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Little nugget of advice that really changed the way I approached painting. When I started blending like this it was a real turning point for my art quality.

Forgot to add that lighting conditions and other variables in a piece make the hardness you want to choose somewhat variable. Drawing things like skin is more of a hardness range than it is a hard rule. 

Eheh…get it? Hard rule? (aaaaaaaaaand i’m done). 

Haa thanks, I can’t even put into words how unappealing the overuse of a soft brush is when rendering. There have even been otherwise expertly painted images that were (in my opinion) ruined by that overly soft ‘airbrush’-y look that soft edged brushes give off. 

I mean, I just really hate soft edged brush in most cases. It’s definitely the fact that you can’t read any real confidence in the brush strokes of a soft edged brush. It makes it really difficult to nail down any solid shapes or forms in your painting. Weak vagueness both in brush strokes and with shape and form is generally not a good thing when painting.

 If I can tell a soft edge brush was used (a lot) in an image, I probably won’t like how it’s been applied.


The day I stopped using soft brushes as a blending tool, I felt like I improved more than ever / u\

All this is well and gravy with one crevat:

My personal philosophy since working in games had become “USE WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT, HOW YOU WANT, SO LONG AS IT LOOKS GOOD TO YOU - AND YOUR BOSS - IN THE END.”

And the first step to that is figuring how stuff works. Experiment. Use tools in a manner outside their original function. Don’t limit yourself to just the one method because it’s all you think you’ll need.

That said I tend to be a bit more Machiavellian in my approach to my own work.

PS: do consider the smudge brush is essentially the digital equivalent of a pallette knife.


[full size]

This is perhaps approaching graduate level information as far as digital costuming is concerned, but I think that the more fidelity professional game artists have access to, the more mindful the details ought to be. This is especially true in the case of low-tech/medieval/pre-industrial fantasy where everything in the world is handmade; these little details are really crucial to selling that look.

More sketching of the random things that show up on my Tumblr dash. The whole ‘first three photos’ thing is working out reasonably well and does force me to try some things that I wouldn’t normally think to draw. The Xena from this morning was pretty priceless though… not sure what I’ll find to top that one. 

I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be able to keep this up as a daily exercise but it’s at least a good strategy for warm up sketching when I need to get motivated to draw/paint. 

Painting practice: Jensen Ackles

Photo reference:

Materials: Photoshop

It’s by no means source accurate but I was eyeballing things so all told it could have been much worse. I had fun with this one… need to find more things to practice on that have interesting lighting like this. I’m mostly just happy to be painting things as of late… I had missed it. 

Comm Specialist Samantha Traynor

This has been my “sanity painting” for lack of a better term over the last week while I frantically work to get my cosplay finished for Geek Girl Con/PAX Prime. I sew/glue/paint/etc. until I’m about to snap and then go back to this to zen out. I still have a week to finish up my costume so I’ll have to think of something else to work on to keep me from going crazy. ;)

Media: Photoshop/Intuos

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