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|These are few but essential tips that will help you at improving in your digital craft, be it Painting, Airbrushing, Digital Design or Photomanipulation:|
HORIZONTAL FLIP CANVAS
Frequently view your WIP in 'mirror view' with Horizontal Flip. This technique will reveal errors and mistakes that you can never spot in default view.
This technique has been used since the Renaissance period where painters view their arts in the mirror while progressing at painting.
To do this in Photoshop: Image > Image Rotation > Flip Canvas Horizontal
It's advice that you create a 'one button' shortcut key for ease of use, I suggest using a key from F9 to F12
Additionally, you have the advantage to work in reverse canvas when you flip it horizontally; this is useful when working with diagonal strokes that are usually difficult to draw (right handed) from bottom right to top left. When flipped it's feels natural to draw when it's from top right to bottom left.
I've implemented this technique to the point I paint my artwork in both views equally. This constantly allow me to fix errors and see things in fresher view.
CHECK & MODIFY YOUR VALUES
Create a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer on top of all the layers and move the Saturation slider all the way to the left (-100) until the image is black, white and grey. This will reveal how your values are holding up.
If you need to modify the values, create another Luminosity mode layer on top. In that layer, you can modify the value using the Brush and Gradient tools.
IS YOUR ART COMPLETED?
When you think you are done and ready to submit, you are actually not quite so. This means do give a day's rest or hours before you submit in dA, the next time you view your art with fresher sets of eyes you'll certainly spot area for improvements; be it color correction, contrast value, touch ups and more painting.
THUMBNAIL VIEW MAGIC
View your art in Thumbnail view every now and then while progression at Painting or Photomanipulation. This view will generally sum up the composition of the artwork as you progress; and most importantly, this is how your art is seen most of the time in dA, so if you have an eye catching thumbnail, you'll invite more viewers to click on it.
LIGHT! LIGHT! LIGHT!
LET THERE BE LIGHT! When utilized properly, you can create focal points and direct the viewer's eyes towards that area. Light can also 'connect' your background and foreground and makes the mid-ground (usually the subject matter) blend in naturally and organically.
COMPLEMENT YOUR COLORS
COMPLEMENTARY COLORS. Visit this helpful site for your color scheme guidance:--> [link]
This will help you in making your colour choice in your art more harmonious.
USE THE COLOR BALANCE TOOL
If you want to alter the colors of your painting then Color Balance is a fast and easy way to slightly or completely change the tones of your image. You can warm it up by upping the reds, or make it cooler with blues. Make a duplicate of your entire image and alter the Colour Balance as you see fit..
ALWAYS SAVE NEW FILES & BACK UP LAYERS
Always save, that's the golden rule. It's so frustrating to lose something you're really happy with, and even more so to have someone tell you, "you should have saved!" The thing to do is to save as a new file intermittently. Try to develop a numbering system that makes sense and is easy to remember.
It can be useful to keep the layers in case of emergency. If you really need to flatten the whole painting or merge most of the layers, then make a backup copy of the .psd file with the layers intact. It might save you a lot of time down the road later on especially when you have to make major changes
Tips are courtesy of ImagineFX, do visit their forum and check out the magazine, TQ