YouTube tutorial by Andrea Gerstmann on digital painting showing some techniques used background painting for TV animation.

For those of you learning how to draw here’s how I usually create my fan art! (Depending on my mood, or how my wrist is feeling this may differ step by step. But this is the process I use 85% of the time.)

Program: Paint Tool SAI

  1. Slap down the character’s color to build their form.
  2. Sketch on top of the color (usually super, super messy, because hey that’s part of the process. I give kudos to artists who have perfect line art)
  3. Hide the color layers to show the full messy sketch 
  4. Make a pink layer on top of that sketch and set the Mode to Screen
  5. Do your line art on top of the pink Screen layer
  6. Delete the messy sketch layer
  7. Turn the colored layers back on
  8. Color correct or leave as is! 

If you’d like me to do anymore tutorials let me know! I’m still a beginner at SAI, but I want to help anyone who is struggling with drawing. These steps can be used in SAI, Photoshop or any drawing program/editor. 

Thanks for the continued support you guys!


Here’s the process video for the “burn” piece that I did, it’s pretty simple and i spent most of the focus on Yara, but either way… here….. 

Digital Painting: tips for beginners

Heyo! I got asked if I could make a tutorial on digital painting so I’m gonna throw together some advice meant for people who are starting out and want to figure out exactly how this stuff all works. Because it’s hard! What I hope to accomplish here is to make painting more approachable for you.

Firstly, I have put together something like this before, so for archival purposes here it is:

For those of you who don’t wanna bother reading that, here are the main points:

1. Learn your program and its tools, from brush properties to layer styles. And I mean learn them. Make a cheatsheet that shows you exactly what each button and scale does, both in isolation and in conjunction with other buttons and scales. Refer to this as much as possible until it is intuitive. The end goal is to know exactly what to do to your brush’s settings to achieve a given effect.

2. It’s perfectly okay to use your sketches, linearts, and other forms of line in your paintings. They can help guide the form and there’s no need to make something fully “lineless”! I never make things “lineless.”

3. Study other people’s art and try to think how they could have possibly achieved the effects they did. You can learn a lot just by observing and mentally recreating the process stroke by stroke—muscle memory is a powerful tool at your disposal. This becomes easier to do once you’ve started doing item 1 above.


So where the heck do you even begin?

What I’m gonna do is try to make digital painting as approachable as possible for someone who’s never really done it. The main idea here is that digital painting is just like real painting. So if you’ve ever done real painting, you already kinda know what’s coming.

I’m gonna assume you know the basics of digital art: you can sketch, line those sketches using layers and opacity changes, and fill the lines with color, maybe even opting to add some shading…and you’ll get something like this:

You know, cell-shaded, or maybe the shading’s blended, but you’ve still obviously a line drawing with color put down on layers beneath the lines.

The next intuitive step is to try going “lineless”…but when you remove the lines you get this:

idk about you but I’m laughing at how stupid this looks

When I was first teaching myself to paint digitally, I didn’t really know how to deal with this. Without lines, the form of the subject vanished or became a mess like the above. Even if I was meticulous and careful about placing down the color such that without the lines layer turned on, the shapes fit together, it didn’t look quite right. There’d be gaps, I wouldn’t know how to incorporate the subject into a background, the contrast wouldn’t be high enough, or it’d just in general look too much like a screenshot from Super Mario 64.

Painting requires a different process than the above. You’ll have to let go of some of your habits and conventions. Such as staying in the lines. Such as fully relying on the lines. Like, I love my lines, I love my sketches—but in painting, they are guides for form, and are not the form itself. So let me go through how I approach a given painting:

My painting process starts with a sketch (here a boring portrait for demonstrative purposes). I make the opacity of the sketch layer something like 30%, and then throw down my base colors on a new layer underneath. I’m not being meticulous about the sketch itself, because again it’s just meant to guide my placement of color. I’m also not meticulous about my placement of the color.

We’re essentially sketching with color. Because ultimately what we want is for the color to take on the form and shapes conveyed by the sketch.

There’s a lot going into this about how to use value, how to shade, how to use color, etc. that I’m kinda skipping over because it takes a lot of time to explain…but there are hundreds of tutorials out there on those topics so please, google around! I found some helpful tuts that way when I was starting out.

Something I find v useful is to keep selecting colors that already exist in your image for shading and hue adjustment. This is why I start with really blendy, low-opacity brushes when throwing down color on top of the background. I can then select colors within there that are a mix of the two.

For instance, I’ll select the color of the lines here:

…and use that to shade:

And maybe I’ll select one of the darker shades around his eye, but not the darkest, to make the shading a smoother gradient…and so on.

What I do in general at this point is go over the shapes and lines of the sketch. Such that I can turn off the sketch layer and see this:

I’m replacing the lines with shading and value. I’ll continue to do this as I keep adding color.

This is all super loose. I am not dedicated to any particular stroke. I just want the colors and shading and light source to be right. I’ll use overlay layers to boost contrast or add a hue.

Here are other examples where I used this process:

I am constantly changing brushes and brush settings as I paint. It really depends on what effect I want where. I am also constantly selecting new colors and applying or blending those in. I don’t believe in having some uniformly applied base color and then shading with only one or two…that’s what I’d do if I was cell-shading like the first drawing I showed you here, but painting should be about messing with color and opacity and blending to make millions of hues!

