froglock The sketch for this little guy was originally done for an EverQuest themed commission, but the client didn't like him.

It's okay, his self-esteem recovered. Eventually.

Because I still thought he was cute, I dug him out of my loose sketches for a little painting practice. I'm still learning the broad strokes of how to paint in Photoshop, but I am slowly getting faster, which is necessary for that brain-burning project I mentioned in my last post. (We'll get to that soonish, I promise. Right after the website re-vamp is done. Which will also be, uh, soonish?)

And oh hey, I've learned a thing or two about digital painting.

1: Pick your color palette at the beginning. In this case, I needed a skin tone, a speckles tone, and two tones for the clothing. The thing is that each 'tone' should be made up of three-to-six slightly different colors. You can lay these out in little groupings to remember what's for what. When painting, you can use these color differences to denote shadows or other minor variations.

2: Set the opacity on your brush to significantly less than 80% for everything but the finishing touches. I like around 80% for the under layer, and then around 50% for almost everything else. Also, use a bigger, softer-edged brush than you'd necessarily like to.

3: After you've put down your under layer and laid out the basic form, start using the color picker to grab from what you've already made. Because of the opacity on the brush you're using, you'll get a nice variation in color based on where your strokes overlap. This also makes it quite easy to smooth out harsh contrasts where you don't want them.