View Full Version : Environment: Sci-Fi

05 May 2009, 01:32 PM
Hey guys this is my first post on this site, I have been a lurker for a while now and have finally decided to post some stuff. I'm a 3d student studying in Auckland, New Zealand and am teaching myself how to paint.

This is pretty much my first painting using photoshop so critiques, comments etc are all welcome and appreciated. I wouldn't call this image complete as I got frustrated and gave up lol.

The most trouble I've been having is painting in detail when its not on the drawing. Also, painting colour after I paint value is giving me a lot of trouble and lastly I feel that I need to have more clarity in the image..


05 May 2009, 09:57 PM
Heyo fellow Aucklander! :thumbsup:

Your concept's looking cool. I'd definately keep working on it - the values are coming along nicely, and you've got a nice composition with the view of the exterior city there at the rear.

As far as the painting goes, it will help to figure out your color palette, which if you feel a bit stuck, check out paintings you like, a movie shot you like etc and study the palette used. For example (and this is just a random one!) if you like Alien then you might want to go for a muted palette with say mostly blues and greens...not quite that simple but maybe a helpful way to start.

Don't be gloomy if it doesn't look right straight away, it probably wont - I think painting is like sculpting on paper with color, and it takes working.
The best way to learn anything is experiment. If you've a mind to, I'd definately get some cheap paints/brushes/paper (Whitcoulls?!) and just make a mess! And study paintings and art/concept art you like - I totally recommend traditional art techniques as a way to get to grips with color, but that's just me - I find the tactile act of painting helps me directly understand what I'm trying to do.

My personal experience is that I struggled learning to paint digitally until I returned to painting traditionally. So now I do a bit of both each week and they help each other. As I say though, that's just me! Purely digital artists may have a different but just as valid viewpoint - IMO however you get to your finished piece in the longrun, the brush and/or the computer is just a tool to help you achieve your aims.

As far as brushes go, I personally would pick 2 or 3 to start with rather than start trying to use heaps of different ones or it may just add to the muddle hehe!
I'd probably pick the hard round brush to start with for blocking in at the start of the drawing process, and also use a chalky brush too (which is great for 'happy accidents') and just set the brush presets to >Pen Pressure in >Shape Dynamics (I assume you're using a tablet?) and >Opacity Jitter and >Flow Jitter in >Other Dynamics to Pen Pressure, and leave the other presets be for now. The hard round can produce a digital look so use it larger for blocking in rather than thinner to avoid 'edges' around things.

IMO an essential skill to learn is the familiarity with how the brush will react, so it's better to build up your color rather than go for hard out color. You can set your Opacity to something like 30-45% initially and see how the color builds up. Don't be afraid to go 'over' edges and have a loose style, you can always tighten up towards the end. Light reflects and bounces about all over the place!

If you get to grips with mark making using texture brushes in photoshop it will help too - but that will just come naturally as you work and get used to the techniques. Making your own brushes is pretty cool to create rougher edges or varying more natural effects etc but there are HEAPS out there and Photoshop comes with a great range you can customise when you get round to it! It's worth playing around with customising a few of Photoshop's own brushes.

Lastly, there are no hard and fast rules - you have to find the technique that suits your way of working so give yourself time!

Your composition looks good. I think it will turn out very strong :thumbsup:

05 May 2009, 10:25 PM
...and another thing...

hang out in the forums here and post your work and you'll get a heaps of advice and help - this is a great place for support and learning!

Head over to the Photoshop thread and check out the Photoshop tutorial links - one of them here has some walk throughs which are v useful.

AND I also thoroughly recommend Gnomon Workshop dvds - I've learnt a lot from the Matte Painting dvds Techniques of Matte Painting by Dylan Cole which gave lot of info about using others over there:


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05 May 2009, 10:25 PM
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