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Question about layering..direction of brush & glazing.


pepibom
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Hi there...Ok so maybe I'm really overanalyzing things but I am trying to master layering...and I have a couple of question about both direction of brush and layering with glazes.

 

So lets assume we have a cloak whose fold runs vertically. If I am layering from dark to light. do I run the brush along the fold or does the layering involve little horizontal strokes along the fold. I ask this because I have read mention that one should be conscious of where you lift the brush off...because that is where the most paint will end up.in the up to down brushstroke the most paint ends up at either the top or bottom of that vertical fold....wouldn't seem to really matter as much if that were the case.

 

And about layering with glazes. When doing so,lets say your shadow is going to be purple. and your base is blue. (Taking that from an example I saw somewhere around here.) When you lay your glaze layer do you cover the entire area to be painted...so lets say a fold in the cloak...that would be layer one. Then do you go over that entire initial area you covered in layer one minus a little smidge ...and then repeat over and over again>>? Hope I'm making sense.

 

Thanks and sorry about the stupid questions. Just want to be sure.

 

-G

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Re: direction

 

If I'm going lighter, I start the brushstroke where it's going to remain darker, and end the stroke towards the area that's going to be lighter. If the fold is vertical, on the left side of the fold I'd brush left to right, and on the right side of the fold I'd go right to left. Because I like making left to right strokes, I often just hold the mini upside down for the right to left parts.

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I'd say do what's easier. I often find that I can't do the 'ideal' approach very well because space is cramped or there's some other piece of detail in the way. You can always touch it up afterwards.

 

Ishil

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I think you have asked two different questions.

 

1) Layering. Where one puts on a slightly lighter or darker layer of paint to simulate shadow and light reflection.

I am aware of where I lift the brush because of the effect you have stated. However, I have also painted parallel to the fold, perpendicular to the fold, and diagonal to the fold. Each has its own effect. Painting parallel to the fold is the most difficult because I can't keep my hand steady enough to match the line of the fold! However, it was suggested to me that I make my brushstrokes longer instead of the short, perpendicular strokes that I was used to.

 

2) Glazing. Where one thins a paint to a fairly extreme degree to provide lots of transparency.

I, personally, don't layer with glazes. I put the layers on, then use a glaze to paint the area. The thinness of the paint helps pull the edges of each layer together. Now, if I'm glazing with the midtone/base coat, I'll paint the entire area. If I am concentrating on the highlights, I will probably not glaze the shadows. Vice versa if I'm glazing the shadows. The reason for this is that the mid-tone will take down the highlights, and I have to re-highlight to achieve the 'pop' effect I want.

 

I hope that helps. Its very early . . . .

 

Happy painting!

 

-Doug

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Regarding layering, I usually go at it from all different angles, to get a smoother blend. For the little short cross-hatch strokes, I use a less dilute mix, and for perpendicular strokes a thinner mix. I will often use a perpendicular stroke to mark the transition, then use cross-hatch strokes to blend up to that line. Then I go back and smooth it all out with whichever stroke works best.

 

With glazing, it really depends. Sometimes I just glaze over the transition area. If you are glazing with a color that is lighter than your shadows, you probably want to stay out of the darkest areas, because the glaze will lighten it.

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I might be able to shed a little light on the glazing thing. If I start with a white primed mini...let's say I want to do a bare chest...I'll decide what skin tones I want to use first. For this, let's say my median tone is Dwarf Flesh (GW), My shade is Saddle Brown (VMC), and my highlight is Caucasion (RPP). Obviously, I'm going to go lighter and darker than the 3 mentioned, but it's important to lay out your basic range. In reality, I'll end up shading a bit darker with glazes of Amethyst (RPP), and my brightest highlights will be Light Flesh (VMC). Also notice that all these paints are pinker skin tones. I'll typically glaze my median tone (Dwarf Flesh) 3-5 times...whatever gets me even, 'washed out' color. The skin tone at this point will be very pale, and desaturated. Form there, I'll glaze my shade tone on a few times, until the contrast begins to build, and the paler skin has a little more life. At this point, I'm glazing all parts of the chest...but it stops there. I then glaze on a few of the highlight color in the areas where I want more light. Then I'll glaze the median tone back into the middle, and upper parts of the chest, but not the shadows. I keep alternating back and forth, placing highlights and shades where I want them.

 

This little dance usually takes me a few hours, but the results are worth it. There are many different techniques for applying glazes beyond the one I mentioned...which I'd be more than happy to help with, if I can.

 

Will you by any chance be at Rcon?

 

PS: I'd do a tutorial on it, but I'm in the middle of juggling Rcon entries, which I obviously cannot post up, and Golden Demon entries.

