Friday, April 5, 2013

Tweaking tweaking tweaking...

Always with a previous version open beside photoshop to keep me from going off track, which would have happened many times.

After flattening your layers, always copy the whole painting onto a new layer and work on that, so you always have the original image there under everything. Then it's easy to switch back and forth and see exactly what's changed.

I've ended up many times deciding to scrap hours' worth of  work and go back to an earlier stage. It's frustrating but it's good to know you have that much control, and it's taking my skills to an unprecedented level (for me I mean).

I'm doing almost all my work on layers and flattening when it looks good. I can use the eraser to clean up edges or blend layers by using different combinations of opacity and layer types (ie Normal, Multiply, Darken etc).

I've also found a nice way to blend down rough marks such as all those scribbly lines from the early rough-in. I don't like a smooth airbrushed look, but the marks are too rough, so I go back and forth with the Lighten and Darken brushes set to very low opacity and select nice in-between colors. You end up with all the life and vitality of those spontaneous marks but nicely blended and smoothed. It's looking a bit soft and mushy now though, definitely need to strike in some nice dark accents.

I keep surgically lopping off that upraised arm and moving it around, trying to get it to fit properly into the shoulder socket. I'm astonished at the endless ability photoshop allows to reshape and move things around. It still doesn't look quite right though. Think I need to peel off the deltoid muscle and work on just the arm, then wrap the pectoral over and paint in a new deltoid.

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