A while back I had let my speed painting skills rust a little bit, so when I jumped back into speed painting I found my self struggling. However, I am getting back into the swing of things and so I thought I would talk about techniques I have been relearning and relearned.
One of the techniques I have learned to improve speed painting is to use a variety of different brushes, brush size and opacity. If you have Photoshop C5 or higher than the pressure sensitive opacity toggle in your brush control bar is very useful for this. By doing this you keep your strokes from looking the same overall. This also helps you create detail with out getting nitty gritty which wastes time and our goal is to paint quickly
Another technique is one I learned from Cliff Cramp. By laying down local color first and then applying an overlay of color you can create shadow and light rapidly. This also will keep your work unified. In Corel Painter you would want to use digital water, but in photshop you do it with layers. One layer will be set to Soft Light or hard light (at 60% opacity) for my light sides and the other layer is set to Multiply (at 75% opacity). However, while this technique I was taught was generally taught for longer paintings I found it greatly speeds up a painting because it
takes out some of the thought process.
In combination with the overlaying techinque when you paint your local colors you will want to just block in the general shape of what you are painting. Think of the shapes as silhouettes. If you feel that you must sketch out the form from the inside then keep it as simple as possible and then block in a little bit with in that form. When you do the overlay technique over this you will get near instant volume to your painting.
Lastly keep in mind that this is a speed painting so set a timer of some sort: one that you can keep track of. When you are nearing the end of your time this is the time you use to clean up or to throw in those last needed details for your painting to be done.
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