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anonymous asked:

If you're still taking tutorial suggestions -- could you do one on how to use different layer modes, or which ones are good for different kinds of effects?

Thanks for the ask, Anon! 

Ok, so, to be honest I’m still learning a lot of this myself but I’ll try my best to give you most of what I’ve figured out! 

Here’s my list of important layers that I use the most and why: 

Normal Modes: Basically just use normal here. Dissolve is ok if you want to play around a bit but otherwise I don’t use it. 

Darken Modes:

Darken: use for shading when you want to desaturate. It’s basically the same as multiply but it keeps your grey colors better.

Multiply: Helpful for shading, automatically makes the layer you’re using into a darkening layer. Con- it excludes your light colours, so it can change the values in your piece.

Color burn: I use this sparingly for skin etc. It adds a red “burn” tinge to some areas with can be helpful but is waay too easy to overdo.

Lighten Modes:

Color Dodge: a good layer for easily adding sunlight effects etc, but be careful as it’s easy to overdo and wash out or overpower your light areas

Linear Dodge (add): I use this for textures I want to import because it’s not as destructive as other layers. Mainly use this if you want to add in some sparks, stars, or rainbow effects from photos. Anything you like with a black bg will be ok. 

Composite Modes: I don’t use any of these to be honest. Play around with them at the late stages of your painting if you want to test them out, but otherwise I usually find they’re too inneffective or destructive to my pieces

Color Modes:

Color: I use this if I want to add undertones to skin last minute or saturate an area more without adding an adjustment layer. It’s really good for adding color to your paintings without changing your black and white values too much etc. It sometimes works better when you paint directly on the layer you want to change with “color” as a brush mode instead of a new layer, so try it that way if it’s not working the way you’d like at first.

Hope this was helpful! Don’t hesitate to send me more asks about art stuff!

oh also here’s a drawing study I did to give you an idea of it in practice:

  • I started with a black and white sketch which I changed to “multiply”, 
  • added a “normal” layer underneath with a neutral skin tone
  • used a “color” layer to tweak the saturation of the skin,
  •  and finished it off with “color dodge” for the highlights!