This is my friend Gary. He’s the coolest guy I know – he rides all sorts of bikes from pushies to motorised. He also plays in a rock band, runs, skiis, snowboards and travels just to name a few. So I thought a digital painting of him and his very cool Hercules would be a good way of showing him off.
I took this picture of him last fall while he was showing Melanie and myself his backyard trails just outside Barrie, Ontario. I decided on this picture for some digital painting as I liked the colours, the leaves and the ‘low rider’ action. For a larger view of the painting…simply click on it.
Digital Painting is just what it sounds like. I move pixels around on the computer instead of using actual paints, brushes and various cleaners. I love how I can make a ‘virtual mess’ of a painting than hit the ‘back’ button or delete the painting entirely and start all over. Plus, there’s no mess – no sticky fingers, no turpentine, no oils, and no spills. However, my eyes eventually become strained from starting at the monitor for too long.
The process of taking a picture and transforming it into a painting is not that difficult. The trick is to start off with a good picture. And that itself can be challenging. What makes a good photograph does not necessarily translate into a good painting. I have also found that certain colours and backgrounds lend themselves better to being ‘digitised’. Once I have found a suitable photograph I play around with it in either Lightroom or Photoshop using levels, saturation, brightness, dodging and burning. Those are usually my main edits. Than I open up the picture in Corel Painter, choose my brushes, senstivity and a host of other things before I begin ‘painting’.
The next part is the hardest for me. I really should leave the painting alone for a few days…not to dry but to see whether or not I am pleased with the results. However, I am such an impatient person that sometimes I skip this last step. My impatience has sometimes gotten me in trouble. This is also another reason why I do not play golf. In fact I have only played twice in my life (not counting driving ranges and mini-golf). The last time I played I ran in between holes as I was getting ‘ancy’ and just had to ‘de-energise’ a bit. Ok…I am so off topic right now.
I hope you like the painting. Please feel free to send me your thoughts!