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So im working in pencils and marker right now getting a feel for the characters of my story.  Eventually I want to colour them and am wondering what the tool of choice if for artists to digitally colour their work.  I have some experience with ArtRage and it seems like it would probably be a good choice as it handles both watercolours and oil pretty well.  My day job puts me using photoshop sometimes but I never really liked painting with it.

The character above is an example of the style I'm leaning towards, slightly anime inspired.  Bigger pic and more art here:
http://www.cindercast.com

-Mike

#1 - September 18, 2012, 09:00 PM

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I don't work digitally now, but when I did graphic design I used Illustrator and Photoshop.
#2 - September 19, 2012, 08:27 AM
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I work 100% Digital. I use a lot of programs and they all have a use and it depends on the look you're going for.

I love artrage Studio Pro for straight up line work because it has that great pen tool with the self smoothing line that will let you draw really slick drawings. The problem I find with artrage is the color management. It looks great in the program but when you export the results are not there. (For me anyway) Also it can be really slow at times. I have a monster machine and it still has lag when using some of the brushes.

Photoshop is good I used it for my painting for years but it's expensive and it's really easy for your work to take on too much of a digital quality. I like to have the feeling of traditional in my work. One trick you can use in Photoshop to get traditional results is to scan in some high resolution water color flat washes and then mask the layer they are on and paint with white on the mask to only reveal the areas you want the water colored texture to appear then for each different color you have a different layer with a mask for that color. When you're done it really looks like you worked traditionally. The draw back is how much time it takes to make the digital tool give you traditional results. I only use Photoshop now to get my files ready for publishing or the web. Will Terry really does some great work in Photoshop. If you want to go this route I'd recommend buying his digital painting lessons they are well worth the money. http://willterry.com/paintcoursesamples.html

Corel Painter is my main tool for painting. The brushes and paper choices are wonderful and you can get just about any traditional feel you're looking for in your work. (Take the time to learn the brush adjustments and what each one does. If you understand how the brushes work the program is the best on the market for digital painting in my opinion.)
#3 - September 19, 2012, 09:22 AM

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I use Photoshop for most of my digital painting (been working with it since the beginning -- only one layer!!-- and at all of my former in-house employers).   :azn:
At home I use CS5...with no plans to upgrade for a few years. I've used Painter in the past, and Illustrator if/when the style required it.

I start most illustrations with a traditional pencil drawing, scan it, clean it up, and then paint it in PS.
 
You can see samples of various Photoshop paintings on my Facebook page and my DeviantArt gallery:
- https://www.facebook.com/TanjaWootenIllustration
- http://tygriffin.deviantart.com

- Tanja
#4 - September 19, 2012, 11:50 AM

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I work primarily in Photoshop as well. Really you can get any look you want in the program. It's a matter of manipulating the available tools. But if you have access, I say experiement with some things and see what suits you best. Plenty of tutorials out there lurking around. Good luck!
#5 - September 19, 2012, 04:47 PM

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yozu4blME9k&feature=plcp I did this video about how I make my favorite custom brush in Corel Painter if you're interested. It's my first tutorial video so please try not to laugh at me too hard. It shows how to adjust the settings to get a textured look and how to save your custom brushes for future use.
#6 - September 19, 2012, 11:05 PM

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I use Illustrator, Manga StudioMX and Photoshop. I also use traditional watercolor. Just find the tool(s) that work for you and go for it.
#7 - September 20, 2012, 05:44 AM
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Lyon, is right. Experiment and see what feels best. It seems we are all on the same page as far as programs are concerned.
#8 - September 20, 2012, 08:12 AM

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I love Corel Painter. I have my own color palette, paper textures and brushes set up so I can paint like how I was trained, with oil and acrylic when I'm doing a painting. I work in illustrator and Photoshop to design toys and products and to create illustrations for packaging and product labels. I also use Photoshop for finalizing my work before sending off to publishers or other clients in terms of creating cmyk files and doing any final color adjustments necessary so that my art will print like expected. I'm still working with Corel Painter X. I haven't updated to 12 yet. I'm also working with an old photoshop (well, Adobe Suite in general). It looks like later Photoshop has a bunch of cool stuff that I'm missing out on. One thing, specifically is being able to tilt your art board. I'm hoping to update my software this year. It is quite expensive.

