What’s the key to painting lizard skin?
Gabrielle Tindler, US
Answer Don replies
Painting the shiny texture of lizard skin isn’t very difficult if you approach the task in a logical manner. The first thing I do is paint the scales. This is easy to do with Corel’s Painter X3, using custom Paper textures.
I select a scaly looking paper texture from a custom Paper library that I created earlier, then choose a brush that interacts well with the paper texture. The Variable Chalk brush, which is a variant of the Chalk and Crayons brush category, works really well. I start by filling the canvas with a mid-tone green colour.
Next, I create a new layer for the dark areas between the scales and paint this with a darker green than the background. Then I create a second layer for the top part of the scaly texture. I invert the paper texture, select a green colour lighter than the background and paint the top areas of the scales.
I then drop the two layers onto the canvas. I choose the Glow brush from the FX brush category. Picking a very dark green colour, I lightly paint over the areas that I want to appear shiny. I vary the colour to give a chameleonlike feel to the scales. Usually, I would make the highlights follow the contours of the creature; however, in this case I just paint across the scales.
Here I’ve dropped the scale layers onto the canvas and painted the highlights across the scales with Corel Painter’s Glow brush.
The canvas layer is filled with green and both the dark and light scales are painted on separate layers above.