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Learn to think like a painter and render images from photographs that look like they were created with oils or acrylics, using the latest digital artist's tools. Author and artist John Derry introduces the process of interpreting a photograph into a painted work of art. He begins by explaining his system of visual vocabularies, which describe how to replace the elements of an image with expressive painterly qualities, and also shares the custom brush sets and actions he uses to achieve these results in Photoshop. The course also covers working with filters, layers, effects, and more to add further detail and texture.
The style of painting done on the underpainting basically defines the style of brushstroke use for the rest of the painting. Everyone has a different style, so I'm not going to sit here and try to tell you how to define yours, but I do recommend considering a loose versus a tight style of painting. Why? Because a tight style tends to meticulously follow the shapes and detail the source photo. What is the result? A painting that looks photographic, which is what we're working hard to avoid. A loose style painting places a premium on spontaneity, a key vocabulary element of expressive painting.
Let's take a look at painting with a loose style. Now one of the things you've got remember when you're working is that the underpinning is not the detail layer. We are going to do that later, so you don't want to get caught up in trying to detail too much. Here's what I did in the underpainting of our general project image. Now I'm going to critique myself a little bit here and show you a few things that I would probably do to work it a little more. Now first and foremost even with the very loose brush stroking that I did, I think we can all agree we can tell that this is still is a city scene.
It's not so decimated that it's unrecognizable, and that's good, because this is the basic model of which we are going to place all of the detail as we finish through this. Now one of the things I noticed as I finished it up, this area where the tree and there is a light standard here and some signage. This area got really kind of dark. In fact, we can turn on the underpainting layer and look at that, and you see what happened here is there is all this dark mass. Well, when we shut this off even trying not to paint those lines very much, we ended up still getting rather dark area.
So one of the tricks I could do is I'm already been working with the Flat Cloner Fan Brush. I'm just going to switch to the Flat Opaque here and I'm just going to sample a color that is more of the background, and then go back to my brush and this lets me, now I can go in here and I'm just going to paint some strokes in here, just to get rid of that overly dark area. I might actually switch to a Flat Smeary here, because this will let me kind of blend strokes.
It won't be quite so harsh,. And we really don't know what's behind here, but I'm assuming it's a continuation of the street off into this rather misty snowy background. So without really knowing too much about what's there, I'm just going to make an educated guess that the buildings are somewhat in a line right here, and then it just kind of goes into a city scene. And remember, this is all going to get covered by the trees and the light post when we repaint them back in.
So what's back here isn't important. We just don't want it be dark and cluttered and you can see here I'm kind of playing with my brush strokes. I'm not keeping them super tight. The one thing you don't want to be is what I call a white knuckle painter. It's like people that fly and they just sit there with their hands gripping the armrests. You don't want to do that. You want to maintain a pretty loose approach to how you're doing this. Now the other thing I'm going to do is I'm going to go back to my Flat Cloner, and I'm going to zoom up here a bit.
You can see what I have got some of these areas of white. Those don't bother me too much. What bothers me more is that in stroking these, I just kind of stroked in the direction of some of the architectural elements on the building and I really don't want them there, because it's detail and here I really want to minimize detail here. So I'm just going back in and kind of scrubbing over this, using my cloning brush, and I'm just going to get rid of some of this detail. And again, just like we did before, I may not sit here and have you watch me do all of this, but I want to kind of give you a few tips as to what you can do to get your underpainting really in the state that I'm expecting it for my own work to be in.
One nice thing you can see here too is when you do pick some of these colors and move the light over dark or dark over light, the texture of the canvas shows up and that's another nice vocabulary element of painting that we're allowing to be in here. See how I'm also I'm kind of breaking up straight lines? Nothing in this should be detail. It's strictly a rough shape of the composition of the background. Now I'm going leave some of these white areas in here, because one thing you do want to allow to happen is what I call happy accidents.
When you're working, sometimes you may, "Oh, I did that stroke and I didn't mean do it." Well, in real painting that happens. In real life we do things we don't expect to do, and part of the expression of this is allowing both the intended things to happen, as well as some of these accidents, because it's that kind of allowing all of those variations to occur in a painting here is what adds a real sense of life to it. So I'm going to keep on working on this, and then I will see you in the beginning to the next chapter, where we'll talk about starting a reintroduce very selectively detail back into this.
So here's where we are at and you'll see a little bit more work done to this, starting in the next chapter.
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