I've spent years and years exploring, experimenting, and playing around with all kinds of media. Find what speaks to you and never look back!
#9 - September 20, 2012, 06:32 PM
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If you haven't seen it, you might like this three-part video showing how William Low works using Photoshop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIqZLwTZ1kI.

There's also an interesting blog about digital painting here: http://pixlart.blogspot.com/.
#10 - September 21, 2012, 06:04 AM
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I use photoshop on my Cintiq for sketch to finish but I know a number of Illustrators who prefer Painter. From what I gather, you get a much TRUER watercolour look with Painter.
I have had more success with painting in PS after viewing some of the "free" tutorials on Lynda.com
My New Years resolution of signing up for the full courses never happened, still vowing to do it... someday:(
#11 - September 22, 2012, 03:46 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

It sounds like Artrage hasn't really made an impression here.  I would have thought it was more popular.  This was a quick test I did trying to learn the tools, the watercolor stuff is quite nice.  I didn't find the lag that bad unless I made the brush huge, overall the tools were pretty snappy.



Big version at:
http://www.cindercast.com

-Mike
#12 - September 23, 2012, 11:07 PM

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Wow, that's really cool. It doesn't look digital at all. To be honest, I hadn't heard of Artrage before, but then I don't paint digitally. I do use Photoshop to put my dummies together digitally, but not for the art.
#13 - September 24, 2012, 08:22 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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Mara, thanks for that link on William Low. I love watching other artists use the Cintiq and get tips and tricks every time. I am sure William has, by now, the newest model. The new one even allows for height adjustments to the point you can stand and paint. I would never need that, a sitter (a huncher actually) but it's cool none the less:)
I have the second newest version, it's remarkable. I often feel it's wasted on me, as I have yet to truly utilize all it can do but it makes "going to work" every morning a blast!:)
I had never heard of Artrage either. How does it compare to PS Mke, similarities, differences? While I have learned how to use the mixing brushes in PS and so can blend colours etc and have great fun with wet/flow/mix etc, what I would love is more of a real wet "CANVAS", so as you apply colours, they bleed, as does watercolour or acrylic to on paper. I "think" this is what Painter allows, but perhaps PS does too and I just haven't yet found it. So far, other Illustrators have told me no, only Painter.
#14 - September 25, 2012, 03:59 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

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Artrage is a viable option for children's books if you take the time to really learn it. Check out what children's illustrator Nick Harris can do with it. His work is amazing and hard to tell that it is digital http://nickillus.com/page2.html here's his artrage exclusive section and he has some tutorials http://nickillus.com/page10.html
#15 - September 26, 2012, 11:56 AM
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 12:00 PM by evilrobot »

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Wow. His work IS amazing...thanks for the link.
#16 - September 27, 2012, 10:06 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

http://cyndimarko.com
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Wow. His work IS amazing...thanks for the link.

Here is part one of the tutorial he did for the image of the dwarf dentists pulling the giants teeth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek8bwvH63XU

It's long, but he uses it as an introduction to lots of the tools in artrage.  Very cool.

I've gotten a bit further with my painting in it, on my site (http://www.cindercast.com) is a new artrage pencil drawing and another watercolor painting.  The pencil tool in artrage is great, I don't think I could have done any better with scanned paper.  Nick Harris seems partial to using the chalk, so I'll have to play more with that....  My only problem now is that I've had my intuos 3 tablet for a while now and the center of it is pretty heavily scratched.  I've used it for years for doing film and commercial 3D work.  Might be time to see if you can replace the drawing surface or get a new one.
#17 - October 02, 2012, 11:51 AM
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 12:33 PM by MichaelBlackbourn »

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Thanks for the link evilrobot - Nick Harris' work is stunning! I've have to check out his tutorials for sure!
#18 - October 03, 2012, 06:08 PM

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OMG! I want Artrage now so bad!

That is all.

Rue
#19 - October 03, 2012, 07:28 PM
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The above link for Nick's website was down this morning, but I did find other illustrations of his (some of which were made with ArtRage) here, in case anyone else is as curious as I was...   :yup

http://www.digitalartistdaily.com/image/6566/some_new_fangled_nonsense

Over on the blog, "Lines and Colors" by Charley Parker, is a post he did discussing ArtRage pros and cons, as well as some additional links and samples:
Quote: "I continue to work extensively in Painter and Photoshop, but ArtRage has become my favored tool to open up quickly and make sketches or visual notes, and to play with casual digital paintings when I have a few minutes between deadlines. For those who are looking to make the leap into digital painting, it can be a great place to start."

http://www.linesandcolors.com/2010/09/16/artrage-3-studio-pro/

- Tanja
#20 - October 04, 2012, 08:48 AM

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Thanks so much for the links Tanja!!!!! ;)
#21 - October 05, 2012, 05:09 AM

I agree its easy to get into.  It's funny after having used photoshop for so long to have colors mix subtractively.  It's actually jarring to paint yellow next to purple and get green in between.  I end up turning the real color mixing on and off as I go.  Sometimes I want additive mixes (easier to paint sky with mixes of warm and cool tones, no green between) and sometimes you want whatever combo blends together between your colors.

