Importing Textured Canvas – Vector Tool – Procedural Tool
Importing Textured Canvas
I am always looking for new ways to add texture and surface excitement to my digital paintings. ArtRage is an app which I like very much and frequently use for its excellent paint-laden brush tools. The pasty surface qualities of ArtRage are unsurpassed for those who enjoy real painterly looking digital paintings.
Since I have been working with Sketch Club, I’ve found some limitations in this regard. The Procedural Tool is about as close as this app comes to producing a simulated oil painting surface. Yesterday I tried a new approach to beginning a painting in Sketch Club. This method will work for almost any app which allows you to import an image as a background.
I took a photo of a primed rough canvas in my studio. Then I imported it to Sketch Club. Right away I was happy with this uncomplicated yet satisfying step. I could see a rich irregular rough surface which far surpassed most of the on board canvas surfaces most apps offer. Being excited, I was eager to begin working.
I began this painting using Sketch Club’s on board Vector Tool. Setting the opacity near 50%, I began laying in some very simple geometricized forms which I derived from some simple still life objects on my working table. I found that with the reduced opacity the canvas texture showed through very well when light value tones were used. The early overlays of color were fresh. However, as more layers were applied, the canvas surface began to be less and less visible.
To counter this “fading away” of surface, I switched to the Procedural Tool and Brush Tool. I began applying brushstrokes at about the same 50% opacity. This working on top of the transparent vector shapes was an attempt to reactivate the picture surface – to bring it forward. At first the oily brushstrokes stood out rather glaringly. I was happy that something was happening to bring back surface, but at the same time felt the “rupture” of the surface a bit strong. Reverting to the Vector Tool, I again applied light and transparent washes of color over the brushy areas to try to unify the overall surface design.
This painting was completed in about 2 hours. I opted here for a fairly straightforward flat design with a minimum of detail. I am quite happy with the results. The overall serigraph like process is called to mind mostly stemming from the process of overlapping areas of color to produce a transparent reference to the screen printing process itself. Process is much of the excitement for me in making an image. If the process is transparent to the viewer as well, so much the better.
Let me know of your experiments with Sketch Club or any other apps you use. It is as exciting for me to share information as it is to recieve it!
I hope you have found this post of interest to yourself and your own work with digital apps or traditional media alike.