Recently in Digital Painting Category


Miss Crash of Studio Servitu painted in the naive style of the circus sideshow banner art of Fred G. Johnson. Part of a larger image I'm making.

Meant to evoke the tarot card, 'Le Pendu,' or 'The Hanged Man.'


Covered in Golden crackle paste


Made from strips of balsa wood. The entire wall is about 8" x 11"



Painters often create what they call a hierarchy of edges. Bright important edges are usually sharp, but darker, less important edges become lost edges.

This effect is easy enough to simulate in Photoshop, but I wonder how common it is. Most people use selective, luminance-based lens blur to simulate shallow depth of field. I'm talking about guiding the eye more in the painterly, less optics-based sense. This post is mainly about analyzing what painters do and incorporating those ideas into photography, although it is also interesting to see the efforts of artists who are approaching photographic ideas from the painterly side.

One could argue, I suppose, that creating a hierarchy of edges is only necessary for painters, and that photographers needn't worry about this issue (aside from DOF) because most of the edges are produced by the camera already suitably hard or soft. I'm not so sure about that. I think further manipulation might be warranted and beneficial.

UPDATE 3/8/2010

MM Forum Discussion

You can digitally paint not just in Corel Painter but in Adobe Photoshop as well. Some people do amazing work painting in Photoshop. Here is a very basic video on the mechanics of actually blending from color A to color B using a Wacom tablet.

This is not necessarily the best way to work, and I am far from the best, most skilled painter, but this is how I work. Your feedback and improvements are welcome.

Topics in this clip include smudging, Gaussian blur, Wacom pen-pressure opacity, and color blending, but not color theory or color mixing, or speedpainting / art instruction -- that's beyond the scope of this.

I think that annoying skipping in the video is from the interaction between CS4 and my screencasting software. I need to investigate further.

Photoshop Dual Brush


I was intrigued by the Photoshop dual brushes, but I was unable to find too much information about them.

I notice they combine two simple brushes through the use of a blend mode.

I can combine two brushes through a blend mode myself directly in Photoshop without using dual brushes if I want some kind of static new brush footprint. What I want to see is a brush behavior that is unique to dual brushes, and that cannot be duplicated through the use of a specially prepared combination brush sample.

The hard mix blend mode has a threshold behavior. It forces grays to either black or white. I wanted to see if I could use the hard mix blend mode and a Photoshop dual brush to create a brush that has mode bristles when I apply more pressure.

Not darker bristles. Not a bigger bristle footprint. More bristles in contact with the canvas.

Random Grab Bag of Art and Design

surfBoards, originally uploaded by jfrancis.

I've been going through old hard drives and uploading to this Flickr set anything that seems worthwhile.

"You never know what you gonna get..."

wings_DSCN1904, originally uploaded by jfrancis.

Matte Painting Reference - Feathers and Wings...

The brightly colored front- and back-lit feathers in the rest of the flickr set were reference photos I took in order to create some test animation for the 'Glowbird' for the 3D stereo film 'Journey to the Center of the Earth.' The job ended up being awarded elsewhere.

clouds_DSCN1897, originally uploaded by jfrancis.

Matte Painting Reference:

Skies and Clouds.

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