Darklaw
Published in

Darklaw

Fantasy painting of a woman warrior with blonde hair, angry and looking at a teenage boy who is staring back. His mother is standing with him, happy about the forest she see off the balcony.
Detail from “A New World” painted in Procreate © Teresa Wymore

DIGITAL ART | PROCREATE | FANTASY | LGBTQ | ORIGINAL CHARACTERS

Darklaw | A New World Cover Detail

Everything you see has color, tone, and texture. I always found traditional media does color and tone easily, but texture is tough. How do you use line or a color to show fur or metal or a weave? It takes a lot of time and practice with brushes and found items.

But if you want more realistic images, you must create texture. If you don’t consciously do it, your texture will just be that everything’s smooth.

Digital art provides brushes that make texture much easier to add, although texture brushes still require experimentation so you know how to apply them. It’s not just swipe and you’re done, so there’s a learning curve. Think brush size and angle, fill percent, color combinations, layer settings. And Procreate makes it easy to wrap the pattern into fabric folds with the Liquid tool — my very favorite tool in the program.

You have to get the tone right, but then adding layers of texture adds dimension.

I have many texture brushes I use in Procreate, ones meant specifically for fabrics and leaves and trees, for example. But also, a brush might have been created for clouds but makes a perfect tree line. I use rain brushes for wood, etc. Experiment.

In this painting I have a different texture for everything (wool, linen, leather, cotton, metal, skin, trees, stone), but not for hair, believe-it-or-not lol. I’ve never found a brush that works as well as just swiping hundreds(thousands!) of strokes for any kind of hair. Texture examples from Avestine’s figure are shown below.

  • Sleeve texture is a Bamboo brush in brown with Multiply filter.
  • Scarf texture is Linen brush in white with Color Burn filter.
  • Cloak edge is Soft Leather brush in blue with Add filter.
  • Cloak body is Linen brush in green with Subtract filter.
  • Face texture is Rough Skin brush in white with Normal filter at 100% plus some red veins.

You may think some of the additions are too subtle, especially at this low resolution (72dpi 1500x1000px), but you’d be wrong lol. I mean, you might not pick them out without being told, but they create an overall depth effect that hits you when you engage with the scene.

Pic 1 has textures turned off. Pic 2 has textures turned on. Use a clipping path to limit the texture to the object layer. ©Teresa Wymore

The Darklaw Saga is a linked story collection published at Tantalizing Tales and Redemption Magazine. Find all episodes here.

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Teresa Wymore 🏳️‍🌈

Author Artist Athlete • Epic Fantasy & Erotic Fiction • Sapphic power ⚔️ Polyamorous empty-nester & gymrat | she/her | https://twitter.com/teresawymore