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Painting my dog with grease pencil

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Sophie Jantak writes:

My wonderful boy!

There's something about painting with grease pencil that's so fun to me. It's been a frustrating learning curve, no question, but being able to make strokes and then modify them endlessly - in edit mode, with sculpt tools, changing the material and colour, subdividing and simplifying - it just makes so much sense in my brain. (And actually, NOW, going back to "typical" drawing programs like photoshop and procreate and NOT being able to modify a stroke is so frustrating!)

Here is a little timelapse of my painting process:

My process for getting a painterly style with grease pencil is to

1. add traditional stamps! I made grease pencil brushes that create a single textured dot. Textured brushes can be very demanding on a computer, but this kind of stamp brush allows you to get beautiful textures while using minimal geometry.

Here is the image but JUST the stamps showing (the grass stamps in the background are masked so that they don't show up in the body of the dog)

You can get my stamp brushes here (as well as my ink brushes, and I used the "Old leaky" for all the lineart in this piece)

And 2. lots of layering! I use fill layers at varying opacities, some with gradients, and just "glaze" on colour. The advantage of this is that you can cover big areas of your canvas with low geometry - even lower if you turn up the "simplify" value in the brush's post-processing settings. I've been experimenting with simplifying my strokes more and more, and with this method you don't lose any complexity or beauty while being way less demanding. (Are we noticing a trend? My computer struggles with grease pencil!)

This painting was made for a "nature journal" page all about my dog, which you can see in full here:

All the drawings were done in Blender, then exported as a transparent PNG and in Krita I added the text and paper texture.

Here is what the Blender render looks like on its own:

And I offer nature journal pages like this as pet commissions! You can check out all the information for that here.

Thanks for checking out my work! I'd eventually like to dissect my grease pencil painting process in detail on my YouTube channel, but for now I'm still experimenting and getting comfortable with the tool.

About Author

Sophie Jantak

illustrator who gets excited about grease pencil on camera

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