PI6 Gradient Brush Stamp Painting

 

gradient brush roseFor a long time I've been looking for a way to mimic in digital painting the "double loaded" brush technique used by tole painters. When Marlene came up with a clever PI6 "gradient brush" stamp, I began to consider the possibilities for digital paintings. I was delighted to find that with only a few strategically placed strokes, you can paint a rose like this one (shown half size). 

To follow along, you'll need to download this PI6 gradient brush .UFO object, unzip it, and add it to your stamp collection. If you don't know how to add a stamp, check out my PI6 Stamp Tutorial

Start with a new file 300 X 300 pixels. You don't have to use a black canvas, but it definitely helps you to see the edges of the objects better. Select the Stamp tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click the stamp down arrow and choose Select Stamp. When the thumbnails open, select the gradientbrush.ufo stamp. In the Attributes toolbar, select the following Stamp options: Transparency=50, Scale=100, Spacing=4, Order=Random, Placement=Trail, Object=Single object and Lines=Freehand. 

Stamp tool Attributes toolbar settings

(If you have used the Brush Panel recently, check to make sure that Hue shift is not selected on the Advanced tab)

Very slowly drag a C-shape, like this one, for the first petal. Be sure to work very slowly, or you will not get a rounded shape and the brush will keep on drawing after you release the mouse button. If the shape isn't right the first time, hit Delete and try again. After you draw the shape, hit the space bar to deactivate the object.

make first petal

Drag another petal shape like this one. After drawing the shape, right click, Arrange, Send to Back. This will put the petal behind the first one you drew. Hit the space bar to deactivate the object.

draw second petal

Draw the third petal like this one. Leave it on top of the stack of petals. Hit the space bar to deactivate the object.

draw third petal

Draw another petal that pulls out slightly to the right. Hit the space bar to deactivate the object. 

next petal

Drag another petal like this one, to fill in and cover the base image showing underneath. Hit the space bar to deactivate the object.

next petal

With the Pick tool, click on the first petal you made, the one on the far left side. Right click and Duplicate it, then drag it over slightly to the right, like this. Hit the space bar to deactivate the object.

duplicate first petal

Now it's time to make the little, curled up petals in the center of the rose. Select the Stamp tool again. In the Attributes toolbar, edit the Scale to 75. Make a small, upward arching curve like this one. Hit the space bar to deactivate the object.

make upward arching center petal

Make a downward arching center petal like this one. Note that this petal is a little wider than the last petal you made. Hit the space bar to deactivate the object.

make downward arching center petal

In the Attributes toolbar, edit the Scale back to 100. Draw another petal like this one. You'll want the white part to blend into the white on the other petals, so don't go up or down too much on the beginning and ending of the brush stroke. Hit the space bar to deactivate the object.

add another petal

Draw one more downward curving petal at the bottom of the rose. Right click, Arrange, Send to Back. This will add a little of the darker color to the bottom of the rose.

add last petal

Take a good hard look at your rose. You don't want to overdo it, but if there are "holes" in the middle or if it's unbalanced, add more petals and send them to the back of the stack to get a pleasing arrangement. 

When you're satisfied with your rose, select the Pick tool and click any petal to select it. Then right click, Select All Objects, and right click Merge as Single Object. Select the Smudge Retouch tool and, using the default Attribute toolbar settings, lightly smudge the joins between the white areas of the rose. Be careful not to overblend.

Use Smudge Retouch tool to blend white

Select the Airbrush Paint tool. In the Attributes toolbar, select the Fat Stroke Preset. Click in the Color box and select white. Edit the Transparency to 50. Airbrush white along the bottom of the rose. Use a light touch, adding just enough to make the bottom petals white along the edges. This would be a good time to save the rose to your EasyPalette, so you can use it again and again. 

lightly airbrush white on lower edges

rosebudsKeep in mind that you can make little rosebuds by just making two strokes, one upward curving and one downward curving. Set the Stamp Scale to 35 to 50 or so to make rosebuds. I made a web set out of the roses and rosebuds.

To make some leaves for the rose, select the Paintbrush Paint tool. In the Attributes toolbar, select a Round brush, Size=10, Transparency=0, Soft edge=5. Click in the Color box and select the darkest green from the standard colors. Click Mode to enter Paint as Object mode. Draw the outline of a leaf shape and fill in to make it solid. Click Mode to exit Paint as Object mode.

paint rose shape

While the leaf object is still active, click in the Color box and select bright lime green. Paint in the center of the leaf. 

add bright green to center

Select the Smudge Retouch tool. Leave the default settings in the Attributes toolbar. Smudge lightly along the line between the two greens, and then smudge outward from the light green to the edges of the leaf. Don't wipe out all of the darker green, though.

blend light green into dark green

Select the Paintbrush Paint tool. In the Attributes toolbar, select the Fine Brush Preset. Click in the Color box and select dark green from the standard colors. Draw ribs and veins on the leaf.

draw ribs on leaf

Select the Smudge Retouch tool. In the Attributes toolbar, edit the Shape to Round, the Size to 10, Level=50 and Soft edge=50. Smudge along the dark green lines you just painted for the ribs and veins.

smudge veins and ribs

Select the Burn Retouch tool. In the Attributes toolbar, select the Wide Burn Preset. Position the brush so that only the very edge of the leaf is touched by the Burn tool. Burn around the edges, darkening them. If you have any fuzzy edges, use the Object Eraser tool to clean them up. I used the Object Eraser to sharpen up the tip and stem end of this leaf. Save the leaf to your EasyPalette so you won't have to make it again.

burn edges

Use the Pick tool to position the rose on top of the leaf. Duplicate the leaf as needed, then use the Attributes toolbar's Order options to Send to Back. Rotate the leaves a little with the Transform tool as necessary, until you have a pretty arrangement. 

You can use the Burn and Dodge Retouch tools here and there to darken or lighten selectively too. To make the contrast between the light and dark colors stronger, while the rose is active choose Effect, Blur & Sharpen, Unsharp Mask. When the dialog box opens, ignore the thumbnails and click Options to get the secondary dialog box. Enter values similar to those shown below to sharpen up the rose.

Unsharp Mask dialog box

Here is the finished rose on a black background. 

finished rose on black background

Because all of the parts of the rose are objects, they will look good on any color background. Here is the rose on a plain white background with a slight drop shadow.

finished rose on white background

This tutorial uploaded 1/05/01

Do not duplicate, translate, copy, archive, appropriate or redistribute this document.

 

 

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