Matt Hodel Tattoo: Background and Digital Painting

Background and Digital Painting 27

Adding a Background to a Digital Painting

I have been switching over to a working digitally.  I have already saved hours preparing for tattoo appointments by using the tools of digital drawing.  It's kind of like replacing onion skin with a word processor.  

My next goal is to recreate the feel of painting with Sketchbook Pro.  When you reproduce original artwork, eventually it becomes digital.  Starting with a piece of digital art gives you more freedom and control. 

Here are a few steps to make your digital painting look less pixel powered.

1. Here is a designed created in Sketchbook Pro.

2. Next I add a new texture layer above the original design.  I set the layer to "multiply"  The image still "looks" separate from the background.

3.  I add another layer in between the texture and the image.  I flood fill it with an 80% grey and set this layer to "screen".

4. The last layer I add is a flood fill color under the main design.  This helps tint the paper texture.

With every step, play with the transparency to get the look you want.  I still think that there are many ways to achieve a natural look.  This is the process I'm using now.