Improving upon technic.

Ok,,, I rarely ask for assistance or help.
I have been trying to improve upon my digital skills, I'm working with photoshop cs3 extended and a wacom tablet.
I have developed a tendency to do a piece from start to finish in one setting, (do to extensive traveling).
I know I can do more with these tools but have never had any training, instead I muddle about and experiment alot.
I guess I'm asking for advice on my works. :) I know this maybe very vague request but I don't really have any close friends to ask. At least none that can give me any advice, ;)


Hey John.

I don't know the specifics of the programs you've got. I personally use photoshop 7 and I generally draw by pencil/pen and paper and then do everything else in digital, using a mouse.

The most salient advice I can give is to work with multiple nearly transparent layers of colour. This is what the old masters used to do with classical oil paints.

I do this by making extensive use of the 'screen' and 'multiply' functions. I'll put down the main base colour and then set my 'brush' to the same colour, but engage the 'multiply' function at only about 6% transparency. Then each pass of the brush makes the shadowed areas just the barest hint darker.

Once I've darkened the shadowed areas progressively, I'll switch to the 'screen' function, also at about 6% transparency and then brush over the areas that should be brighter due to lighting. A really shiny surface I'll keep going over until it gets pretty much white in the smallest, most reflective point.

Hope that helps you out at least a little bit. So hard to describe things!


Wish I had cool tips for you. Your work is outstanding already. I only use the brush tool ( same one all the time just change the size, opacity and flow ). The eraser, crop, blur, and zoom. I used lots of layers now but befor only used two. Its' just been the last three I have worked on that I felt comfortable doing multi layers. I pretty much just use it like real paint. I cuss alot and erase alot.

I would use the line tool but cant get the arrow point off the end. Do use it if the lines are going off page. Just Started useing the Gradient tool, but only to do full screens. I do use the lasso tool to do tatoos and face paint, just make a layer under the shadow and dark.

Oh yea....try putting the light sabre on one of the top layers and using the filters, gaussain blur at different levels for your glow. Found it on-line.

There Ya go..My full gauntlet of CS3 knowledge. I spend 80% of my time on here just looking at what I am drawing, thinking what I want to do and NOT doing it. Then I get bored and not finish. So I will be watching your thread to see if any cool tips show up so I can speed up my work. I'd like to finish one every once in a while.


Thank you guys. I do work in layers , but as my scanner is not of an appropriate size I've had to do most of my works on screen as of late.
I think I need to train myself to take more time. I'm a bit impatient. lol.
The 6% is a good idea I've ben doing similar but at 20% on shadows, I will try the 6% on the next. :)
And thanks for the tutorial site that will help bunches. I kind of wish I could afford to go to school for graphic arts, but alas my economic strait is not the most providing at the moment.
"Creation is a Gift... Use it well."


I usually use a different layer for each colour. Gives me a LOT more control when I mess up (which is often). But then, I not a big colourer..colourist...whatever.


I have discovered so many lazy ways to cheat at photoshop, it's not even funny. This will get you started.



Thanks guys I have a piece "Training", I recently uploaded an edite.
In this new rendition I have added textures to her tunic the wall and the floor.
I would really enjoy your opinions on this edite.
When all I had was a pencil I wanted to make the unreal as real as I could.
Same with the digital, lol, I know 3d would be easier but I'm a 2d artist at the moment. ;)
"Creation is a Gift... Use it well."