Question about different techniques


Needle-chuck Ninja
Hello! I've decided to write this because today, I became depressed. I was about to start a new color portrait exercise, but instead became distracted, went online, wached couple of videos, step by steps and tutorials. Suddenly everything started to feel a little overhelming and confusing. Now I don't know what to do, where to start etc.

SBS was being done what I believe could be said to be Dru Blair's method, then I saw SBS being painted what I would call classically, mix some colors base, midtone, shadow color, add some texture between each and that's it. To this point it's okay, I can kind of underestant what's happening, well not really but can at least live with it.

But then... I saw some pictures and a video of Marissa's paintings, like step by step pictures. Words like "no pre mixing" and I mean.. there's pure gray all over the face at one point. And it all looks totally different from what I've seen before. These images bother me.

So the first question is: How many different and I mean obviously different techniques are there. Techniques that can clearly be differentiated from each other? This is ofcourse subjective, there can be subtle differences in some of the steps and also similarities. But let's say The Denise tutorial style is one(which I call cassic:thumbsup:), Dru's method is one and Marissa's method is one. There's Opaques only, opaques + transparents on top, only transparents, and transparents with no premixing(whaat:eek:) Then there's underpaintings in some weird color, throw some transparents on top, and super realistic skin tones appear. :laugh:

Second question would be: Can somebody explain, for example how the Marissa's method works or is it a secret? I mean rouhgly. There's clearly some witchcraft happening. I'm going to Marissa's portrait class in 1.5 months, but until then I need to be able to

Hmmmm, and so it begins...

"And ye things that there is but an easy answer to you questions, eh? The moon sets and Helios rises, a seed and a womb bring forth life, the ocean roars, the mountains thunder – the wonders of the worlds never cease and ye, lad, ask me to direct ye to the answers of your search?! Even if I knew all the answers of the universe - and I do know a few - I would not tell thee! You're young and youth must travel its own roads and byways and fall off its own horses. . . But seeing that callow starlight look in your eyes, I shall point my finger and in that same direction ye shall find a way. It will be for ye to decide whether it be an entrance or an exit. . . Now, go! Fare thee well"

The real answer is there is a lot of different methods and many ways to achieve an end. As I understand it Marissa uses an under painting technique, best way to find out is to do a course. Lots to learn, pick one to learn, then learn the next. I've seen enough of your work to know you are on the right track.
You may as well ask "how long is a piece of string, a lot of the methods you've described derive from other more classical methods and have bee adapted to suit airbrushing and to allow other techniques to be used that wouldn't normally be possible, no here here could describe every single method in detail, it is also very unlikely you would use every method anyway, you don't need to get depressed and you are not doing anything wrong by not knowing all of these methods, you will get seriously confused in every single process ends up described here, to get ahead comfortably and with out confusion, your best approach is to choose one method and stick to it, possibly even two methods, one for portraits and one for animals for example, my methods are very unorthodox so not worth describing since they would lead you up the wrong path, but my animal methods are based very loosely on the methods of Jurek Zamoyski, he is worth googling by the way, I have basically adapted his method to suit myself so that i can scratch and erase, if I did exactly what he does I wouldn't be able to do that, but Jureks method and I believe possibly Marissa's too is based on the mische technique which requires an under painting usually monotone and colour added after afterwards, worth having a look here, t may look difficult but it's actually quite simple when you get your head around it.

To understand this better @AndreZA did an amazing SBS for his Walter White painting in the SBS section, check that out.

I am no expert and struggle a lot with this sport but the best advice I can give you is to choose a discipline and stick to that and when you view videos on the subject stick to videos related to your chosen discipline, this way you will not get depressed you will get going, look for a techniques that closley matches your last painting.
There are as many techniques as there are way's to apply paint and painters so this is pretty hard to answer.

As for it becomming confusing, thats is logical. You see serveral different methods that took all those artists years to perfect. You can't expect to get to grips with all the ins and outs of their different techniques by watching a video or reading a short article. It will take time, trail and error and practice.

Instead of trying to understand all (which will become very confusing and frustrating) pick one that you think suits you best and concentrate on that. Once you have a firm grip on that technique (and that won't happen in a month or 2 or 3 paintings but wil probably take a year or more) you can consider broadening your horizon and start experimenting with another one.

As I said there are a lot of different techniques (which do crossover a bit) but most mentioned here will be either Marissa or Dru (for the plain and simple reason a lot of people went to their classes :)).

Marissa uses an underpanting (all the grey you mentioned) and builds on that with transparants while Dru concentrates more on building the painting with opaques. Dru will also use transparants though as Marissa also will use opaques.

And reading the other posts while typing I could have sufficed with "read what malky and mark said" :p
Yeah.. I guess I'm too obsessed, trying to gather all the information and stuff it in my head at once. Markjthomson that was funny! :laugh: I guess I'll just start doing the next portrait my way and try to do a little more textures this time and match colors better.
Malky: Thanks for the links and suggestions! I was just looking for that Walter White SBS, but could not remember what it was! You're probably right, I should probably not worry about different techniques, at least for now. Instead try to develope my own. It's probaly better to just paint for now and not try to figure out every technique. It's just that I signed for the course about 10 months ago, so it's really hard to be calm anymore. lol
start by putting paint in the airbrush and go from there. !
I will probably never get to attend a Dru or Marissa class due to health issues but I stalk the brilliant SBS here on this site to guide me. I understand that a course will fast track my learning but its ok, I'm not in that much of a hurry.
in the meantime I try a follow the techniques here and it seems to work, I'm slowly developing my own way of doing things.

