Enhancing the Oil Painting Texture

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To give the painting the appearance of an oil painting, we need to add more texture to the 3D illusion.

1. Create a new layer above the Sketch layer. Some of the original sketch will be covered while you paint on this layer.

2. Pick the Variable Chalk variant from the Chalk category. This is a brush that ships with Painter X; you don't need to change any of its default settings other than size as you paint. The brush is good for painting textured surfaces. Because the paper texture that is active is gessoed canvas, the brushstrokes painted with this brush look as if they are painted on a canvas surface.

3. Use the Dropper tool to sample color from different areas in the canvas and paint large and bold strokes of color with the Variable Chalk brush. Work the strokes up close to the figure, and don't worry if there is the occasional overlap into the figure, as you can see on the right elbow of the model in the painting (Figure 1.17).

The nature of this particular brush is very different from the Acrylic brush that we used earlier. As we continue to build up color with the Variable Chalk brush, a softness and subtle blending begins to show, while interacting nicely with the paper texture.

4. Work all over the background of the painting to create a rich and textured surface.

Now we need to make a major change in the painting. To mimic the look and feel of an oil painting, we need to do the remainder of the work on one layer.

5. Before moving on, make sure you do an iterative save so you can recover to this spot if anything goes wrong in the next step.

Anime Oil Paintings

Figure 1.17 The background is painted using the Variable Chalk brush.

Figure 1.17 The background is painted using the Variable Chalk brush.

We need to paint on one layer to temper the nature of the Impasto brushes that we will use. These brushes create their impasto effect on any layer where they are applied. Building on multiple layers tends to make the impasto effect on each succeeding layer shinier. While shine might be a good thing in some cases, it is not desirable for this painting. Figure 1.18 shows how the shine in the impasto effect builds from the Canvas layer on the left to the purple color on the right, which is painted on a fourth layer.

Texture Layers Painting Techniques
Figure 1.18 The progressive shine of the Impasto effect as it is painted on four layers

Drop all the layers onto the canvas, and save the image once again.

The painting in general is rough, and the dark sketch lines are dominant. To slightly soften the roughness of the painting and start to subordinate the sketch lines, we need to do a bit of blending. The blending should be subtle so it doesn't obliterate the colors and values that are already established in the painting. 7. Select the Dons Grainy Water brush, and set the Opacity slider to 15 percent. Using a light touch, blend and soften the edges in the painting. In some areas of the painting, blend along the edge to keep it crisp; in other areas, blend across the edge to soften the transition between colors and values.

Follow these general guidelines on how to handle blending and edges: keep the edges sharper and with less blending in the areas of the painting where you want the center of interest to be. Also make sharper the edges of small forms and forms that are strongly lit. The edges in areas of less interest can be softer. The edges in shadows and on large forms can also be blended more.

The blending will have an immediate result in making the painting look even worse than earlier versions. Don't worry; this is a normal precursor to finishing the painting. Figure 1.19 shows the painting after blending. The dark sketch lines are now significantly reduced in strength and opacity. Some of the edges where the figure meets the background are very soft, with color from the figure spilling into the background and vice versa. The edges of the hair are blended into the fabric and background, giv- 17

ing a soft base to later finish the hair on. P

Figure 1.19 Using Dons Grainy Water brush to blend and soften the painting. Notice that the dark sketch lines are not nearly as strong now.

This is the end of the block-in stage of the painting. The basic colors and values are now established and, in many ways, you've completed the most important stage of a painting. For all practical purposes, the look of the painting is now established. From this point on, the work is meant to refine what is painted.

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