93   Digital Painting   Brush Technique, Soft & Hard

93 Digital Painting Brush Technique, Soft & Hard



in the past I've talked about painting with a soft round brush almost like an airbrush and then since the paint is on its own layer switching to the eraser tool using a hard eraser and carving out a sharp edge and in this way getting both a soft edge and a hard edge and then as you continue you'd make a new layer lay down more paint and erase and continue this process in today's video I'm going to show you a slight variation on this theme and how it might apply to more technical edge control areas so let's take a look here you can see I've got a quick tracing of a skull and the reason I didn't just draw this is because what I'm working on today is rendering so I don't really want to waste time doing a careful line drawing if all I really want to practice is painting inside of it so I've made this tracing and I want to do some of the simple shadowing underneath it with my line of work layer on top you can see that's in red here I'm going to be painting on all layers below the line work so I make a new layer select the brush tool change to a hard round brush so it looks just like this it's got pressure sensitivity but hard edge and using that brush I'll begin on the hard edge of the shadow and right now that happens to me in the edge of the forum and using this hard brush it gives me nice control of that edge it's a lot easier to get that exact shape if you're working with a hard brush than it is if you're working with soft brush and you notice I'm not being very careful about the other edge which is going to be the soft edge of my shadow and I'll show you what we do with that in a minute okay so I've put in my hard edge using the hard brush now switch the eraser tool select a soft round eraser and then all erase away the soft edge of the shadow this is where the paint is going to transition from the dark area into the light area and obviously I'd be a bit more careful if this were a finished piece but I'm just giving you guys a quick example so in this way I've started with a hard edge and then erased away the soft edge so I get the best of both worlds now let's say I wanted to darken in maybe the eye cavity for that I'd make a new layer select this color make a little darker and go back to the hard round brush so I paint it in place worrying more about the hard-edged and less about the cleanliness of the soft edge then I select my eraser go to a soft eraser and erase away the excess and make that transition so you can see why working on independent layers is important now if I'm happy with the way those two layers work I can flatten those together with layer merge down so now I have a single layer for my rendering information but while I'm working on it when I'm laying down the new paint it's important to keep those separate at this point I'm going to finish out the skull but as you can tell I've sped up the footage quite a bit this is one of those processes that does take a while like most things in art you gotta have patience but if you watch those first few examples then you know how I'm doing every step along the way it's just one process repeated over and over so really there's not much of a secret to it add some with the hard brush take away some with the soft brush very simple you'll find really that the challenge begins looking at your subject looking for where is a hard edge and where is the soft edge it's those hard and soft transitions that interplay across the form that really create a believable surface and so knowing how to lay down a hard edge and a soft edge comfortably with your paintbrush allows you to focus more on looking at the subject and recording what you see so I encourage you guys to give this a try and to help you out with that I've actually included this drawing of a skull with the reference next to it as a downloadable image at the bottom of the post so good luck with this and have fun practicing thanks for watching guys

23 comments / Add your comment below

  1. man the soft erase tool is like that ugly girl in movies that you dont like but after a make up she becomes a model and you are saying in your head{ what was wrong with me]. i have watched too many 90s movies XD.

  2. 1:22, how did you sketch that? I have a drawing pad and got tons and tons of brushes that I bought; yet, I can't do a soft to hard sketch. Is there a way to do a pencil style where you go soft to hard?

    I am seeking the pressure sensitivity since my drawing pad is cheap. I am not getting a good quality like yours. How did you do that on 1:23?

  3. This is not like the 8th mystery of the Universe solved… but man, how it helped me. I guess the only think left to me.. is a tablet. With the trackpad or even a mouse.. drawing is hell. Any recomendations? Not that I'm not going to look by myself tho. 🙂

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