Digital Painting Tips and Tricks – Narrated

Digital Painting Tips and Tricks - Narrated

hey what's up everybody rob Marzullo here ranch to do comics and today's video speed painting but also narrating the process so using the rule of thirds here to kind of find my positioning of my form so a trick that a lot of artists use obviously to place elements in the scene that you want to direct the viewer to so if you notice I got the face of the creature and the wizard both on the dots and the rules of third they're kind of things so yeah so I figured I would try a video like this where I show you the entire painting from start to finish but I also explain you know kind of my thought process I'm not a very seasoned digital painter when it comes to this type of style of art I love doing this but I'm still kind of finding my way so you'll probably see then here where I start to block in some immediate you know shadows and dark to lights and then I start to do a little bit of texture lines and start painting in some white highlights and I just kind of bounce around I don't know if that's a right or wrong way to approach it it's just what I do so I'm I tried to develop the immediate forms first there you see me flipped in the canvas which is really good to do it immediately shows you I don't know if this works for everybody but it immediately shows me things that are off-center and I start realizing that the jaw and this character is really off and here you see me add an overlay layer and start drawing with red digital ink or whatever to try to get some better alignment to the face you know and the thing is kind of an alien or a creature of some sort monster fantasy art so it's not like he's got to have symmetry you know he's not run winning any beauty pageants anytime soon but at the same time you know I don't want it to look unprofessional or that I just made some glaring mistakes I'm sure I'll have some of the holes by the time it's done anyway so I got to minimize that when I can so yeah I thought I found myself in this painting a couple times kind of getting a little bit lost and feeling the need to paint in a variety of ways sometimes I switched to 100% opacity and paint some of my values in that way and select from current values in the painting it's actually the way I'm painting right here and then other times I add a layer and paint over with layer I predominantly for the most part of this painting did this all in one layer and there's reasons why that's very forgiving or I shouldn't say forgiving very fast in those reasons why it's a little bit less forgiving I should say so you know separating elements can really help you not only get hard edges on certain aspects of your painting but also make it a little bit easier to paint behind and do some certain effects so I didn't do that on this one I painted it all predominately on one layer I added a couple effect layers towards the end especially with the color modes but as far as the tonal aspects I just pretty much stayed on one layer so not saying that's the right or wrong way to do it there's pros and cons to each way of doing it so yeah just keep trying to play around with this and and you'll notice that I actually paint different overlay patterns like I didn't use any textures in this I probably should have you know it's really it can be really quick and yield some really nice effects if you grab like say scales from a lizard or textures from an elephant would have been great for a character like this and start laying those in it helps you yield a really nice realistic effect to your paintings I didn't do that I wanted to try to paint in all my textures it's a little more time consuming but I just wanted to give it a go and and kind of I try to go back and forth from various techniques I don't I don't really stay on any one thing I don't know if it's because I'm a little attention deficit or I just I just like to always change it up and stay excited about what I'm doing so so yeah just painting it a bunch of different lines you see I zoomed back pretty far quite a bit I'm doing that to also again check my work it's kind of the same thing as flick flipping the canvas a lot of times when I see my artwork very small I can usually find something wrong with it you know more so than when i zoom up too close I often can't really take in the whole painting and see see any you know large mistakes that way so I probably should have separated a lot of elements you know looking back on this objectively I think that I should have but I wanted to try it this way and see what I what I got and overall I ended up getting to an area where I'm happy with the painting could it be better yes it can always be better but this is also one that I sat down and did from start to finish and under I want to say just under six hours with color and everything so that being said you know am I happy with it in that regard yes you know could I refine it for weeks and come up with something a lot better yeah of course but you know I try to time myself and and produce stuff like you know this wasn't a professional piece but it could have been so I try to treat it as such so yeah just really painting back and forth now one of the things that I do when I'm confused about my painting and I'm trying to find my forms and find my shapes and find my textures I just keep hitting back and forth from dark to light and I wait till I see something in the artwork it's almost like just throwing paint on the wall and waiting for something to stand out and look cool you know it's not as as oblique is that but it it basically it seems to work for me you know sometimes I get stuck and I got to keep doing it other times I paint something and immediately it like its gelling and I just go with it it's also why you see me paint different shapes of strokes I'm constantly sizing the brush up and down I'm doing that all because I'm you know trying to see into the painting a little bit more and you know the different strokes and the different overlapping strokes help you to see you know if something might look cool or not if you you know obviously if you kept the brush the same size very small and you sketch the entire time that would yield a totally different result and you'd have to be very specific about what you're putting down because you're basically just drawing at that point and painting is you know I'm no old pro at this but what I would say is painting is not drawing it's it it helps to be a good artist and to be able to draw definitely but painting is a different monster so to speak it's basically you know blocking in larger shapes of shadows and form which can be done a number of ways and then every now and then it's good to kind of sketch things in there you know sketching definitely helps that process but you notice as I started this I alternate Lee didn't even sketch it out I just went for it and you know basically was able to create this creature just by some loose rough guidelines in the very beginning so you know but I'm not saying don't sketch you know sketching is highly important I'm myself more of a sketch artist than a painter so you know I come at it from the other direction but I as of you know the last few years I've really got into painting and really enjoy it I don't think I'm great at it yet but I'm definitely intrigued by it and will continue to do it until I well not until I but I don't say it till I get great at it but I definitely wouldn't stop then I'll keep going right so so yeah just kind of shading that down another thing I do I kind of see it here a bit is I if I don't like something I shade it down really far I grab the dodge tool punch the highlights back up and try to find the form again that way here just kind of painting the highlights on the little wizard dude I probably should have made him a little bit more detailed but I really didn't want him to be too much of the focus I just wanted him in there to give scale to the the big old beast over there so and plus it gives a little bit more of a story to it you know it's funny how if you just draw that creature by himself it's you know it can be okay but it doesn't have scale and it doesn't have any kind of other emotion I guess but as soon as you had a character in there especially a small one like that there's a whole other dynamic that seems to occur and it's actually got me to want to do this this painting was that I kept seeing all these cool monster ones like this with the tiny little person and you know they're real popular obviously in fantasy art and science fiction paintings I might you know what I haven't done a lot of that I need to I need to go ahead and do more of that so I'm gonna probably do a series of these get a few of them under my belt and I'll I'll keep bringing them to you here on the channel and get you guys opinion and you know answer any questions you might have about the process so so yeah if you do have any questions about it let me know and also I do appreciate you stopping in and watching these these videos of mine very much appreciate it so be sure to LIKE share and subscribe if you don't mind and if you got any questions at all drop them in the comment section below I do my best thing I try them as quickly as possible and as far as the color here I just drop in a couple molds overlay I start with the color mode then an overlay mode and then sometimes a multiplier another overlay mode overtop of it and that's really it I just keep fine-tuning it until I get some decent colors I tend to work overly saturated and then tone that down right at the end and add a little bit of blur or something like that just you know give it a little bit more dynamic and appeal and then the last thing that I usually do at the end of a painting like this is merge it completely down and play with my colors a little bit more and also sample from the existing color palette and paintings you know pan final details so I don't know that I show that on here but I want to make sure I let you know about that so yeah that's about it so hopefully you've enjoyed this video let me know and we will talk to you soon keep drawing keep having fun bye for now


