What opacity and flow to use in digital painting

what's up guys will come today classes calm today I am going to talk about a subject that I should have been talking about a long time ago opacity and a little bit of flow I don't use that much flow but I think it's kind of reverent especially use airbrush but if you use um the full range of opacity and have a flow at 100 or maybe 90 or anything on floor above 50 you'll be okay so the opacity it's pretty much control the how much pain you can get on your canvas or how dark we would get like if you have 100 or pass 100% opacity you can get a full range of of whatever your color and value is and usually I will have my transferred on here you don't have a transform you can't really get gradient so I have 100 opacity 100 percent nowadays usually when I pay so I can go and on the setting of your back home in sensitivity you can be super sensitive or less sensitive on mine I have to I don't have to press hard and it will go really dark but one some people they like to press hard so it can go super light and then gradient and and dark so you go all the way from you know 10 percent to that's like 80 or 20% oh because the background is 80 so it's almost like really light and then go to determine it about you've my background with zero it would have been though let's just set the background for zero and that would be us super light from 94 to 100 so but if I change my opacity to 50% then I cannot achieve that level of darkness or I would get achieved like 50% if I press all the way hard it would only be 50% but if I press really hard lift my welcome I go over it again I can achieve the darker value and this is kind of like building up or overlapping and I think a lot of you have a problem with overlapping because you pin it somewhat over and over with the lower opacity so one way to resolve that and to use 100% opacity and pin with really thick pin and then you won't have that overlapping effect but the problem is you have to know exact value how you which reality to use where so if I turn opacity to 25 then you will go even lighter 25% but again if I overlap it then you can get radar by the problem it's the overlapping okay so now I'm going to turn my pass 80 to 100% flow as long as you have flow above 50 which I never chain flow that much I have them always high you can get still pretty dark but I think the pixel will be more like inconsistent in comparison to that so is the amount of pixels spread out the problem will comes if you have like flown lower than 50 then even if how hard you press you get really dark but the lines are separating so much that it looks like it's greyed out so I think that's what flow does and I think flow has more effect on the airbrush which I never use like how it's probably helped you with the top edge or something so usually I have flow at hundred percent so um and sometimes how you solve this is if you don't like the gradient or but yeah if you don't like how the gradient turn transfer off then when you pin it would just be how light your I paint it would just be that solid color 100 percent opacity and you can also turn off shared enzyme now which it wouldn't be able to table it at all and if you wonder what this brush is is just basically a default brush and I squeeze it it is nothing fancy at all but in this dispatch I can get into more precision okay so I hope that make it clear on the opacity and um now I'm just going to try and show you the application so most of the time I will try to find if I don't know the value that what value or how strong of a shadow or how sunlight of a light I should put in there I will use a lower passing definer and then I will once I find that value I use 100% say if I have like the overlapping here right and I want this area to be that coming I'm going to do 100% you just get that color down you can get flat on that color pin it down there basically so that's how you have a really clean color so you need to and you can use if you want them to kind of spray it out and you can make a selection here and salt them to eduu cartoon or something so I'm just gonna play around with this old drawing for a little bit it's going to pick red there then I use 100% opacity just for the code quick they're both thing about cropping the figure below but I don't think I need to it use 100% opacity then you get all even tone basically but if I press light which I set up my welcome to be pressure sensitive then you go light yes and usually I separate my lair between or you don't have to but I kind of like separating my lair between how to have the skin underneath that underneath that okay so we're just going to do a really quick demo here and put a core pictograph again like if I know what I want definitely I will choose 100% opacity over anything else and then I'm going to go underneath and go to darker or a bit more saturated port then you'll pick the hair color different layer here when I have the when I pick the base I will use a high opacity if I know exactly what color and value I want but if I don't or I'm not sure about the coloring value then just going to use low opacity instead but this is just the base so what I'm going to do shadow I'm going to use usually either do multiply or something else I want to pick a color of the background move about 50% and then we're going to do 50% opacity I'm going to lay down a shadow so I'm going to pick the hole every layer we leave the King so I have the whole thing and then just gonna pick where I'm gonna put the shadow so that I