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Step-by-Step Digital Painting Tutorial

Reblog from my Tumblr? :blush:

Please read my commentary before asking any more questions~! thanks :D

Finished Work:

Edit: I've had a few repeated question of how I work my lineart into the drawing.
I'd like to clarify that i don't really actually have a clean line-art. I have clean-sketches that I work under, but they're not what I personally call lineart. If you zoom in, they are very messy. I do merge the layers together at some point in step 5, and I continue to literally work the colours of the lineart into the skin (which is why i turned the sketch layer into overlay so the colours become very similar and nice to work with). That way I can get an almost none-lineart quality.

also, if you're wondering about canvas sizes, check out my journal about them: [link]

The program I used was Painttool SAI, but I think you can achieve similar effects via photoshop with a low-opacity textured brushes.

I hope this helped : ) Sorry it's so darn long. I kept it as short as I could but it's still a pretty long process.
Please keep in mind this is more of a guide to my painting process and how I technically go about doing this; It's not going to automatically teach you how to render or understand structure or anatomy (which I hope I will cover in more tutorials in the future.), which is very important, of course, to the painting itself. That's why I'll be slowly going through and doing more tutorials on anatomy and structure in the next few months, hopefully :D.

A good practice for rendering is actually to do still life and human sketches. preferably with a pencil, and not digitally (yet) :). If you have any questions feel free to ask me :D

Step-by-step animation:

In the mean time, have some of my other anatomy tutorials:
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hayleyfigueroa's avatar

i know this is a billion years old but reading this made me feel suddenly exhausted and i have NO clue what was going on after step 5 :D

YmiArt's avatar
I know this is old, but its helped me get past my frustrations with digital painting and finally finish some, even though im not at the fully render stage yet im happy with my progress.

My goal this year is to push my colors and lighting/shadow in my painting then focus when i feel more comfortable in that with the rendering work :D .

thank you!
NolrChat's avatar
wait do you use multiply for step 2 with using paint tool sai? I'm confused
ExudeArt's avatar
OOOh my gosh!! <333
AClockworkKitten's avatar
After all these years I'm finally going to try painting this way!  Happy happy joy joy!
BeltreDog's avatar
Question: what kind of brush texture or brush shape do you use for the marker tool for shading and  rendering ?
Bloo-The-Dragon's avatar
Omg this makes me feel so much better about my art, I do naturally messy line art due to unsteady hands, and most tutorials don't show the Overlay/Multiply method.
Mykrame's avatar
Thanks a lot for sharing :)
Cassie-Draws's avatar
Mataknight's avatar
I just want to say that this tutorial is amazing and informative.
It's really helped me with my painting skills.
Thank you so much!! :D
Metalraptor's avatar
Excellent tutorial. :D
Chameleonade's avatar
This is usefull and a splendid work, I love your imaginary!
jdayEXE's avatar
this is awesome thanks so much! i wish you had a video like this so i can follow step by step on Photoshop cuz Photoshop has a lot of optionsPikachu sighs 
goofynas's avatar
Thanks for the tut, but I feel this one is for more advanced painters or users of SAI. For begginners like me, it does not help a lot especially because of the brush settings (I know we are suppose to "try", by it would be nice to have a stating point besides the default settings).

[edit] it is a lovely drawing and pain. Wish I was o far ahead like you ;)
bobthescaryman's avatar
She said what brush she uses, but the settings I guess is down to you to test and see what works for you. As of course, you don't want to copy her shading style down to a tee.

It takes practice and hard work of years and years to get happy with a style that suits you.
derangedmelody's avatar
"FIN" ahhaaa I get it
ShadowKeaton2's avatar
Lovely art and tutorial! It's helped me out a lot but I was wondering (I even looked through all the comments to see if anyone else has asked this... >.<) do you change any of the other settings on the marker tool?

I see that you changed the blending and persistence, is there any other changes you make? And what settings do you use for the water tool? I haven't used any digital art programs for a few years and I'm trying to figure out what kind of settings I like! I used to use photoshop but lost it so I turned to using sai and have been really enjoying it. ^^ 

Thank you, this tutorial has really given me motivation to continue on with digital art again! :)
ckk211918's avatar
Do you scan your picture to your computer or do you draw it on your computer? I am so confused. Lol. Thank you in advance!
bobthescaryman's avatar
Confused? she sketched it all on Photoshop
Kuhseem's avatar
The line part confused me, you don't erase the lines? You merge and blend them inward? 
Qinni's avatar
inwards, outwards, whatever looks proper and according to lighting and form. 
Kuhseem's avatar
ohh, thank you very much
sleek2001's avatar
can you please post a large picture of your textured brush at high opacity.
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