A glow. Coming from deep within the ocean. Inside a long-lost ancient meeting place where giant sea-horses gather to discuss the affairs of the ocean.
Now, this would be a pretty complex scene to paint. First you’ve got seahorses, so you’re going to have to find some image references to draw them accurately. Then there’s the light from the day as it gently meanders its way from the ocean surface to the deep. All topped off by a secondary light source coming from the glow of the meeting of the seahorses, whatever that might look like. While these kinds of imaginative story fragments may be clear in our minds eye, when we begin to put pencil to paper, or brush to canvas, we learn quickly that what was once clear is not as easy to put down when it begins to take concrete form. While anything can be rendered with paint with enough practice, there are certain scenes that lend themselves more to using digital tools than traditional. Digital painting would have an advantage for creating an imaginative scene like the one described above, for example, due to the complex light effects.
Every artist has their intuition to guide them to the drawing or painting medium that suits them the best, and for most, digital painting takes away from the freedom of simply making marks on a page. There are too many inhibiting steps and no obvious upside to creating art digitally. These are my favourite students to have! Whether you’re working digitally or traditionally, you should want a medium that doesn’t inhibit your creativity. This is precisely why I’ve made this course: to demonstrate how making art digitally can actually broaden your creativity, not limit it.
While intuition is a great guide in terms of finding what “feels right” to you, it can also prevent you from trying things like Photoshop because of its first impression of complexity. However far digital art has come, it still seem exclusive to those who are highly technical. The minute that you open Adobe Photoshop, you see the same kinds of toolbars and drop-down menus in something like Microsoft Excel - hardly the inspiring environment from which Michelangelo would have felt comfortable painting the Sistine Chapel. However, with this course I’m determined to change your mind about this. I’ll also tell you right off the bat that when I am digitally painting, I use about 5-10% of all the tools and options that Adobe Photoshop provides. After having wrestled with it for several years, it no longer intimidates me, and I hope I can help it make more sense to you too. This course is for artists and painters of any skill level, not for techies. You bring the creativity, I’ll bring the digital paint brushes.
In this course, I’ve distilled many years of both struggle and joy with using what I now regard as an incredibly powerful art medium. Even if you leave the course feeling like traditional painting is still the best for you, I guarantee that you will find the skills you learn invaluable to create and test many various painting concepts before beginning the physical painting process. You can explore different colour schemes, compositions, values, and subjects in an incredibly quick and versatile way. The sky’s the limit with what you’re able to make the program do. I hope I’ve wet your artistic appetite, and that you feel excited to begin!