Few digital painting tips to keep in mind

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    Arjun Khode

    Hey guys! Arjun here. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on my past artworks and I came up with this list of things I need to be careful of and keep in mind. I thought it would give you some ideas. If you have any insights, feel free to share them here! I paint digitally in Procreate.

    Important lessons learned cumulatively from past
    1. Gesture out – Use gestural marks to get a feel for the height to width ratio, even if it means drawing in an oval blob first. This saves me some minutes of intense frustration trying to fix proportions later.
    2. Crisp edges – Refine the edges, even if it entails any kind of extra work. Edges do not mean only the outer confines, it might mean the shape of the nostril, an eyelid, the gap between the lips, these lines absolutely need to be very carefully crafted
    3. Raze – Anytime I have razed the whole or majority of my drawing and did it over again, those drawings turned out to be some of my best drawings
    4. 2 color glazing – Glazing with only one color produces monochromatic results, using a second color puts more life into the piece. Think reflected light, sky light and subsurface scattering, also red of the cheeks
    5. Clear thinking – Decide on what you want to do first and follow that perfectly, don’t deviate. In my best time-lapses, I could say out loud every single thought I was thinking in the process. Let your thoughts read loud and clear, that’s your process!
    6. Embrace digital – You are using a different medium in its own right. Embrace the power that it gives you instead of trying to compete with your traditional counterparts. You can’t do what they do and they can’t do what you do. That means transform, rotate, scale, undo, curves, masks and fill are tools in your pocket.
    7. Tracing/overlaying a reference – I avoid this when I can. Instead, I export my drawing and look at it side by side with the reference, much like sight size measuring. When I zoom in and pan around, I see mistakes easily. This has boosted my confidence a lot. Besides, if you’ve tried tracing you know line alone does not get the likeness, the imperfections in human measurement can be very aesthetic and artistic after some training. That’s why someone would choose you over a photo-manipulator, as Craig Mullins says.

    if you’re interested, I document my artistic journey in my weekly podcast found here.

    Arjun Khode

    Looks like the podcast link turned into the audio of my latest episode. I’ll try again


    On Spotify and Apple podcast, it is titled ‘Life and drawing with Tracer’

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