Here are some hard-surface material that I painted today in Corel Painter. I’m very happy with the crackled bark.
Painter has great brushes, especially I love the Sargent brush, and various mixers and smudges. On the down side, the software crashes a lot more than Photoshop. It is also more limited in masking. The neat circle around the material is a mask, and in Photoshop it’s possible to group all layers and mask them. This seems to be not possible in Painter, or I haven’t figured out yet how to do it. The workaround is to copy my circle mask to all layers, a bit tedious but it works.
Next I need to make some studies of water and other transparent and translucent things. These will be harder because they don’t follow the standard light & shadow model of solid objects like rock and wood.
And here’s a 3D material for an ancient wall, which I made in Substance Designer. This is procedurally generated from a bunch of nodes.
The maps that Substance outputs can be imported directly to UE4, Unity or Arnold. It’s interesting that there are two rendering models – one which uses Roughness & Metalness (Unreal), and another that uses Specularity & Glossiness (Unity). It seems to be that Roughness & Metalness is the new way preferred by most engines.
I sculpted this dude in ZBrush as anatomy exercise. Overall, I’m happy with the result. To push it further he needs more detail and resolution, materials and texturing. I’ll delve into materials later this year.
To further my knowledge of the human anatomy I did some figure drawing recently. See below the results – a profile study, a front view, and a study of the muscles of the back. They are based on a Roman bas-relief of Antinous – the lover of Emperor Hadrian, and another Roman sculpture. Classical models are simplified (in a good way), so you really have to fill-in the gaps using your own knowledge of anatomy.
The tools I used are graphite pencil, and Faber-Castel watercolour pencils; There is also a bit of the Caran d’Ache watercolour pencils, which are like… the best pencils on Earth… for a price! But the reason why I like watercolour pencils is they allow me to make a drawing and then go over with a brush to loosen up, make it more painterly.
Like my teacher used to say, my figure drawings are very “inventive”. Is this a good thing? I guess so, to some extend… observation is also important. But anatomy is all about the structure – and sometimes you don’t see it. From my point of view, the following equation applies: observation + anatomy = drawing. You know its there, there are bones and muscles under the skin. So you draw both what you know and what you see. I tend to put a lot of emphasis on the “what you know”, especially in the profile figure drawing above.
The reference for the back study was not a classical model, but actually a vintage photo of a bodybuilder. There is clear information about muscles in bodybuilder photos, so I highly recommend to find and use such reference.
I’m based in Dundee, there are watercolour pencils and other shiny things in our local iArtSupplies, check them out on Instagram. Previously, I did some digital portraits in an impressionist style so have a look.