1. PRACTICE: My best advice for developing your digital illustration skills, is to illustrate often. I make a conscious effort to illustrate almost every day. I'm madly infatuated with being creatively productive, and that is the fuel necessary to develop talent and creativity.
2. EXPERIMENT: As mentioned in my previous article, digital art is such a new medium, and it's so versatile, that it's quite easy to develop your own style of painting, just from practice doodling with the software. I learned a few tricks here and there, but for the most part, I have just been developing techniques one at a time.
For instance, I'll try different ways of painting clouds, using different brushes. When I find a technique I like, I remember it for next time. One by one, I have developed a general process that works for me.
3. RESEARCH: It's helpful to study traditional painting techniques. It gives you a sense of direction on how to develop a painting workflow.
I suggest watching Bob Ross videos, he is a wonderful instructor. It's easy to adapt his oil painting techniques to create digital paintings. I spent over a year watching Bob Ross right before going to sleep, often falling asleep to his voice. I think subconsciously, some of his wisdom was absorbed.
4. OBSERVE: When painting still-life, I find observation is key. Enjoy nature, and study its every detail. -- The way the light and shadows work. This general understanding of lighting and form, is key to painting realistic imagery.
5. GET INSPIRED: You can learn quite a bit from imitation. I'm sure you can see Dali's influence in some of my work. My goal is not to copy an artist, but rather, see if I have the talent to analyze and match a particular genre or look. I'm also influenced by classical art and history, which give some of my work a neo-classical feel.
I hope my advice inspires you to get creative, and make tons of new art to upload to your DT portfolio!
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Aaron Rutten, Seattle Illustrator & Graphic Designer | www.SurrealPixelStudio.com |