A Fast & Efficient Digital Painting Process

Fast & Efficient Digital Art Process Fast & Efficient Digital Art Process

 An efficient digital painting process will rapidly increase how fast you paint!

This is a tried and tested digital painting process that builds up the layers of the artwork step by step. This methodical process helps to condition repetition so that it becomes second nature, which means you'll finish your artwork in no time!

Also, because each step is separated it becomes easier to control every stage, going back to make corrections and adjustments.


Main Points


Define Lighting Setup

Define Lighting Setup

Where is the key light, fill light and rim light? Are there any ambient lights bouncing around?
Sphere Test

Sphere Test

Create a sphere and sample lighting scene . Use this to refer to for consistant values.
Setup Perspective

Setup Perspective

Add horizon line and vanishing point(s)
Apply Local Colour

Apply Local Colour

What colours work well together overall?
Apply Occlusion

Apply Occlusion

The dark areas where edges meet & light cannot hit
Apply Shadows

Apply Shadows

What colour will they be? What direction is the light?
Apply Various Lights

Apply Various Lights

Where is the key light? What colour is the the fill light? Where are the fall offs? What effects come into play? Where does the light bounce?
Add Details & Variance

Add Details & Variance

Refine areas of focus and bring everything together

Questions to ask yourself

  • Have you setup lighting and Sphere Test?

    Have you setup lighting and Sphere Test?

  • Where is the main focus on the image?

    Where is the main focus on the image?

  • How will the background be hit by light?

    How will the background be hit by light?

  • What lighting effects will come into play?

    What lighting effects will come into play?

  • Working big to small across the image?

    Working big to small across the image?

  • Where are the areas of high & low intensity?

    Where are the areas of high & low intensity?


Things to remember

Warm and Cool Colours

Vary local colours & temperatures for a rich image

Shadows & Highlights

Use cool and warm or vice versa and rim light for form

Soft & Hard Edges

Ensure all shadows and forms have appropriate edges

Bounce Light & Scattering

Relationships between objects dictate colour of light

Use Contrast for Focus Points

Vary textures, colour, shapes, space, and value range to create visual energy

Atmospheric Perspective

How do these effects shift in colour across the image?



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