Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How to do a digital drawing_White Violets_A Progress Report

I opened the correctly-sized reference photo in Corel Painter (see the previous post for sizing). The file included the background image as well as the photo. I chose Synthetic Superfine as my paper and then created a new mask in the Channels palette. I drew a silhouette of the violets, stems, and leaves, using the reference photo but omitting some leaves and making the some of the shapes a bit more graceful. The flowers and stems were done using a flat color pen in various sizes and the fuzzy leaves were drawn with charcoal pencil.

White Violets_Mask

Next I created a new layer on the layers palette and used the mask and the Paint Bucket to fill in the silhouette in black. I named this layer Value 0, because the RGB values are all 0.

White Violets_Value 0

Using the Charcoal Pencil brush and a grey color with an RGB of 50, I filled in Value 1 using the mask. Very little of Value 0 was left showing, as the flowers are light image.

White Violets_Value 1

For Value 2 (RGB =100), the drawing process got more complicated. I used Charcoal Brushes in sizes from 5 - 30 pixels, each on its own layer, and began to model the hilites. For the darkest parts of the leaves I made the tone sparse enough to show some Value 1 underneath. For the lightest parts, the tone is solid Value 2.

White Violets_Value 2

I found it helped with the modeling to have separate masks for the leaves, stems, and flowers, so I used the original mask and made those from it.

This all went pretty smoothly except for the day I accidently ticked "Preserve Layer Transparency" on the Layers palette and had a total meltdown trying to figure out why I couldn't draw on any of my layers. Not the first time I have made this error, alas; it is very easy to do by accident.

Another tip: you will see a colored cross in the upper left hand corner of each layer image. This is a registration mark created with its own mask. It comes in very handy if you mistakenly bump a layer with the move tool or want to copy a layer from one file into another.

And a last tip: I save my file once an hour with the time and date like this: White Violets_130129_1056. You are never in danger of overwriting a file because the same minute never comes around twice (scarey thought!) and that way you can backtrack if you mess up the current file or the machine crashes and turns it to gibberish, without losing more than an hour's work. At the end I keep the final file for each value and delete all the intermediates.

To be continued :)

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