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Asking for painting exercises.

MainHammond

Former Big Toasty Cinnamon Bun
I'm an amateur artist what knows some basic stuff like adding basic shadows and lighting effects to a drawing. But I know nothing about painting, and even though I've seen some speedpainting on youtube, they are like going from zero to over 9000.

So I was wondering if you could give some exercises or tell how did you get started in the world of digital painting .
 

TyraWadman

The Silent Observer
If you're an absolute beginner for digital painting, I would first find a software you like. There are plenty of free ones, but I prefer PaintToolSai version 2 (about $50 USD? Possibly less?). I find Photoshop to be too technical. In PaintToolSai, you can have line control (meaning your lines will look smooth and not like rubbing shaky/jittery plastic on plastic). Aside from that, it's fairly simplistic in design. You can use some basic color/contrast filters, or take advantage of their perspective rulers and shape rulers (no more stressing over drawing a perfect circle!!!).

Once you've played around with the softwares and find the one you like, research it! Learn the software! A big part of 'getting gud' is to figure out how the tools work and knowing how to balance/adjust brush settings. Some people feel the need to have 50 different brushes for one thing, which you can also do, but I can' do most, if not 100% of an art piece with a single brush if I wanted to.

If you're going for a more painty style (not solid anime-like colours, I would recommend looking up some digital painting on youtube. If pause the video to see what type of brush they're using (and have learned how to use the brushes) you can pretty much figure it out yourself- or just google 'paint tool sai brush settings' and scroll until you find one you like. Same could be said for anime, really. Google, try it, alter it if need be and do what you like.

Another tidbit* Make sure you set your canvas to the right size. I do mine 8x11, but you can adjust this whenever you like without ruining your art. Also make sure the resolution is set to 300 (if your computer can handle it). One thing with painting is that sometimes artists will draw big and then shrink it down. When you shrink things down, it often hides a lot of little flaws and make soft paintings look sharp.

Edit: The biggest, most important brushes I would say for painting, is the actual paintbrush and then coming up with a blending brush. Those are the only 2 things I use (aside from the basic airbrush for sketching the initial idea before painting over it).
 
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TyraWadman

The Silent Observer
Oh yes. I forgot to mention tablet. I wouldn't stress over it too much, but to start out I would recommend the cheapest Wacom. You can always go big later, once you've gotten a better feel for things. You can make the same quality art with the tiny ones as you would a larger one- the only perks that the larger ones might give are having shortcut buttons built into the tablet. The screen is nice to look at, but if it doesn't match your monitor, it can throw you off.

(Example, my tablet has a screen I can look directly at while I draw- but the colours are off. So I can't always use it reliably)

If you want to branch out to other tablet brands, do research. If you're left handed, google and read reviews to make sure that it is lefty friendly. This could also affect the use of buttons on the tablet. I have a Cintiq, but the buttons remain on the side where my hand is resting. You'd think that a pricier model would have these options to flip it around but nope. Not for this one, anyway. Sometimes the software is buggy or even laggy, which is no bueno. Wacom might be a few extra dollars, but sometimes it pays to have something that's been around and is known to be reliable than taking chances with other brands.

Some tablets are also battery powered, which can be a pain. I would always recommend USB powered. Make sure the pen isn't battery powered too.
 

MainHammond

Former Big Toasty Cinnamon Bun
This is way more than what I asked for, thank you very much !
I can't afford a wacom tablet right now but I will the next month.
And about the software, you are right. I've only draw on Photoshop CS6. but it's true that I don't fully understand how does it work.
I'm gonna do some research and look for another options. But the shape rulers are really tempting.
 

TyraWadman

The Silent Observer
This is way more than what I asked for, thank you very much !
I can't afford a wacom tablet right now but I will the next month.
And about the software, you are right. I've only draw on Photoshop CS6. but it's true that I don't fully understand how does it work.
I'm gonna do some research and look for another options. But the shape rulers are really tempting.

No problemo! And keep in mind, you don't have to commit to just one software if you don't want to. It's just convenient if you don't have to constantly hop back and forth between the two.
Some will paint in Sai but then make colour adjustments in photoshop.
 

Vinfang

Indie Game Artist / Telegram: vinfang
cheapest wacom is not a good option, I find starting out with a screen much better than drawing blind.

i used to own a wacom pen small, the software / hardware support just ain't that good if you choose a cheaper model.

i think a samsung galaxy tablet is better investment for a hobbyist. it is lightweight and versatile, I used to use mine as my sketchbook plus everything during college. phone, light table, notebook, media player, etc. uploading drawings are much more convenient with a tablet than with a computer, if you take speed into account as well.
 
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