#22 - October 05, 2012, 09:10 PM

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After reading all the Artrage stuff and seeing all the awesome work that's been done with it I decided to give it another shot. This is just a couple hours of work http://palacioillustration.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/wip_4.jpg but I'm starting to see the appeal of this program. Think I'll try to incorporate it into my work flow.  Thanks for the links TanjaW
#23 - October 20, 2012, 02:08 PM

After reading all the Artrage stuff and seeing all the awesome work that's been done with it I decided to give it another shot. This is just a couple hours of work http://palacioillustration.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/wip_4.jpg but I'm starting to see the appeal of this program. Think I'll try to incorporate it into my work flow.  Thanks for the links TanjaW

Very nice.  I've found it's one othe least "computery" drawing and painting apps.
#24 - October 20, 2012, 05:18 PM

A quick update to my progress with artrage.  I putdown the water colors and am trying out the oil tools.   You can get really nice saturated colors when your not blending color away to the paper with watercolors.

I think I like this style more.

See top post:

http://www.cindercast.com
#25 - December 12, 2012, 08:43 PM

Whenever I pick up photoshop at work to edit an image I start missing the paint tools from artrage.  The real color mixing is so cool that It's hard paint without it now.

I'm still messing with the oil tools and I really like the feel of the brush strokes and color mixing...

http://www.cindercast.com/2012/12/oils-again.html
#26 - December 16, 2012, 11:52 PM

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Michael, your really tempting me to try out artrage and a new program to try is the last thing I should be doing with my time right now, thanks a bunch!:)
So, the colour mix in AR is that much different/better then using the mixer brush in PS?
I applaude your desire to experiment with new medium. I've never tried oils, in PS or on paper, they seem SO intimidating, less forgiving then Water colours or Acrylics.
I thought the water/waves in your posted piece was amazing! I noticed you didn't blend your sky though.  I find sky is my TIME downfall when it comes to mixing, I just can't seem to STOP adding colours!!!!:)
#27 - December 18, 2012, 02:50 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

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That's funny, Chris, I have always heard it the other way around that oils are the most forgiving and watercolors are the least. I've always been a little intimidated by watercolors. When I was trying to decide what medium to do my illustrations in I bought some and found I did like painting with them though it is clear, they are not my forte.

I love Art Rage on my IPad, though I just use it for playing, or jotting down ideas. I have it on my PC but when I sit down to get serious I always gravitate to my Photoshop. I have been looking at the Sensu Brush for the IPad. Might buy it for myself after Christmas. I'm wondering if I might feel more comfortable doing something more serious on the IPad if it works as good as they say it does. Though I'm hardly forgiving it for blinking and losing a character I had just finished designing on it.
#28 - December 18, 2012, 11:52 AM

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Jacqueline, I too play around with sketching on my iPad, after downloading sketchbook pro but, though I've seen some create amazing art on it, the crash factor stops me from going too far with a full illustration. I know you can save as you go but it's not the same comfort zone as the Mac with an external drive going while in photoshop:)
If you treat yourself to that brush, let me know what you think about it. I still struggle with the lag time using the iPad, but it's great fun for sketching away from home:)
#29 - December 19, 2012, 02:59 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

I mostly use artrage on my ipad to doodle.  I might post some of those up but I find unless I'm willing to zoom in heavily for detail work everything seems to come out with a single width to the strokes.

I like my sky in that last image but the wate came out kind of undefined.   Which is ok I guess as it's just a background element.

The thing I like about the real color
blending in artrage is you get lots of happy accidents at the edges where colors meet that you don't get in Photoshop, a stripe of yellow next to blue where both strokes are wet picks up and lends in a hint of green along the edge.   If you mix yellow and blue in PS you get a funky lighter colored desaturated blue or beige.

#30 - December 20, 2012, 07:04 AM

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