View Full Version : Speed painting technique/approach; how is it done?

03 March 2011, 08:51 PM
Hi guys (sorry for the long post)

I came across various (speed) paintings which share a similar technique with each others despite being done by different artists.

Ive been drawing digital for quite a while but i've never been able to get similar results; and i'm not talking about anatomy or anything; but more as photoshop technique (the below examples where
done in photoshop)

Upon examing the drawings, it looks like the focus part is well rendered with high opacity, whilst the remainining secondary details are done with lighter opacity as brush strokes seems to be visible underneath one another. Obviously loads of textures and/or texutred brushes where used to mimic the 'dirt/dust/stains' and what not. however I can not seem to make the paint blend in photoshop
and color picking the inbetween shades with every single click isnt quite working
In art school we did very similar techniques manually, mainliy a palette knife and oils...
but i cant seem to get it right with photoshop

my concern is mainly the approach towards the technique to build such shades like these.

Anyways, in few words what do you think its the best way
to approach in painting with similar technique? anywhere were I can find some help about it? I really like the painterly looks

(PS - I'm finding it almost impossible to think that every shade of same tone
was singularely picked up manually... I do have a pressure sensitive tablet,
and did enable the shape/other dynamics etc in photoshop - yet i cant seem to blend, at least like these :( am I missing something?)

examples :
link 1 (
link 2 (
link 3 (
by Alexander Ovchinnikov

copy & paste by relax

i have wacom & cs2

04 April 2011, 07:47 AM
You should post examples of your failed attempts so we can see what you're doing exactly.

On a related note, speedpainting is very misunderstood in the CG community (the term itself is very often misused), and most don't realize that speed and expressiveness are not always related. Brush economy, expressiveness, and speed are too often confused when they in fact are separate elements. Just because something looks expressive and painterly does not mean it was done quickly, and just because something looks like it was painted quickly does not mean it's efficiently expressive. In my workshop, I spend an entire week on this subject, where we explore line quality, brushwork, traditional vs. digital approaches, and deconstruct the brushwork of many artists in full detail, analyzing how and why they painted the way they did, and the pros and cons of each approach. The May workshop is now open for enrollment if you are interested (linked in my signature).

04 April 2011, 03:55 PM
many thanks Lunatique ( for your reply; sorry for my late reply but i dont use internet very often.

As for my own example, here are a couple of links trying to give such feel to the painting (which in my opinion i did not)

I dont quite see them as expressionistic (or impressionism style) as I wish too; they're still kinda too polished in a way... I wish them a little more 'raw' if u can say that or draft, yet i see theres quite a lot of blending going on in those samples I previosuly posted

I'll give your signature a look right away

04 April 2011, 03:41 PM
The problem isn't drawing/painting technique, as that's the easiest thing for any artist to learn. Most people learn all the technique they'd ever need to do an level of work in the first 6 months of being a serious art student. After all, it's just shoulder, elbow, and wrist movements of varying pressure--it's not like you're learning to play a musical instrument like guitar or cello.

What you are missing is observational and analytical skills, compounded by the fact you haven't mastered the essential foundations of visual art with any competence. An experienced artist can look at the examples and tell you that because they have those missing skills/knowledge you don't have.

For example, because you do not have the same level of understanding of values and lighting, you don't know how to divide your values into separate planes that can be depicted with precision and economy, while conveying exactly what you need. Look at the examples you posted from artists you admire--look at how many areas that are painted with totally flat values. They do it because it's very effective in convey form that is distinct and dimensional, and it's also punchier and pops out more.

There are other aspects as well, but me spelling it all out for you is not going to help you that much, because it's just like that saying "Give a man a fish and he eats only one meal, but teach a man how to catch fish and he'll never go hungry again." (I'm paraphrasing here, but you know what I mean). I think it's far more important to teach you how to analyze and deconstruct visual art, as well as apply the critical foundational theories to your analyzations. Only then would you be able to truly understand exactly what it is you're looking at and how to properly learn from those references and incorporate them into your own work.

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04 April 2011, 03:41 PM
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