Painting In Photoshop

Essentially all of my Photoshop work – using that term rather loosely – has been around retouching or using Brad Gobel’s amazing Actions to generate cool effects. I realize that I need to start expanding my experiences and building new skills. I especially need to use my Wacom tablet more often and take advantage of its features inside Photoshop.

For just about my entire life I have said, “I am not an artist.”

That sort of thinking really does build up inside and impede your thinking. Not unlike clogged arteries with cardiovascular health; those negative thoughts about my own creativity have made this work harder. Fortunately, both conditions can be improved.

Larry ElmoreI am going to start getting into digital painting with Photoshop. I have a great set of images to help kick start things too. Years ago, I bought a package of line drawings from the legendary fantasy artist Larry Elmore.

These are fairly simple drawings in Larry’s unique style that cover the male-female-creature range including various character types (fighters, wizards, etc.). What really makes this package stand out is that it includes all the drawings in TIFF format with an Open Game License.

In short, I can use Larry’s excellent base images in a variety of ways within the stated bounds of the license. Primarily that means that the Elmore signature remains visible and that I am not selling the artwork.

So I will begin sharing work inside my Photoshop album on Flickr.

Maiden paintingThis is my first attempt at digital painting with Elmore’s illustrations.

I tried to use the opacity and flow pressure sensitivity features of the tablet to darken and lighten regions of the image appropriately. Each major part – hair, skin, blouse, etc. – is on its own layer in Photoshop.

My second attempt can be seen here. On this work I used Solid Fill layers and layer masks to reveal the colours appropriately.

Hopefully this is not a bad start to things. Clearly there is much for me to learn and I am looking forward to tackling that in future work.