Blocking in the Base Colors

In traditional opaque painting, it is good practice to paint from darker to lighter colors in large and fairly rough shapes. That's a process I continue to use when I paint with the computer.

At this stage in the painting, the image often looks way too rough and sloppy, but it is not meant to be finished work. The early stage of adding color to a painting is called block-in. Blocking in color involves the simple process of roughly putting colors in the correct values and in the correct spot in the painting. There is no finesse or attempt to blend these colors. Blocking in the large shapes only establishes the basic building blocks to be refined later.

Before blocking in the colors, we need to rearrange some of the layers.

1. Click in the Layers palette on the Watercolor layer, and drag it down until it is the first layer above the canvas.

2. Click the Add Layer button at the bottom of the Layers palette, use the Layers menu, or use the keys Ctrl+Shift+N (F+Shift+N on the Mac) to create a new layer right above the Watercolor layer. Make sure the Preserve Transparency box is not checked, and check the Pick Up Underlying Color box.

3. Change to the Brush tool if it is not already active (B key), and pick the Captured Bristle brush variant in the Acrylics brush category. This default brush is a great one to use to block colors in quickly in the initial stages of a painting. It has a brushy feel to the strokes, is opaque, and has a bristly appearance.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

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