Just remember we don't need to be clones to any technique, learn what you need and adjust from there
And I have my own technique. Its called "Winging it, and hoping for the best"

When people start getting technical, it goes over my head. I have no art training or background and beyond the basics it night as well be jibberish for all the sense ut makes to me.

Anyone who knows what they are doing would watch me and laugh. But I see what others do and I've tried things and messed about. I always say I make enough mistakes that eventually I'll run out and be left with what works.

The important thing is to put paint through your brush and experiment, take on board information and see what works for you. Then you can concentrate on developing it.

If you're going to Marissas class you will be streets ahead. I don't know anyone who hasn't come from one of her classes and not come on leaps and bounds.
Theres no witchcraft and I'll think you'll find that Drus and Marissa methods are no different to what your already discovering. 15-20 years technical experience is the difference LOL There is only 3 main methods as mentioned in your other post..lots and lots of individual techniques within that generally get to the same end point,but still those main three which you've listed. Opaque Only, Transparent Only or a mixture of the two (you cld also incorporate a mix media method into each also). In essence I'd hazard a guess, done neither s course, nor want too, but essentially they both use a variation of the last.. I use an underpainting method (as does nearly every other artform out there besides maybe watercolor), likely similar to Marissa (from the little Ive seen) maybe more than drus method which I see as a more technical method, marrisa's being a little more artistic and free flowing but have no doubt Dru also uses bases and finishing layers, just in a more confined area of focus, doing an underpainting style may not getthe same realism but generally envokes for me a bit more emotion in the evidence of brushstroke, Dru's method for me seems akin to a print, paint each pixel the right color and it will be as real as your resolution will allow, you dont need a base when using full opaques, just one single dot that joins to the opaque dot next door, the other method allows more of the base to come thru thus adding to the realism but not trying to copy it exactly.. but neither own these methods, copyrighted/trademarked words or not, but it would be distatseful for those who may have learned these guys methods inside and out to freely share them in a public forum unless permission is granted, trademarks may be involved LOL, but there methods themselves arn't copywritten but I think the artworld to some degree still see's that as a no-no to openly discuss once you've attended such a course..As mentioned above they take from many artists who came before them which is the point of art, to grow and learn from your own experiences and those that came before..Point is dont overfocus on what others are doing and create your own technique or style within the boundry's that opaque and transparent paints box us up in, otherwise you'll just be another person who can paint high realism..its not actually that special, the hard thing is to create art which I saw in your first and would prefer to see in your next, even if its not quite photolike..honestly your first color portrait was one of the best i'd say many have seen in awhile from perhaps whats fair to term you as a beginner. I have seen though those with 10-20 years art experience, especially in portraiture be painting high realism in Airbrush within weeks on the machine, i was..its because they already have that art understanding from say acrylics, oil, drawing watercolor etc..and if you really want confused, look into them..Thing is though, don't emulate..Create. i think personally no beginner should be able to see an SBS or video tutorial unless based on beginner principles for at leastthe first year of Airbrushing..I didnt get into the online forums for 5-6 years after I started to airbrush, I didnt want to know how others did it because its easy to find that out spending time at the canvas...We are often overwealmed with opinions, and thats all they are is opinions, whatworks better, best brush blah blah blah but the answers can only be found in one place and thats at the inviduals hand dong the painting..S please, ignore everything I just said and go back to the joy of discovery at your canvas..Don't read too much. Save that when you want to build on what you already find out as then its just tweaking your style but to stand out you need to create your own...
Encouraging words. It makes sense now, just got to grind it out, there's no skipping a head.
Encouraging words. It makes sense now, just got to grind it out, there's no skipping a head.

Just as Mark said at the beginning of this thread, I've seen enough of your work to know you are pretty much off to great start, you have already mentioned yourself the areas that you have problems with and need attention, so i don't think you need to change your own methods, all you have to do is build on them by study the items you struggle with, I think if you do that you will skip ahead quicker than you think.
Just stick to one method and one paint system! That will help speed up progress. I have practised Dru's technique for nearly a year and my work has taken on a new level. In a few years I would like to do Marissa's course to get a different approach
Everyone has said pretty much everything that needs to be said. Just do your thing as you seem to be doing perfectly ok as you are. A class will enhance what you know already and I can confirm that.

I got interested in portraits after watching a video called "A Portrait of Anna" which works on the principal of the old Flemish Masters 7 layer technique. This technique is what a lot of established artists loosely base the way they paint on. Some still follow it to the letter. The difference is in what ever medium they choose.

Just lay some paint on a board. It will just flow naturally and take the depression away.

@hamaf I dont think you realise, the shortcut you already have achieved, many would be happy paying and walking out of a course with that under their arm..You did something right and good for your first, so as everyone says, why second guess it, approach your next ref the same way..To cheer yourself up, place your work on the wall behind the computer screen, now scroll through for an hr or two lots of peoples "first" portrait, color or monochramatic..Then come back and tell me what you think of your piece then..Your painting skills will continue to grow if you allow your confidence to take over a bit and I dont understand for some why after such a great effort the next becomes any harder..Good luck, wont make you read any more long posts LOL
Hi everybody, i have the same overwhelming than Hamaf, Thousands miles away from He. In first place i want to thank you Hamaf to materialize this headache in this topic . And thank each one for your helps. This thread and your warm and wise comments make me fell on Track again.


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