Merging mediums

Looking for news way to work which combines techniques and mediums I came up with this.

I found the portrait of this lovely young woman from, then in DAZ Studio I posed a model in roughly the same position as her head and shoulders.   I used Infinite Painter on an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to draw the head, then I drew the body and tweaked the end result in Photoshop.

edit: it took me much longer to write this short post than it should have.  Is it mediums or media?  Not a simple answer apparently but Mr Google convinced me that because we’re talking about art, mediums is perfectly acceptable.

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Daz Studio
The morning after

Daz Studio

I looked into DAZ Studio/Daz3D a few years ago and came back to it time and time again.  If you’ve never heard of it… 

Daz Studio is a software application developed and offered for free by Daz 3D. Daz Studio is a 3D scene creation and rendering application used to produce images as well as video.

So you can create models, dress them, pose them in any kind of scene you can imagine, light them and render the result.  When I first became interested in Daz there seemed little in the way of either documentation or instruction and I found the software to be a steep learning curve.  I had a great deal of help from Tonnie Wolfe who has gone on to offer tutorials through Shift Art, the Photoshop Artistry site (link below.)

There are numerous channels on YouTube these days with tutorials for Daz and I’ve tried lots of them.  Some assume a certain knowledge but one of the most accessible I’ve found is this one from Parmy Baddhan.  Explained in a down to earth, understandable manner and all in a Brummy accent.  Hint – start at the beginning.

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Surreal portraits

Before and after

I tend to see a lot of ads on Facebook and Instagram for art courses.  I rarely click on them because I’m subscribed to so many groups and courses I’m in danger of becoming overloaded.  However, this one jumped out at me.  If you know me you’ll know that I use Photoshop a lot and I’ve completed many Photoshop Artistry courses but I’d never seen anything quite like this.  Instruction on how to manipulate a human form to produce a surreal portrait.  I loved the unusual look of these portraits and you can see (above) the result before and after Kelly Robitaille’s amazing tutorial using a reference image supplied.  The image at the top of the page, King Pelicania is another example using Kelly’s techniques.

I was keen to do more but where do I get the models?  I don’t have the setup to shoot my own and I felt a little uncomfortable manipulating stock images in such an extreme way.  Then I wondered if I could use this technique with models I create myself in the 3D modelling program, Daz3D…and that’s another story.

Click here for more information about the: Surreal portrait retouching course

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Don’t throw out your second rate photos!

I don’t mean that the content is second rate.  All those old family photos are precious no matter what condition they’re in, but they might be small, poor resolution copies that are difficult to display. I’m experimenting with some fun, digital techniques to bring tiny old photos back to life.  

The original  black and white photo from the 60’s of my granddad was tiny. Low resolution, etc.  I started off with the iPad app Infinite Painter and added a layer of skin colour, set to Multiply blend mode.  From there I did some basic paint marks with the Mixer brush.  Then I moved to Corel Painter 2020 and laid on the ‘paint’.   I’m a novice at this technique and taking my first baby steps from Dmitry Marin’s Corel Painter Thick Paint course.  Then it was back and forth between painter and Photoshop, tweaking and adjusting, painting and blending.  I used ON1 Resizer to enlarge it to a display size without losing resolution, printed it out and now from a tiny black and white photo I have an eye-catching A3 portrait.  

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Haze Long tutorial
My attempt at Haze Long's tutorial using only tonal values, initially. Tons of mistakes but it's a start.

Haze Long tutorial

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I have been using my iPad more lately, trying to achieve that “ok, now I’ve got it!” moment.  Apart from Sketchbook Skool classes I recently discovered a YouTube tutorial by Haze Long that has been inspirational.  She builds portraits using only greyscale initially and it’s an interesting technique.  She also provides a brush set (pay whatever you want).  If you’re interested in developing your portrait technique on the iPad this is definitely worth a watch


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Procreate – Grunge and Turpentine

I’ve owned an iPad Pro and an Apple pencil since they were released in November 2015 and this year I got an update to the latest version.  I bought it primarily for art.  I had seen several artists using it on YouTube and was impressed by the ability to use ‘traditional’ art techniques on a screen.  Every now and again I tried to draw on it but wasn’t feeling it.  For a start it took me hours to complete work that I didn’t enjoy when it was finished.  I’d got it all wrong and the ability to delete led me down a path of overworking and ending up with strange and muddy pictures. 

This year I set myself the challenge of learning how to use the iPad for art.  My aim was to feel comfortable that I could pick up the iPad and create a spontaneous drawing in the same way that I did with my sketchbook and pen. 

I’m not there yet but definitely feeling more relaxed and open to playing and experimenting, thanks to online courses and YouTube videos. 

Procreate is my app of choice for digital art on the iPad, I’ve tried a LOT of drawing apps and this is head and shoulders above the rest.  Don’t get me started on Adobe’s Fresco!

Today’s share is a video from Steve Elliott who is painting his daughter’s pug, Arnie using only the Grunge and Turpentine brushes (both brushes are native to Procreate.). It’s not a step by step tutorial but is a great example of what is possible.

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