don't know my rap has early to 50% and you have to be careful if you do too straight then you're gonna have to separate value I usually just do one straight I mean not lifting my Wacom tablet and I'll go erase use eraser instead of painting over because if you're painting over you got the Gaga value let's be like build up so I'm going to go in I rather like pin usually outside the frame and you raise them out instead so you see raise the shadow out of whoops Aveda hole normally you're in pain once I know exactly what color and value I want I'm going to use a hundred hundred percent then I'm just going to go inside and pin darker value with a hundred percent in the shadow and we're going to go your ways erasing the multiply over here right now and then I'm going to go back to normal I know the value of the shadow so I'm going to use 100% and pay in my shadow so it really depends you have to know which value to put where rather than using just the opacity so now I'm going to use eraser opacity change 50% create some soft edge soft edge here and then darker value here then and dark around here again so basically I will use the lighter value to create to win when I'm trying to find a value and if I know exactly the value a1 and deputies can call 100% like here I'm just going to click your darker value here going into the cold shadow and I'm going to use eraser soft brush 30% create soft edge then going lighter just going to go here bit lighter add lighter value here you've got the color I want I'll add that to another one here and usually to what three value for the clock is often good enough maybe not there and on the skin add a little bit of shadow there and use soft brush to make a softer edge there and I could make it a transition pick 100% here and pick the transition value or color view the transition there make a transition here and like make a dark shadow which is a little red on to the skin here a little red on to the skin here dark so it depends really on what opacity you use it depends on the situation or where you want to put your value on you know exactly the value want like in the dark I'm going to put the dark color and it will be dark inside the hood darker then I'm going to do 100% later so basically you have to know where which value will be or where to place the exact value rather than capacity will help you do that but it's not the end of your solution is not like you you even know what opacity I use or it's going to be always be that because it's always going to change wherever the position of the chin of the like the plane is that plane of the object change then the value will also change it's more like that rather than the opacity of my brush but basically I use lower paucity to find the color and value and once I know that I'm just going to use a hundred percent to and then pin it down so I hope that's helpful so let's say you're going to use put a white bow on her if I put like a hundred percent opacity right here it doesn't fit because that's like inside the shadow so I'm going to have to lower the opacity to like 50 and see if it fits better so it looks like it's fit better there it's a lot like darker than white bow and that's where the value that should be and you can also leave you it's a little too strong you can use eraser to erase it so it's not the matter of the opacity you use is the matter of like if the value that you put in the certain area fits so you could use like right here I'm going to put like really light yellow here 100% opacity it doesn't fit it's just too strong true strong highlight but if I turn it down or erase it then it's on the different layer so they use maybe 30% of the brush opacity on the brush then it fits better then I'm just going to pick that value and use that value on to the the other area that I want to put the lights on say clean that up make it yellow and I'm going to put highlights on there and highlight on there might not be the same exact value as highlight on the previous hair that I put I want to put a lighter one on there but that might be too strong so I'm going to put maybe 50% and make a bigger mark and then I'm going to have like a another like really small tiny spot to have a highlight so I'm going to do 100% opacity and that's kind of fitting that area better so so depends on the value that you put in a certain area same as here I'm going to clean up and use the opacity use the value from there 100% and put it right on here and it fits better so yeah this is pretty much about opacity so use the lower opacity to find your value or you don't know exactly but if you know exactly what value you could use or what color to use since this one's already have a bunch of color everywhere then it could just use certain color on 100% opacity on the designated area that the opacity that should be there so I hope this makes sense I'm just going to take a while to get it and if you especially if you're new even if you've been painting for us they're going to take quite a while so if you want to clean color then use a hundred percent opacity then and don't overlap when you paint so you get that buildup just try to do like one stroke and don't lift up and use the eraser to erase them all right well that's about it have a good day and there are more tutorial on my channel also if you interested click on the right corner of the top right corner of the screen you see a bunch of premium tutorial there and I also have a group class and mentorship class check it out go to the link is on my website and all right bye-bye

