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Topic: Cheat Shaded Art *pic heavy* *cuteness overload*  (Read 8928 times)
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Joker of All Trades, Master of Nonsense
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« on: February 21, 2014 03:53:29 PM »

Okay so after I did a couple of these for the OWS, I received lots of praise which I totally didn't deserve cause this is a total cheat.  So anyway I promised a tutorial and decided it would also be a good first project for my little website, too!  Smiley

So here it is:
Cheat Shaded Art

Craft acrylic paint one base color per subject (so for this, I had two); also white acrylic paint and one color for the background.  
Glue/Mod Podge
Paint brushes at least one wide for spreading the glue and one fine for detail work
Printer and paper
A palette, palette paper, or piece of cardboard you can throw away

Choose and alter your photograph into black and white.  I use fotoflexer.com where for free you can upload your picture, then click on the Effects heading and switch it to greyscale.  If it all seems really difficult to tell sections of gray apart, add a little contrast if needed.  Then print the thing according to the size of canvas you are working with (810 is usually ideal since you can do it at home).  Print it on regular paper not photo paper.

My picture I started with and then after I adjusted it:

THIS IS THE ONLY SEMI-TRICKY STEP.  Bust out your pencil and break apart your subject(s) into shades of gray.  Ignore the fact that you love these people and are callously penciling all over their faces and breaking them down into shapes and areas instead of looking at them as a person.  I promise, whatever damage you do the soul will be repaired when painting.
Warning: Use pencil.  Do not use pen.  Never.  Ever.  No matter what.  No matter how lazy you feel.  Painting over pen is an exercise in futility.  Trust me on this.

Now, the easiest way is to draw over the picture, simply blocking off sections when you get to an area that is noticeably lighter or darker.  Dont worry about not being 100% sure.  Just block it off.
Now, divide up your blocked-off areas into 5 shades.  At least, I use five shades of gray.  Im sure anything 3+ should be fine but I think 5 gives a lot of detail without being ridiculous (more than five might make you want to kill someone).

Start with your darkest and lightest areas they will give you a base to work from.  I usually use 5 for my lightest areas, 1 for my darkest, and so forth.  Once you have labelled your lightest and darkest areas, you can much more easily identify the middle shade (your #3) and then your remaining areas.  There will be some areas that dont fit squarely into your five shades its okay.  I promise.  Just try your best.

Tip: Evaluate each individual subject on their own.  In this picture, for example, Greyson would be way lighter than Alexis.  So do your five shades of gray for each person, animal, whatever on their own for a more balanced look overall.

Warning:  Those areas in the mouth?  Like the spots in between teeth?  DO NOT use your #1 shade even though they are the among the darkest spots.  Trust me on this.  You can use your darkest for general mouth stuff (like Greysons) but when youre dealing with in between teeth, use your #3 or #4 shade so theres not as much glaring contrast between the white teeth and the spots in between.

Tip:  When it comes to hair, dont get too wrapped up in it.  Number the areas that are on the outside and any large chunks but just leave the rest of it alone.  When youre painting, youll just naturally color in some areas with various shades and it will all look fine.

Other Tip:  Dont mess with background.  I include clothing and accessories but not background or furniture (unless the person looks weird, like if theyre leaning on a table and then they look float-y).  Sorry, underthemountain  Roll Eyes

Other Other Tip:  Just like the hair and clothes arent that important, the eyes are far and away the most important.  Make sure you keep those flecks of light in their eyes.

Huzzah!  You are ready to roll!  Your areas are blocked off and numbered (the more you do of these the less you have to actually block and number everything).  So now you are going to take your picture and glue it on top of your canvas.

I am so not even kidding.  Mod Podge is always ideal but even Elmers will work if you are careful to keep it light, spread it evenly, and carefully apply it to make sure there arent any bubbles.

Create your five shades.  Its pretty basic start with your base color (which will be your #1) and add an increasing amount of white paint to your next four shades.  You should end up with something akin to these five discernible shades:

Paint already!  This isn't rocket surgery.


Youll note that in this picture, the paper gets wrinkly as youre painting.  Its okay.  As long as your initial adhesion to the canvas was smooth, this wrinkliness (that should be a work) will be completely flat once dry.


Paint your background.  FYI, depending on your chosen background color, you may have to do more layers.
THEN YOURE DONE!!  It takes a little while but put on a movie or two and youll be done in no time.  You do want to do each subject in one sitting to make sure you have well-balanced shades.

Hope that clears up why I keep telling you guys that the final product on these has absolutely nothing to do with any talent or skill  Cheesy

P.S. Remember when I told you the painting would restore the damage done to your psyche by breaking someone you love up into shades of gray?  Seriously, every time I do one of these, even for people I've never met, I fall in love with some part of them.  The roundness of cheeks, the purse of lips, the spark of eyes - even how much eye makeup my niece wears - you totally discover it all over again.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2015 03:58:59 PM by alteredmommy » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2014 04:19:01 PM »

I can't wait to try this out!
Thanks, rockmygypsysoul.

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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2014 05:30:11 PM »

Very cool!  Thanks for posting this RMGS!!

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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2014 09:37:48 PM »

Thank you so much for this tutorial.  I love your pictures.  I've bookmarked this.
Regarding the soul damaging effects of turning people into shades of grey I wonder if it would be easier if you turn the picture upside down so that it doesn't look so much like a person.
Thanks again
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2014 10:05:12 AM »

Thanks for posting such a great tutorial, I hope to give it a go  Grin

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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2014 03:33:50 PM »

What a fantastic tutorial! 

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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2014 05:04:30 PM »

Thanks, everyone!  I promise it really is very easy.   Smiley

Swapping up a storm here!  Totally open to personal swaps - I am always in need of awesome stuff Wink

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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2014 07:25:39 PM »

What a cool idea!!  I must try it sometime!   Thanks for sharing!


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