View Full Version : opacity is bodging my paintings!

05 May 2005, 05:18 AM
How do I explain this...

I'm trying to paint someone's face realistically, following Don S's Digital Character Design book. So say Im working on his cheek in an opacity of 30%. I then let go of my mouse, but I see I have missed a bit, so I go back and start to paint it in, however, now whenever I go over the bits I had already painted, its 30% darker again!!

Does that make sense?!

Its so frustrating, how does one get around this?

05 May 2005, 07:42 AM
Work with your brush at 100% and your layer at 30%?

05 May 2005, 08:46 AM
Is your revisiting image painting 30% work on the same level as your original 30% painting in work? Try putting your revisiting painting effort into a new layer, then turn down, or up, the opacity, so the hole you need filled is gone. Then merge those two layers.

05 May 2005, 02:08 PM

I attached a picture to try and demonstrate.

I first draw one "blob", and then if my pen comes of the wacom and I draw another "blob", if I go over the first, it is 30% darker - this happens still with the suggested methods, only if I up the opacity its not so obvious (but still happens).

Do people normally just smudge these lines?

05 May 2005, 02:16 PM
what i'd do is always work at 100% layer opacity, 100% brush opacity, but colourpick from the canvas quite often.

in your example, you're painting with a darker red colour at low opacity, hence you get the overlapping effect. Instead, pick the lighter red colour and work with that.

05 May 2005, 05:32 PM
Along the lines of Plaf, blocking at 100% is good.
Fill in the gaps, then use lower opacities.

And along the other lines, using Alt to sample like he said is also good.

05 May 2005, 09:07 AM
I agree with the above. You could also try crosshatching with a tiny brush. It works for me.

06 June 2005, 05:33 PM
I can see where that would be frustrating. Try experimenting along these lines:

Painting with Photoshop (

For me, it's all about pen-pressure-based opacity (like in the link above), but for patient people who like to work with fixed opacities, a verrry low value, and gradual buildup, can be another approach.

06 June 2005, 10:34 PM
You could also try to mask out the areas you don't want to get affected until it blends good with one another.

06 June 2005, 01:05 PM
Well, in places where I only need to darken or lighten things up a bit I prefer to use burn and dodge tools instead of low opacity brushes. They sure will ruin the base color, so I normally leave the coloring to when I'm done with the picture.

06 June 2005, 03:26 PM
i may be the only one with the book you are talking about so that might be why every one is giving you different info than you are searching for.....
i would just lower opacity and go from there... you may need to blend tho

06 June 2005, 02:47 PM
I used to have that exact problem...then I started doing what BazC suggested and painted on a new layer with my brush set to 100% and layer to 30% instead...but now I tend to just lay down the base colours then work with my brushes on overlay and multiply instead of normal (assuming you're using normal by the example) and switch to lighter colours in areas if it's making the bit underneath too dark.

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06 June 2005, 02:47 PM
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