Tutorial: Painting A Swirly Stone Texture


This is my first documented tutorial ever. I think.


I figured tutorials for faces, human figures and so on are all very common and for now I just felt like doing something different but still interesting.

I completed the image editing in GIMP, using a Cintiq tablet with pressure sensitivity. You don’t need these exact tools — instead of GIMP you could use Photoshop, instead of a Cintiq you could use an Intuos and so on. Pressure sensitivity with your tablet would be great for this tutorial.

This tutorial emphasizes:

– depth

– textures

– free forms

Start with a midtone with the regular brush tool (hotkey P in GIMP, hotkey B in Photoshop I think). Create the silhouette of your form using full pressure. Use a medium sized brush to allow a range of sizes — make sure pressure sensitivity effects size and opacity of your brush.

jade_shot01Pick your darkest tone. Try not to use black. Put some dark space onto your form. Use medium to light pressure.


Using your mid-tone, (in GIMP, hold control and color pick your mid-tone, in Photoshop I think it’s alt), use full to medium pressure to crawl in some shapes. Make it “manifest” from the dark like so:jade_shot03

Pick a highlight color, but not too bright. Highlight the edges of the forms you want to have the most depth. Keep darks “in,” keep lights “out.”jade_shot04

Let’s put in some more dark places for the forms to come out from.jade_shot05

Crawl in again with your mid-tone from other mid-tone parts.

Make some “webs” with low to medium brush pressure. You can always color pick the tone between your mid and dark tone and do some more brushing with it.jade_shot07

With your mid-tone, scribble in some folding forms like so. Scribble over your previous scribbles, and then taper off. Use full range of brush pressure. Brights “out,” darks “in,” like your wispy forms want someplace to hide.jade_shot08

Bob Ross is right about some things. This *is* your world. Make more wispy forms with the mid-tone wherever they’d make *you* happy.jade_shot09

I personally don’t go too crazy with the smudge tool these days (hotkey S in gimp), but in this painting tutorial, smudge/blend in mid-tones towards the dark. Leave the brighter tones sharper against the dark. We want these forms to look like they’re peeping out.

Take that highlight tone we used before and use it to highlight and define. Note: We don’t have to be so close to white when picking a highlight tone because what matters is the tone/value is *relatively* bright in comparison to whatever  you’ve already used.jade_shot11

Compare the last image to this image right below in the color picking window. I picked a new highlight tone. It is not white, because it doesn’t need to be in order to still bring out our shapes. Use a smaller brush to sharpen the edges of your shapes. Tip: hotkey for changing brush size is “[, ]” (left and right brackets). jade_shot12

If you’d like to spice things up a bit, (I’m referencing a jade color scheme), you can pick a neon green and use it to compliment your mid-tones. Color pick between the two and blend them with the brush.jade_shot13

I smudged the mid-to-darks again. Then I took my dark tone and used medium pressure to create more dark spaces. jade_shot14

I used more pressure “inside” the lighter tone to create more depth. If you brush in dark tones right underneath the mid tones or highlights and leave hard edges, the forms will pop out more. jade_shot15

Highlighting and darkening around the mid-tones help to define our shapes.jade_shot16

Lastly, we shall incase this place in a shiny container. Create a new layer. Make sure this new layer is on top, and that you’re now using this layer. With your lightest highlight tone, use medium to light pressure on the sides of your form like so:jade_shot17

Smudge. Then with full to medium pressure with your highlight tone, put in some rough dots to portray a glaze.
jade_shot18I hope you found this tutorial helpful or at least made you happy. Thanks for reading my blog post!


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