Experiments in digital art


I have painted landscapes for the last four or five years.  I taught myself to paint first with acrylics and then with water colours, in part as therapy and in part due to my love of mountain landscapes.  In recent months my painting has fallen off, in fact I have not painted properly for over a year.  The pressure of time and the longer it goes without a successful painting my confidence falls.  I have always said that ‘you are only as good as your last painting’.  Time, space and the act of selfishness that painting requires are all to blame.

I have explored through YouTube over the last few months matte painting in Photoshop and digital concept art.  The geomorphologist in me often struggles with some of the concept art, but none the less there are some brilliant artists out there.  A chance video ‘paint like Bob Ross with Krita’ set me on a train of thought.  I am a fan of the paintings of Bob Ross for many reasons; it’s the mountain thing and the calm of his voice.  Any way it reminded me that I had a while ago downloaded the painting freeware Krita and it had remained inactive on my laptop since.  With a link in the video to a few Bob-like pallet knife brushes my curiosity was peaked.  This coupled with a small dose of burnout at the end of term I decided to experiment one evening and produced a passable – in my critical eyes – Bob Ross style painting.

From there I moved to my beloved Snowdonia as my confidence grew and I have since turned out three passable paintings which I am going to be brave and share here.  I learnt via YouTube how to create a texture brush in Photoshop and import that brush into Krita, this was a huge step forward.  I have often marvelled at the power of YouTube in open access learning and here it strikes again.

I still remain ambivalent to digital painting since it requires me to sit at my computer where I spend too much time as it is, but there is no mess, you can put it down and pick it up in an instant and my confidence is slowly growing.  For those that find Photoshop intimidating try Krita, it is a great alternative and has my vote every time.



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