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Digital Painting Progression by ThreshTheSky Digital Painting Progression by ThreshTheSky
UPDATE 3/16/13
This progression is now out of date and is not entirely accurate to how I do things now. My most recent progression is posted here:


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----------------------[end update]

UPDATE 7/23/12
I now employ the use a tablet. Tool(s) used are listed in the descriptions of each painting. If none is listed (I didn't bother noting what I used before I got a tablet), it was painted with a mouse.

This is a progression showing how one of my paintings looks as it goes from starting sketch to finished product. Apologies that some of the steps seem to jump forward more than others. At several points during this painting, I realized something along the lines of, "Crap, it's been over an hour since my last screenshot." My apologies.

Starting with upper left image, reading left to right and top to bottom
1) I don't have a tablet and I'm not good enough with a mouse to be able to draw an outline with a mouse. Thus I sketch what I'm doing in pencil and scan it. (The rest is done in Adobe Photoshop.) My sketches are usually not this detailed, but I had this drawing already scanned and decided to color it.
2) I usually paint my backgrounds first and separately. I block in basic colors over the pencil sketch.
3) Background and subject are combined and flattened.
4) A crap ton of blur, smudge, burn, and dodge happens.
5) Rougher details are added using the paintbrush, burn, and dodge.
6) The finest details (stubble, individual hairs, iris texture, etc.) are painted and final adjustments are made.

I tend to deem a painting finished when I'm sick of working on it. Most of the things I post could use more polishing or detail work. However if I waited to submit anything until I was absolutely satisfied with it, I'd probably end up posting next to nothing.

Original pencil drawing fav.me/d4ww6o1
Final Painting fav.me/d53nt5q
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013
Boy, I'm gonna need a LOT of practice.
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:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha. Well, practice is how I've figured out most of what I can do. :)
Reply
:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013
Naturally. I dare anyone to tell me they get it right the first time. ;P
Reply
:iconvladsnyder:
VladSnyder Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome tutorial! Thankies!
Reply
:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha. I think it's way too vague and simplistic. :XD: But I'm glad you found it helpful! :)
Reply
:iconanathelaren:
AnathelaRen Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
Great work, as usual :) It's always useful to see WIPs to see different techniques being used by different artists, so I can sort of perfect my own method, so thank you because this helped!
Reply
:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I need to update this since some of my techniques have changed a little. But I'm glad you found it useful anyway. Thank you for the nice comment! :)
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:iconanathelaren:
AnathelaRen Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
You are very welcome!
Reply
:iconblorosa:
Blorosa Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very usefull ! But, I wonder, did you erase the line when you put the colouring ? 'cause I didn't see it on the colour parts ._."
Reply
:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Glad to hear it was useful. But I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you asking why you can't see the pencil sketch that I used as an outline in any of the painting/coloring steps? If so, that's because I always paint on different layers that are separate from the layer that has the outline drawing. I kept the outline drawing hidden when I took screenshots to give a clearer view of what happens in each step. :)
Reply
:iconblorosa:
Blorosa Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's exactly what I want to say C:
Okay then, I understand well now :D
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:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Cool. Glad to clarify. :)
Reply
:iconjack-of-mask:
Jack-of-mask Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha! all hail the burn / dodge tool!!! dont worry about experience level or formal training for me at least the best wonders of Photoshop happen to me by accident all that really maters is you do that you love and can start to transfer whats in your head onto paper right?
Reply
:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Indeed! Burn and dodge are probably the tools I rely on most, besides the paintbrush.

Haha. Yeah, I know what you mean. Pretty much everything I know about Photoshop is stuff that I figured out by accident while just playing around. But dA can be an intimidating place, especially when you come across one of the many ridiculously talented (and often professional) artists here.
Reply
:icontheblueinkedwolf:
TheBlueInkedWolf Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
so thats how its properly done! omg now i finally understand the magic of digital portraits *o* thank you!!!
Reply
:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't know if this is "proper" so to speak, but it's how I do it. :) Glad you found it useful!
Reply
:icondarquejackal:
DarqueJackal Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for this lesson. CG art is a mystery to me. This helps make it more clear.
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:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem. This is a really general overview but I'm glad you found it helpful anyway. Thanks for all the favorites and lovely comments!
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:iconjay3jay:
jay3jay Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012
WOW I couldnīt do that on the computer!!
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:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
All it takes is practice. Thanks for having a look!
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:iconjay3jay:
jay3jay Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012
sure I have some hand made paintings ^^
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:iconmidnight-attractions:
Midnight-attractions Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Holy carp. Jealous of the skills.
Reply
:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I'm glad you approve.
Reply
:iconmidnight-attractions:
Midnight-attractions Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:D Now I've got something to work on, need to practice my own art!
Reply
:icon012930:
012930 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2012
OMG ! how do you manage to paint so good without a tablet ?
Amazing job :)
Reply
:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha. I don't know any better. I'm looking into getting a tablet right now, but I have a feeling that when I get one I won't know what to do with it.

Thanks! Glad you like it.
Reply
:iconstarlene:
Starlene Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You don't have a tablet?? I have no idea how you can produce pics as detailed as this without one! :wow:
Reply
:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Not yet. I'm researching makes and models that have good reviews. (And that I can actually afford, which kind of limits things...)
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:iconlady-sarah14:
Lady-Sarah14 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012
It's very interesting to see how you create your paintings. They are lovely, and this really shows how much effort you have to put in.
Reply
:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm glad you found it interesting. Thanks for the kind words.
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:iconlady-sarah14:
Lady-Sarah14 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012
You're very welcome :)
Reply
:iconlessienlossehelin:
LessienLossehelin Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012
thank you very much for this tutorial :) I will try it for sure :D
Reply
:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem. Thanks again for the idea.
Reply
:iconlessienlossehelin:
LessienLossehelin Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2012
np :D
Reply
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