I am posting a digital painting that I started doing to test a new tablet... but I enjoyed it and I have decided to go with it and to finish the painting....
At first, I made a skecth using grey tones just to make the basic shape and shadows... after that, I started to work on the eyes and head adding colours to it... my intention is o make a 'real' fur, but, I was not able to make it... as I am also a PS starter, I would like to receive some advices about doing it in Photoshop, as well other crits and comments...
When it comes to photoshop, well, you don't need to dig in at all when you just do painting- may I ask what version do you use? 5 and 4 (CS) will allow you to quickly choose a "Painting essentials" interface, showing the colour palette, a brush selection and maybe thumbnail preview. There are tons of ways how to get started with photoshop and everyone uses it differently, if I posted my interface, others would reply that theirs look completely different.
Make sure you have brush options on your tablet-pen, so that while drawing, you press the button (!) and can change brush, size, opacity etc.
I personally have always the brush window open, but that I can only recommend with a big screen.
Also, I assume you are new to PS but used to tablets, make the tablet fully integrated with PS. I have my buttons set for colour pick (i), brush (b), select (v) and a key-combination for ctrl+alt+z for going a step backwards.
Anyway I could go on and on about what excactly you have to do, but truth is, it is up to you. Google (or search on deviantart) for photoshop beginner tutorials, there are some awesome ones out there explaining different features PS has. Also, you need to know your version. PS5 has fan_tas_tic brush features- but to get started with digital painting, Gimp would do the trick as well.
critical to the bone
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Use hard brushes. Soft ones may be alluring but they gives your painting a blurry amaterurish feel. Beginners typically use soft brushes than realize it's not the greatest idea at all.
Good luck for using your tablet and PS! It took quite much time to get used to them myself. It's good my tablet has buttons, the most frequently used tools are there. The hotkeys are very useful as well. It's very annoying to spend your time not with actual drawing, but changing your brush size or being lost in menus. At least it's so for me.
There are people who draw animal pelts one hair at a time and make a good job of it, but it's not the most interesting way (IMO) to look at it and it's dead boring to do. Detailed fur is a device you use at the transition points -- so, say, the flank of an animal is fairly solid color with maybe a few indications of fur, but the place where his legs attach to the body, that's where you really render hair. So it serves the dual function of showing fur texture and drawing the contours of the animal.
Meh. Hard to explain. Have a look at Henry Landseer's work. Basically, every place you've drawn a line to indicate the shape of the animal, that's where you render fur most carefully.
LorLouis: thanks a lot for the tutorials and PS advices... I have tried to use that as much as possible
shiNIN: I tried what you said about the brushes and it worked as you said
swcooper: thanks for the references to study... it is the result I want and I am trying to get in PS...
I have tried your advices, but with no good results for while... I had some difffucults to control the pen pressure in Photoshop to get the correct result, but you put me on the correct direction...
I made some tests and I have just worked near to the right eye to get the result of the tests of today are in the picture below, it is not so much, but I could get how to improve.... now... I have to improve it.... please, let me know your comments or new advices