Good rule of thumb: Hard, opaque brushes for applying color. Soft, dilute brushes for blending colors. Sometimes hard, dilute brushes can make some cool blending effects! I personally prefer harder edges on my shading so that’s a brush I use often.

This is getting a bit long so I’m gonna split it up into multiple parts, but really what I want you to get from this is:

1. learn the tools at your disposal until they are intuitive

2. sketch and line are guides for form, not the form itself

3. rather, hue and value will produce the form

And of course, practice makes perfect!!! Every drawing you make, every painting you make, will bring you one step closer to the artist you want to be, and thus every drawing and every painting, no matter what, is a success.


Hi everyone! In my past tutorials, I showed how to paint over 3D models to speed up the drawing process (for artists who hurt their hands or just want to put out more art in a shorter period of time for comics). In this tutorial, I’m using a photo base instead of a 3D render.

The differences are it’s harder to control the lighting in a photo (hence the extra editing in Lightroom), and it’s harder to extract lineart. in 3D you can just render the lineart, but photos can’t do that. I mentioned the Filter Forge plugin in this video which I used for making the background look painted, although not demonstrated in this video, Filter Forge also has lineart extraction filters. I’ll probably be showing the lineart feature in the future :)

I’m thinking of doing short narrated videos of specific techniques in the future, so stay tuned! (I need to work up the courage to record my own voice lol)


Hey friend!

It’s Meg for TUTOR TUESDAY! Today we look at Part 2 of last weeks tutorial! Let’s take a gander at painting trees this time! Here is Part 1 for anyone interested! If you have any tutorial recommendations lemme know here or my personal! Keep practicing, have fun, and I’ll see you next week!

How to other eye

ALRIGHT, so, I know a lot of people have trouble making eyes match. Yesterday I found out a way to make it significantly easier! Here’s a small guide.

Well, first of all, you have your face. mark where the eyes should be on it.

Then mark the corners of the eyes and go over the middle again, to make the next step easier

Alright, I know it sounds a bit crazy, but draw this shape, trying to make it as symmetrical as you can.

Draw the eyes using that shape as a guide and TA-DA! They match! For different eye shapes you tweak the angle of the two guide lines.

And it also helps with angles where the size and shape of the eye is distorted, you just put it in perspective.

I think the theory behind it is that the thing that makes it hard to make the eyes match is the angle of the corners, and this type of guideline helps make them even, which makes the eyes look symmetrical. Welp, here it is! I hope it helps someone!


hi guys today I made a tutorial on how to make my favorite art nouveau-y embellishments! these are a super fun and easy way to add a little emphasis to a drawing and you can make all kinds of designs once you get the basic flow! If you have any questions feel free to ask and let me know if there’s any kind of tutorial you’d like for me to make in the future !!!

anonymous asked:

Hi! I love your art. In particular your edges are really sharp, but still lineless (if that makes sense?). If it's not too much to ask, would you be willing to share some tips for achieving those edges on digital? Thank you, and have a nice day! :)

Here’s a few tips^

Also, not included in the pic: Make sure you’re not working on a small canvas.  For instance, 1000x1000 pixels will probably result in some unintentionally soft edges, because you won’t be able to zoom in to refine the painting.  I usually use 4000x4000, for reference.


This was what I was working on all semester! I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and I hope that maybe it can help some other artists.

I’m by no means an expert, just a student wanting to share my work with others. :)

Hello again guys!  Here are some tips about brushes- once again, I’m no expert, so explore these points on your own!  Some of these are a little more abstract, while others are to help deal with minor brush annoyances ;)

1.  PHOTOSHOP BRUSHES are based on a “stamp” system, not a brush system like some painting programs. That is why photoshop brushes are great for things like chains and repeated patterns, but you have to fiddle with them a bit to make them look natural.
2.  The first brush setting underneath the brush panel you must become familiar with is “transfer.” this tab plays with the opacity and flow of the brush.  
3.  As stated in previous tutorials, the essential hotkeys for brushwork are:
[/]= brush size larger and smaller
alt= eyedropper tool
Numbers= opacity of brush
Shift+Number= flow of brush
4.  Brush icon not showing up/ behaving correctly?  Usually one of four things: Caps Lock is on, Edit in Quick Mask Mode is on (which can be found on your left main tool panel), the brush blend mode is on a different setting (found next to opacity and flow), or you have something selected (crtl+d will do the trick). 
5.  DON’T knock the photoshop brush sets that come with the program.  Many artists I know use these brushes while tweaking the settings.  Consider utilizing settings such as dual brush and texture to make these ordinary brushes great.
6.  Brushes with large amounts of detailed texture tend to pixelate and not work correctly when scaled down too far. 
7.  Trying to create a natural brush tip? Brush settings>Shape Dynamics> Angle Jitter> Control: Direction. This will make the brush more natural and dependent on how you stroke your pen. 
8. Do you use a signature/watermark a lot? A certain shape or pattern? Make it a brush. 
9. When changing things like opacity and flow in both the brush settings and the layer settings, Photoshop will sort of get “stuck” there, and you will see the number highlighted.  Simply hit enter (don’t bother reaching for the mouse!) and it will go away.
10.  Rotating the canvas will help you with your brushstrokes. Shift+R rotates the canvas in nice equal increments, and is a easy way to set the rotation back to 0.
11. Texture brushes just don’t look right?  Make a selection, zoom out, and make the brush slightly bigger while you paint. Think of them as big sponges, not brushes.

Thanks again guys! I have a lot of tutorial requests from you, and I’ll be working through more soon!