What’s the key to paint­ing lizard skin?

Gabrielle Tindler, US

ImagineFX - - Your Questions Answered... -

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.

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