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View Full Version : Looking for advice - Painterly styles etc, in SAI



FishNChips
07-31-2012, 09:16 AM
Hi all. I'm a SAI user, and I'm starting to drift off from the solid flat-colour kind of work that I've had my eye on previously. I'm starting to feel that I'm not really going to be good at it. I'm far too bored of it to try and really practise it. So I've been playing about in SAI and try more "painterly" methods, whilst retaining a slightly cartoonish look, I'm kind of aiming for something alike to the work of Mr.Nostalgia on FA.

Here's something by me:

http://gyazo.com/113a1a2bb745e23af2dc34db7c62f93d.png?1343739902

I kind of like it. To me, it's as if the colours coupled with the inky brown sketchy lines have a sort of warm and cuddly look to them. It's not that great, but I think I'm at a start. To do this, I sketched as I normally would, locked the line layer in SAI and coloured them the brown that you can see, and to colour I used the water brush with blending at 25, dilution at 20, and persistence at 50, and coloured it in, with all the colours on the same layer.

But I wanna either improve this, or try something else nice and painterly, but I can't think of what. I've also been interested in more realistic digital paintings, but aside from learning to draw realistic sketches, I have absolutely no idea where to start with that. Even if I am to stick with what I'm doing right now, I have no idea what I'd do to do shading and highlights. Or even giving the drawing more of a texture to it. I think I'd like to shoot for something paper-y.

Does anybody have any useful tips, tutorials, or advice?

Any help would be appreciated! c:

Uini
07-31-2012, 03:42 PM
Hmm. I guess at the least I can give you some brush settings. As far as painting tutorials, I don't even know what I'm doing when I paint so I can't tell you.

These (http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81ilhSwEH1rcdtdco1_1280.png) have been floating for a bit. But It helps to mess around with the settings of a brand new tools until you get it how you want to look.

How realistic are you looking to make your paintings? Still life realism or just finely tuned cartoony paintings?

FishNChips
07-31-2012, 03:55 PM
Hmm. I guess at the least I can give you some brush settings. As far as painting tutorials, I don't even know what I'm doing when I paint so I can't tell you.

These (http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81ilhSwEH1rcdtdco1_1280.png) have been floating for a bit. But It helps to mess around with the settings of a brand new tools until you get it how you want to look.

How realistic are you looking to make your paintings? Still life realism or just finely tuned cartoony paintings?

Oh my, these look helpful! Thanks for those, I'll give them a whirl sooner or later. c: What are those boxes supposed to indicate, though? ._. There's like 4 boxes on each with only one brush selected, idk what I'm looking at.

Aaaand... A little bit of both, really. I think for now I'm best off with cartoony paintings. c: As for more "realistic" painting, I intend to go for a semi-realism look.

Uini
07-31-2012, 04:11 PM
The red boxes are pen tools, the green boxes are brush tools. If you don't want to mess up the default settings for your pen or ink pen you can create a new brush from the template and adjust the settings as shown.

If you're looking to do cartoony painting, I've been fumbling around with painting and shading on a basic sense. I'm still groping in the dark with this, but i can experiment with colors and blending.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6thnd3ZSO1qj0pzvo1_1280.png

I can give you a process for this style if you like.

FishNChips
07-31-2012, 04:19 PM
Oh my, that looks fantastic!

Sure, that would be really awesome of you! C:

Kazekai
07-31-2012, 05:39 PM
I use the ink pen and turn the density down or up, or just abuse the airbrush tool, either works.

Uini
07-31-2012, 05:49 PM
Alright here we go. Please excuse the vulgar term!!!!

