Oct 10, 2015

Digital Deer and Maple Tree Painting - WIP1

I decided I needed to take a break from bird paintings for a bit so I'm now working on a painting of two whitetail deer lying under a maple tree in autumn. So here's my first WIP (Work-In-Progress) post for this painting.

To save myself some time I'm reusing some of the maple leaves I created in Photoshop for my previous painting of birds in autumn at a bird feeder. I moved them around a bit to approximately where I want the maple's tree branches to hang. Then I created another layer in PS to sketch out the rest of the composition.

One of the nice things about painting digitally is being able to work the painting in any order. Normally, with traditional oil painting, you work from back to front. You paint the most distant background first and work your way forward until you finally finish the main subject and foreground. But in digital painting it's easy for me to create a new layer behind the existing leaves and sketch and paint the tree without having to try to paint around each leaf.

Painting digitally also allows me to keep my sketch available throughout the entire painting so I can continue to reference it and stay on track. With traditional painting the sketch gets painted over and if you start to veer off your original design you might not realize it until it's too late and you have a lot of rework to do. Keeping the sketch overlay keeps things simpler and the layer can be hidden at any time to see how the painting is coming along without the scribbly black lines in the way.

So above is the first stage of my painting, getting the composition laid out and the animals and trees outlined. Next I'll start filling things in and share that in my next WIP post.

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