How can I use my cool photo textures?
Simon Keown, Scotland
Answer David replies
Using photography and textures can help to create a good sense of realism within your paintings and speed up your design process. There can be a slight danger though, in that the final image will just look like a collage of randomly collected images, rather than an original design. So, if you’re planning on using photography within your work, bear in mind that it’s not a substitute for understanding the fundamentals of art and design.
I think the best application for using photography is to strike a balance between textures and incorporating digital painting too. Here I’ve created an alien world environment. I start off with a quick greyscale composition painting, to work out the overall design. Once I’m happy with my design, I begin to bring photos into the image to help quickly define the rough, rock texture of the ground and canyons.
The photos had to be adjusted to match the colour and mood of my scene. I regularly use editing tools available in Photoshop, such as Brightness, Saturation, Color Balance and Levels to adjust textures. This enables me to have complete control over the textures, so I can easily integrate them into my design.
Using photography can radically speed up your design process and heighten the sense of realism in your designs. When incorporating textures, you should match the perspective and angles within your image. So try to make sure you position textures wisely.