Before I start, here's the settings for the soft shading brush I use. http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81mebENqR1rcdtdco6_400.png

Sketch.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81mebENqR1rcdtdco1_1280.png

Start filling in the base colors for the image. I take care to put somethings on separate layers, because its easy for me to bleed another color into the other and not know how to fix it. Don't be afraid to put multiple colors on a layer! (also forgive me i also shade on the same layer the base color is on, it helps me blend the colors together.)
http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81mebENqR1rcdtdco2_1280.png

Make sure to stack the layers accordingly as you color. Some layers on top or under others.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81mebENqR1rcdtdco3_1280.png

After I've laid my colors, I set a colored bg, clean up the color base, set up my color pallets, lock opacity (http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81mebENqR1rcdtdco7_250.png), then begin shading on the layers.
http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81mebENqR1rcdtdco4_1280.png

I remove my sketch layer to examine how the progress is. After my colors have been defined, I continue cleaning, shading and defining the shading and highlights until I'm satisfied with my results.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81mebENqR1rcdtdco5_1280.png

Then because I am lazy/uninspired I just choose a complementary color for the background and make some lame effect. Add words of wisdom and progress, and wham. A masterpiece.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6thnd3ZSO1qj0pzvo1_1280.png

Crying ensues.

FishNChips
07-31-2012, 06:15 PM
Aye it's very nice! c: Thanks for taking the time to show me. Looks wonderfully solid. c: May I ask how you do the shading? Typically I use a multiply layer for that, and just do whatever (blending and blurring and shit) to give it the soft look.

Uini
07-31-2012, 08:02 PM
There are multiple ways to skin a cat. Speaking with a number of art friends, I learned that its really what suits you as an artist to achieve the look you're going for. I can't say using the multiply feature is good or bad. It helps me sometimes when I'm doing cell shading, but I like to be difficult and try to

I felt a little reluctant to show you my technique because I personally see it to be very flawed, but I'm still learning from others and gaining my own experience via trial and error.

I tackle shading and rendering one of 2 ways. Dark to light, or base color then shadows and lights. For me, this is a matter of experimenting with colors blending.
First. Dark to light. Start with the shadow color.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81t6mCMoE1rcdtdco2_400.png

Then apply the light color against the dark. Using light strokes in the areas of diffused light, harder or more clustered strokes in the area of intense light.
http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81t6mCMoE1rcdtdco3_400.png

Then intensify the light, depending on how shiny or how close to the light source it will be. Add lighter colors.
http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81t6mCMoE1rcdtdco4_400.png

It's ok to use the blur tool! Smooth out the colors and make them look natural.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81t6mCMoE1rcdtdco5_400.png

And just to be a smart ass, why not add an extra element of reflection light with a light blue glow.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81t6mCMoE1rcdtdco10_400.png


I did a second one from the same model, With the base color in tact and using environmental colors to make thing looks a little more dynamic.
http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81t6mCMoE1rcdtdco6_400.png

Choosing a few neighboring colors on the wheel for lights and dark.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81t6mCMoE1rcdtdco7_400.png

Use the above technique to spread the colors about.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81t6mCMoE1rcdtdco8_400.png

And smooth it out with the blur tool.
http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m81t6mCMoE1rcdtdco9_400.png


You don't have to use this technique exactly as I have, you can even continue you're own technique and incorporate this one as well! Like I said, there's no wrong or right way. I'm always open to trying something else, and love to move out my comfort zone. =)

I really hope this helped you a lot hun!!!

Demu
07-31-2012, 10:23 PM
If you want a really good color theory tutorial, check out PurpleKecleon's. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/734030/Web/colortheory.html

It is RIDICULOUSLY informative and might help you a lot!

Kazekai
08-07-2012, 03:47 PM
If you want a really good color theory tutorial, check out PurpleKecleon's. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/734030/Web/colortheory.html

It is RIDICULOUSLY informative and might help you a lot!

I LOVE THAT GUY! I used to love his art on dA, I picked up a lot of ideas just from looking at his art. (Or her? I've never known.) Anyway, I'd like to vouch for this source.

FishNChips
08-07-2012, 07:01 PM
If you want a really good color theory tutorial, check out PurpleKecleon's. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/734030/Web/colortheory.html

It is RIDICULOUSLY informative and might help you a lot!

oh my god

i just had a look at this and shat bricks at the info-splosion

thank you for this and thanks for the help from uini too! :>

Demu
08-08-2012, 02:57 PM
I LOVE THAT GUY! I used to love his art on dA, I picked up a lot of ideas just from looking at his art. (Or her? I've never known.) Anyway, I'd like to vouch for this source.

Her. (: She's an extremely talented artist.

