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Photographers and Artists

Using Gimp/Photoshop to improve drawing skills

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Using Gimp/Photoshop to improve drawing skills

Postby ruggie » Sat 21 Nov 2015 08:59 GMT

I've been using The Gimp to try to improve my skills at drawing faces. In the old days, you could use tracing paper to draw over photographs to help you get proportions right, and improve your skill at deciding how to convert a photo into a line drrawing, but you couldn't turn the result into a sketch in its own right - it was forever condemned to be semi-transparent. Here's what I have been doing:

1. Create three layers - a photo as background, then an opaque white layer above it, then a transparent layer above that.

2. Turn off the white layer, so that you can see the underlying photo. Now make the top (transparent) layer the active layer and draw on it just as if you were using tracing paper.

3. Turn on the white layer, obscuring the photo, and you'll see your sketch.

4. Turn off both the white and the transparent layer to see the original photo without your scribbles.

You can flip back and forth, correcting/improving your sketch each time you see something that looks wrong.

You can also create new transparent layers and substitute them for the first one, to try out new ideas. Digital sketching can be slow, but it's a very powerful tool for improving your graphic skills and the thoroughness of your observation. It's particularly effective at identifying the subtleties that portray expressions and the age of the subject (but I'm still working on them...)
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Re: Using Gimp/Photoshop to improve drawing skills

Postby Brittney12 » Sun 20 Dec 2015 19:38 GMT

I'd venture a guess that for the majority of users, GIMP covers everything they are likely going to need/ mac user and now trying some paid tools like aurorahdr and hydra editor (nice tools to improve drawing skills too=). GIMP is great for its full free of course

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