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Texture Application

December 19, 2009

I know you’ve heard me rant about texture and how important it is to use in your digital paintings. But how do you use it without it looking like you just pasted a texture onto a drawing? EASY! It’s called Blend Modes.
Well, actually there’s a lot more to it than blend modes, but let’s start there and work our way up. Since I’m limited on time and space, I won’t go into every detail, like where to find blend modes, etc.
So you have a line drawing and it’s beautiful, but it still lacks value, texture, and color. Aw, don’t fret; we can fix that in no time. I would suggest you run a few quick color comps (on a separate layer) to figure out your color. It doesn’t have to be pretty or even in the lines. Just block out some color samples. Once you’ve figured that out, hide that layer. Create a new layer and block out your values. Pick a light source and stick with it! You have creative license to fudge things, but don’t go over board or your painting will look ridiculous. I’ll go over the intricacies and importance of good lighting another time. Once you have your lights and darks in place, grab a texture and place that layer on top. I like to use the overlay or soft light blending modes, because these give you the best looking results with texture. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Now you have this 3D-looking painting with this very flat texture over it, so select the texture and go into Liquify. You’ll have to play around with this to find the right size brush to manipulate the texture.
Use small strokes or your work will come out smeared and ruin your painting. Take your time. Liquify is a great tool to use, you’ll see. Now you can do one of two things:
1. Convert your texture to grayscale then take your color layer and turn it back on. Use the eye dropper tool to pick colors and paint in more details to blend the texture and painting together. OR…
2. Use the color from your texture and paint the color in on a separate layer, again adding details to blend them together.
*HINT: While using your brush, you can hold down the Alt key and it will become an eye dropper tool. *
Okay I’m outta time and space. Hope this helps you in some way. Have fun, and keep creating.

~Emmett, AN

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