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Layering and feathering are two different techniques often confused. Layering is simply the technique of putting one color on top of another, leaving the edge of the color underneathy showing, building shadow or highlight like a pyramid. Feathering is a technique of layering where instead of just painting on the layers, you use tiny brushstrokes and feather in the next stage of paint. Feathering highlights, always point your brush towards the darkest parts as you go along and pull back to the highest highlight point. Check the thread search for these topics and see what comes up.

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I thought I'd whip up a couple of quick graphics to show visually (if a bit crudely) exactly what's been talked about here between layering and feathering. I picked a skirt I didn't mess up too badly on for a subject piece:

 

tuttrislayering1.jpg

 

Above is the skirt in the finished form.

 

First off, the difference between layering and feathering, using Paintminion's definitions for them. Layering is painting areas of color in blocks, much like filling in the contours of a map or a paint-by-numbers set but with an attempt to leave the edges a bit more transparent than the inner parts. Feathering is the same concept, but instead of hard transitions the brush is rotated 90 degrees and the "demarcation line" is made up of many, many tiny brush strokes. Since the tip of the brush is still at a point when touching the mini and flattens out a bit when dragged across it, you end up with hundreds of little tiny triangles making up the transition area instead of a solid line: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA versus --------------------------. The breaking up of that line makes it harder for the eye to spot it. Also, since the point the brush is first laid down will have less paint than where it's pulled off, the start of the stroke is more see-through and the end more opaque. The points of the triangles will not have as much pigment as the bases of them, which helps make a smooth transition between the lower and higher color.

 

The image below is a rough version of that. The upper area was made by selecting colors and just painting them in blocks to show the idea of how layering works. The lower area is the same two colors with feathering done (I have a tablet so I can approximate brushes kinda well). I exaggerated both in order to show the strokes, but even going overboard the feathering looks smoother. Notice how I rotated the picture; I rotate my miniatures exactly the same way when I'm feathering. Your hand and fingers have been trained since grade school to write the capital letter "i". I use that same motion when doing feathering whenever possible (heck, I do it for any technique). The "brushes" on the picture are exact representations of how the brush would be oriented in a start and finish positions, though they'd be in a straight-line and not slightly to the right or left (I moved the end stroke a bit so you wouldn't have a confusing overlap).

 

tuttrislayering4.jpg

 

For shading with feathering, since you're putting a dark color over a lighter one, you want to point your brush up to where the highlights will go and pull downwards into where you want the darkest shadows. Since the tip is the faintest part of the color and the pull-off point the darkest this insures the bulk of the shadow color is going into the deeper recesses. Once again, you'd do a straight line pull, many, many times, but I only showed the start and end of one stroke instead of all the feathering strokes you'd make, and slightly offset so you could see both tips.

 

tuttrislayering3.jpg

 

For highlighting with feathering, it's the exact same as shading, except flipped 180 degrees. You're painting a lighter color over a darker one, so you'd point the brush towards the shadows and pull up to the highlight spot. Once again, only one set of strokes is shown, but you'd be making dozens, and the brushes are offset for visual instruction; straight lines would be used.

 

tuttrislayering2.jpg

 

If you're shading or highlighting with selective glazing (or "juicing", or whatever you want to call it) you're not going to be doing a feathering stroke. You'll be doing the same kind of area painting as you would be doing Layering, except using very, very thin paint, and slowly shrinking the area painted with each successive layer to build up shadows or highlights. This example's abstract, using GIMP to simulate transparent layers, but should give you the idea of what I'm talking about.

 

tuttrislayering5.jpg

 

I hope this helps! ::D:

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I thought I'd whip up a couple of quick graphics to show visually (if a bit crudely) exactly what's been talked about here between layering and feathering. I picked a skirt I didn't mess up too badly on for a subject piece:

 

You have lines pointing to arrows - I'm afraid that wasn't clear to me what you are doing with your brush. Can you please clarify?

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I thought I'd whip up a couple of quick graphics to show visually (if a bit crudely) exactly what's been talked about here between layering and feathering. I picked a skirt I didn't mess up too badly on for a subject piece:

 

You have lines pointing to arrows - I'm afraid that wasn't clear to me what you are doing with your brush. Can you please clarify?

 

The lines serve to link the start/stop text to the appropriate arrows. The point of the arrow shows where the brush tip starts or stops.

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Eastman's got it; the brushes are pointed in the _exact_ direction you'd hold them, and you'd draw backwards to where the "end" arrow is in a direct line. I tried to make it as cut and dry as possible; what exactly are you not able to understand? ::D:

 

BTW, that was as serious question and not snark, as I'm trying to tweak stuff for online articles ::D:.

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