Wow, I love the clear intense colours you use! The Nighteye digital painting is so cool! Do you use some resist / masking technique with your watercolours - specifically the hummingbird? Awesome!
Formerly a web designer / developer, I switched focus to my true love of illustration and graphic design in 2014. Ever eager to learn, I've been watching the 3rd Thursday critiques since the beginning! My husband and I live in rural New Zealand where I draw pretty pictures and he fixes machinery, and we raise our little family together amongst the delights of The countryside.
Posts made by Samalah
My painting / WIP / sketch dump
Hi all, I'm pretty new here, but looking forward to digging in and learning as much as I can, as time allows. :)
I thought I would start up a "sketchbook" thread here, where I can post pieces of work - hopefully motivate me to keep practicing! I haven't had a chance to enter any 3rd Thursday contests in over a year, as life is very busy with a new baby, but I watch the videos and try to take on board as much as possible.
Just lately I have picked up my watercolour paints again, in an effort to create something. My digital style tends to be quite highly rendered, which takes a long time, and at least with watercolours I can get a piece finished in a day or two. :)
I've always struggled with drawing, and felt like my lack of drawing skill stopped me from doing any painting or art - cos it all has to start with a sketch! But I've been trying to push through that and....just do it. Drawing what I see, slowly and carefully, trying to observe shapes and negative space etc. The other thing that I always have trouble with is background / environment / scenery. I like painting the main focus character or item, but have trouble with backgrounds. In my latest painting I forced myself to paint all the background and leaves first, and only work on the main flowers when everything else was pretty much finally rendered. I watched Will's "10 steps to digital painting" course, and he mentioned that - working background to foreground so as not to mess up. It really helped, and I'm happy with how this turned out, though I can see a LOT of areas of improvement - in watercolour it's hard to go back and fix though, and I tend to get caught in a cycle of overworking the paint, until the paper pills, so I have called this "good" and will apply what I've learned to my next piece.
Hopefully I can share more digital stuff and WIP as I go along. Thanks for stopping by! :)
RE: Getting Adobe Photoshop
I would second Sean and Bobby in highly recommending that you try out Manga Studio 5. It's name is a complete misconception - it's an excellent painting tool, with a much nicer brush engine than PS (in my humble opinion!!) It can save and open PS files, and the only compatibility issue that I can see, would be if you were opening someone elses photoshop files, with adjustment layers as they don't seem to transfer too well to Manga Studio.
I've also joined the fun, and shamelessly pinched Bobby's apple linework (hope that was ok!) to render an apple in 20 mins in Manga Studio - just to show you a different style that is achievable in the software. My usual digital painting style is fairly highly rendered, and I've never had a problem achieving that in MS5. This apple is painted using standard brushes and blending tools, but there are some pretty awesome custom brush packs that you can buy for under $10 to really increase the repetoire.
RE: How do I make natural looking text?
Hope you don't mind - I just had a very quick play around in Photoshop, and found that you can get some sort of realistic integration by choosing a painty style font, applying an oil paint filter to the text layer (or one of the other filters, if your version of PS doesn't have oil paint) and then applying a mask and maybe roughening up some of the sharper edges with a textured brush to make it look as if it's part of the original artwork. Not perfect, but a step in the right direction... :)
As to where I get my fonts, alas I am a font geek and have been collecting / purchasing them for a very long time! If you are willing to spend a little money, then you can definitely get a higher grade of font with more alternative characters and variability. I would have a look at Creative Market https://creativemarket.com/fonts/display
Some fonts like Veneer already have a wear / stamped sort of pattern built in, with lots of versions for each letter: https://creativemarket.com/YellowDesignStudio/8013-Veneer-Font-Family
Hope that helps! :)
RE: How do I make natural looking text?
I'm not 100% sure what you meant by words on the labels, but whether it's part of the illustration, or words that form part of the story, I reckon that a "handmade" type of font would probably help.
If you really needed the font to blend in with the illustration better, I would then consider giving the text layer a different blending mode. Another trick would be to not use 100% black as the colour, but try something maybe dark grey, dark brown?
Here's a little illustration of mine, which uses a handwriting style of font - is this the type of thing you mean?
Hey folks! Great to be here...
Just thought I would stop by and briefly introduce myself. :) I'm Samalah, and I live in rural New Zealand with my husband and family. I used to be a website designer / developer, but transitioned in 2014 to working on Illustration and visual design, which has always been a real enjoyment of mine.
I'm really excited about expanding my skill set, and have already learned a great deal from watching the 3rd Thursday critiques every month. So inspired by the level of creativity and talent in this community!
I primarily work digitally, though occasionally foray into watercolours as well. My favoured painting software is Clip Studio Paint (Manga Studio), and I use a simple Wacom Bamboo tablet. Looking forward to participating here, and learning heaps from you all!
RE: PP WIP- in the mood for hedgehogs
I'm a bit late to the party, but I really love how your Hedgehog piece turned out, Leontine. The way you've handled the reflected light from the lantern and the moon really adds depth, in my opinion!
Just to join the fun, here's a little hedgehog I had fun with back in the winter...
RE: Rebelle Sketch Watercolor
Wow, I'm super impressed with how realistic the initial watercolour image that you posted is! I might have to go and check out Rebelle myself. :)
As a side note - you mentioned that you use Manga Studio, and enjoy trying out new tools and adding to your current resources. I would highly recommend looking at Paolo Limoncelli's DAUB brushes for Manga Studio. They can also achieve some really neat realistic watercolour effects, along with the un-lagginess and smooth brush engine that you've come to expect from Manga Studio. I wrote a short blog post on them a while ago, and made a sample sheet of all the included brushes- there are also some great watercolour mixers and "water blur" effects too!