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March 29, 2013
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Step-by-Step Digital Painting Tutorial by Qinni Step-by-Step Digital Painting Tutorial by Qinni
Reblog from my Tumblr? :blush:

Please read my commentary before asking any more questions~! thanks :D

Finished Work:

Edit: I've had a few repeated question of how I work my lineart into the drawing.
I'd like to clarify that i don't really actually have a clean line-art. I have clean-sketches that I work under, but they're not what I personally call lineart. If you zoom in, they are very messy. I do merge the layers together at some point in step 5, and I continue to literally work the colours of the lineart into the skin (which is why i turned the sketch layer into overlay so the colours become very similar and nice to work with). That way I can get an almost none-lineart quality.

also, if you're wondering about canvas sizes, check out my journal about them: [link]

The program I used was Painttool SAI, but I think you can achieve similar effects via photoshop with a low-opacity textured brushes.

I hope this helped : ) Sorry it's so darn long. I kept it as short as I could but it's still a pretty long process.
Please keep in mind this is more of a guide to my painting process and how I technically go about doing this; It's not going to automatically teach you how to render or understand structure or anatomy (which I hope I will cover in more tutorials in the future.), which is very important, of course, to the painting itself. That's why I'll be slowly going through and doing more tutorials on anatomy and structure in the next few months, hopefully :D.

A good practice for rendering is actually to do still life and human sketches. preferably with a pencil, and not digitally (yet) :). If you have any questions feel free to ask me :D

Step-by-step animation:

In the mean time, have some of my other anatomy tutorials:
Add a Comment:
waterwolf996 Featured By Owner 2 days ago  New member Hobbyist Artist
can this work for paint tool sai too?
DragonGirl9897 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
This has helped me so much! Thank you!
(It also taught me not to make such large portraits xD)
YahzeeSkywalker Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2015  Professional General Artist
...this is very useful, and the art is  very beautiful. Congrats!
shadowlupen Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
This is beautiful! I'm still trying to get comfortable with digital painting Ive been using the original CS for ages but I did download Sai to give that a try too This was very helpful I was always wondering about blending the line art
A-Little-Monster Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  New member Student General Artist
How in the world do you do the shine that you have on the scales? If it was explained in the tutorial, so sorry but I must have missed it, haha.
Qinni Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
lol it's literally just going over each scale with the shading's very time consuming lolol x_x;;;
A-Little-Monster Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2015  New member Student General Artist
Haha, I feel ya.
DarrynGrymm Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015  Student Digital Artist
:D (Big Grin) Thanx for sharing. Much appreciated.
Karaikou Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is exactly what I'm trying to do at the moment!! ;w; Your tutorials are great, please keep up the good work! ~
TinyMushroom Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2014  Student General Artist
You should make a tutorial book, I would definitely buy it!! You explain te essence of the things that makes the biggest difference in our drawings. T_T Thank you for all your hardwork of giving your time on making tuts for us <3
Snap-Chip-Clip Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thank you SO MUCH for this! :'D
ColorGold Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2014  Hobbyist
O _O
AClockworkKitten Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014  Student Digital Artist
How do you render, though?
Qinni Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
to really understand how to render is really to understand the form; so understanding how the anatomy looks in 3d, which means to do more life-drawing and real-life studying. it's hard work and it will take time. Be patient and practice lots :). I have a journal with a list of books that may help you, if you can afford to buy books :). good luck~!
Gmandz Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i dont like to draw undigitally ( rarely practise with pencils and papers )  because i can feel and draw smoothly in digital. So any problem for my situation? 
Qinni Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
well, if you can overcome your lack of smoothness with a traditional medium, it will help your digital medium a lot too. 
LovelyNoire Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for this tutorial. I really want to try out digital painting and know this will help a lot. Thank you !
kumeo Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you very much for this tutorial, I have been looking for a tutorial for Photoshop, though the ones I find are just not right for me, again thank you!
hemam Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Many thanks for this tutorial! Any piece of advice from an excellent pro like you is always unvaluable. I find very useful when people explains their workflow, since I am usually very anarchical and somehow random in my procedures.
EZIZA Featured By Owner May 24, 2014
That was awesome! I dind't know DeviantArt has so many tutorials!
SkyeFury Featured By Owner May 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the tutorial, though I still have some doubts as to how to combine the lineart/sketch and the colors.

FIN. I see what you did there. 
feki021 Featured By Owner May 3, 2014
Thank you very much for the tutorial, but I still know that I'm gonna such badly at this. My problem, is drawing in 3d like by myself, without any computer stuff. Shading basically; do you have any tips on that?
Qinni Featured By Owner May 5, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
if you're talking about traditional mediums, then it all varies depending on which medium you're actually using. If you want to paint something 3d-like, your best bet is either acrylics or oil. Personally i prefer oil paintings since it doesn't dry as fast and there's a lot of old art masters to paint from. 
feki021 Featured By Owner May 7, 2014
EastyBug Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
How did you do the scales?
EYEDZART Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014
can i ask something? what is rendering? lol...i'm still a beginner and a noob
Qinni Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
when it comes to painting 2d, rendering means to make something look three dimensional or realistic, not with lineart or cell-shading.
EYEDZART Featured By Owner May 18, 2014
Ouhhh..i see..thanks a lot. :D
kushinahime Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks. It helps me understand a little. I am actually new to Paint Tool SAI. :D
juliredpanda Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really love these tutorials of yours, they teach me very much!:D (Big Grin) 
elhaqiqie99 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2014
ohh god that's really cool, thanks for tutorial :D
LittleLorel Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is extremely helpful! Thank you soooooooooooo much! Lots of love!! :hug:
mitablue Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014  Student
Tsuikachu Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Hobbyist
This is so incredable, thank you so much for the tutorial! Your art is so beautiful!!
HeroesRain Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
The picture is incredible. Thank you for the tutorial
riicebowl Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013
love love love
What brushes do you have? It would be amazing to see them!
aradoesntbite Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm great at traditional drawing but i dont know a thing about digital. do you use a pad? or just with you mouse?? how do you transform a picture into a digital painting (like fanart)??? sorry if im an ignorant but it'd really help
KamKam3961 Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2013  Student General Artist
Oh my gosh this is so helpful. Thank you. :D
Lluks4 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I don't know if you understand how appreciated it is for you to put out tutorials, considering you might be the best artist on the site.
Qinni Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
oh man, i really wish i was! hahaha but thanks so much anyways :D~
scarlletts Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
this is cool! so natural..
endneo Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
This is wonderful!
trunks-shirafune Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
zaphyrae Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Blaue-Rose Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Great tutorial~!!! :la:
Thanks for sharing~!!! :meow:
5UNNYR4Y3 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013   Digital Artist
Wow, I cam back to this long after I had added it to my favorites, and I realized that I never tried out the brush settings that you use.


You're right, it feels like working with actual paint, which I absolutely love!
This helped so much with my most recent picture!
kidoa Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
will try..., later :(
BjsX Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Student General Artist
didi u use the marker tool since step 3.?
WhispersBetteNoir Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013
Sorry, I didn't see this tutorial before I asked you that stupid question on the final picture.
Sigh, I was kind of hoping this would help me with fish scales, but I have no idea how I'd interpret that into colored pencils
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