Posted in Digital Art

Then and now – Molly!

You know that old chestnut – “if you keep doing the same thing you’ll get the same results”?  Well, After almost 9 – 10 months of not painting anything digitally, other than an Iris flower, and wanting to get back into slinging paint on canvas – I thought to myself maybe it’s time to experiment a little with your digital software.  I figured I could work on a digital piece while literally waiting for paint (or glue) to dry.

One of the things I have mentioned previously is that I have tended to paint digitally the same way I do with oils – I simply blend and blend.

Digital pet portrait
Molly – digital painting from 2013

Now there is nothing wrong with that, but with the amount of brushes available in Painter 12 I thought that perhaps I should try to “loosen” things up a bit.  So – that’s what I did.  Although I must admit I did start to slip back into my old ways towards the end, but then I just said to myself “STOP” … call it done and move on!

To the right is the digital painting I did of Molly’s face from a photo back in 2013.  (Geeze, where has the time gone?).  This one was done in my ‘usual’ style of adding layers and blending them as I went, and using a ‘pepper spray’ to give a bit of detail.  You can probably tell also that I love painting eyes!  I rarely feel the need to paint a whole animal, as to me it’s the face that expresses the personality.

But I digress!  Below is the latest version of Molly’s face, taken from a photo of her sitting by my computer (which I didn’t want to have in the painting). She often looks at you like, ‘stop pointing that camera in my face’!

I used several ‘new to me’ brushes in this one, most obviously a rougher bristle oil brush that left rough edges rather than a smooth line. You can see this effect more on the left hand side and around the edges.  I also found another  brush called ‘tiny spattery airbrush’ which I used instead of the usual ‘pepper spray’ brush.  This one leaves – as it’s name suggests – little splatters rather than  uniform sizes, so I quite liked using that.  I did still have to paint in all those ‘fur’ things by hand, but that’s ok, I find that quite relaxing in a way.

My trusty ‘detail airbrush’ was used to try and create some depth and highlights rather than having all different ‘shades’ of cat hairs everywhere.  I used the spatter, airbrush and my usual detail oil brush for the eyes.  Yeah, again I have made them a lot more vivid than they are in real life – it’s just a personal preference really.

So – what do you think?  Feel free to leave a comment of any kind.  Critical or otherwise – it’s all helpful to improve the process.

Molly - digital painting 2015
Molly – digital painting 2015


Self taught artist back living in New Zealand after more than a decade of living in Canada. Starting over in more ways than one but always up for the challenge!

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