  1. Blue Rock Candy

    god damn your paintings come out gorgeous. I love how there's no clear transition from a messy sketch to the amazing piece that ends up showing through, it's confidence-boosting to know every step and stage is taking you there so long as you keep moving with it!

  2. Lisa Maier

    Great monster… I love your tutorials, Your are so laid back. Thank you so much for taking the time to share you art and process.

  3. ken santapaga

    Almost all of how you described your approach and process i can identify with completely when considering my own work, although most is traditional. Nice job on the painting, I quite like the "pre-blur" version.

  4. Jan Peeters

    Hi Rob, thanks for the vid. I've been watching quite a lot of your vids the last couple of days and enjoying them a lot. Anyway, just wanted to say that the mirroring works for me as well. It's a very old trick used by painters throughout the centuries, the difference being they used an actual mirror of course 😊 I'm looking forward to more of your videos!

  5. ChiefAnator 117

    that looks swell, and I agree that the wizard defiantly add something to the scale and almost narrative of the digital panting. however I just wanted to ask which out of all the software you use in your opinion is better and which would be best for someone (like me) whose just getting into digital sketching and painting (which is easier to use) I understand with your comics and video you make, but if you good just take the time to answer this question I'd be mightily appreciative. well anyway great video and I hope your comics countiue to prosper

  6. Queen of Saigon

    OMG, you can't even imagine how much you just taught me! The only time I really tried to paint on photoshop was super hard! Not only because it was my first time, but I just discovered that it was because my tecniques was totally wrong! I really appreciate what you are doing, helping other artists aspirants, thank you very much!

  7. Ahmed Tareq

    Awesome ! i just didnt start yet the digital painting but im impressed by the art you make ! and i think its f*king hard to go and be like you !

  8. serdar s

    great piece. first person I see doing greyscala with only black and white….
    trying to paint myself but as most artist says… I am as a beginner in frustration mode currently lol.
    great job on this piece brought me new ideas

  9. Kevin Phillips

    It's a great piece, Rob! I think it turned out very well. The only crit I would offer (hopefully you won't see it as nit-picking) is that the wizard (who looks a bit dwarfish, even at this small size) is hard to make out. I think the critter's giant hand is too close to him, or something. He's just kinda lost at first glance.

    On DCBA I asked about ZBrush and you indicated that you were still plugging away at it. I've started looking at it again too, as a quickie concept model creator, not something that has to have every little thing perfectly sculpted, but just broad forms. I'm especially interested in it for its "boolean" type operations (which are not called that), but by which you can model "in broad strokes" and wind up with mechanical & architectural forms somewhat quickly. I think using such models from ZBrush could be a big help for comics props: spaceships, castles, weapons, whether medieval or futuristic, might all be possible.

    Love your work, man! I'd say: "Keep at it!", but I know you will!! And that's what makes you so productive AND original. 🙂

  10. Diarmuid Mckenna

    OH MY JANEY!!! i thought i was the only one. Dude, for the longest time, i've drew my fair share of art, all of which, even my best works, when i flip it around, it looks COMPLETELY slanted, but turn it right way around, and it seems normal.WOW, ha, so glad it's not just me. great video and art as always man! 🙂

  11. Taylor Wilson

    awesome Rob. I have a question. I've been drawing for around a year now. what would you say the best way to practice is?

  12. McHaven07

    Awesome! I'm really glad you did a video on this piece! It's really great to hear your thoughts on the work during the timelapse! I've also dabbled in digital art and it's interesting to see what you do differently and sometimes the same, lol. You know Stjepan Sejic (Nebezial on DA)?–by far, he's my favorite digital artist ever. Some truly inspiring stuff he does.

    ps. on the collaborative superhero creating video the other day, I was one of the guys who made a suggestion. I'm not lobbying for it, lol, but I ended up drawing my suggestion myself and I wanted to share it with you on DA, but didn't just wanna spam your inbox there, so I thought I'd ask you here.

  13. BeeSeeBee

    I love your vids. so much. huge fan and supporter. on this one piece… I was praying you would fix inside his mouth. never did. Lol. great vids tho man! thumbs up

  14. cameron christink

    dude I am an aspiring artist and I really love your art and your videos. Keep up the awesome work.

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