Found time to paint a small personal project with the purpose of trying something different from my regular CEF projects and have total freedom to take risks, learn, discover and have fun. Sue was my willing model.

Digital illustration using ArtRage 5. [16x20"]

Digital illustration using ArtRage 5. [16×20″]

I decided to step out of Photoshop, the program I use every day for my work, and do a digital painting using a simple program called ArtRage 5 and use only one digital brush for the painting (square-canvas-2).  For digital illustrations in Photoshop I rarely use more than 2-3 different brushes.  I’m still working on loosening up and simplifying my brushstrokes for these personal projects.  I don’t have that freedom with the style needed for the CEF flashcard illustrations so it takes some retraining of my brain to shift gears and relax!

For this project, I specifically wanted to try something almost entirely made up of grey tones but got carried away with the skin colors, as the original idea was to use a very limited palette and keep the skin as muted grays (more toward the greens, cool reds, blues, etc.). Overall happy with the results but always see something to fix, like simplifying the flying hair strands to simple broad brush strokes or “object welding/shape merging” the subject more with the FG tree.  As part of the learning process I re-re-painted the background grays, playing around with green-grey then blue-grey.  I also discovered that Artrage doesn’t blend colors quite the same as Photoshop.  I believe the ArtRage programmers attempted to more closely replicate real world blending of traditional paints.

ArtRage5 is a great little program where you forget you’re in an app and just enjoy painting/drawing.  It’s a great (and more affordable) alternative to the natural media look of Corel Painter without Corel’s cumbersome, over-complicated layout.  Artrage 5 got one step closer to the control of Photoshop as tool for illustrators.

Close-up image showing the different colors in the flesh tones (green, violet, etc.). Artrage5 did a convincing job with the canvas texture.

Close-up image showing the different colors in the flesh tones (green, violet, etc.). Artrage5 did a convincing job with the canvas texture.