Wildweasel339's avatar

Sharpen Your Strokes!

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This is a very simple guide, perhaps of common knowledge. However I think it is a crucial step, often forgotten, in finishing a digital painting.

The main goal is to create an illusion of texture, and to get rid of the overly-smooth digital look.
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© 2013 - 2020 Wildweasel339
anonymous's avatar
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DanielaIvanova's avatar
Wow,  would have never thought of that! Thanks so much for sharing, that "mushy" look is indeed a nuisance. 
HCui's avatar
Thanks for sharing, what kind of brush settings do you use to get this kind of natural looking soft dry-brush? Is this in Photoshop?
Wildweasel339's avatar
Yes this is in Photoshop.  You can increase the "brush spacing" to create more more dry brush effect.  
AvilinaChant's avatar
I definitely needed this. Thanks!
PedroDeElizalde's avatar
Thanks! Good advice!
preston2694's avatar
This is very good advice.
MadeleineInk's avatar
Thank you so much!
GDM1989's avatar
Makosu's avatar
You saved my life!
Mutsumipat's avatar
Thank you so much for this advice !! I never thought about this option !! 0_0
Alekto's avatar
Och i Lobr You for that so much. When I looked at Your works I was wondering how the hell You managed to make Your panting look so paint-like.
Thank You a lot.
stargazerlily8D's avatar
I think sharpening strokes is a good idea, but it also depends on what technique you use as well. When it comes to the example you used, I love softer edges since it looks like a study/speed painting. When it looks like that to me I do not expect crisp clean lines :giggle: However, if it's an actual painting depending on how much time and effort I believe you can create sharp pictures without using sharpen, but it is still an awesome tool to use :happybounce: 
leia-cecile's avatar
..This actually just saved my life right now.
Much of love for you !
mysieblondie's avatar
This helped me a lot, thank you :)
CielaRose's avatar
Just discovered this!   
Never thought of sharpening.  I generally tend to leave things blurred because I thought it gave the illusion of life rather than brushstrokes (forgetting, I just realized, that "life" is very textured.  XD)

Definitely keeping this in mind!   Thanks for posting!
Wildweasel339's avatar
It does require a careful balance. It's definitely good to have some soft and lost edges in the mix. They can go along way towards creating a sense of atmosphere (which really helps that life-like illusion). Mainly reserve the sharp edges for focal points and important details.  

CielaRose's avatar
Right, creating a contrast, like you had said earlier, I'm guessing.   Contrast should be my new best friend.   So it's essentially not something you do to the whole picture but just on the focal points.

This is a huge help, I'm learning a lot by following you.  XD   Thanks!
hanroe's avatar
Cool, I didn't know about this. Thanks!
VisualJamie's avatar
Thank you for sharing this great advice. 
jonra22's avatar
you r a wise wizard, thank you.
MisterSev7n's avatar
Nice tip! Thanks!
but could you tell me please which brush did you used here? )
PiuPiu-Littlebird's avatar
You're now officially my hero. Thank you so much for that tip. :heart:
Tohad's avatar
Excellent advice, thank you very much !
Edarneor's avatar
Hm.. yes, you're right.. but I usually simply apply "unsharp mask" to whole painting...
anonymous's avatar
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