Digital art is often thought of as flat or mechanical, but textures can quickly create more interest and depth. Here, I will talk about how to make your own textures and various ways that you can use them in Photoshop. This is an important step towards creating more painterly work in the digital world. I’ve also included some free hi-res textures for you to download and use in your artwork.
Before I went to college, the only digital art I produced were little scribbles I made with my mouse in Microsoft Paint. Then, in my second semester, I took a little class called “Introduction to Computer Imaging” where I was first introduced to Photoshop. One of the first things I learned in that class was how to scan and color a drawing. I was absolutely fascinated with the idea of being able to put my drawing on its own layer and be able to color it without worrying about ruining it.
My drawings are still an integral part of my digital paintings. Whether it is a clean ink line or a rough sketch, it can be an important tool and a deciding factor in the overall look of your painting. Here’s some tips on how to prepare and use your drawing when painting in Photoshop.
I usually don’t use “tricks”, such as filters and effects, when I’m painting in Photoshop. If I do, it’s only for a subtle texture, a quick drop shadow, etc. – but nothing major. However, when painting this cake for my “Cake Eater” illustration, I purposely used a few layer effects to make my job a bit easier.