Ratte
08-12-2012, 11:39 PM
SAI's brush and acrylic brush both have nice customizable functions like textures and shit that you can tweak as you go. You can also find nice texture packs for SAI if you want more, which I use (mainly smear and grating). Oil water and water are better for blending versus the blur tool. Block in your colors and your value, smooth, refine.

Uini
09-04-2012, 03:48 PM
SAI's brush and acrylic brush both have nice customizable functions like textures and shit that you can tweak as you go. You can also find nice texture packs for SAI if you want more, which I use (mainly smear and grating). Oil water and water are better for blending versus the blur tool. Block in your colors and your value, smooth, refine.

Wahhh!! I just peeped into this thread to see this. I started messing with the water tool recently and its pretty interesting! I'm slightly apprehensive to using textures, but I definitely don't mind giving them a shot! Thanks a lot for the extra advice! <:

Kazekai
09-05-2012, 04:44 AM
Wahhh!! I just peeped into this thread to see this. I started messing with the water tool recently and its pretty interesting! I'm slightly apprehensive to using textures, but I definitely don't mind giving them a shot! Thanks a lot for the extra advice! <:

My exact response as well, I've never touched this tool before. Mind=blown.

I mainly use the spread texture when painting, it gives it a painterly feel, but sometimes, the simple circle is enough.

kingcrowned
09-10-2012, 05:02 AM
Yo if you're looking for some good tools, I have a great brush pack from Onta that works wonders for painting! The file is a .rar, so you'll need Winrar to unzip it.

http://daily.hardblush.com/2009/04/oil-pastel-brushes-for-sai/

It seriously made all the difference for me. I've actually been able to start lineless painting thanks to these tools! If you have any questions about installing brushes, textures, or making them just let me know and I can help you out.

This is also another really handy link: http://notzilon.tumblr.com/post/12173962320
There are 4 links here, to a how-to tutorial with sai brushes and installation and a bunch of fantastic brush textures. The chalk is one of my favorites.

And also, heres something really helpful:

http://swaetshrit.tumblr.com/post/24394100398/mini-sai-guide-blending-color-blending-dilution

This breaks down what the various settings effect in sai, and it can be really helpful for making your own brushes.

I have a TON of links to art resource stuff so if you're looking for anything lemme know haha.

Deaglen
09-10-2012, 05:54 AM
Yo if you're looking for some good tools, I have a great brush pack from Onta that works wonders for painting! The file is a .rar, so you'll need Winrar to unzip it.

http://daily.hardblush.com/2009/04/oil-pastel-brushes-for-sai/

It seriously made all the difference for me. I've actually been able to start lineless painting thanks to these tools! If you have any questions about installing brushes, textures, or making them just let me know and I can help you out.

This is also another really handy link: http://notzilon.tumblr.com/post/12173962320
There are 4 links here, to a how-to tutorial with sai brushes and installation and a bunch of fantastic brush textures. The chalk is one of my favorites.

And also, heres something really helpful:

http://swaetshrit.tumblr.com/post/24394100398/mini-sai-guide-blending-color-blending-dilution

This breaks down what the various settings effect in sai, and it can be really helpful for making your own brushes.

I have a TON of links to art resource stuff so if you're looking for anything lemme know haha.

Seriously guys, the brushes you're using make all the difference. This is a nice base to start out with, you can tweak them once you're comfortable with the settings. I highly recommend them to anyone interested in getting serious about digital art.

Kazekai
09-10-2012, 09:13 PM
Yo if you're looking for some good tools, I have a great brush pack from Onta that works wonders for painting! The file is a .rar, so you'll need Winrar to unzip it.

http://daily.hardblush.com/2009/04/oil-pastel-brushes-for-sai/

It seriously made all the difference for me. I've actually been able to start lineless painting thanks to these tools! If you have any questions about installing brushes, textures, or making them just let me know and I can help you out.

This is also another really handy link: http://notzilon.tumblr.com/post/12173962320
There are 4 links here, to a how-to tutorial with sai brushes and installation and a bunch of fantastic brush textures. The chalk is one of my favorites.

