Thank you for all your +favs and comments -- it's been awesome . A lot people have been asking similar questions which weren't answered in the original tutorial. Here's some FAQ that will hopefully clear things up:
1. How do you do this in Paint Tool SAI?
Unfortunately, I don't have Paint Tool SAI so I don't have an exact answer for this. However, I've heard that it's similar so you should be able to translate most of the Photoshop tips into SAI. Also, most of the tips are conceptual and function in traditional work as well as digital, so the program you are using shouldn't hinder you too much in applying them.
2. What size should I make my canvas?
This has been a really common question and the answer is that it depends on the complexity of the work and the amount of detail you are trying to achieve. I make my canvases in the thousands of pixels at least. A rule of thumb that I use is I take the part of my piece that I want to be the most detailed (like an eye, or a necklace or something) and make sure that at 100%, that part of the piece fills the whole screen. This way, you will be able to paint in the details without straining your eyes and use a lot more brush sizes and colors. Take advantage of large canvas sizes because they allow you to get more detail than traditional art usually can. Another advantage to this is when you size down the canvas to upload your work to a website like DeviantArt, your work will look much finer and neater than at 100%, but still retain a lot of the detail you put in at full zoom!
3. What's the difference between dpi and pixel size?
Dpi is used for printing the standard setting is 300dpi. If you plan on printing your work, MAKE SURE this is the resolution as you will not be able to easily change it after the piece is done. Pixel size is how big the canvas is on the screen. A 100px by 100px canvas at 300dpi will not help you paint with more detail than the same canvas size at 72dpi, so make sure you pay attention to both settings.
4. Do you have any tips for non-tablet users?
This is a tricky one since I've always used a tablet. Your best bet is to take advantage of functions that don't require pen pressure like the opacity and flow of the brush. However, even a small tablet is a great investment and will help you avoid a lot of frustration. Invest in a tablet if you can and your art will thank you in the long run!
- Listening to: The Reckless and the Brave - All Time Low
- Reading: The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins
I use Gimp also and you should double the page size. You can get better details.
Myself I used to work at the default size and it makes a big difference working larger.
The blending I think you are talking about is blur in Gimp.
Watch the rate setting the higher the more it blurs and keep the brush small.
I am by no means a skilled artist but I know the program well
Feel free to drop a note if you have questions
I am always shocked when my files get bigger than 1MB, but I suppose this is actually really small, right?
- either the magnetic lasso tool
- or the line drawing tool and then "rasterize" them,
- or if they need to be hand-drawn, I QUICKLY and CONFIDENTLY draw, erase and re-draw the line until it's nice and good
I guess its much better to trial and error one confident straight line than trying to sketch it in and erase it messily like I was doing earlier. I will give these a try, thanks again.
- scan in sketches and paint over them on a new layer. You can make the sketches as detailed as you want, but they won't feel as constraining or final as lineart
- start by "toning" your canvas. This might sound dumb at first, but I find the white paper is the most intimidating thing to start! Add some sort of midtone, like a deep green, a brown, a grey, grey-blue, anything you think will go with your painting (this doesn't have to be permanent) and start painting on top of that. This helps me feel like I'm actually building on top of something instead of starting out of nowhere.
- do more than one sketch to develop the composition before you hit the tablet. You want the outlines of whatever you're drawing to be really strong before you start coloring so you don't have to concentrate on accuracy of form when you're onto color and value. A more developed sketch makes it easier to start. Also, sometimes people need to just remove the pressure to create THE MASTERPIECE haha so sketching can provide a more loose and informal environment to concentrate on the work.
- remember to give yourself time - I know the feeling that you have this idea in your head and you see it so clearly, but the second you put anything on paper, you feel like its not getting translated the way you want. I think this is because when we see it in our heads, we don't work out all the little details, but when we start to put it down on paper, we have to consciously make all the decisions that we take for granted just "look right" in our brains. Most of the time it takes longer to work this out in real time, and that's normal. Start with very basic shapes and build up detail slowly to give yourself time to work out all the issues. Whatever you do just keep going.
To the people who have asked about Paint Tool Sai in relation to this? Here are some general thoughts I had in my head as I translated:
Blur Tool = Photoshop Airbrush. This can far too easily be used to overblend things!
Multiply / Screen / Shade / Luminosity - these are NOT the same as the Burn/Dodge tool of Photoshop as they're very layer specific. If you're cautious in their use, at first, they can be used to produce a very nice result - the more you get used to them, the nicer to effect will be, and they will allow you to incorporate the exact coloured shadow / coloured light effect that is mentioned in the 'monochromatic tones' section. This can also help you with the "white highlights" section to add some appropriate colour. BE RESERVED IN USING THESE LAYER SETTINGS when you're first beginning to use them!
The others are pretty self-explanatory. There is no 'smudge tool' in Sai, the closest thing being the Brush tool which is quite a bit different in any case as it will vary in a few ways and has a sharper edge. Be aware that the Brush Tool IS MONOCHROMATIC IN NATURE and that if you wish to add other colours and create a proper shade, you'll want to incorporate other colours in there!
Sai also doesn't really have brushes that are specialized in the same way as Photoshop, which I think helps to limit that.
I hope that can help your FAQ at least a little bit!
This is something that also slightly changes from person to person. I known plenty of people who have gotten worse when switching before they got better.
The difference between a mouse and a stylus is sort of hard to describe. Its a combination of being easier to move, and faster to move. Complex curves become easier, and because of pressure sensitivity you are able to make more kinds of marks with fewer repetitive strokes . There is a significant adjustment between drawing with a pencil on paper and drawing with a stylus on the computer. There are two main differences: First you don't look at your hand. Second you are drawing on plastic, that has unique slipperiness (for the stylus) and stickiness (for your hand).
Regarding precision, it is a relative idea. The stylus will become more precise the more you practice with it. It is slightly less precise than a pencil due to the hand eye slightly odd hand eye coordination. But it is more precise than a mouse because it is able to move quicker.
I would recommend getting a tablet. My suggestion is to have a read through this link [link] It has a more detailed and concise description of how and why to pick one model over another.
Hope this helps.