Painting Shiny Baubles

This final chapter is about painting shiny things. There is often a need when digital painting to paint shiny objects. Shiny objects are no harder to paint than other objects; you just adjust the values differently. There are a few tools in Painter that make painting shiny objects easy.

This chapter looks at several of the methods I might use when painting shiny jewelry or other highly reflective objects in a painting. In this particular case, I'll be painting imaginary jewelry on a stylized figure.

There are, of course, as many different ways to paint these types of objects as there are objects to paint, but the basic underlying principles are the same regardless of the artist.

Chapter Contents

Using a Different Approach Painting the Face

Adding a Decorative Pattern to the Fabric

Painting the Earrings

Painting the Neck Rings

Using Liquid Metal to Paint Jewelry

Using a Custom Brush to Paint Decorative Shapes

Creating an Amazing Background

Finishing Touches

Using a Different Approach

This chapter is set up differently from most of the others in the book. In earlier chapters, you saw the progression from the first steps of an image to the last. This tutorial also shows a progression from the beginning of a painted face until the finishing touches, but the order in which the individual elements are painted is not important. Feel free to move between sections as you like.

The techniques that I use to paint this image are applicable to any shiny subject matter.

This chapter also assumes that you know more about Painter than previous chapters assumed. Earlier chapters may have specified an opacity or setting, but in this chapter, much of that is left up your own discretion.

The painting is approximately 2000 pixels square. The color scheme I wanted to use for this painting was based on greens and purples. When the initial image was created, I set the paper color to a nice mid-value olive green. When painting flesh tones, olive green is a nice complement to the skin colors.

With the paper color set as the background color, I erased to the green color instead of to white. This makes corrections much easier in some paintings.

Painting the Face

>Y Since the object of this tutorial is not about painting a face, I've already finished most

IH of that work.

g I painted this face from my imagination and stylized it in a way that would

NTI work with the jewelry to be painted. In this case, I did not use a scanned sketch as a g basis for the face.

d^ Painting the face was quite straightforward using Dons brush and the Opaque

« Round brush. I painted the subject on a new layer above the background. With the

< Picked Up Underlying Color box checked, I was able to let my brushes blend subtly u with the background color.

Because we will be using a technique that mirrors some of the jewelry pieces, we want a face that is very symmetrical. Create a new layer. Paint half the face. Copy that half face. Paste the half face back into the image. Flip the new layer horizontally.

6. Carefully align the two halves.

7. Collapse them to one layer.

8. Paint over any seams and imperfections.

There are, of course, certain areas where a simple mirroring will not work or produce the results we want. For example, simply mirroring the eyes would result in highlights on the eyes that would indicate two light sources in different directions.

Obviously, this would be unacceptable and confusing to a viewer, so we need to paint areas like the eyes individually.

You may have also noticed how very long the neck appears. I did that on purpose. You'll learn why in a later section.

I kept the face on a separate layer from the background during most of the painting. Figure 9.1 shows the painting used in this tutorial.

Figure 9.1 The face painting used in the tutorial

Ultimately, the light is coming from above and slightly to the right, and the face is almost symmetrical. The light is ideal for what I want to demonstrate in this tutorial. You can either use my face painting to follow along or paint one of your own.

Note: The layered painter file is available for download at, so you can follow along if you want.

Adding a Decorative Pattern to the Fabric

First I want to add a little bit of pattern and break up the dark fabric of the robe that the subject is wearing. This is simple to do using tools and techniques demonstrated in earlier chapters: paper textures and the Variable Chalk brush. I want the pattern to be similar to the shapes of the jewelry that I will paint in later stages.

I created several paper textures with overlapping circles. I used circles because they reinforce the shapes of the jewelry that I will create, but I want the pattern in the fabric to add a slightly random element into a very symmetrical painting. The overlapping circles in the paper textures are drawn randomly to achieve this.

If you have not already done so, you can load the paper library that I created when doing this tutorial. The library is called circles.pap and has half a dozen different paper textures with random circular patterns.

Note: Circles.pap is available for download at

1. Create a new layer.

2. Use the Variable Chalk brush to paint the circular pattern over the black robe (Figure 9.2).

Figure 9.2 A circular pattern is painted on a new layer over the black robe.

Slightly blur the pattern using Effects > Focus > Soften. Leave the setting at the default when the option box opens. Lower the Opacity setting of the layer to 50% (Figure 9.3).

While I want a pattern to be noticeable, I do not want it to be distracting. Adjusting the amount of opacity is a good way to decide how visible the pattern will appear.

5. Use the Eraser tool to clean up the edges of the pattern.

6. Duplicate the layer and increase the brightness of the duplicate layer.

7. Erase areas of the Bright layer, leaving some light and dark contrast in the pattern.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

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  • jana schwab
    8 years ago
  • tony
    How to pain shiney glass baubles?
    8 months ago

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