HOW TO - "Ctrl + Paint" Digital Painting Website

I've spent the last couple weeks working on improving my digital painting abilities, which are admittedly lacking. I've always preferred working with tactile materials, but as the world of art progresses more and more towards digital renderings I've felt the need to at least stay educated as to what is possible with digital tools. This feeling is what has led me to explore animating digitally as well to explore digital painting to see if I can find a way to make my digital paintings move fluidly.

I'm still resisting the move to 3D, but working texturally in two dimensions with Photoshop, Painter, and Toon Boom Harmony has proven very intriguing. The best way to describe what I'm looking for is my own style of animation that uses digital gesture drawings, which retain a grounding in the texture of real world surfaces.

All that was a lead up to saying that you really have to learn to walk before you can run in the digital world because the results can be off putting - that's been my experience at least.  A site that's helped me begin to lay a decent digital painting foundation is called Ctrl + Paint.

The site has a wealth of well laid out instructional material and has some very fundamental digital painting exercises that help bridge the gap between throwing a tablet against the wall vesus lovingly spending your waking hours with it. The author, Matt Kohr, has done a great job of stream lining all the tutorials to immediately get to the meat of the issue. I've found Matt's tutorials far more valuable than the tutorials I've worked through from the Digital Painting Techniques book series from 3DTotal, which generally seem to gloss over the actual technical details of how the artists achieved a specific look.

So, if you're looking to try out digital painting or just want to see an alternative approach to your own work methods check out Ctril + Paint. You'll definitely come away the better for it. There is also a very affordable premium video series that goes into more detail, I'll be checking that out once I've finished working through the fundamentals.