32 Replies to “What opacity and flow to use in digital painting”

  1. I am really struggling with pressure sensitivity. How are you painting without overlap at 6:25??? I use Photoshop, blend mode normal, opacity/flow 100% and stock hard round brush and still get "build-up / overlap".

  2. My Cintiq is set to pressure sensitive. Using the brush tool at 100% opacity, when you overlap on your previous stroke, it darkens it. Is there a way to prevent that? I'm using the same pressure over it. It shouldn't darken.

    Any one has the answer?

  3. Hey man Thank you su much for this tutorial. How have you eliminated the contour line in 16:19?

  4. Good tips, thank you! I am curious though, my wacom doesn't even let my pen do anything besides one solid color. I've tried to follow online tutorials on how to get the pen sensitivity to work but…unfortunately nothing works 🙁 Would be so great to draw! If you know of any tips, please let me know!

  5. Hey Xia, I dunno if you respond to comments this far back, but I wanted to make sure for myself: You paint strictly via opacity, and for your brush settings, you always have Transfer off, correct?


  7. I've watched 100 hours of tutorials and not one explained this. I've been looking for this exact tutorial for a week now. I'm so lucky I found it and thank you so much! Subbed!

  8. Thank you very much xia! :)) Btw this is Catapultsunder from instagram! 🙂 I love your videos! so helpful :))

  9. What haven't you mastered yet?! You can do it all! X3 i'm jealous of ur arts :'v
    Btw, awesome work! 👍🏻

  10. I find that Im using the pencil tool at the moment… Is there a fundamental difference between the pencil and brush tool? I just checked that there is no flow option using the pencil tool? The sketch experiment that i started turned into a full blown drawing/painting. Really happy and surprised at how the little strokes turned into a finished drawing. Just wondering really what the difference is between the tools now. For the drawing i used really low opacity like a 1 to a 5 and the caligraphy brushes in pencil tool…. would love to maybe show you

  11. sorry yes same question what is that custom colour palette thing in the top left hand corner? that looks a custom created colour palette thing you created? another file?

  12. On a roll, subject matter seems to be ticking my boxes… I was wondering if i was using a crazy opacity and or stupid sized brush…. Initially i thought i was using a pencil tool or so it seemed it looked really good at full screen, really sharp like a pencil but its when i start admiring what i have been doing and zoom in that you see the overlapping effect and it doesnt look like pencil strokes… it looks like a watercolour marker thats why i was sort of panicking or frustrated, i was about to start over thinking i should have checked. Whats a good way to rectify the overlapping water colour marker effect?

  13. ..watching the example helped answer a lot of questions. I wish the transition to painting over your lines was explained though, that's the hardest part for me. Did you just turn the sketch layer off? It takes me forever to get the transition to not look a mess without my lines but I prefer that look.

  14. I find these videos very useful. I cannot completely replicate what is in the video due to lack of skill/different software and being very rusty. Though it is helping things click a bit more with the basics in digital art. Just glad people are willing to provide information instead of locking it all behind a paywall. Very helpful for beginners with low income.

  15. This is very helpful. One of the areas I was having a difficult time with was learning what opacity settings would be good for shadows and highlights. Thank you very much!

  16. Thanks for the info! Even though I've barely started drawing I understand what you mean by using opacity to find the colors you are looking for. Great tutorials!

  17. Thank you Xia. Very helpful. This actually answers a lot of questions I was having for years.

  18. Wow! Incredibly useful. All of your tutorials are awesome, and I plan to register for some classes. But THIS tutorial in particular is very helpful because, you know what? It's your WORKFLOW that is so informative. That is not covered in so many tutorials. As you said, you flow between various methods of applying the color with different opacity and blend options. The tip about painting in shadows with multiply over the layer selection and then erasing is incredibly helpful, too. Thanks!

  19. Hey Xia, Flow will give a subtle build up compare to just using opacity.. With opacity you have to raise the pen and put it back down on the brush stroke to build up. With flow however you don't raise the pen, you just make the brush strokes back and forth without raising the pen for buildup to occur at the opacity defined. Set opacity at say 60 and flow at lets say 7, now just move the brush back and forth until you get to an opacity of 60 maximum. Smoother than brush lifting for gradation of values.

  20. Useful as usual! Thanks Xia.
    PS I hate youtube's decision to remove categories. I used to have all the art channels in one category for easy access but it's so hard to find new videos with the removal of it.

  21. Lately I've been experimenting with flow and it's very useful. You can get very nice gradients, especially if you have some appropriate brushes.

  22. TLDR – flow will allow for opacity stacking even without raising your brush, while opacity will only allow you to stack the brush once you lift it up and make another stroke.

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