Digital Painting in Photoshop – Tools, Techniques, and Tips

another tool we can use to sketch caricatures is painting digital painting as you've seen throughout this course there are lots of methods and tools you can use to sketch your caricatures pencils markers brush pens charcoal are all great to use when doing thumbnails or rough sketches I hope you've been experimenting with all of them along the way because you may find some tools work better than others for you and your artistic sensibilities well there's one tool we haven't yet looked at digital painting previously I've used digital painting programs like Corel and Photoshop to create digital line drawings but I haven't yet shown you how I use these programs to create sketched paintings done with shapes and values rather than with lines even though it's painting with shapes I still consider it a sketch and not a painting because it's done quickly in roughly in monochromatic alee artists throughout history like Rubens and Fragonard were known to have done quick oil painted sketches in preparation for larger paintings but in this lesson we'll be paint sketching for the purpose of creating an original caricature exaggeration and instead of building the thumbnail sketch with lines we'll be using a big brush to block out the shapes the process for this demonstration I'll be painting with a stylus on my Wacom Cintiq 22 HD using Adobe Photoshop 2018 which is my preferred app for most of my painting and illustration work and now some technical details you don't need a fancy custom brush to do good digital paintings here are the qualities that make a good basic digital paint brush the brush shape should be round it has a hard edge and the pen pressure is linked to brush opacity but not brush size you can use any painting program you like of course just make sure that the brush you use has similar properties in Photoshop 2018 the brush I'm using today is called the hard round pressure opacity brush in the premium version of this lesson on I go over the specific settings so you can make this brush yourself if you don't have this version of Photoshop the effect were after here is similar to a filbert or a flat style brush used for acrylic and oil painting your brush strokes should look something like this now let's do a digital paint sketch of actress gal gadot to get started I like to fill the canvas with a middle gray value a middle gray background helps you judge your flesh tones more accurately if you start on a white canvas it tends to influence your eye to paint everything on the face to lighten value in reality flesh tones even Caucasian flesh are very far from white so with a really large brush I start blocking in the biggest shapes first after the basic head shape is there I separate the shadow areas from the lit areas I avoid details for as long as possible and just focus on the biggest shapes using the biggest brush that I can get away with this is a critical moment in the process because I'm establishing the head shape which will determine the likeness in exaggeration however it's really easy to change it along the way erasing and reshaping the head is no problem when painting digitally I spend most of my time on paintings working in the middle value range that's where the bulk of my labor is going to be and then I work my way towards the darkest darks and lightest highlights most of the faces in the light so the values are within a really narrow range on the light side of the face when painting or sketching in a realistic manner it's important to decide where the borders of the shadows are and those shadow boarders have a specific shape and design to them you also have to study the reference photo to figure out if that border is a hard or soft edge usually the edges of the cast shadows like under the nose and under the chin will have a sharp edge and form shadows like those on the side of the face will have a softer edge understanding how to use edges is a major part of being a realistic draftsman or painter pay attention to your edges a good trick for finding soft and hard edges is to squint and blur your eyes with the reference photo the soft edges will appear softer but hard edges tend to stay hard when paint sketching digitally like this the thumbnail concept evolves naturally into the rough sketch as I spend more time on it and if I'm really confident about the sketch I can continue refining it into a finished painting and even add color to it however I usually take these types of painted sketches no farther than the rough sketch stage I'll stop while it's still rough in appearance and then do an abstraction over this to find errors in the structure before moving on to a final drawing or colored painting digital sketch painting is fun and is great for exploring shapes but just a warning when you don't have a line drawing to follow it can sometimes lead to sloppy construction and facial symmetry so watch out for that problem you don't want to pour too much time into it if this painted sketch has fundamental drawing errors if you want to caricature at a high level you always need to stop examine and correct your work before moving on check out lesson 4 of this course to find out how to use the abstraction to refine a sketch like this assignment so if you're following along at home use your favorite digital painting program to make some black and white painted sketches I prefer Photoshop but some other great programs are Corel Painter clip studio paint or even apps on the iPad like procreate or taya Tsui sketches if you use an iPad though make sure you use it with the Apple pencil not your finger because you really need to have pressure sensitivity to work effectively most of the painted sketches I demonstrate here and in the premium videos were done between 30 to 60 minutes remember you're not supposed to do a finished rendering these are only rough sketch paintings it's okay for them to have an unfinished look critiques if you'd like to maybe get some critiques of your painted caricature sketches post them on the proko caricature group at slash groups or send it to us in an email at submit at premium content just a reminder you can view a longer version of this video and several more demonstrations on different people if you sign up for the premium version of this course on slash caricature the premium videos go into a lot more detailed analysis of my sketch painting process on some different character types

42 Replies to “Digital Painting in Photoshop – Tools, Techniques, and Tips”

  1. Oooof i understand this is more from the perspective of a traditional artist. but ow…watching someone use 1 layer, and not take advantage of a non-destructive workflow. it causes me pain. but dang your good at both art, and teaching man.

  2. 3:12 – 3:55 It is so brilliant how he created something so great out of practically nothing (no line work or anything). One day, i hope to attain this level of skill. Great video

  3. If you want a nice alternative to paint, checkout GIMP . It's free software, in the sense that you don't have to pay for it, and more important, it doesn't restrict your freedom like other software do.

  4. I do make videos.
    Timelapse Sketching and Coloring.
    I like making them, I hope you like watching them!

  5. Fantastic technique and result. I've really got to try this to expend my repertoire and skill set.
    My art:

  6. Where could I find more information about edges? I feel most people just assume that those concepts are obvious but when you are an animator used to line drawing and trying to render, edges are just lines. For painters it seems to be a whole different thing.

  7. It would be really nice and helpful if they made an animal drawing course. I really want to be good at drawing animals but I found there are not many good books and courses on drawing animals.

  8. great video,i don'y it looks like gal gadot,i think making the forehead smaller ,hurts the likeness,
    your sketch looks better than my finished painting

  9. This caricature does not capture the likeness well. It looks like you drew a completely different person.

  10. Great video, for me It´s really difficult to make the sketch with painting, I always need lines but this would make my works much faster.

  11. Proko has really changed since starting teaching on the internet. Its like he is a completely different instructor now.

  12. This is a very useful and great video. I am starting back to digital painting my self and started sketching and finding shapes to draw characters. My question is, where can you find the hard opacity brush from photoshop preset or downloaded ?

  13. Man this series is so great! I'm really glad this is here cause I'm trying to get better at digital art since I've mostly done traditional work. The caricature series is super helpful for my animation focus. Keep up the great work!

  14. I would recommend PaintStorm Studio, it's a software specifically for painting, and it's only a one time payment.

  15. I use gimp for this kind of stuff. Is it considered more or less the same when it comes to simple grayscale painting or should I start using some other software?

  16. I would recommend krita it's free and a really good almost better than photoshop

  17. Notification squad where you at? XD
    Thank you for doing this Proko&Court, it's super useful! I love digital painting, I just uploaded my first speedpaint video and I just hope one day I'll be as big as you one day on Youtube <3

  18. I can't go back to photoshop after using procreate + apple pencil. Might not have all the bells and whistles, but much more enjoyable

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