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Submitted on
June 15, 2012
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351 KB


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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This progression is now out of date and is not entirely accurate to how I do things now.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:


----------------------[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
Final Painting
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Boy, I'm gonna need a LOT of practice.
ThreshTheSky Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha. Well, practice is how I've figured out most of what I can do. :)
Naturally. I dare anyone to tell me they get it right the first time. ;P
VladSnyder Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome tutorial! Thankies!
ThreshTheSky 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! :)
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!
ThreshTheSky 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! :)
You are very welcome!
Blorosa 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 ._."
ThreshTheSky 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. :)
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