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Using a traditional paint color swatch set

From: Digital Painting: Architecture

Video: Using a traditional paint color swatch set

A technique I use, especially in the final stages of an interpreted photograph, is to apply additional non-photograph-based color to the painting. To add authenticity to our strokes, we'll utilize colors associated with the traditional artist's palette. Now, what I'm talking about here is all the color we've derived from this image up till now has been funneled through our brush from the photograph, and it's true that we have done a lot of enhancement work to that photograph, especially in the area of some of the colors and the dynamic range of it.

Using a traditional paint color swatch set

A technique I use, especially in the final stages of an interpreted photograph, is to apply additional non-photograph-based color to the painting. To add authenticity to our strokes, we'll utilize colors associated with the traditional artist's palette. Now, what I'm talking about here is all the color we've derived from this image up till now has been funneled through our brush from the photograph, and it's true that we have done a lot of enhancement work to that photograph, especially in the area of some of the colors and the dynamic range of it.

But even so, it's still nice to be able to possibly have colors that would be the same kind of colors that you got out of a regular tube of, say, oil paint, and I've basically done that by creating a swatch set that has an entire set of colors associated with an artist's oil colors. The way I did this is I basically went to an online art store and on these websites, they have pages that will show you for ordering different tubes of paint, the colors associated with each of these oil colors in the complete set.

And so, what I did is I basically just used a screen capture utility to capture this entire set of all of these colors. Then, I brought that into Photoshop and I simply used the facility within Photoshop to capture these colors and put them in a swatch set. See, if I just hold this over one of the colors, you'll see that not only did I capture the colors themselves, but I also input the names of the colors. So, for people who are used to working with tube paint and are comfortable working with the colors by name, for example, they're all here.

My goal really wasn't so much to paint by picking colors by their names, but just to have this whole set of colors. In the translation of this, it's not probably a 100% visually accurate, they may be slightly different, but what is retained is the relative difference between all of these colors. So, these colors altogether will act pretty much like the variations in color that you're going to find in a traditional painting set, in this case, oils. So, by utilizing these colors on the image, we're going beyond simply employing the colors found in the underlying reference image, and we're starting to apply some of our own colors.

But rather than just use the Color sliders here to just pick out colors, I'm restricting it to colors that are associated with an actual color set, and that's really the goal of this. Now, I'm going to go ahead and grab this color. I'm going to make a new layer. I'm not going to be painting from the source colors, so I don't need to use or want to use the cloning layer. I've got this separate layer here now nested in the Details Strokes folder and I'm going to use an opaque brush. I'm going to use my Opaque Flat Fan here.

What I'll show you just kind of in a simple mode here is, right along here is where the sunlight is coming across from the left and it's starting to hit some of these components of the architecture. And part of the reason I liked this image when I shot it, was the time of day and the way that the shallow light angle striking the surface of this building, it really illuminated on one side, and on the other side, it darkened it. So, that really gives it kind of a nice 3-dimensional effect and I'm just going to go through during the final rendering of this painting and be doing a lot of that, just enhancing those areas by bringing out probably a little stronger lighting than was actually in the scene.

So for this, I'd probably use something like that color but maybe a little bit brighter, and it looks like this is a good sample of that. So, I'll just go in here, and remember now, I'm not on my cloning layer, you don't want to paint on the cloning layer if you can avoid it. So that's why we've made this secondary detail layer. But you can see how just putting some of this on there, and I'll turn it on and off, see how that just all of a sudden, it just pops. We're expanding the dynamic range of this image by adding a brighter color than was actually in the original scene.

So, the use of the color from the swatch set is yet another way to bring in another element of the vocabulary of painting, in this case, the relationship between all of these colors as evidenced in a traditional painting.

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This video is part of

Image for Digital Painting: Architecture
Digital Painting: Architecture

49 video lessons · 11729 viewers

John Derry
Author

 
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  1. 26m 4s
    1. Introduction
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      32s
    3. Installing custom content
      2m 46s
    4. Setting up Wacom express keys
      13m 32s
    5. Setting Wacom touch ring preferences
      2m 14s
    6. Setting Wacom stylus preferences
      3m 24s
    7. Division of labor: Image prep and painting
      2m 33s
  2. 19m 9s
    1. Visual vocabularies
      3m 49s
    2. The vocabulary of photography
      7m 38s
    3. The vocabulary of painting
      4m 59s
    4. Looking at reality through a mental painting filter
      2m 43s
  3. 38m 57s
    1. Removing lens distortion with the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
      6m 47s
    2. Removing distractions
      8m 7s
    3. Don't be a slave to the original photograph
      10m 51s
    4. Correcting image adjustments
      2m 58s
    5. Telling a story with added image elements
      10m 14s
  4. 25m 2s
    1. The eye has a better sensor than a camera
      3m 2s
    2. Adding natural shadows with Field Blur
      8m 47s
    3. Using the Shadow/Highlight adjustment filter
      7m 48s
    4. Using the HDR Toning filter
      5m 25s
  5. 39m 56s
    1. Resolution is in the brushstrokes
      3m 26s
    2. Using the Surface Blur filter
      6m 17s
    3. Using the Displacement filter to add imperfections
      6m 22s
    4. Using the Oil Paint filter
      11m 51s
    5. Making tonal and color corrections
      12m 0s
  6. 22m 40s
    1. Nondestructive layer painting (NDLP): Your creative safety net
      5m 54s
    2. Setting up the Mixer Brush cloning action
      7m 29s
    3. Using cloning layers
      2m 58s
    4. Working with adjustment layers
      6m 19s
  7. 20m 7s
    1. Using tool presets and not brushes
      3m 41s
    2. Categorizing and organizing brushes
      6m 14s
    3. Adding canvas texture
      4m 51s
    4. Using Sample All Layers
      5m 21s
  8. 14m 48s
    1. You must destroy detail
      2m 9s
    2. Establishing compositional structure
      3m 46s
    3. Determining a style and sticking to it
      7m 30s
    4. Painting in progress: Finishing the underpainting layer
      1m 23s
  9. 26m 40s
    1. Understanding simplified indication
      9m 9s
    2. Understanding color: Warm advances, cool retreats
      4m 9s
    3. Painting in progress: Introducing texture to the intermediate layer
      13m 22s
  10. 40m 19s
    1. The play's the thing
      5m 18s
    2. Focusing on the subject through detail
      4m 40s
    3. Using a traditional paint color swatch set
      4m 37s
    4. Painting in progress: Completing the detail layer
      16m 25s
    5. Adding surface texture effects
      9m 19s
  11. 12m 47s
    1. It pays to wait a day
      1m 55s
    2. Adjusting your importance hierarchy
      4m 49s
    3. You'll never paint the same thing twice
      2m 7s
    4. Helpful resources and inspiration
      3m 56s

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