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Turning Portraits into Digital Sketches, Oils, Watercolors Thinking about expanding beyond your traditional portrait and/or restoration, retouching and colorizing black and white image services? Find out what others are doing and how they are doing it.

New smudger

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Old 01-22-2009, 06:34 PM
aturner aturner is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1
New smudger

New to the forum and to smudging. Here is the original and my attempt to smudge. I feel like I missed something, although I can't figure out what. It still seems to be too "photographic" looking. Here are my steps:

1. Smudged using lighten, darken and normal modes at various opacities.
2. Smudged hair using sarsa hair brush.
3. Dodging and burning to help bring out shadows and highlights.

Any advice?

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Smudged.jpg (82.3 KB, 141 views)
File Type: jpg Original.jpg (73.7 KB, 146 views)
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Old 01-23-2009, 03:43 AM
palms's Avatar
palms palms is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: England
Posts: 5,685
Blog Entries: 30
Re: New smudger

Hi and welcome Andy

you have done well for a new smudger

advice i can give you is keep practising work out which style of smudging you want to achieve
scott deardoff is more ("photographic looking) while others are a lot heavier ( all in the opacity of the smudge tool) did you sharpen at all before smudging ? and after you had finished smudging ? ( again different people have different work flows for before and after)

all though you used a lovely photo i dont think that it is the best for smudging, a lot of black and white (these tend not to show up as well ) and a lot of small details (hard work) try the image from this post and see how you get on,
but do keep on as i said originally you have done well
and keep posting and asking questions
and if you want some reading and havent seen this post enjoy

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Old 01-23-2009, 12:43 PM
DannyRaphael's Avatar
DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Near Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 6,300
Re: New smudger

Hi Andy...

Welcome to RP. Super picture. Very inventive viewpoint!

re: It still seems to be too "photographic" looking.
That can be a challenge of smudging. Ran into that myself in my few attempts at this style of digital art.

The side-by-side, somewhat exaggerated image I've uploaded below is intended to provide a visual example of what distinguishes a photo from a painting (see below). It is NOT intended to suggest "my way is better than your way," OK? Once you get a visual picture of the differences, hopefully you'll be able to apply some of the concepts as you develop your own style of painting.

Typical characteristics of Photos (assumes color, in-focus):
* Colors are true, captured "as they are"
* All colors in scene are captured
* Blacks are blacks; whites are white
* Details are "in focus"
* Smooth, continuous transitions in tones, colors, shadows, etc.
* Smooth surfaces look smooth
* No flaws, jagged edges

Typical characteristics of Paintings (depending on style):
* Colors may be added to accenuate highlights or give the illusion of shadows
* If the artist has decided on a "color scheme," some-to-many colors in the original scene may not be present in the painting
* Blacks and whites may be "suggested" by other colors
* Details may not be in perfect focus; some may be eliminated completely
* Transitions in tones, colors, shadows, etc. may be more abrupt or varied in areas
* Flaws in colors, lines, details suggest "human" application of brush strokes
* Smooth surfaces may not necessarily look smooth

= = = = = = = = = = = = =

That said, I'd say the first two areas to look at would be:
* Adding highlights to shadow areas
* Experiment with "sharpening" to give the smudge strokes more definition

Smudge painting is kind of like golf or bowling. It looks like it should be easy when you watch others do it on TV; but based on my own limited experience and on what I've read over the years, getting good takes practice, practice, practice... So hang in there. You're off to a very good start.

Hope this helps.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RP Happy couple shot from above compare djr.jpg (106.2 KB, 53 views)
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:15 PM
Peter S's Avatar
Peter S Peter S is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 2,142
Re: New smudger

Ditto to all the above.
Your off to a good start here.
Yes it does still look photographic, like Danny says look at the lighting effects to add a little more interest, too many small details can bog you down,so you can afford to lose some of them, try boosting the saturation a little to give a it a bit more pop.
Check out the links Palms has posted. Lots of good tips/tools there.

The render lighting effects filter can give a very nice effect if not overdone.

My effort below.

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File Type: jpg couple-smudge.jpg (97.8 KB, 31 views)
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:20 PM
Joeven's Avatar
Joeven Joeven is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sudbury Ontario Canada
Posts: 748
Re: New smudger

I agree with all the advice so far. I'm not much of a smudger but your trying to make a photo look like a painting so you need to add some kind of light sorce like Peter said. You can use something like LucasArt or the Highlight/Shadow filter in PS to give it some contrast. My smudges seem to all turn into cartoons so you might want to ignore my advice.

This is a brushless smudge.

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File Type: jpg brushless-smudge.jpg (98.5 KB, 45 views)
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:12 PM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Location: somewhere over there
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Re: New smudger

i like that, joe. good one
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