Traditionally Painting Digital Trees

It’s a thing that I (sometimes) do.

I’ve been painting a lot recently. Acrylic, digital- you name it! Well, those are the only two actually. Still, it’s rare for me to pick up my tablet and attempt to do anything digitally. Given that I’m much more experienced with, proficient in, and comfortable with traditional art. However, every so often I try to think of a particular style or technique I can develop with digital which would help it fit nicely into my rotation. This is probably one of the more successful ones.

It’s also a nice opportunity to do a work in progress post about something I’m creating.

Again, with traditional, this is much harder to accomplish unless I want to stop at certain points and scan it in. Which is more hassle than it’s worth at some points of doing a particular piece (especially paintings as they’re still wet). With this particular piece it’s rather interesting to see how the size of the piece has changed, how some elements have been added, and how some parts of it are slowly coming together. Which is one of the major benefits of digital art- versatility. You can save multiple copies of one piece, resize the canvas, create layers to toggle certain elements on or off, and you’re free to continue to experiment with the piece without the fear of losing all of the hard work. Unless your HDD explodes. Then you’ve probably got bigger problems.

Now with grass, a dirt path, and mushrooms.

Now with grass, a dirt path, and mushrooms.

Given that I started without any real rhyme or reason as to where this piece was going that’s an incredibly helpful feature. I’m also taking more advantage of layers than I would usually. I find these are, again, one of the benefits of digital art, and so should be utilised like any other inherent benefit of using a particular material.

That said, I knew I wanted to feature at least one or two trees. I’d also be looking more at the textures/shapes rather than the minor details as I continued to develop the piece. This is particularly evident with the grass and the leaves on the trees, where, individually, the detail is lacking. But they look like what they should. Took a leaf (pun perhaps intended) out of the book of the acrylic painting I’ve been doing. Worked from dark to light, rather than the reverse, and added shadows/darker areas in first.

This is completely opposite to what I’d do with watercolour (my usual painting material).

Now with a huge foreground tree to provide cooling shade.

Now with a huge foreground tree to provide cooling shade.

So I had to learn a little along the way as there as no part of this that came naturally. In fact, it’s a really tiring piece to work on as I’m always having to focus so hard on everything as it’s backwards compared to my usual technique(s). However, it’s getting easier as time goes on. While I’m not finished yet, I do believe that I’ll be cleaning up the fence and adding detailing on the barks of the trees. Then it should be finished. This could be subject to change, though. I never really know where this piece is going as I haven’t really got any ideas in mind for it. It’ll be what it’ll be. Which, in the broadest sense, would be a great addition to the site.

I’m not entirely confident about my abilities with digital painting just yet. But it’s getting there. I also wouldn’t be opposed to a few more pieces like this making their way onto the site and/or Moggie @ WordPress. In the end, this entire thing is just one huge journey through things I enjoy and things I’d like to do.

Have a nice week, all!


Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.


3 thoughts on “Traditionally Painting Digital Trees

  1. I really like what you’re doing here – it’s very insightful for people painting digitally! I use adobe illustrator regularly and this is helpful!

    • Thank you for the kind words!

      I really enjoy doing these work in progress posts for that reason. It’s really easy to follow technique, or style, or even composition with them. Thankfully digital art has an abundance of opportunities to create these posts.

      I’ve known a few people who’ve used Illustrator before, usually for vector art. An interesting choice (sure to produce interesting results).

  2. Pingback: January to March 2016 – Moggie @ WordPress

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