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oddsocket's avatar

painting scales with Paint Tool SAI

Frigidusk was interested in seeing my process for painting scales, so I figured why not make a little step-by-step of it! It's similar to the way I painted the scales on my Seaking: 119 - Seaking by Electrical-Socketexcept with a little more detail. The process in this step-by-step remains pretty much the same for smaller images like Seaking, except I work a little looser and try to avoid over-detailing it. 

As always, this is just my way of doing this particular thing! If you're interested in learning to digipaint more realistic scales, I recommend looking at photographs of whatever creature's scales you want to emulate and getting to know the patterns/colouration/etc. Real life is the best reference, in the end. But if you like how my scales look and you'd like to get a similar effect, by all means follow along! :)

Other Tutorials: painting underwater bubbles on paint tool SAI by Electrical-Socket Some Basic Notes on Composition? by Electrical-Socket 
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© 2014 - 2021 oddsocket
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Mihail-T's avatar

After final step those scales look not flat, but rather it's like each of them is protruding 3d lump of skin.

Pretty interesting and fantastical idea.

Luminescent-Feather's avatar
For those who use MediBang or FireAlpaca, the Lumosity layer is the Add layer! Same thing, different name.
Kazearaka's avatar
OMG THANK YOU ON SOOOOO MANY LEVELS!!! Drawing scales is so hard for me!! this just made it so much easier!! Thanks a ton!
oddsocket's avatar
Ayyy no problem, I'm glad you found this helpful! :D
aarushiiroosh's avatar
is there a fur one?
oddsocket's avatar
I haven't made a tutorial on digipainting fur, no - my process is very trial-and-error and therefore too unreliable to break down, haha.

A couple of tutorials that have helped me are clockbirds' stylised fur step-by-step:…
and this tutorial by gloomyguts: Ufoparty's Fur Tutorial! by gloomyguts ! I hope that you'll find them useful too. :)
Kidlike101's avatar
Thank you for the tutorial. I was unhappy with my own style and came across this little gem. Used it for this piece! Onmyoji - Koi Pond by Kidlike101  
oddsocket's avatar
I'm really glad you found this tutorial helpful! Your piece came out wonderfully, by the way, the way you adapted it to use more subtle shading on the scales for the fish and mermaid tail looks fantastic. <3
Gold-Horned-Alpha's avatar
I just want to thank you for this amazing tutorial. :)

Thanks to you I was able to make my own variation of this technique, and quite frankly I'm amazed by how many different types of scales this work with.

Once again thank you so much. Keep up the good work :D
oddsocket's avatar
Ahhh I'm so glad that you found this tutorial helpful - especially that it can be adapted to your own technique! I do my best to make tutorials that don't require people to follow exactly the same technique and can be translated into someone's own style, so I'm happy to know this tutorial works for that. C: Thank you for leaving this lovely comment! <3
Gold-Horned-Alpha's avatar
KariNiji's avatar
this is awesome ty so much!
oddsocket's avatar
Aaa thank you!! C:
Brizydizi's avatar
Nice tutorial, but how do I make a multiply or luminosity layers?
oddsocket's avatar
There's a dropdown menu above the Layers tab - you can set your layer to Multiply, Luminosity, Lumi/Shade or any other mode there! Here's where it is:
Brizydizi's avatar
Thank you so much, you're a life saver
oddsocket's avatar
No problem at all - happy to help! :D
Brizydizi's avatar
You're awesome Clap
NatsukiNekoChan's avatar
This looks really good, thanks!! :3
StopAtTheEdge's avatar
This was very helpful! Thank you!
MagicBlades's avatar
yo dude, this is pretty neato! I still practice to get it right, but it's super cool man, jsut like yoooooou :3
oddsocket's avatar
Thank you so much, I'm really glad you found it helpful! You did a great job in your hydra picture, the scales look almost pearlescent which is really cool!
MagicBlades's avatar
thanks pal :) I'll do my best and keep an eye on your work :)
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