Upclose
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Oct-2002/peony-flower-upclose.jpg

For a lot of the lesser detailed areas (specifically the top bud) I overlaid my painting with a more traditional method of painting, going over it with some varingly transparent brushes.

After it was all done, i erased some of the fuzziness with a sharp brush, and .. .voila!

Here's a link to a larger image (1000x750 and 3000x2250)
http://blankpixel.com/images/creations/digital/paintings/peony

Ow. Handcramp. :P

plumpfairy
10-21-2002, 06:47 PM
:D :clap: :clap: :clap: :D
BRAVO! Jinn!
It's beautiful!
jana:D :clap: ;)

jsr88
10-21-2002, 06:58 PM
Jinn...I think it turned out GREAT!!! You did an excellant job...and I really appreciate the time you took to do the step-by-steps. The closeups show us a lot of the detail in the painting.

:clap: ~ THANKS for SHARING the experience!! ~ :clap:

crazy_cat
10-21-2002, 07:22 PM
Wonderful job! Jinn the 1.4mb file you have...is this the size you paint in? I have had more then one digital artist smack my hand for creating such large pics then downsizing. But if you start small you can't go up without the jags. What ppi did you use? I generally use 300 and my files are 1200x1200 or larger or 2-6mb per file depending on the layers I have. I always purge several times a day so that keeps the file size down some. Thanks for any info you can give me. :cat:

jinn
10-21-2002, 08:14 PM
Thanks y'all. :-)

Wonderful job! Jinn the 1.4mb file you have...is this the size you paint in? I have had more then one digital artist smack my hand for creating such large pics then downsizing. But if you start small you can't go up without the jags. What ppi did you use? I generally use 300 and my files are 1200x1200 or larger or 2-6mb per file depending on the layers I have. I always purge several times a day so that keeps the file size down some. Thanks for any info you can give me.

Usually I work with the maximum my resolution can handle without scrolling the desktop off the screen. (This computer's max is 1400x1050 without scrolling but will do 2048x1536 if I'm willing to put up with the scrolling. I'm not, usually.) Sometimes I work larger, depending on what I'm working on. I ALWAYS use at least 300 dpi, and scale it down to 72 or 96 for webification. Printers print really badly at 72 dpi and for photo quality you need at *least* 300 dpi. This image...

Well, it was a doozey.

Resolution: 3000x2250
DPI: 300
Layers: 32 while painting, nine for the painted work after I completed painting, plus three for the copies of the photo I had in the back, and two for my signature.
PhotoShop Document File Size: 77,463,552 bytes -- 78 megs.

Which meant that saving it took about a minute and a half for Photoshop to deal with it, parse it, and write it to disk.

I have had more then one digital artist smack my hand for creating such large pics then downsizing.

You know what? I have too. But you konw what else? I don't care. :-P Seriously. The way I work is what works best for me. I don't like to downsize because it cuts out so much detail. Which, btw, is why I work at full screen resolution. If I'm working so much larger (i.e. like for this one) I'm INTENDING it to be cut down, the detail is a bit less on a larger image, but that's the whole reason i'm working so big in the first place.

It's really just a matter of what you're intending it for, where it'll be used, etc. I don't really have a rule of thumb or anything for it, it's just a matter of what I'll be using it for that time. The best bit of formal training in digital art I ever recieved was "It doens't matter how you do it, as long as the end result is what you wanted to achieve."

Draw on. :)

jinn
10-21-2002, 08:16 PM
The closeups show us a lot of the detail in the painting.

*giggle* Don't tell anyone, but the "closeups" are actually cut out pieces of the full size image. ;-)

crazy_cat
10-21-2002, 09:05 PM
Thanks for the info Jinn. I usually keep my screen at 1200x1024-1600x1200. I always create large so there is room to go as small as I need to without losing any detail. Try to crank a 72dpi 300x300 to 1200x120 300dps and see how bad it is...oh man! Yeah I have my style and I always do my thing regardless of the hand smacking. Thanks again for all the info you provided here for us!:clap: :clap: :cat: