Digital Painting for Concept Artists & Illustrators
Most digital painting tutorials are all about the “digital” and not at all about the “painting.”
They tell you which button to click and demonstrate cool, digital tricks but they don’t help you create believable worlds and characters.
“Digital” is just a synonym for “convenience.”
The power is in the painting.
Concept artists and illustrators want to create worlds and characters, tell stories with pictures, find meaning in ideas, and make emotional connections with an audience.
Here you’ll find very few “step-by-step guides” and very little talk of software.
But if you’re looking for something deeper, more personal and challenging, then you’ve come to the right place.
Digital Painting In Photoshop:
These next three tutorials are some of my most recent (and some of my favorites).
The first is a 2-part series featuring a time-lapse recording of the entire process for a painterly illustration done completely in Photoshop…
‘My Sister, The Freak’ Pin-Up
Perfecting Your Drawing With Photoshop Warp
& Merging Different Styles (Part One):
- Changing and fixing line art with the Photoshop Warp & Free Transform Tools.
- Building up painterly, textured surfaces in a digital painting.
- Merging two different illustration styles into one, new style.
Becoming A More Confident Painter
& Tricks With The Lasso Tool (Part Two):
- Softening/ sharpening edges by combining the Gradient & Lasso Tools in Photoshop.
- Planning each brush stroke & painting with focus.
- Welcome accidents and spontaneity in your paintings.
The Hudson River Painters
Vs. The Texture Monster
This is the most unique (and the most epic) tutorial I’ve ever recorded.
With an in-depth look at the work of The Hudson River Painters, we discover some ancient techniques that can really enhance the emotional impact when applied to our digital paintings.
It is the closest thing to an advanced painting course that I offer on this site.
Topics covered in the article, video and accompanying PDF guide:
- Three, ancient techniques for achieving a high level of finish (rendering) in your paintings.
- How to control texture and avoid one of the most common digital painting pitfalls.
- Art History lesson that will inspire you to get all epic with your paintings.
- FREE Downloadable PDF Guide to share, print, load onto your mobile device, etc…
Speaking of Texture…
Have you checked out my collection of custom, high-res textures?
Over the past few years my wife Angie and I have been creating my own library of high resolution textures for Digital Painting.
…and now I’m making them available, as a free download, for you, one set at a time.
Each set of huge, free textures has an accompanying blog post where I share tips for gathering and controlling textures in your digital painting process.
Subscribe & Get My FREE Digital Painting Kit!
The ‘Brush Tips’ Series:
The ‘Brush Tips’ Series are quick video tutorials that demonstrate digital painting tips and tricks to save you time and help you create a smoother workflow.
Create Photoshop Brushes That Will Inspire You
When you create brushes with minds of their own they will give you new inspiration, new ideas and new approaches to digital painting of which you would never have thought!
Make Quick Changes To Your Paintings with Photoshop Layer Masks
Your art director called. She wants you to put a helmet on the kid riding the bike. Oh, and he can’t be so close to the pool. Move him to the right about 31%. …and put a fence around the pool. …just to be safe, okay? Lawsuits, you know.
WHOAH! How’d you get those changes done so fast?!
Layer Masks in Photoshop. That’s how.
Digital Painting + Character Design:
The next three tutorials are mostly about character design, but they do cover some of my favorite aspects of digital painting.
The early stages of my character design process often involves loose, sketchy paintings. In learning how other artists in the animation industry tend to work, I’ve gathered that I’m unique in that way.
I think you’ll find inspiration and more than one new approach in these videos…
The Calling Of The Alien Janitor
While the first part of my ‘Alien Janitor’ series isn’t quite a tutorial, it does provide some necessary (and amusing, if I do say so myself) background information about the painting. And it will challenge you to surprise your audience every time you create a new concept art painting or illustration.
Plus, it’s a rare opportunity to watch me draw! (I usually work out my drawings the old fashioned way and, thus, there is usually no screen recording to share.)
The second part goes into greater depth with an explanation of my digital painting techniques and personal opinions about the medium. I close with some practical advice about Photoshop Brushes.
Wizard Of Oz: Cowardly Lion
After sharing a personal story about how much I love ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ and The Cowardly Lion in particular, I talk about my approach to character design, how I’m always attempting to create something new and surprising despite the impossibility of achieving that every time.
I share the struggle of getting my drawing and painting to synthesize and I demonstrate a technique for painting fur and hair that won’t drive you crazy.