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project alaska art development

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Alex_J godlike master sticky

im starting a new game project. top down survival set in alaska. I hope to have a hand painted style inspired by bob ross oil painting style.

I have about two months to finish current project though. In the meantime, I'll try to make at least one small digital painting each day until then. Intent is to reach a satisfactory skill level so that the art looks half-decent, and also get quick enough with the tools so that I can churn out the content efficiently.

To start out I'm just going to focus on general landscape painting, even though actual game content will need to be broken into separate elements.

I am using ArtRage6. Here is my first landscape painting:

I followed techniques shown in this workshop:

Full Workshop: Use Artrage to Paint A Bob Ross Style Painting - YouTube

Except I used some stencils for the foreground trees because of time. After a couple more landscape paintings just to get more familiar with tools I might start making some of my own trees that can later be reused.

Probably first couple weeks the art will look pretty rough, bbecause I'm not taking tons of time to perfect it. Just trying to rapidly get familiar with tools and techniques. Once I get that down then I'll focus more on making the art look finished and nice.

As far as the style goes, Bob Ross is the inspiration but I'm not going to try too hard to mimic - I'll just let my inspiration lead whereever in hopes that I might develop something uniquely personal.


  • sacboi
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    sacboi insane polycounter

    Nice effort for a first attempt 👍️

    Goodluck with the game.


    Seems like a neat user friendly program and quite affordable as well, also just wondering what tech you're drawing with? - I've an ancient Wacom Bamboo which honestly has had it's day so currently looking at picking something up from the XP-Pen range.

    Personally, working with traditional oil media was notoriously challenging in every aspect at art school whereby a pretty hard slog achieving some sort of basic competency back then : /

  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J godlike master sticky

    Thanks! Yeah it took me a long time, most effort just trying to figure out how to "work the paint". Looking at it now I think it is too blurry and needs more hard edges. But I got time to practice :).

    I'm loving artrage. And it has a fantastic demo - you can use full program with no time restriction. Just can't save or export.

    I am working on my laptop right now which is a microsoft surface pro. It has a 1060 gpu and I am working on canvas that is like 4000 X 5000 pixels and for most part it is very responsive. There is a few odd brushes that might cause some lag but for most part it feels about as close to real painting as I can imagine you might get.

    It seems the program is well optimized - all the other digital painting apps had my laptop hot enough to fry an egg. I've had artrage going all day with much larger canvas and it's not hot at all.

    My regular workstation is a desktop and I use one of the wacom pads for that - whatever the mid-priced one was.

    I hadn't used my laptop before for this sort of thing - it feels a bit cramped for space but I'm kinda enjoying it now after a couple days use.

  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J godlike master sticky

    the days work:

    My main goal was to see if I could get a "sharper" image. I just traced an image to get the shape of the mountain as I wanted to focus only on brush work.

    Initially it ended up looking very blurry and indistinct like yesterday's work.

    first attempts:

    I tried quite a few techniques, but it was extremely time consuming... since I'll need to make a games worth of assets, I've got to find some methods that give a nice result but are time effective too.

    I finally found something that works. First, I box in the silhouette with lasso tool. I put in a dark fill color.

    Then I use a bunch of random texture sprays with various rock colors across the shape.

    On a new layer I brush out the midtone color. Since the brush strokes have a little bit of streak to them, I kind of work them along the valleys and ridges of the mountain. This helps suggest shape even though there is no lighting yet.

    Then lighting and shadows layers.

    Then, I use an erase to cut out blobs where rocks should be exposed. I just do this pretty quick. Then I take a fine texture spray brush and sample the local snow colors near the exposed rock and just sort hose down the area. I make sure that I am zoomed out, so the entire image is in view while doing this so that I don't get more detailed than necessary.

    That fine little texture spray I find gives a sharpness and sense of far-off detail that I wasn't otherwise able to achieve.

    To get the sharpness along the ridgelines I just duplicated the initial fill color layers so that I can make a selection and work within that. That way I never accidentally touch the edges which should remain crisp.

    Pretty happy with this result. I think it's close to quality I want so I'm certain I can get to desired skill soon enough, and the technique is pretty time efficient as well.

    up close detail:

  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J godlike master sticky

    Trying to break my tendency to get focused on details and always lean towards realism. So, I am working on a painting with a couple restrictions:

    1. only one brush
    2. only one layer
    3. reference image is reduced to thumbnail size

    progress so far:

    see if I can finish this up in two more sessions

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