PAINTING A WET APPLE
This tutorial is a 2 in 1. That's right children, twice the learning - not only will you be able to paint wet fruit, but as an added bonus you'll learn how to kill the very brain cells that store your new found knowledge. You didn't really just want to paint a boring, plain old apple in a basket did you?
I'm doing this with a 12"x18" Wacom tablet and Photoshop 7. If you're using other software it doesn't really matter, I don't refer to anything specific to Photoshop. If you're using a mouse then give up now and quit pretending you can do computer graphics.
Tutorial #1 - TURN AN APPLE INTO A PIPE
Using a straw, punch 2 holes to the center of the apple, making sure they intersect at the exact middle. Pull out the stem and punch a hole down the middle. If all 3 holes intersect then the "plugs" will pull out with the straw, which you can blow like a dart at the nearest person or dog. A screen will make sure you don't inhale ash, raid the faucet if you have to. Hole #1 is the shotgun, which you cover with your thumb, and hole #2 is the one you suck on.
WARNING! Only smoke tobacco in your pipe! Burning other popular plants in your apple may result in a hefty fine, or if you live in a fascist police state like the U.S., even prison time.
Tutorial #2 -DIGITAL STILL LIFE PAINTING
Start with the actual apple, like above. This is one of the simplest studies of how light falls on a round object. I kept it really simple, there is only one strong light source(obviously from above and to the left). Make sure what you work on is a higher resolution than the finished image, I was working on a 2500x2500 pixel canvas.
Try to use black and white as little as possible. There is a little pure white right on the very brightest part of the highlight, and some pure black used on the darkest edge in the lower right too. It's usually a bad idea to use black or white to lighten or darken a midtone, this will wash it out and make it look super crappy. If you're painting skin this is very important, it will suck all the saturation from your skin tones and turn your model into a vampire.
A light green glow as a background will prevent it from looking like a cutout.
Doing a 2 color shape requires you to keep a somewhat uniform tone between the 2 different colors, thinking of it in black and white might help. Doing an all red or all green apple first would make it easier.
Painting things like water droplets is boring. I rush through it using a few stages. First, I choose a light color that is the natural color of the drop. This is picked from the environment around the drop, in this case the apple skin. I blocked out all the drops using this color. Then, using pure white, I painted main highlights facing the light source on each drop. I usually added a secondary highlight at the back as well. After that, shadows are placed behind each drop, paying attention to which way the light is shining.
It's pretty easy to create water droplets, a wet effect can be achieved on the apple skin as well. Generally the skin will have a brighter, smaller, more defined highlight when it's wet. I painted a fat, soft highlight, which could be better. I tried to do a few light areas where water on the surface is forming into a drop about to run down the side as well, all this combines to make it look wet.
On my first pass I went crazy with the white and the water looked like milk or something. Don't do that, just use it for highlights.
Smoke is easy to paint, as long as it isn't colored, or have crazy lighting. On a dark back ground you'd just use white to define the swirls of smoke, but on a white background you have to lay down a darker color first. Using gray follow the direction of the smoke making dark swirls. Then go in an clean it up a bit with an eraser, carving wisps of smoke from the gray and following the same direction. There are 2 main types of brush strokes to use with white (or the eraser). The first is thin and narrow to define a fast moving column of thick smoke. The other is done with a wide, soft, near-transparent brush for the light puffs of smoke that are just about dissipated in the air. It doesn't matter whether you use white or the eraser over the white background, but over the apple it needs to be balanced to show the right combination of dark gray and white smoke trails.
That's it. I don't claim to be the best, but if you're lucky I'm better than you and you learned something. I'm finding a lot of painting doesn't have much to do with artistic or creative talent, it's a skill that can be learned. Somebody with no "talent" at all can churn out wet fruit twice as fast as me and have it look twice as good, if they practised enough. Feel free to pick my technique apart or tell me how to improve it, this is my first wet fruit painting :)
Click here to view the finished apple.
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Really well-written tutorial, DG. I learnt a lot from it.
Um... did you learn about painting, or... other things?
knock yourself out, but save some braincells for later XoP
you could try buying a pipe...or making a bong out of wood if
your really motivated, oh well good luck!
I've since found that oranges taste the best (if you filter through the juice), but coconuts must surely be what god intended us to use when he created marijuana.
In response to those that posted comments about crack: Welcome to planet earth, where most of us live in the real world. Go have a beer and think about drug abuse.
I hope this was educational.