My retro-computing hero's from the 1980s


#1

My first post! Yay! :slight_smile:

I’ve admittedly had MyPaint for a while, but done nothing more then mucking about with it really. However a few weeks back I had to teach basic digital painting skills in Photoshop to students (its part of the curriculum I teach). Never done it before, but with some advice from a co-worker, I enjoyed it so much I had to do more.

Rather then Photoshop, I preferred MyPaint - mostly because of its infinite canvas, and also for the awesome “Smudge and Paint” brush! Here is my first-ever digital painting - Sir Clive Sinclair. I’ll include the others as I go…

For the first few I painted, I bought in the photo for reference without thinking about the resolution - hence I noted how small these were after I saved them! Doh! :smiley:


#2

Painting two was of Jack Tramiel, founder of Commodore computers. Not quite accurate, but loads of fun painting. Used the Coarse-bulk brushes to add the skin freckles (actually, I used that for old Sir Clive’s head as well).

I like that I can produce so much with so few brushes. The only other one I used was one of the pencils to rough out the characters before painting them.


#3

Painting 3 - I couldn’t find any decent photographic material so this one ended up being less detailed, and not my favorite image. Its Carol Shaw, one of the first female game programmers who wrote River Raid for the 2600… Great game, even today.


#4

I decided to also do some Fan Art for a favorite TV drama called Halt and Catch fire, set of course in the 1980’s as well.

Gordon Clark - one of the main characters - seemed the right place to start.


#5

Tonight I decided to continue with the fan art from said-TV show… This one is Donna Clark, the wife of Gordon in the show. This time, I resized the photo reference before bringing it into MyPaint, so I’m pretty happy with this being a better resolution.

Its also fun to watch and see my progression - I dated them, much like I did with my Sketch books. I’m pretty sure this one worked out better then the previous 4…


#6

You are definitely getting better at portraits! Donna Dark looks really good.

I think the last one would benefit from a dark background. The colours in her face look dark and muted against the white.

This time, I resized the photo reference before bringing it into MyPaint

Are you painting on top of your reference images?

One way of getting the right resolution is to use the frame tool to set up a working area at the beginning. If you enable the Tool Options panel you can type in the size.


#7

I think the last one would benefit from a dark background. The colours in her face look dark and muted against the white.

Ah, yes! Hadn’t thought of that - just using MyPaint’s default bg colour. Thanks! :slight_smile:

Are you painting on top of your reference images?

Not directly as such… I drag the reference photo into MyPaint and loosely sketch out the rough details for placement reference. Then just slide the photo to one side. Obviously when its a small image, the sketch out also becomes pretty small. Doh! :smiley:

The sketch I only use to get the base colour blocked out and the placement of details, then I turn it off and eyeball it from the photo to paint it up. Its 99% of the enjoyment - the observation process creating the details and overall lighting without feeling like I’m just painting inside a drawing. :smile:

One way of getting the right resolution is to use the frame tool to set up a working area at the beginning. If you enable the Tool Options panel you can type in the size.

Awesome. Thanks for that advice… :slight_smile:

Is there any way I can scale a layer? That would be useful to make sure I get things larger then doing a resize in another tool.


#8

Ah, yes, dark background definitely helps make the painting “pop” Thanks… :slight_smile:


#9

Tonights effort - Cameron Howe, an emotionally unstable programmer from Halt and Catch fire. Painting blonde hair - I really thought it would be easy… Famous last words… :slight_smile:


#10

At the moment you need to go to the layers menu and select “edit in external app”. Then you use the external app to scale your layer (or do any other operation on it).

Iirc, the original developer didn’t want advance features such as scaling or rotation because he wanted the program to be like a physical canvas. I think he has left the project, and the current developers have indicated willingness to include that feature at some point.


#11

Its not critical - just thought it would be one way to save on tweaking the original image. But no worries.

I didn’t realise just how dark Donna Clark was until I viewed it on another screen. I think this one feels a little better (adjusted the levels in PS).


#12

Well, the reference photo looks like it was taken in a dimly lit room, so I think your colours were pretty much correct.


#13

Another I finished on the weekend. Another of the main characters (there is one character left to paint, though these 4 are the major players in the show) - Joe MacMillan (played by Lee Pace). Not sure if I’m happy with the hair - needs work (aka fixing in places), as does the suit but at this stage I couldn’t face having to keep layering the hair… So needed a break - was getting a ‘hairdache’ (sorry, couldn’t help myself). :slight_smile: