I’ve been meaning to boost my environment painting skills for a while now, so I thought I’d surf around for some tutorials on the subject.
The first tutorial I found was one called “Imaginary Landscape Thumbnails” by Matt Kohr over at ctrlpaint.com.
By working on a small canvas, we don’t get bogged down in detail and can quickly put together a rough painting.
Eager to give this a try I found 5 reference photos and set about doing thumbnail sized paintings of each.
After each painting I followed Matt’s advice and challenged myself to learn something from experience.
Small Canvas Digital Painting 1
This painting taught me that Gimp’s Smudge Tool is really good for misty clouds.
Small Canvas Digital Painting 2
With this painting I learned a bit more about painting light sources. At their centre, bright light sources should be pretty close to white.
Small Canvas Digital Painting 3
This one showed me how important reflections are when rendering water.
Small Canvas Digital Painting 4
More water, what I learned from this is that water with waves is difficult to render! More practice required here I reckon.
Small Canvas Digital Painting 5
I tried a bit harder with the water in this one. The lesson that was reiterated to me here was that in art, observation is key. You observe, then you paint. There is no substitute for this.
All in all, I found this experiment to be very useful:
- Working on small canvases allowed me to produce 5 paintings in a short space of time.
- In addition I found that my computer is a lot quicker with small canvases and small brush sizes, than with large canvases and large brush sizes.