And also, heres something really helpful:

http://swaetshrit.tumblr.com/post/24394100398/mini-sai-guide-blending-color-blending-dilution

This breaks down what the various settings effect in sai, and it can be really helpful for making your own brushes.

I have a TON of links to art resource stuff so if you're looking for anything lemme know haha.

I liked the example but it wouldn't work for me even though I extracted all of the files into my SAI folder.

I use the official version, not the fan one, is there a way to get it working with the official version? (The one that has no start-sai.exe)

Nevermind, I got it working, I'm an idiot. :V

This is also fantastic, by the way. The palette knife is fun to play with and these brushes work so much more efficiently than my custom ones.

Edit: Those tutorials are pretty helpful as well, I didn't know what the persistence actually did until now. :V

kingcrowned
09-11-2012, 01:27 AM
I liked the example but it wouldn't work for me even though I extracted all of the files into my SAI folder.

I use the official version, not the fan one, is there a way to get it working with the official version? (The one that has no start-sai.exe)

Nevermind, I got it working, I'm an idiot. :V

This is also fantastic, by the way. The palette knife is fun to play with and these brushes work so much more efficiently than my custom ones.

Edit: Those tutorials are pretty helpful as well, I didn't know what the persistence actually did until now. :V

:> No problem! I'm glad to hear you got it working. I love these brushes a lot and having them made a huge difference in my digital art, so I'm always eager to share them when I can.

kingcrowned
09-11-2012, 03:05 AM
Okay! So I've also made some how-to videos with Sai. I think they'll help a lot if you're completely new to Sai, or want to know what some of the buttons do. :>
Combine with my post above with all those links for maximum effectiveness!

Various Tips (https://www.dropbox.com/s/u6n5g181gs4mqga/varioussaitips.mp4): A video explaining some of the basic tools Sai has to offer, including how to use clipping group layers, the various layer settings, how to turn a brush into an eraser, and a couple other handy things.

How To Make Brushes From Scratch! (https://www.dropbox.com/s/mu2op9izfjujgp1/howtomakebrushes.mp4): Have you ever wondered how people make their own brush textures? Are you confused about how to install brush textures, paper textures and the like to Sai? Here's a step-by-step visual guide of me telling you how to do it. Keep in mind, you will need a copy of Photoshop to make textures from scratch, but these directions can also be used to help you install textures you find in pre-made packs.

EDIT: I realized my second video cuts out after 14 minutes, so here's the second part: How to Make Brushes part 2 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/448bfv56nqlhb4j/howtomakebrushes2.mp4)

Rooc
10-06-2012, 03:06 PM
Holy crap, that part about the binary tool and clicking that button to make it into an eraser blew my mind! I did not know about that D: That is gonna make my life sooo much easier now. I also didn't know the clipping layer did that..

Thank you for making these videos!

Unburnt Daenerys
10-06-2012, 07:59 PM
http://fav.me/d2xdzxq

My favorite set of painterly SAI brushes

Kazekai
10-06-2012, 08:07 PM
http://fav.me/d2xdzxq

My favorite set of painterly SAI brushes

Those look really appealing but I am way too lazy to set up my brushes like that, do they have a file or something with them in it?

Fiz
10-06-2012, 08:36 PM
Those look really appealing but I am way too lazy to set up my brushes like that, do they have a file or something with them in it?

You hit download on the page to get a .zip file including the brushes.

Unburnt Daenerys
10-06-2012, 08:37 PM
Those look really appealing but I am way too lazy to set up my brushes like that, do they have a file or something with them in it?

The download file link is off to the side under the favorite button. However, you do have to go through and do the brush settings manually. No easy way for these, although they are worth it, especially that grass brush.

Edit: Actually, here are my SAI brushes. They include the Copic, Grass, Chunky, Cloud, Gore, and a couple of the Paint brushes from the download I linked, among others. Just copy the all the files into your SAI folder, then click startsai.exe.

THIS WILL OVERWRITE YOUR SAI BRUSHES! MAKE A BACKUP FIRST!

http://www.sendspace.com/file/gx05if

Kazekai
10-06-2012, 08:44 PM
I know about the download button. :V I will set it up when I feel less lazy I guess.