Earlier this year, I began a digital painting of a photograph of some crows I had captured on a walk one day. In this post, I share the process and final result with you.
The painting, as previously mentioned, was based on a photograph I took.
I had not yet ventured into the realm of semi-realistic digital painting when I ambitiously decided to paint this photograph. I knew it would be a challenge, but it was one I was ready for after feeling uninspired for several weeks.
I began by simply tracing the outlines of the imagery. Because I took the original photograph, the idea of tracing the image didn’t feel like a shortcut. Of course, I could have hand-drawn the image by simply looking at the photo as reference, but my focus for this piece was the painting process.
In the beginning, I started out strong and worked many consecutive hours on it. Each day, once I finished home education with the kid, I would sit focused for hours, working until my hand hurt. I don’t suggest working this way; it quickly leads to burn out.
The process began to feel as though it was going nowhere for many weeks. Each day I would work for hours and hours, and still it would feel as if nothing had progressed.
My first focus was the crows and branches. The goal was to make the branches as realistic looking as possible, without the pressure of being hyper-realistic.
Clipping masks were used frequently throughout this piece, and though they are kind of like cheating, they are an invaluable help in the digital painting process in my opinion. The clipping masks allowed me to focus on the details without being too neat with my brush strokes and add some nice dark definition to the edges.
Once the branches and crows were given a good amount of detail, the next step was carving out the leaves of the bush that peaks up from the bottom of the photo.
This process took some time.
When I finished carving out the leaves, the next step was to begin creating more definition in the painting.
At this point, due to issues with glitching brushes I was having, with what I thought was, Adobe Fresco, and the contemplation of canceling my Adobe subscription (which, for now, I have chosen against doing), I transferred the work from Fresco to Procreate.
The transfer caused some issue with pixels and I was required to paint over work I had previously completed, for the sake of quality. Also, I realized the issue I was having was not exclusive to Fresco and was, in fact, an issue with the iPad itself.
Personally, I feel the brushes that come with Adobe Fresco are superior to the stock brushes that come with Procreate.
However, many artists sell brush packs on Etsy for Procreate, and I have found them extremely useful. For this painting I purchased paint brushes from Etsy, which then took the painting into its final stage.
The final process was cleaning up minor details of the painting, adding some light and dark definition, and adding some leaf stamps to the bush to make it more full.
I used the “clouds” brush in Procreate to create the overcast clouds. I chose to make the clouds somewhat darker than the photo you see at the top of this post because the original RAW photo, the clouds appear dark.
Overall, I feel this is my best digital art piece I have done.
Though the process extended longer than I had originally wanted and anticipated, giving myself the time and space to not rush this piece is, I feel, what allowed me to even finish it at all.
Admittedly, at one point I did not think I would ever finish it. I was afraid it would be yet another creation started never to see its final form. In the middle of the process I had to send off my iPad for repairs, thus having to back up all my work and wipe the device of all files.
Not only that, the device itself throughout the painting process (up until I shipped it to be fixed) created quite the headache for me, as my brush strokes would frequently glitch creating random brush strokes and splattered “paint”.
Since receiving a replacement, I have had no noticeable issues in regard to glitching brush strokes.
This digital painting is in the digital download shop and packaged for you. It is priced higher than the other items in the shop due to the amount of work and time that went into the painting.
In the .zip package, you will receive two copies of the artist initialed digital paintings. One jpeg and one PNG file; as well as the Digital Download Agreement. By confirming your purchase, you agree to the terms and conditions stated in the DDA, and you agree to use the files for personal use only.
Crows On Brances Digital Painting Download
Original digital painting
Based on my personal photography
Created in Procreate on the iPad
Artist initials included
Included in your purchase: 1 jpg, 1 png, 1 digital download agreement
1 Download per purchase
Suggested printing in landscape or photograph orientation
If printing from home, you may have to resize or “fit to paper”
sRGB color @ 300ppi
By confirming your purch…
Thank you for supporting an independent artist
I have gradually been gaining new subscribers over the last few months, and I want to express gratitude to all who frequently stop and and read the blog.
Please like and share this post to help support if you can’t support financially.