Photoshop painting tutorial achieving painterly effect

Photoshop painting tutorial achieving painterly effect or looseness in digital painting, my thought on digital painting.
Many people asked me how did I make my digital painting in Photoshop looks so traditional like and loose. How do I make my piece look so analog instead of look very digital? Well, I’ve been thinking about it for a long while. As I analyzed how I paint and doodle around in Photoshop with my Wacom tablet and pen. I was thinking possible because I used to paint in gauche and acrylic before I even know digital painting exist? I don’t really know, but I know what should my painting look like in the end. And possibly because I admire many oil painters such as John Singer Sargent, John Williams Waterhouse, Ander Zorn, Rick Berry, Richard Schmid, and Frank Frazetta. They are master oil painters and I always hoping that some day I could do something as great or somehow close to that caliber of work.
Anyway, I think the work of most artists often reflect their taste, influences or mentors. I love having brush strokes in my piece, not all of us like that. Some like their art work to be smooth and tight, some love airbrush work. But me, personally, I am not a big fan of airbrush or art work that are really tight. Though more often than not, I really love a lot of them and always wonder how they achieve such effect. But my most favorite remains painterly effect or looseness. And most painters who paint from light or “Direct painting” like Sargent, Mullins and Schmid are always my most favorite.

In humble my opinion, if you try to achieve looseness of traditional medium look in digital painting. I would suggest play around with brush strokes. And more importantly, you have to know how and where to define edges. There are hard edge, soft edge and loose edge. Don’t try to make your painting looks too smooth. If you can do that, then your digital art work would definitely look more like traditional work.
*More on edges go read Three important rules for painting.

Craig Mullins once states, “So in digital terms, leave the airbrush and smudge tools alone and use a flat brush. I think the give-away for digital is the slickness. Finding the edge of forms is the first step to good shape design. Hope this helps!”

I was reading “Alla Prima” by Richard Schmid last night. He said something that I think you guys might find really useful. You can also apply that to practice of painting. To get your painting to look loose is not to let yourself loose.
He said, “Looseness is NOT a frivolous departure from control, quite the opposite. It arise from the freedom which comes with superb control.” It is true in my opinion. Art, like many things I practice, the more discipline you have, the better you will get. If you constantly practice and treat it seriously with respect then you will achieve your goal.
Not much going on here, I’ve been busy moving all the video files from Payloadz to E-Junkie. Tons of work still left to do. All I want to do is paint, not moving files around and changing servers.
Here is the latest, It is still a long way to finish line. I am hoping to finish it soon. Step by step will come when it is done. 😉

Achieving looseness in painting

Achieving looseness in painting

download photoshop brushes

More related tutorials
-Composition rule of the third
-Photoshop shortcuts for digital painting
-Color vs value compare for artists
-5 steps to improve your drawing skill fast
-What pencil is the best to draw and sketch

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About Xia Taptara

Xia Taptara (黃曉聲 Huang XiaoShēng), currently a freelance concept artist for games and films, formerly a character concept artist for ArenaNet/NCsoft (GuildWars & Guildwars 2). I also work on various projects for Game of Thrones, Square-Enix, Paizo Publishing, Fantasy Fight Games, Disney Interactive, and many publishers & clients. I use Wacom Tablet Intuos and Photoshop CS2,3,4,5 to do most of my professional art work. I use pencil, pen, and traditional medium in my free time. I founded ( in 2007 to motivate myself to create more and better art. Also I get to draw and paint whatever the hell I want to. Hopefully I can inspired some young soul and old soul alike. *QUESTIONS & COMMENT: PLEASE POST THEM ON THE BLOG. Or CONTACT ME via idrawgirls Facebook page. DO NOT E-MAIL ME. Thank you. ;-)
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2 Responses to Photoshop painting tutorial achieving painterly effect

  1. Xia Taptara says:

    Thanks. How did you not see the buttons under the image.? It states BRUSHES download. Is it not visible enough?
    I’d like to know how did you miss the download buttons?
    Did you read the post? Plz enlighten me…

    For tablet setting, I use default setting most of the time. Don’t worry so much about that, very minor stuff. Just make sure your pen is pressure sensitive, that is all there is to it.
    Fancy brushes won’t make your art any better than it already is.
    You have to FOCUS on the value (light and dark). Once you nailed it, no matter what brushes you use…the piece will be good.
    Tips on Brushes is you have to understand edges. 1,000 brushes can only produce 3 kind of edges. Hard, soft and lost… no matter how many brushes there is still only 3 edges. Don’t know if you get it now but if you keep painting for years then you will.
    HERE DOWNLOAD brushes:

    I can just use default round, hard and soft to paint, as shown below.


    More tips
    here is how to set it up
    3 rules of Painting

    Color vs Value
    Value Exercise

    Look around on the right column of the blog, you should be able to find some key tips you can utilize.

    Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, then more free videos will come


  2. Sakurachx says:

    You’re an amazing artist, and this website and many other things in my life have led me to persue art concept design… I don’t know if you posted this already, or not. I haven’t been able to find it, but do you use a certain brush pack for photoshop? The default is really frustrating to use in my opinion.

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